The voice of the WWE chronicles his many years on the pro wrestling circuit.
Ross (b. 1952) dutifully traces his humble beginnings as a smaller-than-average only child in Fort Bragg, California, born to parents who were high school sweethearts. After several relocations throughout his youth, the family settled down on an Oklahoma farm. Along with his father, the author spent time watching and becoming obsessed with wrestling, which “combined the two things I loved most in the world: sports and storytelling.” That interest endured through his college years as Ross began refereeing at matches, but he frankly admits that, at the time (1975), “wrestling wasn’t a steady way to make a living.” Still, the author kept afloat by booking TV announcing gigs and then moved into the promotional aspect of live wrestling events. His career began to escalate as he endured his parents’ divorce, and he began calling matches for World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990s. Ross capably—if a bit stiffly—fills in the details of his years with WCW and then at the World Wrestling Federation, where Vince McMahon promptly booked him for WrestleMania. As Ross explains how he found his footing at the WWF, the narrative, heavy on the insider information that will delight fans, becomes a name-dropping who’s who of wrestling royalty, featuring all the requisite melodrama that comes with a career at the “Holy Grail of sports entertainment.” A glossy center section illustrates his story through a scrapbook of photographs following his climb to the heights of the wrestling world. He experienced plenty of career highs as well as personal setbacks, including the death of his beloved mother in 1998 and a struggle with facial-paralyzing Bell’s palsy. Wrestling aficionados, in particular, will appreciate the author’s candor and wit as he chronicles his ascent to the top of the professional wrestling world.
An earnestly written and mostly entertaining memoir tailor-made for fans already familiar with the ringside legend.