wrestling / Video Reviews

411 Book Review: Tributes By Dave Meltzer

February 8, 2002 | Posted by Chris Pilkington

“Tributes” is a book written by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer fame. He may be an often mocked figure in the Internet Wrestling Community, but the fact is that he is obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about wrestling. So following on from the success of “Have a Nice day”, “Foley is Good” and other successful wrestling books, he has written a book that as its tag line points out “Remembers some of the greatest Wrestlers”.

The first thing that you will realise when you pick up Tributes is that it is not full of the more recognisable names of Wrestling. There are no biographies of the Rock, Steve Austin or Kurt Angle, nor are there names like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff or Sting. The book is centred around the wrestlers who have sadly passed on. As it says on the book sleeve:

“Ten Bell Salutes, the traditional paying of respect for fallen performers, and memorial graphics streaming across television screens, have taken the likeness of the national anthem at baseball games; their meanings steeped in Sadness, but now lost to the Average fan”

This could basically be the description of the book. I seriously doubt that this book would appeal to any casual fan, it contains none of the humour or the wit that Mick Foley placed in his two books and nor does it centre on any massively media friendly wrestlers. This is blatantly obvious from the first chapter, which is on the late Owen Hart. It begins by explaining the circumstances surrounding his death at the Over the Edge PPV, then it goes on to explain in excruciating detail; Owen’s life from his childhood to his wrestling influences being raised in the famous Hart family. It was interesting to read about Owen and see who was behind the character that appeared on our screens. What made Owen Hart, Owen Hart. From his father’s hopes for Owen to become an Olympic athlete to his infamous pranks (the Brian Pillman dog one is very funny), it shows who the real Owen Hart was.

The book is full of many stories about wrestlers like Andre the Giant to the Giant Baba, and to tell you any of them would simply be ruining the book. There are many wrestlers or personalities that you may not have heard of, or may only know by name alone; such as Jumbo Tsuruta or Giant Baba, but names like Kerry Von Erich (The Texas Tornado), Brian Pillman or Rick Rude is enough to make most of the fairly hardcore fan want to pick up this book.

Overall as you can guess I would with out a doubt recommend this book to all fans with a passing interest in wrestling history and if you consider yourself to be a “Smart” fan then I definitely would say that this is an essential purchase for your library



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Chris Pilkington

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