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The New Testament for the WWE's Bible!
on 27 October 2013
In 2009, Kevin Sullivan and Brian Shields gave us WWE Encyclopedia; an absolutely mammoth book that was simply packed with everything to know about World Wrestling Entertainment. All wrestlers, managers, announcers, factions, Divas & titles (past & present), wrestling shows (live, TV and Pay-Per-View), match-types, storylines, merchandise etc, had been covered in such extensive, fascinating detail, the book was simply mandatory for all fans (not just of WWE, but wrestling itself).
The thing that made WWE Encyclopedia a masterpiece was the writers' compassion for the project. Sullivan & Shields DID their homework, and they were able to sum up (virtually) the entire magnitude of WWE in one big book, through a superlative layout, great use of pictures and text (varying in degree of importance of superstar), and enlightening chronicles with very little inaccuracies. It was an overall work of perfection.
Of course, that was back in 2009. Much has changed in the WWE since then. Wrestlers have come and gone, various superstars & legends have only grown in prominence, so it's only logical that Dorling Kingsley release an UPDATED version of WWE Encyclopedia. For this newer version, Kevin Sullivan and Brian Shields have managed to improve their masterwork. The hardback is now four-hundred & sixteen pages, with hugely updated profiles for the likes of CM Punk, The Miz, Edge, Kane, Christian (to name only a few) and many brand new inclusions such as Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre.
Most of the content of this newer version is as you'd expect before. The profiling of all the hundreds and hundreds of WWE Legends & Superstars varies depending on level of importance and achievements. Guys like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold, John Cena, The Undertaker etc get two-page treatments, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels & Eddie Guerrero get pages devoted to themselves, veterans, mid-carders & jobbers are provided with much smaller insights into their careers. Bottom-line, it's all sensibly done, and the fact that the pacing remains perfect as ever is just a plus.
But the level of detail has only been INCREASED this time around. For example, Kevin and Brian have actually delved deeper into each of the wrestlers' title histories, providing dates of when they captured various gold and who they defeated for said-prizes. More anecdotes like that are just simply a plus for this newer edition, and they're everywhere throughout. The writers' pride in producing something worthwhile remains as strong as ever.
It becomes apparent as soon as you start reading that everything that made the first version of this Encyclopedia so wonderful has been upheld and honoured. Vince McMahon hasn't allowed his ego to ruin the fans' enjoyment of this book and allows history to remain for the fans to savour forever. Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Ultimate Warrior (and all those who either left or fell out with Vince) all remain honoured and celebrated. Chris Benoit is still chronicled (minus mention of the god-awful Benoit Tragedy), late greats like Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Mr Perfect are still remembered, guys like Tazz, Sabu & Goldberg are praised for their greater success in other organizations, and all of history's Divas are documented with tremendous acclaim. Facts about wrestlers' heights, weights, hometowns, finishing moves etc remain fun and enlightening, as does the special examination of all the various title histories, results of major shows, WrestleMania and the Undertaker's streak. For fans of the previous Encyclopedia, this remains a fun, pleasurable learning experience. For those who missed the first edition, this update will truly impress regardless. Kids will love it, and long-time wrestling fans will be equally amazed to discover things even they didn't know about the WWE and those who worked for the company!
If you haven't picked up WWE Encyclopedia before now, you're REALLY missing out. This is simply THE wrestling book for all fans to purchase. Even if you already have the 2009 edition, this update is still highly recommended. It somehow manages to improve on the original, and for that, this book is even more essential than ever! Purchase immediately!