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World Wrestling Insanity Presents: Shoot First . . . Ask Questions Later: The Decline and Fall of a Family Empire

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In an industry where nothing is real and no one actually wins or loses, the possibilities for manipulation are endless. The nepotism, backward logic, and power plays behind the World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) downfall are exposed in this indictment In an industry where nothing is real and no one actually wins or loses, the possibilities for manipulation are endless. The nepotism, backward logic, and power plays behind the World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) downfall are exposed in this indictment


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In an industry where nothing is real and no one actually wins or loses, the possibilities for manipulation are endless. The nepotism, backward logic, and power plays behind the World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) downfall are exposed in this indictment In an industry where nothing is real and no one actually wins or loses, the possibilities for manipulation are endless. The nepotism, backward logic, and power plays behind the World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) downfall are exposed in this indictment

40 review for World Wrestling Insanity Presents: Shoot First . . . Ask Questions Later: The Decline and Fall of a Family Empire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mickey

    I picked this book up on the strength of Gutman’s first book, which I had liked. That first book was a topical look at WWE circa 2006, and it was incredibly funny. Gutman has a very loose and informal writing style, which always seems more natural in a blog than in book form. This book is about his podcast (which I’ve never heard of before) and stories of the professional wrestlers he’s interviewed for it. I enjoyed it immensely. Gutman has a definite eye for the ridiculous. It’s not a cynical i I picked this book up on the strength of Gutman’s first book, which I had liked. That first book was a topical look at WWE circa 2006, and it was incredibly funny. Gutman has a very loose and informal writing style, which always seems more natural in a blog than in book form. This book is about his podcast (which I’ve never heard of before) and stories of the professional wrestlers he’s interviewed for it. I enjoyed it immensely. Gutman has a definite eye for the ridiculous. It’s not a cynical insider’s attempt at sophisticated commentary aimed to impress us with his knowledge but a talent for finding and relating the odd and strange, such as these examples: ”[Diamond Dallas] Page also provided perhaps the strangest pre-interview moment, ever… When I called Dallas, he asked me to give him a few minutes. To this day, I’m still not 100% sure what was going on… I heard something humming, loud, like a car vacuum. It went on for about a minute before Page spoke into the phone again. Bzzzzz!... “Hang on. I’m almost done…” Bzzzzz! Bzzzzz! Bzzzzz! He tried to explain what was going on, but I couldn’t make it out over the buzzing. In support of my car vacuum theory, I’d occasionally hear a clunking, like a penny being sucked through a hose. Every time I’d hear this, it was followed by DDP exclaiming, “Shit!” For at least five minutes, I sat there and listened to Diamond Dallas Page vacuum his car…I think. Then the buzzing stopped. “I’m back.” I never asked what he was doing, but if it wasn’t a car vac, I don’t want to know.” (pg 143) And: Known as the Juice in WCW and WWE, Juvi is also known for his wild lifestyle and broken English. I had always been a fan of the Juice, and was really thrilled when he agreed to do an interview. About 15 minutes in, after a question that had nothing to do with dinner or Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, he answered by telling me he actually had company in a way that only the Juice could: “I was just talking with Sean. X-Pac that is, right in front of me. X-Pac in Mexico and, uh, we are just having dinner here… But anyways…” It took me two minutes, literally, to figure out what he was talking about. Juve was in the middle of eating, and he wanted to go. When I finally figured this out, I finished things up and thanked him for the interview which, despite its abrupt end, turned out better than you’d imagine given the language barrier. And, of course, conflicting dinner schedules. (pg 227) These are the kinds of exchanges I find oddly rewarding and entertaining. The one thing that has always attracted me to professional wrestling has been the stories-both those that are scripted and those that are not. Although some of it isn’t “real”, there is so much in the history and the personalities that is genuine and interesting. Professional wrestling (the only sport I’ve ever watched consistently) gave me so much in terms of understanding how things work and how people are that I definitely owe it a great deal, a debt I have been thinking about a lot lately. Since I’ve never heard the podcast, my interpretations of it are entirely shaped by this book. Gutman’s overriding vision was to allow wrestlers a venue where they could talk outside of their filtered, sometimes scripted work personalities. Gutman wanted his show to be a place where wrestlers could share their philosophies about life and work and where they can “set the record straight”. Of course, there would also be a lot of reminiscing. His approach seemed to be very guest-centered. Gutman appears to be a congenial and laidback host-especially with his philosophy of why he does not correct wrestlers about any historical inaccuracies. He appears to be solidly in the Gen X mold: There is a lack of ego and pretension that can read as somewhat slacker-ish. He seems like he would spend interviews more focused on the the wrestler’s stories than on the interactions or impressing anyone with his knowledge or skills. There’s a genuine curiousity about the other person that I imagine helps him during the interviewing process. He does tackle some real issues. The biggest one being the fall-out from the Benoit murder-suicide, when professional wrestler, Chris Benoit killed his wife and young son and then committed suicide. This book has an entire chapter about it, and spent much of that time defending professional wrestling as a cause of the tragedy. He had some interesting points, but the informal style irks me when he gets too serious because I find it too jarring (this is a personal problem, I also have a difficult time taking people seriously when they use too much slang). Good for him to still be expressing his opinion without hesitation on such a sensitive topic. While relaying tidbits from his podcast, Gutman also discusses his own journey about interviewing: setting up appointments, dealing with guests, asking good questions, when to bail out, etc. This is done in a low-key way with plenty of interesting stories that sometimes make him look a little less than completely competent (he doesn’t seem to mind). He spends much of the last chapter discussing the evolution of his opinion about McMahon and the rather tough statements he made about him in the first book. It’s refreshing to read a book from someone who cares enough to correct his misunderstandings publicly. This is an entertaining book for wrestling fans. It does require way too much background knowledge for anyone who is a casual fan, though, with its use of jargon (like the word “shoot” and “work”), but it’s like a great cult classic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Bateman

    a few interesting notes & anecdotes from guttman's career spent interviewing wrestlers, but no literary masterpiece (not that JG would claim it was). a few notes: --Guttman's time spent interviewing ended up giving him a better understanding of the workers and promotions they worked for, and moved him away from the critical "dirt sheet" attitude of the 80s and 90s that was built on rumor-mongering but without much actual input from the workers. --Guttman's section on the furor around the death of B a few interesting notes & anecdotes from guttman's career spent interviewing wrestlers, but no literary masterpiece (not that JG would claim it was). a few notes: --Guttman's time spent interviewing ended up giving him a better understanding of the workers and promotions they worked for, and moved him away from the critical "dirt sheet" attitude of the 80s and 90s that was built on rumor-mongering but without much actual input from the workers. --Guttman's section on the furor around the death of Benoit is pretty interesting. --The "who would you like to have worked with" bonus feature at the end of the book is fun, even if the answers are pretty repetitive. --Guttman's fave interview is with Jesse Ventura; he considers him the most successful "second career" wrestler of all time and I'm inclined to agree. He's also got boundless respect for Ventura, as do I. One day, I'll get around to interviewing Ventura and doing a big feature on his attempt to unionize the sport for some major publication. Anyway, it's a decent read by a dude who has made a nice side living posting interviews with wrestlers. Definitely for specialists/people who know the business in general and Guttman's site in particular.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim Dunn

    Just a dumb wrestling book...really I couldn't wait to put it down. Snooze from start to finish.....which i barely did. Just a dumb wrestling book...really I couldn't wait to put it down. Snooze from start to finish.....which i barely did.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  5. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lee Kyle

  8. 5 out of 5

    Juan Manuel

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Raymon

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miles Antwiler

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris Belleisle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Grays

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Owens

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul Fielder

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Glen McColl

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gary Bender

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Lloyd

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carl

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lex

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dan J

  29. 4 out of 5

    Essane

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  31. 4 out of 5

    Taj

  32. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Detroit

  33. 5 out of 5

    Mike Castaldo

  34. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  35. 4 out of 5

    Dan Lloyd

  36. 4 out of 5

    Nils Schaffer

  37. 4 out of 5

    Arron Rees

  38. 4 out of 5

    djrestlessmind

  39. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  40. 5 out of 5

    Gabratta

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