Title: Titan Sinking: the decline of the WWF in 1995.
Author: James Dixon
Pages: 281 pages
Professional wrestling is something that is largely the stuff of mockery among those who have no interest in the subject. For those inside the business, or who are actually fans of the action and storytelling inside the squared circle, it can be serious business. This is a book from the smarks over at Whatculture, and looks at the events of the mid-90s when the WWF – the biggest player in the game – was struggling to make money in an industry which was mired in the past.
While the book primarily focuses on the year 1995, it tracks the prime players and characters frequently back to their origins in the 1980s. It combines insider knowledge and interviews to deliver a look under the veil of kayfabe. I grew up in the 90s watching whatever wrestling shows we could get on VHS tape, and I can remember many of the events described in the book, but with a different set of eyes to those I watched with as a teenager.
Perhaps the problem I have with this book is symptomatic of the narrative told therein. It focuses on so many different storylines which are occurring simultaneously, but takes significant leaps around in time, which makes the whole story somewhat hard to follow. It also ends rather abruptly for me, with the feeling that it lacks the killer punch, or final chapter to bring it all home. I realise that this is the first in a series of consecutive books by the same author, but I wanted something more to connect the dots.
As mentioned earlier, this is a book which is written by, and aimed squarely at those who have an interest in the industry, or who grew up watching that events of that period. It is a more indepth, and unvarnished look than you are ever likely to get from the over-produced, and sensationalised specials which are occasionally released by the company in question.
It appealed to me as a former fan, and I’m interested to read the other books in the series, but I think it lacks the payoff to appeal to a wider audience.