FINE ARTS

Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling

with Paul O'Brien. Sports Pub. Oct. 2017. 352p. index. ISBN 9781683581130. $24.99. SPORTS
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Professional wrestling announcer Ross (The Stone Cold Truth), aka JR, tells his story in this entertaining autobiography coauthored with O'Brien (Blood Red Turns Dollar Green: A Novel). Ross grew up on an Oklahoma farm with a love of wresting that eventually led him to dedicate his life to the sport. He got his start driving his boss to wrestling shows, setting up the ring, and refereeing matches. He then moved on to announcing live TV matches, which became his passion. After jobs with different wrestling organizations, Ross began working at WWE in the 1990s. Here, he talks about encounters with famous wrestlers, offers his perspective of the 1997 Montreal Screwjob and the 1998 Hell in a Cell match, and recounts his relationship with wrestler and WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon (who wrote the foreword). Ross also helped promote stars such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (who wrote the afterword) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. In sharing these stories, Ross reveals his two divorces and shortcomings as a husband and father, further touching on his bouts with Bell's palsy and the physical effects of partial facial paralysis.
VERDICT A candid memoir for fans of WWE, professional wrestling, and those who root for the underdog.

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