SPORTS & RECREATION

Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution

ECW. Sept. 2020. 300p. ISBN 9781770415188. pap. $19.95. SPORTS
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To the casual observer the McMahon dynasty, which has sat at the top of the sport for decades is professional wrestling. Under the radar, though, dozens of independent wrestling circuits have proliferated, and veteran wrestling writer Greenberg presents an exhaustive study of them: Ring of Honor, New Japan, Chikara, and other independent alliances ranging from groups whose participants might wrestle seven days a week for $25 a match to the AEW (All Elite Wrestling), a current ambitious challenger to Vince McMahon’s WWE, fueled financially by Shad Khan, billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Some emphasize technical wrestling, some “hardcore” specializing in gore, some Mexican style lucha libre, and some take deeper dives, such as the defunct XPW, which joined wrestling and pornography, but most share the characteristics of being less carefully scripted and offering their participants more creative freedom than the slick WWE. Greenberg effectively shows how they all follow the professional wrestling tradition of colorful performers, such as Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks.
VERDICT So much is presented here that it’s sometimes dizzying, but professional wrestling fans and historians will be gratified.

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