I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy provided by the good folks over at Topix Media Lab and I'm pleased to say it's something I think everyone who frequents Smark Out Moment would be interested in checking out at some point down the line.
In the opening, it is made clear just what we're in store for. It presents itself as a collection of photocopies of an imaginary rulebook found backstage and passed down from generation to generation—almost like stumbling across a "no girls allowed" sign in your kid's tree house.
Basically, think of it as the equivalent of the leaked scripts of Raw and SmackDown from time to time which break down the segments and have various notes written on them, however, with a heightened sense of reality wherein the insanity of WWE's storylines and the locker room antics bleed through to blur the lines from satire and a document that would expose government secrets.
"The rules are not neatly typed, bound and coated in a swank leather cover. Many are scrawled on scrap paper, some are penned on paper towels, pieces of stationery, sticky notes and in one case, a police report."
And so it is, which is why to go with the theme, you'll be getting some bootleg cell phone snaps as images in this article!
The setup is that there were times in the past where Titan Tower typed up the rules in a more proper format, but as more and more people bend and break the rules, adjustments are made on the fly with whatever tools they can manage to use while on the road. Sometimes, you need to grab a pen and scribble onto a napkin that Vince McMahon's decree that "a Superstar should never drive a zamboni, forklift, monster truck or beer truck to the ring for any reason" also applies to milk trucks, or you'll see an added note that "going forward, WrestleMania will be a minimum of four hours long to allow time for Undertaker entrances."
If you're looking for something that elaborates on when there was a change in policy to allow open fists or what exactly led to the adjustments where chair shots to the head and piledrivers were no longer legal, this is not your book.
However, if you're looking for page after page of illustrations that poke fun at some of the more ridiculous things in the WWE Universe that we all love, this will be right up your alley.
It's a quick read for sure, as it isn't so much a "read' but more of a "flip through" in a sense. This is a true coffee table book for people to pick up and skim for random chuckles, which are in abundance.
Every page has a handful of things to laugh at, as even the most formal notice letters have scribbles on them with comments from wrestlers who disagree with the rules.
Case in point, as the rules of the Royal Rumble state that eliminations occur when a Superstar is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor, Curtis Axel has circled it and written down that this is exactly why he was never eliminated and he's still in it.
Since this is so thoroughly packed with jokes, some of them will invariably be weak, as humor is entirely subjective and it's clear this was a project worked on by a lot of people throwing in their ideas all over the place, but that just means there's something for everyone.
I certainly don't want to spoil every little bit, so here are just a collection of a few more of the jokes that I liked from the first few sections of the book:
- The section on cultural diversity states that "Superstars of any nationality are free to perform as many region-specific maneuvers as they wish" to drive home the point that you don't have to be German to do a German suplex
- Clarification from the times of Team Hell No that if you and your tag team partner win the tag team titles, you are indeed BOTH the tag team champions, not just one of you
- Remember Michael Cole's plexiglass cubicle? That has been banned.
- Pointers for new referees such as "Don't allow William Regal to begin a match without patting him down first" and "Don't assume the correct Bella Twin is in the ring."
For more casual WWE fans, this certainly won't strike home, but the longer you've been invested in the company, studied up on its history and went along for the ride, the more jokes you'll get and the more fun you'll have reading it. Anybody like myself who has been a fan since he was a kid will undoubtedly love getting flashbacks of old feuds and ludicrous gags from the past as well as current references still going on today, like "what?" being a rhetorical question and Kevin Dunn asking people to limit the time they spend on entrance poses so it doesn't disrupt the flow of the show.
If you're interested in picking it up, you can order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere books are sold.