Tuesday, 10 May 2016

BOOK REVIEW: William Regal - Walking a Golden Mile

From the fairgrounds and holiday camps of working class England to the heights of WWE Stardom, William Regal's journey to one of pro wrestling's most respected -if not necessarily successful- figures certainly makes for an interesting read. 

In all honesty, I had my reservations about this book, not necesarily because of Regal himself, but because I've found some of the more heavily-branded WWE books, especially smaller ones like this one, to be somewhat lacking.

So it was a nice surprise to open the book and find that, although there is a certain brisk pace to this one, it was a very well-written read that chronicles the life of Darren Matthews from his early days growing up as a fan to his then-current role in the WWE, striking just the right balance between humour, heartbreak, and hope.

Indeed, the mid-section of the book, in which the British superstar recounts his battle with drug and alcohol addition were particularly hard-hitting, and it's refreshing to read an open, honest account of how quickly addiction can spiral out of control without the writer blaming anyone -or anything- but themselves.

But to focus on just that section of the book is to do the whole thing a discredit. As someone living only a few miles down the road from Blackpool (and having spent a lot of time there drunk out of my ass), I found the tales about the British wrestling scene particularly insightful, whilst the latter part - a sober William Regal enjoying life as a WWE Superstar- to be nothing but full of gratitude and humility for the opportunities that being a famous pro wrestler affords him.

Sure, it could have been a little longer, sure it would have been nicer to expand on a few things rather than the this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened, the end approach that Regal and his co-writer, Neil Chandler, take, but on the whole, I enjoyed Walking a Golden Mile, and certainly recommend at least taking a look at it.

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.