I loved wrestling in the 80s and 90s. I loved the greats of that era, superstars like The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Legion of Doom. These guys were wrestlers with HUGE personalities that coincided with their obvious skill inside the ring. But how will a wrestling-inspired anthology work?
Pretty damn good as it happens, especially when you see some of the names included. This is an anthology that hits the ground running with an opening tag team clothesline via Tom Leins and James Newman. The two stories at the start are my favourites, particularly the James Newman story. A Fiend In Need features Newman’s character, Nick Bullman. Nick becomes involved in a sticky situation when he receives a phone call from an old friend who decides to cash in on a favour from twenty years ago. It is one of the longer stories and is all the better for it. It’s another great slice of white trash noir from James Newman and if you haven’t read his novel Ugly As Sin then you’re missing out. This short should definitely whet the appetite.
I was also very excited to hear about a new Reggie Levine story courtesy of Mr Howe and it certainly did not disappoint. Once again, Reggie finds himself in a slightly absurd situation involving venom extraction from the anus of a wrestler! As with Howe’s previous books, this one too is laugh-out-loud. Other highlights included Patrick Lacey’s tale Kill To Be You which is very different to many of the other crime influenced tales and Canadian Donkey Punch by Jason Parent.
A couple didn’t do much for me, but that is often the case with anthologies. On the whole, this is a terrific collection of bad-ass tales set to a backdrop of wrestling. Time to get oiled up, slip on the spandex and get grappling!
4/5 piledrivers from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.