While some might feel that a collection of obituaries would feel like a morbid read, the fact of the matter is, it’s every bit as entertaining as it is sad. Dave Meltzer, the writer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter puts pen to paper once again to give us the follow up to his first book Tributes with Tributes II.
With a heartfelt and honest foreword by former heavyweight champion Bret “The Hitman” Hart, the book is a who’s who in the world of professional wrestling. Tributes II remembers old time legends like Johnny Valentine, The Sheik, “Classy” Freddie Blassie, Lou Thesz, Gorilla Monsoon, Stu Hart, Wahoo McDaniel and Tim “Mr. Wrestling” Woods. It also celebrates the life and careers of high profile sports entertainers of a more recent era such as Road Warrior Hawk, Rick Rude, Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, Ms. Elizabeth, Terry Gordy, and Davey Boy Smith. Dave also gives expanded editions on Owen Hart and Andre The Giant.
Like the previous book, Tributes II gives a well-written, honest point-of-view on all aspects of their careers; to the money they earned, their best matches, their place in history, and the lifestyle that lead some of them to their demise. It’s a very candid look at the performers in a business that was once tight-lipped and very closed off to the public. Now that the business is an open book, Dave Meltzer is free to go in depth and give fans of the sport a straight story with out having to Kayfabe (an old circus term meaning “protect the show” or basically “concealing the fake”) the fan and potential book buyer.
There is an excellent DVD bonus that comes with Tributes II. In it, Dave goes in depth with his thoughts on the wrestlers in this edition. A pleasant surprise as it’s not just a throwaway extra. Dave goes a full hour and gives a quality interview with thoughts and opinions and not just yes and no simple answers.
Overall, this is a great book for any wrestling fan to have in his or her collection.