The WWE partnership with DK Publishing has resulted in some really great historical WWE books. There’s the two encyclopedia’s and the WWE 50 book. Now, there’s 30 Years of WrestleMania, which released on September 15th.
Like its predecessors, 30 Years of WrestleMania is a beautiful and wonderfully put together hardcover book. If you have the WWE 50 book, it’s about the same size as that (smaller than the two encyclopedias). Nice glossy pages with gold foil trim makes it look really slick.
The book is authored by Brian Shields and Dean Miller, both veteran authors and editor’s of New York Times bestselling wrestling books. “Mr. WrestleMania” himself, Shawn Michaels, wrote the brief forward for the book. The hardcover edition (there’s also an ebook version) comes with one of five exclusive, collectible bookmarks featuring a famous match of WrestleMania. The one I got featured The Rock on one side, and Stone cold on the other highlighting their “epic rivalry” that spanned WrestleMania’s 15, 17, and 19. There’s also a promo trading card of The Undertaker to advertise the WWE Topps Road to WrestleMania trading card series, available this month. Here’s the official description of the book:
From the creators of WWE 50 and the official WWE Encyclopedia, 30 Years of WrestleMania gives you an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the show of shows from its inception to the current day. Relive each exciting match with detailed information, exclusive interviews, never-before-seen shots, and much more!
- The history of each WrestleMania, from both sides of the curtain
- Special tributes to Undertaker’s Streak, Mr. WrestleMania, records, stats & more
- Stories from influential figures, including Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart & others
- Behind the scenes photos and anecdotes
- Artifacts such as tickets, VIP passes, programs, promotional items and other unique surprises
- Coverage of all the definitive Superstars and celebrities
- Foreward by “Mr. WrestleMania” Shawn Michaels
- Exclusive Topps collectible trading card featuring the Undertaker
- One of five exclusive collectible bookmarks
Whether you’ve never missed a ‘Mania or you are new to WWE, 30 Years of WrestleMania is guaranteed to enhance your fanhood and enrich your enjoyment of the WWE’s annual worldwide phenomenon.
If you fancy yourself a wrestling historian, this is a book you should certainly have on your shelf. It contains a breakdown of each and every WrestleMania; the card, the date, the attendance, who the announcers/ring announcer/interviewer were and what roles celebrities had during the event. It’s packed with pictures, an analysis of many of the matches, a rundown of the build up or the aftermath, tons of quotes and stories from the superstars and personalities involved, and even a look behind the scenes.
Don’t get excited about the blurb from the description of artifacts. Unfortunately, these are nothing more than pictures in the book. I view that as a missed opportunity to make the book a treasure. I think, and hope in the future, that WWE/DK look towards books like the Illustrated Edition of 1776 or The Treasures of Bruce Lee and include pull-out replica items; ticket stubs, event posters, letters, etc.
Not just covering WrestleMania itself, the book also includes a six-page spread detailing the WWE Hall of Fame with a listing (in picture form) of each inductee of the 15 classes to date, with either a select quote from or blurb about each classes headliner. It’s become such a big part of the WrestleMania weekend, so I’m glad it is properly covered in this book. There’s also a special section look at the Undertaker’s Streak and the evolution of Triple H.
This partnership between WWE and DK has produced some really great WWE historical books, and this 30 Years of WrestleMania is certainly no exception. If you have either encyclopedia or WWE 50, then you know exactly what to expect quality and layout wise from this book and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s as high quality as it gets, and once again the DK design crew deserves props for putting together a fantastic looking book.
The very last page of course advertises other WWE/DK books including the WWE Encyclopedia and WWE 50, but best of all is the ad for the Ultimate Superstar Guide, which is coming in March 2015. The cover features Superstars past and present drawn up in exaggerated comic book fashion and promises its “WWE Superstars as you’ve never seen them before.” Just based on the cover and name, it’s reminding me of Marvel’s The Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide… which was also put out by DK Publishing. I’m not even a comic book fan (although I do love the Marvel movies) but even I think that character guide is fantastic. So if DK is doing that exact same formula for WWE Superstars, I both want and need that book ASAP.
If you’re a WWE fan, this book is for you and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add it to your collection (or simply have it on a shelf somewhere if you don’t have a collection). You can get it for a little under $20 on Amazon, and I think that’s a pretty good price. The MSRP is $25, and really had I paid $25 for it I would have been happy with the purchase.
30 Years of WrestleMania gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.