The partnership between WWE and DK Publishing has produced some of the highest quality WWE books ever, and that partnership’s latest release certainly lives up to the high standards that they’ve set.
In WWE: The 100 Greatest Matches, best-selling author Dean Miller returns to write in-depth about 100 WWE matches. Each match takes up two pages and details the lead up to the match, the match itself, and the aftermath of the match. All the text is broken up with wonderfully placed, high-quality pictures.
In total, the 9.2 x 0.8 x 11.1-inch hardcover book contains 208 pages including the contents, index, and a foreword by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Here’s the official description:
Experience the action, struggle, and epic glory of the 100 greatest matches in WWE history! With stunning visuals and in-depth commentary, WWE: The 100 Greatest Matches brings together the absolute best, most memorable and stunning matches in WWE history! Relive the excitement with this massive hardcover book, and discover if your favorite matches make the cut.
- Foreword by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
- Stunning visuals
- In-depth discussion of each match, plus the lead-up and the aftermath
- Favorite matches of the WWE Superstars and other personalities revealed
The book begins with the foreword by Ricky Steamboat talking about his match against Macho Man Randy Savage at WrestleMania III, which just so happens to the first match profiled. The classic is listed as “WWE Books #1 Pick,” and is the only match with a number to appear on the pages. I don’t believe that that implies the rest of the matches to follow are #2 through #100; it appears the matches aren’t ranked.
Later on, we come across “WWE Magazine’s Favorite” (Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon from WrestleMania X), “WWE.com’s Favorite” (Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin from WrestleMania 13), and the match that was voted as the “greatest match in WWE history by the WWE Superstars (men and women)” (Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania 25).
A wide range of matches are included, and I give credit for the inclusion of some matches a lot of people probably would expect to get overlooked (my all-time favorite match Bret Hart vs. 123 Kid from RAW on July 11, 1994, Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin from RAW on May 2, 2005, Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy from RAW on July 1, 2002, and Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow from King of the Ring 1993).
In what I think should be a huge testament to the product of the still young brand, NXT is very well represented here with four matches making the list: Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (August 21, 2013), Paige vs. Emma (NXT Arrival), Sasha Banks vs. Bayley (NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn), and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (NXT TakeOver: Rival). In fact, of the five women’s matches that made the list, three were from NXT and within the past two years. The other two: Trish Stratus vs. Lita (Unforgiven 2006) and Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James (WrestleMania 21).
I can’t really disagree with the inclusion of any match, although there are definitely some that wouldn’t make my own personal list. At the top of that would be the first WrestleMania main event between Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Yes, it’s historical, but it wasn’t even a good match let alone one of the greatest.
If you’re a long time fan, this book will definitely a nice trip down memory lane and you’ll probably encounter a few matches that you’d forgotten about until you saw it in the book. If you’re a newer wrestling fan, well this book should be a must own for you. You’ll learn about some great matches, and if nothing else, it’ll serve as a wonderful reference point for stuff to look up on WWE Network to experience for yourself.
As with all of the WWE/DK books, The 100 Greatest WWE Matches is a wonderfully put together book packed with information and pictures and belongs on the shelf of any wrestling fan’s library. The book releases on May 10, 2016, and retails for a suggested $25. Is it worth $25? I’d say absolutely, but you can get a little cheaper than that at Amazon.
Unrelated to this book; WWE and DK, it has been like four years… it’s time for the third edition of the WWE Encyclopedia.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.