Wrestling fans rejoice – the 3rd Edition of the WWE Encyclopedia is finally here.
Back in 2009, WWE and DK teamed up to bring wrestling fans the first ever WWE Encyclopedia. At the time it was “the definitive guide to World Wrestling Entertainment,” and it was truly a must have for any wrestling fan as it covered everything in WWE history to that point in 364 pages.
Three years later, in 2012, the partnership released the 2nd Edition of the WWE Encyclopedia. That was the “updated and expanded definitive guide to WWE,” and it was 410 pages. Like the one that came before it, the 2nd Edition was great and also a must have.
Now here we are in October 2016 and we’re finally getting the 3rd Edition of the WWE Encyclopedia. This one isn’t the “definitive guide to WWE” however. Instead, it is “the definitive guide of Sports Entertainment.” This one is 414 pages (I don’t include index pages).
A lot has changed in four years. Many of the top stars of today were not profiled in the 2nd Edition, which I think speaks volumes to just how good of a job WWE has done at introducing and building up new main-event level guys in fairly short time span.
For the first time, there’s a profile for Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Sting, Bray Wyatt, and so on. There’s over 1,200 profiles now.
The big difference from the 2nd Edition and this 3rd Edition comes from exactly what the title says. Whereas the previous ones were “the definitive guide to WWE,” this is one is the “definitive guide to sports-entertainment.” What does that mean? Well it means this one isn’t just WWE-centric.
There are small profiles for a number of territorial promotions, and there are multiple page spreads for organizations like AWA, WCW, and ECW with profiles for stars from those organizations who didn’t compete in WWE and thus previously would not have been included. In total, were looking at more than 30 promotions being included.
Now I know what you’re thinking; how did they fit all of this new material in and it only be four more pages than the 2nd Edition? Some stuff was condensed with smaller images and more profiles per page, and the actual book starts on page 6 as opposed to 10 now. But, some content was removed. Does that impact the “definitive” claim? I’m going to say no, but for some it might especially if they don’t also own the previous editions.
I won’t go through and list every profile that’s gone that was in the last edition, but I’ll give a few examples from the “A” section just so you can see the type of omissions we’re looking at here: Air Boom, Al Wilson, Alosia, and Ashley Valence.
Was anything of value lost? I don’t think so, but do feel it’s worth mentioning that just because it was in a previous edition doesn’t mean it is in this new edition.
It’s no secret that I absolutely love the partnership between WWE and DK. For me, the books that have been published since these two entities hooked up have been amongst the best wrestling books ever printed.
The Encyclopedia’s were already my favorite, in large part because I’m a big nerd for wrestling history and also just because it’s so well put together. I had been waiting on this new one for over a year now. This third edition is every bit as wonderful as the previous editions, and has the fantastic additions of other promotions which is HUGE for a wrestling history buff like myself.
Like the previous two, the 3rd Edition has a suggested retail price of $45. Is it worth that? Yes, absolutely, even if you own a previous edition. These are, in my opinion, absolute must owns for any real wrestling fan.
If you plan on picking up this updated edition, then you can pre-order it from Amazon for $32.48. It releases on October 25th. If you enjoy wrestling, then I highly recommend picking it up and also think it pairs well with WWE Network (you see a profile for someone who don’t know, and you can look them up on the Network and maybe watch a few of their matches).
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.