The partnership between WWE and DK Publishing continues strong with the first new release of 2019, WWE Greatest Rivalries.
Written by Jake Black, WWE Greatest Rivalries spans three eras of WWE history; Classic Era (70s through 1996), Attitude Era (1997 through 2003) and the Modern Era (2004 to present). In total, 95 rivalries are chronicled over the 200 pages of high quality, glossy paper that make up this hardcover.
If you’re a fan, or collector of wrestling books, you’ll know that the WWE/DK relationship has produced the highest quality wrestling books, at least presentation wise. WWE Greatest Rivalries is no exception; this is a beautifully put together book that’s packed with information and pictures. The rivalries span two pages each, and contain the five key moments from the feud to highlight.
Here’s the official description of the book:
The greatest rivalries in the WWE wrestling ring revealed
They grapple at WrestleMania, at SmackDown Live, and Royal Rumble. They battle on RAW, at SummerSlam and Survivor Series. They clash inside-and outside-the ring. The titanic rivalries of WWE Superstars such as The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena vs. Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks, are a vital part of WWE’s edge-of-the-seat appeal. Every member of the WWE Universe will have their favourite-you just have to take sides. Who would you cheer for as they chase the Championship, employing their charisma, signature moves, and the most cutting insults they can think of? And, of course, rivalries in WWE aren’t just between individual Superstars-they may be between tag teams, like The Usos and The New Day, or even involve Superstars from one show staging a sudden attack on the Superstars of another!
This book lifts the lid on all the drama behind WWE’s greatest rivalries, highlighting the crucial clashes and each side’s biggest wins. Discover how each rivalry started-was it simply pursuit of a common goal, or a bitter personality clash? Find out who has hurled the most biting barbs, why enemies suddenly become allies, and how grudge-strewn wars have ended in mutual respect. Armed with key stats and info, you can follow every twist and turn of these epic encounters, embracing many of the most memorable moments in the history of WWE.
While the book is called WWE Greatest Rivalries, this is not a list of ranked rivalries that will try to pinpoint a definitive “greatest.” I like that decision, and that the reader can look through and come to their own conclusion as to which is the greatest. The only order here is chronological, and even then there’s some leeway because some of these feuds spanned years.
Hulk Hogan and Chris Jericho have their greatest rivalries reduced down to two pages, with the exception of Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan. Apparently, Hogan vs. Piper, Hogan vs. Randy Savage, or even Hogan vs. Bobby Heenan weren’t worth getting their own pages to break down the feuds. Same can be said for Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, which was always an intense rivalry that produced a number of great matches. Seems kinda wrong to condense these down to a small paragraph, especially considering stuff like Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger or Kane vs. X-Pac got featured spreads.
Of course, there are also generalized rivalries covered here that aren’t superstar against superstar. These feuds are WWE vs. WCW, WWE vs. ECW, and RAW vs. Smackdown. I found these lackluster, and in the case of WWE vs. WCW quite laughable because it was only three blurbs and two of them did not but praise WWE (bringing the attitude and owning the competition). It’s been almost 20 years, you’d think that one of these days WWE could show WCW a little more respect for what the promotion accomplished.
Those minor nitpicks aside, this is a great read and trip down memory lane. For newer fans, this will make a great companion piece for WWE Network as you can find the shows and experience these rivalries for yourself. Of course, the same goes for us longtime fans who just want a refresher or to re-experience something we enjoyed years ago.
WWE Greatest Rivalries is available at bookstores everywhere now, and you can pick up a copy from Amazon.com for only $16.50 by clicking here. (This link is an Amazon Affiliate link, purchasing through the link helps support the site.) This is a great price as the book’s suggested price is $25. It definitely warrants a place on your shelf.
WWE Greatest Rivalries gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.