The latest from the collaboration between WWE Books and DK Publishing hits bookstores everywhere on September 3rd with the release of WWE 35 Years of WrestleMania.
It’s not a completely new release, but rather an updated/expanded release of a title released five years ago (30 Years of WrestleMania).
I wrote a full review of that release five years ago, and I stand by that still.
Because the book is pretty much the same, I’m going to repost my original review below with some slight adjustments here and there when needed. But first, I’ll briefly go over what has changed and/or been added with this version.
There are some very minor design changes to the book. Some help differentiate it from its processor (this one has a dark red cover featuring a lot more superstars past and present as opposed to the original dark purple one), and some are just basic design tweaks such as bold red text in the original changing to bold black or white in this one depending on the background.
The original had gold foil trim for the page, which looked slick and clean, and this new version doesn’t have that. If you were looking at them side-by-side closed, the original would have gold pages and the new one just has a blended mixture of colors. The original looked better in that regard, but that’s about as minor of a nitpick as I think one could find.
Design changes aside, 35 Years of WrestleMania adds WresteMania 31 through the most recent one, WrestleMania 35 and a couple of pages on Roman Reigns titled “The Big Dog’s Yard.” These five WrestleMania’s, and the Roman section, adds 32 new pages to the book upping the page count from 223 to 255.
Now to the re-worked original review:
Like its predecessors, 35 Years of WrestleMania is a beautiful and wonderfully put together hardcover book. The standard size for the WWE books from DK with glossy pages. As always, quality is topnotch from DK.
The book is authored by Brian Shields and Dean Miller, both veteran authors and editors of New York Times bestselling wrestling books. “Mr. WrestleMania” himself, Shawn Michaels, wrote the brief forward for the book.
This new edition of the fan-favorite, best-selling title 30 Years of WrestleMania (pub. 2014) brings the story of the biggest event in the WWE calendar right up to date with 32 pages of brand new content.
Ever since the first-ever WrestleMania in March 1985, this annual, week-long, sold-out event has attracted hundreds of thousands of sports entertainment fans from all over the world. WrestleMania is where every WWE Superstar wants to make his or her name. WWE Champions such as John Cena, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Sable, and Lita have all found WrestleMania the perfect showcase for their incredible talents.
35 Years of WrestleMania allows sports entertainment fans to relive, or discover, all the most exciting matches, celebrity appearances, and controversies in this premier event’s storied history. The key historic matches of every Wrestlemania are explored in depth. Spectacular full-color photographs from WWE’s own archive–many never seen before–superbly capture WrestleMania’s unrivaled glamour, and many of the most action-packed, unforgettable moments, both in the ring and behind the scenes. Get ready for the greatest spectacle in sports entertainment!
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.
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 20 classes to date, with either a select quote from or blurb about each class’s headliner. Props to the design team, they managed to fit in five additional classes in the same amount of pages and still have it look really good (actually better).
There’s also a special section look at the Undertaker’s Streak, the evolution of Triple H, and the aforementioned Roman Reigns piece.
The partnership between WWE and DK has produced some really great WWE historical books, and this 35 Years of WrestleMania is certainly no exception. If you have any of their prior releases, 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.
In the original review, I closed with:
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).
I still feel that way, BUT I will say that if you don’t enjoy collecting these books for your shelf AND you have the previous edition then I’d pass on it. That’s because you’d be paying $25 for just 32 new pages of content. Assuming of course, but in that regard, you’d be better off waiting for 40 Years of WrestleMania.
I’m a huge fan of the DK books and enjoy having them displayed on the shelf as part of a collection, so if that’s you then I still recommend picking up the new version. Looks great sitting beside the original, just as the expanded encyclopedias do (speaking of, hopefully we get a new one of those next year).
And it should go without saying, but if you are a WWE fan and you don’t have the previous edition of this, then 35 Years of WrestleMania is a no-brainer and something you should definitely pick up when it releases on September 3rd.
You can pre-order it now from Amazon for $17.49, which is a fantastic price and 30% off the MRSP. Note that is an Amazon affiliate link, if you use it know that you are helping to support the site.
WWE 35 Years of WrestleMania gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.