All of the HoW staff have been wrestling fans for a long time, probably longer than we would care to admit. Some of our favourite memories of our early wrestling fandom involved renting video tapes and watching them repeatedly. However, there had never been one truly all encompassing guide to those tapes, and what turned up on them. Yes, there are some great websites on the internet here and there, but nothing ever published. No guide book. Here at History of Wrestling, we decided that we would write that book, and we did!
With over a century of combined viewing between us, we have lived through all of this many times over. We decided to bring that knowledge and love of wrestling, to you. While the opinions you will read are often controversial, off-the-wall or just plain moronic, they are from like-minded people who put wrestling before almost anything else. Disagree with us if you wish, certainly the office has seen its fair share of furniture thrown and occasional bloodshed (there was an unpleasant incident with a stapler that was later resolved with a pint).
Arnold Furious likes… Mitsuharu Misawa, Jushin Liger, Eddie Guerrero, Bret Hart, Raven, Toshiaki Kawada, Vader, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Kenta Kobashi, Star Wars, Martin Scorsese, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Hicks, Wall-E, Akira Kurosawa, Johnny Cash, Scott Pilgrim, Tintin, The Wire, Firefly, The Simpsons, Jackie Chan, AC/DC, Rocky, Simon Furman, Danny Wallace, Aerosmith, The British Red Cross, Garth Ennis, Batman, Kiss, Asterix, Alan Moore’s Top Ten, Astro City, Christopher Walken, Juliette and the Licks, Quentin Tarantino, Goodfellas, Kurt Busiek, Watchmen (the book, not the film), White Out (the book, not the film), Super Troopers, Swingers, Death’s Head, Iron Maiden, Will Ferrell, Clint Eastwood, Trish Stratus, Everton FC, Tom Hanks, The Blues Brothers, Simon Pegg, Clerks, Terry Pratchett, Richard Pryor, Viz, Mutemath, Joe Bonamassa, How to Train Your Dragon, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dexter, Jimi Hendrix, Alien, Aliens, Predator, Frankie Boyle, Secret Wars, Woody Allen, True Romance, Lethal Weapon, Takashi Miike, Graham Linehan, Big Bang Theory, Darren Aronofsky, John Woo, Charlie Chaplin, films with ridiculous shoot-out sequences in them, Douglas Adams, Chow Yun Fat, 12 Angry Men, Wilson Pickett, Studio Ghibli, Pixar, The Avengers, Fable II, history, Bill Bailey, Skyrim, Stephen Fry, Top Gear, kung fu movies, Alan Wake, Meet the Feebles, Die Hard, Sin City (the books and the film), zombies, Red Dwarf, Peter Sellers, Peter Cook, Michael Caine, Planet of the Apes, conspiracies, steak, The Princess Bride, Grimlock, Mel Brooks, top fives, 30 Rock, Preacher, Pringles, Pirates of the Caribbean, Back to the Future, Klaus Kinski, The Sopranos, boxing, Casablanca, Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, Mike Leigh’s Naked, Captain America, Hawkeye, Spaced, Flight of the Conchords, Monty Python, Pearl Jam, Carol Danvers, 100 Bullets, Indiana Jones, The Goon, Thorntons, Jack Nicholson, Jim Beam, real ale, cartoons, novelty underwear, the Joker, Frank Miller, Robert Brockway, The Breakfast Club, Far Cry 3, Freddy Krueger, Alec Baldwin’s speech in Glengarry Glen Ross, John Carpenter, Bill & Ted, MMA, John Wayne, Terrence Howard, The Terminator, Guy Forsyth, nudity, coffee, crazy Japanese films that make no sense, crazy Japanese wrestling that makes no sense, crazy Japanese people that make no sense, Greg Benson, Tony Cottam, Bernard Rage, Redje Harris, Ezet Samalca…and forever Maria.
James Dixon has been watching wrestling for over 20 years. Inspired by the likes of Davey Boy Smith, Bret Hart and the Undertaker, Dixon was drawn to the business like any other fan, for reasons that are difficult to explain.
A hobby quickly became an obsession, and James was soon determined to get involved in the business. Having previously spent several years wrestling on the British independent circuit, James now prefers to write about the bumps and bruises rather than take any of them. His past in-ring experience does however give a uniquely more “insider” perspective on things, though he readily admits to still being a “mark” at heart.
James has limited patience for anything in wrestling post-2002, and much prefers grappling from the halcyons days of the 80s and 90s. Curious really, given that he spends so much of his free time complaining about it. James currently lives in the North of England with his wife and two children.
Lee Maughan has been a fan of the professional wrestling industry for as long has he can remember, dating back to an embryonic memory of sitting on his grandparent’s living room floor, his eyes transfixed to British household names Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks belly-busting their way through ITV’s World of Sport. Somehow this wasn’t enough to deter him, and young Lee was rewarded with having the incredibly good fortune to be within the WWF’s target demographic just in time its early 90s UK boom period. He was hooked, his bedroom quickly becoming a wall-to-wall palace of video tapes, action figures, magazines, posters and any piece of tat all stamped with the WWF insignia.
His thirst for the quasi-sport was ravenous but unfortunately, his family were too cheap to subscribe to Sky television, home of the WWF. His quencher? WCW International Pro, broadcast well past his bedtime on regional terrestrial station Tyne-Tees. Those WWF magazines soon found themselves piled up alongside copies of Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Superstars of Wrestling, making Lee possibly the most clued-up eight year old wrestling superfan in the entire TS14 postcode. It’s possible, nay probable thanks to a further 20 years of research, that Lee is still the most clued-up wrestling superfan in the entire TS14 postcode. A trader of tapes, a distributor of DVDs and a purveyor of pixels, Lee keeps up with everything from New Japan to CHIKARA whilst continuing to catch up with the classics of pro wrestling’s territorial days. Away from the grapple game, Lee likes to watch sitcoms, rock out in punk bands, and play video games with a strong preference for old school platformers and kart racers.
Despite this, he even found the time to graduate from the University of Teesside in 2005 with a degree in media production, and after much soul searching and stints making Christmas cards for a living and working as a producer and on-air talent for a community radio station, is now taking the tentative first steps into the world of film video editing. He also tweets with a reverently dry sense of humour @atomicbombs, but reserves the right to ignore you entirely unless you want to pay him to write about wrestling, guitar bands or 80s pop culture for your book, website or magazine.
Justin Henry has been a freelance writer since 2009. Among the numerous entities he’s writen for, Justin has been a features writer for Fighting Spirit Magazine since 2014, a contributor for Eric Gargiulo’s Camel Clutch Blog since 2009, and an occasional contributor to WrestleCrap since 2011. Henry has interviewed dozens of personalities in the business, including Sting, Rob Van Dam, Ted Dibiase, Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio, AJ Styles, Johnny Mundo, Konnan, Tommy Dreamer, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, among various others. Justin resides in New Jersey.
Dan was born, raised, and took some stick in the City of Salford. After twelve years getting nowhere fast in local government, he got himself a first class degree in English Literature, and he is expecting to complete his Master’s and commence a PhD programme in Asian Horror Cinema in late-2015.
Wrestling has been a huge part of his life since the late-1980s, so much so that he even reneged on his vow to stop watching wrestling if Undertaker’s streak was ever broken. He is also an avid fan of Morrissey and The Smiths, and believes that there are two types of people in the world: those who believe that The Smiths are the greatest band of all time and those who are wrong.
Other interests include the cinema (of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch in particular), literature, LEGO, eating, and football (both ‘proper’ and American). In fact, he’d love to name all of the things that he likes and all the things that he loathes in list form, but he would just go on indefinitely. If you want to know any of his lists, just ask him, ask him, ask him: @Mozzer83. He remains still ill in Salford, living with his wife and two dogs, Morrissey and Beckett.
Bob Dahlstrom is many things: A son, a brother, an uncle; He’s also a dude who likes to draw. More importantly, he’s a lifelong wrestling fan, getting hooked all the way back with WrestleMania III. He would go on to rent every wrestling tape from every video rental place around, and hasn’t looked back since.
All of the artwork in the History of Wrestling book series has been loving crafted exclusively for us by Bob, who lives in Illinois with his girlfriend and pet guinea pig.
His wrestling artwork and autobiographical webcomic Egomaniac can be found at www.robertpfd.com.
Cover designer extraordinaire and meticulous proof reader, as well as an occasional sounding board for James Dixon during weekly bouts of Monday Night Raw-induced anger. A passionate piano player, classical music fan, video game player, movie watcher, linguist, vexillologist, and fan of all things Nintendo.