Batista Unleashed

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People around the world know Dave Batista as World Wrestling Entertainment's "the Animal," the rope-shaking, spine-busting World Heavyweight Champion, one of the most popular Superstars in recent years.The crowd turned Batista from heel to babyface after they were electrified by his awesome physique and physical wrestling style.

Few fans, however, know that Batista didn't join the profession until he was thirty years old -- an age at which many wrestlers are thinking about hanging up their boots. Nor do most fans know the tremendous toll the climb to the top has taken on Batista's personal life. While successfully staying away from hard drugs and -- usually -- liquor, he found sex too tempting to resist.

"Women were my drug of choice," the Animal confesses. That addiction cost him his marriage, destroying a relationship that had helped him climb from poverty to the pinnacle of sports entertainment in less than two years.

Now, in Batista Unleashed, the WWE Superstar comes clean about the choices he made and the devastating effects they had on his family. He talks about the injury that stripped him of his title -- an injury he blames on Mark Henry's carelessness. While being sidelined cost Batista untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income, it also set the stage for a tremendous comeback that cemented the Animal's reputation as a true champion.

Batista talks about growing up in the worst part of Washington, D.C., where three murders occurred in his front yard before he was nine. He speaks lovingly about his mother -- a lesbian -- and how hard she worked to keep the family not just together but alive. He talks candidly about his own criminal past: a conviction on a drug charge and another, since overturned, on assault. He speaks of his days as a bouncer and a lifeguard, and tells how bodybuilding may have saved his life.

Once he made it to the WWE, Batista realized he wasn't really ready for the big time. His career seemed headed for a fall until Fit Finlay took him under his wing. But his real education came when he joined Evolution and rode with Triple H and Ric Flair, two of sports entertainment's all-time greats. Batista talks about what they taught him, and details some of their wild times on the road.

But the champ also reveals a kinder, gentler side. While his soft-spoken manner in the locker room has sometimes been misinterpreted as arrogance, in truth Batista's always been somewhat shy and quiet. Emotional by nature, he reveals for the first time that the tears fans saw at WrestleMania 21, when he won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time, were very real. And he speaks movingly about his problems with his ex-wives and teenage daughters, and how it felt to become a grandfather.

While his straight-shooting mouth has occasionally gotten him into trouble -- most notably in a backstage confrontation with Undertaker after some remarks about SmackDown! -- Batista is his own harshest critic. He explains his early limitations as a wrestler and the work he has done to overcome them. Interspersing his memoir with accounts from life on the road, Batista lightens the narrative with a surprising sense of humor. An Animal in the ring, he reveals himself as an honest and even humble man in everyday life.
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About the author

Jeremy Roberts (cowriter) has written on a variety of subjects. His nonfiction work includes biographies of Mussolini and Joan of Arc for A&E Books.

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215 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 16, 2007
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781416554202
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
History / Latin America / General
Sports & Recreation / Wrestling
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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He's called the human highlight reel of professional wrestling. His high-flying acrobatics have thrilled fans on every continent. He's been crowned champion of the world's greatest wrestling promotions, from Mexico to the U.S. But he's never revealed the inside story of who he is.

Until now.

Wrestling fans know him as Rey Mysterio, an American luchador of unparalleled talent, the ultimate proof that good things come in small packages. Now for the first time, Rey adds the personal side to the story:

• How he had to fight to get a tryout in the ring
• Who he was before Rey Misterio Jr. -- and even before Colibri, usually noted as his first identity
• What it was like to wrestle in Mexico -- from the bullrings to the riots
• How he fought plans for his unmasking in WCW -- and why he wishes he hadn't succeeded
• The inside story of the 619, the West Coast Pop, and his other signature moves
• The impact of Eddie Guerrero on his career in WWE
• The personal struggle that cost him ring time in 2008 but ultimately made him a stronger man
• His real passion in life as husband and father

In Rey Mysterio: Behind the Mask, Rey talks candidly about his twenty-plus-year career, from the days of sneaking into bars as a fourteen-year-old to his most recent showdowns in WWE. He speaks of the emotional moments in the ring with his uncle Rey Misterio, and the dark days when he went under the knife to repair his damaged knee. Along the way, Mysterio introduces American audiences to the mysteries of lucha libre, the high-flying, anything-goes Mexican wrestling style that he has done so much to popularize in the U.S. He also talks about the debts he owes to wrestlers such as Konnan, known as the Mexican Hulk Hogan, and dishes some behind-the-scenes dirt on the collapse of WCW at the height of the Monday Night Wars. Mysterio talks tenderly -- but realistically -- of his friend Eddie Guerrero, providing a well-rounded picture of one of the most beloved wrestling figures of recent history. He also details his march toward the Heavyweight Championship, and his mastery of the WWE Triple Crown -- a feat that placed him in an elite group for all time.

Behind the Mask is the intimate portrait of one of wrestling's all-time greats, a story wrestling fans of all ages won't want to miss.
Everyone's got a price.

Everyone's got to pay.

'Cause the Million Dollar Man always gets his way.

After proving his point, Ted DiBiase would laugh and fan out his large roll of hundreds, worsening the degradation of whoever had been foolish enough to accept his challenge or get in his way. Defeated opponents -- put to sleep with his Million Dollar Dream -- would have the added humiliation of awakening to discover that the Million Dollar Man had been stuffing bills down their throats. Winning match after match, yet no closer to the championship, DiBiase wanted the title, but he couldn't seem to win it. His solution: pay Andre the Giant to win the title, make sure the referee was also "taken care of," and then have Andre hand the championship title over to him.

True to his taunt, the Million Dollar Man had gotten his way, and Ted DiBiase became the most hated person in sports entertainment.

Making his way to the top of the profession that he had loved since he was a child, Ted DiBiase never did anything by half measures. He couldn't, because the men he respected and worked side by side with expected that "Iron" Mike's kid would give his all. And each day while on the road learning what it was to be a wrestler, Ted remembered how his father had taught him to give his all every time. It was how his father lived -- and how he lost his life, dying during a wrestling match while Ted was still a boy.

From the dusty roads of Texas to the bayous of Louisiana, Ted moved from one wrestling promotion to another -- sometimes a babyface, other times a heel. He learned how to tell a story and how to draw the fans in, both inside and outside the ring. In 1987, Vince McMahon had an idea for a new character, the Million Dollar Man, and one person came to mind: Ted DiBiase. For nearly a decade, fans waited to see just how Ted could prove his adage that "Everyone's got a price." When he was sidelined by a neck injury, DiBiase started a second wrestling career, as a manager. He managed some of the biggest stars: Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy, and a very green wrestler, the Ringmaster (who would later be known as Stone Cold Steve Austin).

Ted DiBiase, the Million Dollar Man, is fondly remembered by wrestling fans for his style and his command of the ring. This is the inside glimpse of three decades inside and outside the squared circle.
'The most unpredictable and charismatic grappler of all time' The brute that made brawling an art before the term "hardcore" was coined' The confrontational businessman who fought for every penny he felt he deserved' "Bruiser" Brody had no peers when it came to blood and guts, controversy and independence. Most wrestling promoters portrayed their top talent as exactly that kind of free-spirited, take-no-guff personality. They didn't mean it, though ' which explains why so few would admit to respecting Brody even as they featured him time and again. So why did they give him work' Simple. "Bruiser" Brody delivered the goods in the ring and at the box office. In the 1970s and early 80s, Brody was one of the few performers, along with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, to be recognized as a national star. With his fiery personality, Brody also conquered the international market. Nearly two decades after his murder in Puerto Rico, Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling's Rebel delivers a complete portrait of Brody's remarkable life. Co-authors Barbara Goodish, Brody's widow, and Larry Matysik, a close friend, offer a first-time opportunity to truly understand one of the sport's most complex and controversial human beings. Goodish's account of her husband's horrific murder and its aftermath is both heartbreaking and compelling, while Matysik's insider knowledge of the business puts Brody's place in wrestling history into perspective. With a foreword by WWE announcer Jim Ross, Brody offers readers the unvarnished truth about one of the greatest wrestling legends of all time.
Eric Bischoff has been called pro wrestling's most hated man. He's been booed, reviled, and burned in effigy. Fans have hurled everything from beer bottles to fists at him. Industry critics have spewed a tremendous amount of venom about his spectacular rise and stupendous crash at World Championship Wrestling. But even today, Eric Bischoff's revolutionary influence on the pro wrestling industry can be seen on every television show and at every live event.

Bischoff has kept quiet while industry "pundits" and other know-it-alls pontificated about what happened during the infamous Monday Night Wars. Basing their accounts on third- and fourth-hand rumors and innuendo, the so-called experts got many more things wrong than right. Now, in Controversy Creates Cash, Bischoff tells what really happened.

Beginning with his days as a salesman for Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association, Bischoff takes readers behind the scenes of wrestling, writing about the inner workings of the business in a way never before revealed. He demonstrates how controversy helped both WCW and WWE. Eric gives the real numbers behind WCW's red ink -- far lower than reported -- and talks about how Turner Broadcasting's merger with Time Warner, and then Time Warner's merger with AOL, devastated not only WCW but many creative and entrepreneurial businesses within the conglomerate. Bischoff has surprisingly kind words for old rivals like Vince McMahon, but pulls no punches with friends and enemies alike.

Among his revelations: How teaming with Mickey Mouse turned WCW into a national brand. Why Hulk Hogan came to WCW. Why he fired Jesse Ventura for sleeping on the job. Why Steve Austin didn't deserve another contract at WCW, and how Bischoff's canning him was the best thing that ever happened to Austin. How Ted Turner decided WCW should go head-to-head against Raw on Monday nights. How Nitro revolutionized wrestling. Where the New World Order really began. How corporate politics killed WCW. And how he found his inner heel and learned to love being the guy everyone loves to despise.

Bischoff brings a surprisingly personal touch to the story, detailing his rough-and-tumble childhood in Detroit, talking about his family and the things he did to cope with the stress of the high-octane media business. Now a successful entertainment producer as well as a wrestling personality, Bischoff tells how he found contentment after being unceremoniously "sent home" from WCW.

Love him or hate him, readers will never look at a pro wrestling show quite the same way after reading Bischoff's story in Controversy Creates Cash.
The New York Times bestselling author Mick Foley returns to his fans favorite subject: Mick Foley and wrestling!

What was I thinking? Another autobiography? A third? Who did I think I was, Winston Churchill? Why would I want to set my pen loose on hundreds of sheets of notebook paper unless I really felt I had something worth writing about?

Besides, I had a wrestling comeback to prepare for, mentally and physically, provided I could get Vince McMahon and the WWE creative staff to embrace what I was sure was the single greatest storyline of my career.

Then it hit me: the storyline. I would give WWE fans unprecedented access to World Wrestling Entertainment, covering everything from conception to completion. I would recount how I felt about specific interviews and matches, whether they helped or hurt. I would expose the backstage politics, shed some light on my rocky relationship with Vince McMahon, offer insights into my personal dealings with WWE Superstars, and tell stories about my favorite Divas.

But I wasn't interested in writing just a wrestling book. I wanted to share moments from my personal life as well, from a humorous look at my unlikely dinner with polarizing neocon Paul Wolfowitz, to my haunting meeting with a severely burned boy in Afghanistan, to my peculiar obsession with a certain jolly old elf.

I knew I could make the fans care about this storyline, provided I could once again find the passion to make the story come to life in arenas around the country and on television sets around the world.

Most importantly, I had to ask myself a vital question, one upon which this whole idea, and therefore the book you hold, hinges: Was I willing to become the first voluntary member of the Vince McMahon "Kiss My Ass Club"? I sat on the idea for a few days, to let the idea ripen and mature in my mind, like a fine vintage wine, and to figure out if I was really willing to kiss his ass. I mean, literally kiss a man's ass. Sure, I'd been kissing the same guy's ass figuratively for a decade. But this was different. Did I really have the testicular fortitude required for such a task? In front of millions? Including my wife and kids?

I made the call.
One of the most inspiring stories in wrestling history, Cheating Death, Stealing Life sees Eddie Guerrero recount his saga in remarkably candid fashion, chronicling a life of heartbreaks and painful personal struggles in frank, graphic detail.

Guerrero was born into Mexico's first family of sports entertainment, and his life story spans three generations of the wrestling business. His father, Gory Guerrero, was among the greatest legends of lucha libre—Mexican wrestling. Before Eddie was twenty, he was competing in the border town of Juarez, going on to work throughout Mexico. The family name made him an instant sensation but also cast a large shadow from which he would spend years trying to emerge. Paired with the late Art Barr, Guerrero cofounded what became the most hated—and popular—tag team in lucha libre, the infamous Los Gringos Locos.

Cheating Death, Stealing Life offers a no-holds-barred glimpse behind the curtain into the secret world of wrestling, from the harsh realities of a lifetime spent in hotels and rental cars, to the politics that permeate the dressing room. Of course, tight-knit friendships are also forged. Guerrero tells of his personal bonds with such Superstars as Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko.

It's also the story of Guerrero's private struggle, of a son caught in the shadow of a larger-than-life father and three older brothers, of a marriage that reached the brink of disintegration before being reborn as a more powerful and fulfilling relationship. Throughout, Eddie Guerrero pulls no punches describing his battles with self-doubt and inner darkness. In the end, Cheating Death, Stealing Life is a story of great courage and personal redemption, of Guerrero's bravery in facing his disease and fighting to become a better man in every light.
World Wrestling Entertainment fans think they know "The Heartbreak Kid." He's "The Showstopper" who pushes his high-flying abilities to the limit in the squared circle, on ladders, and in steel cages. He's the company's first "Grand Slam" champion. And of course, he's forever the guy who conspired with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to screw Bret "Hitman" Hart out of the WWE Championship in Montreal at Survivor Series on November 9, 1997.

But that's the side "HBK" has allowed you to see...until now. Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story introduces us to Michael Shawn Hickenbottom, the youngest of four children whose "really conservative upbringing" made him shy and "afraid that people wouldn't like me if I showed who I really was." But upon discovering Southwest Championship Wrestling (SWCW) on TV one Saturday night, the preteen Hickenbottom realized instantly what he wanted to become, and later would convince his father—a colonel in the U.S. Air Force—to let him pursue his dream.

From there, Hickenbottom fully recounts the events that led to "Shawn Michaels's" tutelage under Mexican wrestler Jose Lothario; working matches at Mid-South Wrestling under the guidance of Terry Taylor and the Rock 'n' Roll Express's Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton; flying high with Marty Jannetty as "The Midnight Rockers" in the American Wrestling Association (AWA); and how a barroom confrontation in Buffalo almost prevented the tandem from ever joining the World Wrestling Federation.

While reliving the crippling back injury that forced him to retire in his prime, Michaels credits the new loves in his life—his second wife Rebecca, his children, and his newfound faith—with giving him the strength to kick his habit, recover physically, and make a jubilant return to the ring at SummerSlam 2002. Now back on top and doing what he enjoys most, the WWE Superstar regards Heartbreak & Triumph as the perfect means "to review my life, and attempt to figure out how I became the person I am."
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