Thursday, August 13, 2015
The Hardcore Truth
Released in 2013, "The Hardcore Truth" is the autobiography of Bob "Hardcore" Holly, the longtime WWF/WWE star. For the better part of fifteen years, Holly made his way through WWE rings in just about every position of the card that there is. He began with the company during their "New Generation" campaign, was totally reinvented during the "Attitude Era," and continued on with the company until 2009.
The book itself is an extremely enjoyable read and is very well balanced as far as content. We get just enough backstory of pre-wrestling Bob Holly to let us know how he was raised, his family life, and his early adult years that led him into the industry. The story doesn't skip around, which is one of my biggest peeves in autobiographies. Everything is presented in chronological order. If something is going to be revisited in his future, we don't suddenly skip to that part. If only every book was compiled with this consideration!
Holly and co-author Ross Williams seem to know what the target audience will be with the book--wrestling fans. Therefore, stories from throughout Holly's career completely fill most of the book. Thanks to Jim Cornette I was aware of some of Holly's early wrestling days, but not everything. Several early WCW matches were new to me and were easily found on YouTube as a nice visual companion. Some fans might be a little lost on the chapter covering Bob's racing, but it is brief and integral to telling his story.
In addition to the highs and lows of his own career, Holly takes you backstage for many of the happenings that occurred during that timeline. Survivor Series 1997, WrestleMania XX, the ill-fated ECW revival, and the Owen Hart, Eddy Guerrero, and Benoit family tragedies are all covered in a unique viewpoint that I found very different from other, possibly sanitized, accounts. The demise of Guerrero is particularly intense and tells of the weeks leading up to his death which have only been hinted at elsewhere.
Just as with the deaths, Holly does not dish dirt for the sake of salaciousness. Instead, he discloses all in an attempt to fully flesh out the story of his own career. Several stories that you have heard regarding Holly as well as others in the company are either supported or dispelled. While he goes to great lengths to let the fans know that miserable, perpetually frowning Hardcore Holly is not the true Bob Howard, the no-nonsense, no-BS approach to life is the same.
How do you like him now?