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Support Indie, Buy Books Here

You may have noticed a few changes to the book shop on this website. Not too long ago, I added several new titles that have nothing to do with wrestling. These are my fiction books. They include some sci-fi, horror, noir fairy tales, and even a kiddie book about an evil snowman. I put them here to bring all my books under one virtual roof. Why? Because I want you to buy them. From me.

That’s not the only change. A number of titles I haven’t stocked on a regular basis are now back in the store. What’s more, the links I used to have to Amazon are gone. You can still find my books on Amazon if you like, but I hope you’ll consider buying direct instead.

When you buy direct, you do more to help the independent authors and publishers. That doesn’t just go for me. That goes for guys like Scott Teal over at Crowbar Press and Kenny Casanova at WOHW. It also goes for fiction authors like the incredible Lydia Sherrer, who, I should add, inspired this move. Simply put: we make more money selling direct than we do on Amazon.

The added benefit of buying here is the books are signed. All of them written by me are signed by me, but you will also find signatures from many of my co-authors and publishing clients: Karen McDaniel, Jonny Candido, Princess, Victoria, Mad Man Pondo, Mike Rodgers, and more.

Please give the shop a look, and as a special thanks, use the coupon code “indie” to take 15% off your order.

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Save 20% This Weekend Only With Coupon Code “mania”

Whatever your feelings are on this promotion and that, this weekend is Super Bowl weekend for pro wrestling. So hey, let’s celebrate!

Right now, you can get 20% off your entire order using the coupon code “mania” at checkout. And right now the store is loaded down with copies of Wahoo, Princess Victoria, Chris Candido, Tracy Smothers, Mike Rodgers, Chris Michaels, Hurricane JJ Maguire, The Black Panther Jim Mitchell, and more.

Click here to start shopping, and don’t forget the coupon code: mania.

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Wahoo and Happy New Year!

We told everyone it would be January.

We got done early. So we released it early.

Just under the gun, the new Wahoo McDaniel biography is now available on Amazon. I partnered with Karen McDaniel on this one, and we gathered stories from dozens of friends and family. You’ll read tales from Greg Gagne, Baron Von Rashke, Jim Cornette, Wahoo’s sisters Dana and Margaret, and many more as we unspool the legend of Chief Wahoo.

Wahoo is already the #1 new release in Wrestling Biographies. You can order your copy by clicking here.

This was a busy year for Eat Sleep Wrestle. In addition to Wahoo, we published books by Chris Michaels and Mike Rodgers. We also released the biography of Chris Candido and Princess Victoria.

Coming in the first half of 2022: a new “top secret” book from Mad Man Pondo and a new edition of Bluegrass Brawlers. This second edition of the history of wrestling in Louisville will include expanded looks at the Allen Athletic Club and OVW as well as new stories about Phil Golden’s All-Star Wrestling, the Savoy Athletic Club, Abe Finberg and the Gayety Theater, long-forgotten African American hero Steve Callaway, New Albany’s own Lord Humongous, and many more.

The amazing Adrian Johnson, who did Tracy Smothers and Jim Mitchell’s book covers, is drawing a brand new cover for Bluegrass Brawlers version 2. It’s going to be amazing.

Not sure what shows I’ll be hitting yet, but I hope to do some events with Hurricane JJ Maguire, Mad Man Pondo, and Princess Victoria before this next year is out.

Happy New Year, everyone. And happy reading.

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Deathmatch Worldwide Serves Wrestlers and Fans the World Over

Corey Higdon was ten years old when he saw his first deathmatch on a VHS tape. From that moment on, he could not get enough.

The road to Deathmatch Worldwide was a difficult one. For many years, he wanted to do something to promote and support the extreme side of pro wrestling. A few years ago, he was out of work, needing back surgery, and struggling to make ends meet. “I had wanted to do something like Deathmatch Worldwide since I was sixteen years old,” he says. “It got to a point where I didn’t have a choice. It took me almost twenty years, but I knew if I was ever going to go for it, I had to do it now.”

Higdon, now 35, opened a company called Double Hell Wrestling Club in 2018, producing one off custom shirts via pre-order. At the time he offered shirts that appealed to a wider audience than just the deathmatch crowd. The company was a hit, but his long term goal remained the same: a platform for deathmatch wrestlers to sell their own merchandise.

After Double Hell became a success, Corey invested a great deal of money in his own T-shirt printing equipment, building a T-shirt shop in his own house. “It was a big investment, but the people I bought it all from were going fly someone in to train me and everything. Then Covid hit, and that all went away.”

Corey didn’t let the virus set him back. Through trial and error, he taught himself how to use the new equipment, all while keeping Double Hell Wrestling going. Finally, in February of 2021, he opened the Deathmatch Worldwide store. “It got so busy so fast, I couldn’t keep up with both companies,” he says. “Both companies were run very differently, but I couldn’t keep up with both. Double Hell was a big success, but I had to shut it down to focus on Deathmatch Worldwide.”

Deathmatch Worldwide began with just a handful of stars attached, guys Corey personally knew like Mad Man Pondo, John Wayne Murdoch, and Reed Bentley. In less than a year it’s grown to more than 80, and it truly has become worldwide. “I ship all over the world, and I sell shirts for wrestlers for all over the world. Guys like Mad Man Pondo had a lot to do with that, opening doors for me.”

The hardest part has been earning the trust of the wrestlers, especially the guys from overseas. “The Japanese wrestlers don’t want to do business with guys in the US because they’re used to US fans stealing from them. People do it all the time. They steal openly. They bottled everything. I’ve never understand that mindset of, ‘I’m such a fan of this guy, I’m going to bootleg his stuff and pocket all the money.’ I just don’t get that.”

Corey admits he had done the same thing with two wrestlers at the start of Double Hell Wrestling, Kevin Sullivan and Bruiser Brody. “I realized I was doing the same thing that I got pissed at the people for doing. I decided that, if it took me ten years, I was going to track them down and pay them what they were owed.” Corey was able to contact both Kevin Sullivan and Barbara Goodish, Brody’s widow. “I paid them what I would have paid any other wrestler. I told them I was sorry and that I wanted to do right by them. As a result, I became friends with both of them. I sold Brody’s shirts when I was doing Double Hell, and I still sell Kevin’s shirts on Deathmatch Worldwide.”

Corey knew that hard work and honest business would win people over, and it has. Word of mouth from the wrestlers continues to grow his platform. He recently open stores for FMW-E Wrestling and Atsushi Onita. He’s also running shops for Mitsuhiro Matsunaga and, with the blessing of his family, the late Mr. Pogo.

Doing right by the wrestlers remains paramount every day. “Every wrestler in my store is there by request, and I pay the wrestlers as much as I can.” He makes enough that he’s now running the shop as his full-time job, and it’s still growing.

Corey does right by the fans too, in ways most companies don’t. He’s been shipping worldwide since the store started, and he also offers shirt sizes all the way up to 5X.

Deathmatch Worldwide is open 24/7 and offering new shirts every day. Each shirt is custom printed to order. With the shop being a one man operation (for now), it may sometimes take a while to get your order. Rest assured, it will be printed and shipped with the utmost care and attention to detail. You can find shirts from Akira, Alex Colon, Dale Patricks, G-Raver, Manders, Mance Warner, Matt Tremont, Mickie Knuckles, Necro Butcher, Sage Sinn, Shlak, Tank, and dozens more.

Deathmatch Worldwide is also open to new deathmatch wrestlers looking for a place to sell to their fans. You can find information on how to apply, as well as shop their ever growing selection at www.deathmatchworldwide.com

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Why Wait? It’s Black Friday Now!

The Eat Sleep Wrestle office Christmas tree went up two weeks ago. So why wait to order wrestling books for Christmas?

Our website is the only place online to get these books signed. Click here to visit the book shop, and use the coupon code blackfriday to save 20% on your order.

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Deathmatch Wrestling for 10 Year Olds

A conversation from my in-laws’ visit this past weekend.

My 10 year old niece: That’s an interesting shirt Uncle John is wearing.

My wife, not a wrestling fan: That is a crazy shirt.

Niece: It looks like they have blood on them.

Me: Oh, that’s not blood. It’s hot sauce.

Niece: What?

My wife: They were having a hot sauce eating contest.

Me: And they were throwing it on each other to try and distract the others.

Niece, who is no dummy: It says Masters of Pain Tournament.

My wife, again not a fan but brilliant: Have you ever had hot sauce in your eye? It really hurts.

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Pondo Is Jericho!

In case you missed it, Mad Man Pondo was on Talk is Jericho this week.

Pondo , G Raver, and filmmaker Jeff Waldridge appear to discuss deathmatches, deathmatch culture, and Jeff’s documentary on the subject, Hardway. They also take the time to promote the Masters of Pain tournament June 12 in Charleston, West Virginia.

Click here to listen to the episode.

Click here to order the Hardway documentary.

And click here to get a signed copy of Mad Man Pondo’s autobiography!

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Casting Star Wars with Wrestling Personalities

Today is May the 4th, which has come to be known as Star Wars Day. Those who know me well know that Star Wars has been an obsession of mine longer than pro wrestling. It got me to thinking, how would I re-cast Star Wars with some of the people I have written about in pro wrestling?

Hurricane JJ Maguire as… Max Rebo

Sure, I could have gone with Figrin D’an, but I suspect the Hurricane would have found himself taking the more upscale booking at Jabba’s versus the cantina at Mos Eisley. Plus I want to hear JJ say, “Yes, Miss Snootles, we can take it from the top again.”

Princess Victoria as… Princess Leia

A bit obvious? Yes, and she’ll be disappointed that once again, she’s cast as the babyface. But like Cinderella, the space slipper fits. Nobody tells Princess Leia what to do, just as nobody tells Princess Victoria what to do!

Tracy Smother as… Yoda

A man who poured himself into many young pro wrestlers over the last few decades could easily be cast as Obi Wan, but Obi Wan only had two pupils. Yoda trained countless Jedi, and the Smothers family is now legion across pro wrestling.

Scott Romer as… Han Solo

With that camera strap always over his shoulder, one could draw a direct comparison to Chewbacca, but let’s be honest. Romer was a survivor, a hustler, and a ladies man. Plus think of all the great Romer pics of him posing with Lando, Jabba, and the glitterati of the galaxy.

Mad Man Pondo as… Boba Fett

As we all learned to our great delight in The Mandalorian, Boba survived the ultimate death match against the Sarlacc Pit. Can’t you see Pondo vs. Terry Funk fighting it out on a skiff in a no rope, loser falls in the Sarlaac Pit match? It would be the biggest draw on Tatooine since Anakin vs. Sebulba.

Chris Candido as… Luke Skywalker

Chris Candido was a natural heel, just as Victoria was, but I have to go wth Luke. Why? Well, people said Chris was a little short for a WWF Superstar, and we all know Luke was a little short for a Stormtrooper.

Dr. D David Schultz as… Darth Vader

“Oh you think the Dark Side is fake, do ya?” John Stossel better be glad Dr. D wasn’t a Sith. He’d have never left MSG alive that night in 1984! Chris Candido would have gotten a kick out of being booked opposite one of his heroes, and just think how awesome those Dr. D promos would sound in James Earl Jones’s voice.

Click the photos above to order the books!

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Free Shipping for Cyber Week!

This week only, get free shipping in the US when you use the coupon code “cyberweek” at checkout.

Offer is valid through Sunday, December 6.

Visit the book shop to order your signed copies of Bluegrass Brawlers, The Ballad of Cousin Elvira, The Original Black Panther, Memoirs of  Mad Man, and of course, If You Don’t Buy This Book, Everybody Dies!

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Wrestling Bookmarks Presents The Deathmatch Round Table

Not a deathmatch fan?

Okay, full disclosure, neither am I. But I have all the respect in the world for the men and women who perform them. What’s more, some of the deathmatch wrestlers I know are among the very best performers you’ll see in a ring anywhere, even without the barbed wire. And this Thursday night, it’s my honor to share the spotlight with them.

Wrestling Bookmarks is bringing you a Deathmatch Roundtable starting Thursday August 27 at 8:30 pm eastern live on Facebook. Joining us to talk deathmatches will be Jeff Waldridge, producer of the deathmatch documentary Hardway, as well as Mad Man Pondo, Alex Colon, Akira, Shlak, Reed Bentley, John Wayne Murdoch, and more.

Join the Wrestling Bookmarks page to watch the video chat, and drop your questions in the comments below the video. It’s going to be a very entertaining night.

Click here to join the Wrestling Bookmarks group on Facebook.