Pro wrestling was built on good vs evil, that’s how tickets are sold. Fans pay to see the good guy overcome the bad guy. In more recent years as society roots for the anti-hero or the grass roots non-corporate champion, the concept has switched slightly to likeable vs unlikeable, regardless of any moral code. But the fact remains, the characters that fall in to the traditional heel role tend to have more depth, more interesting things to say, and are often more charismatic than the faces. That or they just look awesome (see Kamala).
Time Heels by Jon Chattman and Rich Tarantino is a celebration of all that is bad. It explores what a heel is, some of the top heels, heel turns and heelish moments in history, and is packed full with funny and insightful opinions.
Ever wanted to know The Rock’s mother’s ranking of top heels? Or who the best heel might be to have in your corner during a zombie apocalypse? It’s all here.
It’s also not an autobiography.
As a fan of wrestling literature there’s a distinct lack of quality books that fall outside of those written (or ghost written) by the wrestlers themselves, or that simply cover a time period in history. Time Heels breaks this monotony by crafting a fun, but legitimate compendium of lists, memories and biographic data. It mirrors what WWE might put out themselves (Encyclopedias and such) but doesn’t adhere to “Kayfabe” and is honest in what is written.
In that sense it is also not a difficult to get through. You could open it up in the middle and read a chapter full of fun facts and opinions without being thrown off. It’s the kind of book to keep you occupied on a plane, rather than a progressing story you might read cover to cover over several nights.
Even though it’s not a WWE book or autobiography it still features quotes from the stars of the industry, sharing their thoughts on the heel concept. Whether it’s the foreword by Tommy Dreamer recounting the heels that made him care about the faces during his youth, or the many tid-bits from the likes of Lanny Poffo, Shane Helms, or Ricky Steamboat – there’s plenty of wisdom to be found.
On the flipside the book opens things up to fans in the chapter “The Fans Speak Out,” though some of these have loose affiliations to wrestling.
There’s nothing particularly revelatory to take away from Time Heels, but it’s a fun read and a nice change of pace from reading online news and blogs, or in-depth autobiographies.
Time Heels: Cheating, Stealing, Spandex, and the most villainous moments in the history of pro wrestling.
The book has been out in paperback and Kindle on Amazon UK since June, and was released in October on Amazon.com.
A second release will take place November 1st.
Girls love bad boys, and it’s no different in the world of professional wrestling. Whether it was Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Macho Man” Randy Savage or Ric Flair, wrestling fans have historically gravitated toward the “heel” or villain. Jon Chattman and Rich Tarantino’s latest head-locking adventure celebrates the not-so-good, the bad and the downright terrible acts of villainy in the world of pro wrestling. Time Heels takes an up-close look at the world of heels over the past 30 years, counting down the top heinous moments, wacky lists, first-hand fan perspectives, foreign objects and stables in 256 jam-packed pages of why the bad guys do it better.