Book Review: The Hardcore Truth – The Bob Holly Story
American wrestler Bob Holly first popped up on your reviewers radar when he one of the company's mid-card stars and your reviewer was a mere fan with mere dreams of having his own wrestling column (we both have come a long way since then). Holly back then was one of the WWE (then WWF's) newest stars, he was then portraying a character called Thurman 'Sparky' Plugg and to a degree was living the dream, as this car racing incarnation somewhat echoed his own life.
Plugg soon became a thing of the past and Holly went through various in-ring persona's. Some worked better than others, but to his credit Bob still went out there each night and performed to the best of his ability. It was his rejuvenation as a hardcore brawler that saw him finally find career fulfilment and main even wrestling honours.
I first encountered Holly's co-writer Ross Williams a few years back when I was working on piece on Ireland's most famous wrestler Dave 'Fit' Finlay. Williams was a wonderful person to work with back then and we have since became good friends. However whilst I knew of his career in business, acting and as a wrestler, I was quite excited to hear he was embarking on one as a writer too.
So now a few years down the line I am very proud to be one of a few select UK reviewers to be able to critique this fine look at the life of Bob Holly, written by Bob Howard (aka Bob Holly) and of course Ross Williams.
'The Hardcore Truth' is a very well told account of how a hard-working man from Califronia was able to overcome the odds in one of the worlds biggest wrestling organisations and come out of it relatively unscathed.
Howard's early wrestling career was a tough one. He worked hard and kept his head down, as most young grapplers do and he still encountered much politics.
What is refreshing here is that unlike many wrestler biographies this is a book that does not dwell on any bad times. Here we get a warts and all take on Holly's life in the WWE and beyond and it is a wonderfully entertaining and informative one.
The backstage tales of wrestles egos, tantrums, storyline madness and much more make this a book no serious wrestling fan can be without.
I don't want to ruin your reading pleasure, but lets just say that this is one of those rare things, it is a book you cannot put down when you start reading.
Williams and Holly/Howard have worked very closely here. Their images of life in the WWE are unbelievable and yet we now know they are true. The quotes and stories are superbly told too. This is a unique look at the life and career of someone who gave 16 years of his life to an organisation and whilst he found found fame and fortune, he was still left adrift by them.
Bob Holly will always be the hardcore wrestler I remember him as. He was always entertaining, gave his all and most of all he believed in what he did.
I for one would love to see Bob find a place in some wrestling organisations backstage team someday soon. He would be a wonderful trainer/backstage producer. I also wish Ross all the best in his future writing career too.
The Hardcore Truth – The Bob Holly Story, is available from ECW Press now.
By Phil Allely