A big thanks to our friends at DK Publishing and WWE for sending over the brand new WWE 50 hardcover book! This 224-page heavyweight celebrates 50 years of sports entertainment, going behind-the-scenes of every major development since the birth of Capitol Wrestling and taking the reader on a journey through Hulkamania, the rise of PPV, the Monday Night Wars with WCW, all the way through the WWE's global expansion and social media dominance.
Visually the book is exceptional. The outside design – both the front cover and dust jacket – are kept simple, displaying the WWE 50 logo in large gold letters and numbers. It is both elegant and dynamic; a nice conversation piece that will look good on table, but also stand out. On the inside, both the flyleaf and paste-down are covered in tiny images of past WWE pay-per-view events, in order from the first WrestleMania to Extreme Rules 2013. Every page of the book is done-up with full color photos, interesting infographs and some smooth graphic design that makes every set of pages feel unique.
There are more knowledgeable wrestling historians than myself who can scour through the pages of WWE 50 looking for inaccuracies and revisions, but just from what I've seen things look to be in order. Kevin Sullivan, the same author who penned both the 2009 WWE Encyclopedia and the 2012 updated version, took the lead on this project as well. The massive amount of content and great visual displays make this book more of a coffee table time-killer or bathroom read than a "sit down and lose yourself" kind of experience. Which is totally fine – your wrestling friends will love coming over, opening to a random page and remembering all the nostalgic memories each page brings back. And yes, for all you wrestling "completionists" out there, Chris Benoit has NOT been omitted from the WrestleMania records; there's even a small segment dedicated to his death.
Some of the more interesting sections that I personally found myself attracted to include a ratings break-down of the war between WWE Raw and WCW Nitro, all the failed business attempts from the 1990s, and the random short stories from various WWE Superstars and personalities that pop up across the entire book. Those are just a small sample of the content in WWE 50, and I'm sure any man, woman or child that's ever been a fan of wrestling will be able to find something interesting.
WWE 50 is available now through WWE.com, Amazon.com and other various retailers. There is also a downloadable Kindle version for those with eReader devices. For more on this huge collection, including several photos, check out our official Wrestlezone Instagram account.