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By David Tees on 9/12/2009 1:38 PM
This book based of the life of former women’s wrestling champion Mildred Burke is easily one of the best books written on the subject of professional wrestling to be released. Although the book is primarily about Mildred Burke, it also takes a look at the lives of those around her like Billy Wolfe, G. Bill, June Byers, Joe Wolfe, Nell Stewart, Johnnie Mae Young, The Fabulous Moolah and a host of others.

The early portion of the book talks about a young Mildred Burke working with her mother at a café and barely managing to make ends meet for herself and her son (Joe Wolfe). Author Jeff Leen then takes a look at how Mildred Burke becomes fascinated with professional wrestling and how Mildred Burke pursued women’s wrestling promoter Billy Wolfe about becoming a wrestler.

After successfully passing her tryout mach, Billy Wolfe immediately takes on Mildred Burke as his next charge and he has her wrestling in the carnival circuits. It doesn’t take a long time for the two to get married, which Mildred Burke describes as a business marriage and not one made up of two people truly in love with each other.

According to the book, Mildred Burke primarily wrestled men on the carnival circuit and rarely fought women while traveling the circuits. Eventually, after a long run in the carnival circuits, Mildred Burke eventually starts wrestling in arena shows where women’s wrestling is allowed. Throughout the whole book, author Jeff Leen takes various looks at the challenges faced by Mildred Burke from each state and various political groups to actually wrestle in certain areas.

The book also takes a serious look into the tumultuous marriage between Mildred Burke and Billy Wolfe, along with the sexual affairs Billy Wolfe had with other women wrestlers during that time. Mildred Burke was also having an affair with the son of Billy Wolfe, G. Bill, and the two planned on getting married until an unfortunate accident hampered those plans for good.

Eventually the marriage and business relationship between Mildred Burke and Billy Wolfes dissolves for good and that’s when things get truly interesting. That is due to the fact that Billy Wolfe went to the NWA, the major governing body of pro wrestling in that era, and had Mildred Burke blackballed from the major markets where she had once been a big time draw for the crowd.

The book also talks about Mildred Burke taking her own troop of wrestlers over to Japan and the impact they made over there. Author Jeff Leen talks about how Mildred Burke basically started the women’s wrestling revolution in Japan, a revolution that still exist to this day. The book also looks at the heat Mildred Burke got from the NWA following her successful tours of Japan.

Following her retirement from professional wrestling, Mildred Burke would go onto begin Mildred Burke Productions, which specialized in custom wrestling videos featured mixed matches (man vs. woman) and woman vs. woman matches. Author Jeff Leen talks about how Mildred Burke used sexuality and the battle of the sexes discussion to help promote and sell her videos.

If you are a professional wrestling fan in any shape, way or form then this book is easily the must read book of 2009. If you believe that today’s version of women’s wrestling is the way female competitors have always been booked as since the beginning of time, this book will give you an awe inspiring revelation into the trials, tribulations and success’s that women had to go through to live out there dreams and to be portrayed as equals to their male counterparts.

You can order this book at the PWInsider Amazon Store for only $16.50!

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