Bringing the best of professional wrestling into focus, from the glare of the spotlights to rare, behind-the-scenes candid photos, George Napolitano has created the most far-reaching and beautiful visual history of its kind. For five decades he has been ringside, documenting wrestling’s biggest main events, photographing its most famous — and infamous — stars. His images have captured the blood, sweat, and tears spilled in the squared circle. In the process, they have become as iconic as the men and women in them.
Covering those who have made professional wrestling one of America’s great passions and pastimes — Bruno Sammartino and Claddy Freddie Blassie, Gorilla Monsoon battling Muhammad Ali, Andre the Giant and Mil Mascaras thrilling crowds all over North America, and Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou Albano bringing wrestling to MTV — this chronicle shows it all.
For the fans of the nWo or ECW’s hardcore revolution, those who love the attitudes of DX, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and those who still tune in every Monday night for Cena, Triple H, and Orton, this compilation is the ultimate pictorial of the glories and humiliations of the wrestling world.
George Napolitano is widely known as one of the world’s premiere wrestling photographers. He lives in New York.
Published: October 2011
Dimensions: 10 x 8 in.
“Napolitano gets the action shots, the quiet moments, the backstage faces and the working shoes. If you want Champions, there’s the Funks, Sammartino, The Rock, The Ultimate Warrior and The Sheik. If you want celebrities, there’s Debbie Harry, Andy Kaufman, Cyndi Lauper, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more, all posing with pro wrestling greats.If you want historic moments, there’s everything from Muhammad Ali being airplane spun by Gorilla Monsoon to Valentine/Piper to the Age in a Cage between Hogan and Piper.” — f4wonline
“A great coffee table book . . . a MUST HAVE for all wrestling fans.” — WrestlingFigs.com
“A fascinating cross-section of pro wrestling that spans nearly three decades.” — SLAM! Wrestling
“It’s not difficult to state that any wrestling fan with a true love for the art of pro wrestling will be enthralled with the turn of every page.” — Perspectives on Wrestling
“What separates this book from being just a coffee table book with lots of pictures is the story that George tells, which is a personal one as much as it is a history lesson. Pro wrestling has shaped who George is, as well as the relationship he has, and no photog has gotten as close to these wrestlers as he is.” — The Fight Nerd
“[Hot Shots and High Spots] showcases hundreds of shots taken by George Napolitano, a longtime grappling journalist who began covering matches in 1970. The photos feature not only every major star from the past four decades but behind-the-scenes images such as the late Andre the Giant hoisting four female wrestlers in the air like a human cape and a bleached-blond Paul Levesque long before he became a WWE headliner as Triple H.” — Scripps Howard News Service