Thrilling but flawed, entertaining despite the swerves and double-crosses, captivating even when repugnant… professional wrestling has enjoyed the attention and loyalty of untold millions for nearly a century. How and why is precisely what Larry Matysik examines in his third book, Drawing Heat the Hard Way: How Wrestling Really Works.
Wrestlers have their own private language, and in the unique world of wrestling “drawing heat” is a very good thing: the successful generation of crowd reaction and fan excitement. The Hard Way? That’s both exactly what it sounds like and something no one in the industry plans for: a legitimate and unintentional wound suffered because something’s gone awry. In Drawing Heat the Hard Way, Matysik explains what it takes to win the hearts and minds of wrestling fans, and how, at times, mistakes, controversy and unexpected turns of events have damaged the reputation or forever changed the business he loves.
If anyone understands wrestling, the problem-child offspring of whatever “real” sport is, it’s Matysik. Drawing Heat the Hard Way takes on the way wrestling is booked or planned; analyzes the roles of wrestlers and announcers, and explores steroids as an industry and fan issue. It also considers wrestling’s power-brokers, from those who influence the business by reporting on it, like Dave Meltzer, to those who make the final decisions on what gets broadcast every week, like the omnipresent Vince McMahon, and even to those who influence the sport with their pocketbooks — the fans themselves.
At times humorous, occasionally heartbreaking, always insightful, Drawing Heat the Hard Way is ultimately an objective take on what it means to be a wrestling fan, from someone who knows the business inside and out.
Larry Matysik was only 16 when he started working for Sam Muchnick in 1963. He was both the St. Louis promotion’s publicist and office manager. Later in his career he booked matches, and produced and called play-by-play for television. He also worked for Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation from 1984 to 1993, and has since been involved in independent wrestling promotions. He is the author of Wrestling at the Chase (ECW 2005) and Brody (ECW 2007).
Published: September 2009
Dimensions: 6.75 x 9.75 in.
“Matysik also provides an interesting perspective on WWE kingpin Vince McMahon. Matysik worked for McMahon from the start of WWE's national expansion in 1984 through 1993, and has closely followed his modus operandi running the world's biggest wrestling company. Matysik astutely explains that McMahon's dominance of the industry allows him to regularly change the face of pro wrestling into his own ever-evolving vision of 'sports entertainment.'” — Scripps Howard News
“Larry Matysik may not be on your short list of professional wrestling greats, but he should be... If you have a keen interest in the nature of professional wrestling; and a desire to learn about the real details, nuances and practices that make the artform work; this is the best book written on the subject.”— Figure Four Online/WrestlingObserver.com
“Larry Matysik wonderfully sums up how wrestling should work and how it really does . . . This is a man who knows his stuff and it shows in his writing. Overall, it's an excellent addition to any wrestling fan's library, making you think about the business in fair terms and offering great insight in an intelligent package.”— 411Mania.com