Wrestlemania XXXIV

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Wrestlemania XXXIV

Don't Try This at Home...

Confession time: I may appear to be a typical demure, silently sophisticated librarian on the surface, but deep down inside, I am a hardcore WWE wrestling fan. I came to the game later than most. While my friends were obsessed with wrestling in middle school and high school, I was too busy being emo and reading Harry Potter to get what it was all about. Sure, I watched matches with them once in a while, but I never "smelled what the Rock was cooking." I was never invested. There were just too many books to read, too many clubs to participate in and too many college applications to fill out. 

Fast-forward something like a decade and now I'm a super fan. I'll never forget when it happened. One warm Saturday afternoon, I came home from work and turned on the TV to find something to watch while I forced myself to do the elliptical thing, and there was the re-airing of Monday Night Raw. I heard a booming voice and looked up to see a man standing in the center of the ring with a microphone. I was instantly confused, intrigued and honestly fascinated. Who is this guy? Why is that other dude randomly attacking him?! What is the crowd chanting?! What on Earth am I watching?! The jumps, the punches, the cheers, the jeers and the absolutely addictive-like-a-daytime-soap-opera story lines had my eyes and ears glued to the screen. I seriously could not look away. And I haven't since. 

If you're already a WWE fan, then you get where I'm coming from, 100 percent. You can smell what the librarian is cooking. But if you're new to the game, or maybe even a little hesitant or reluctant to invest, then allow me to introduce you to a book line-up of epic proportions to get you ready for the biggest event in Sports Entertainment: Wrestlemania 34, taking place on April 8, 2018.

WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment: The Definitive Guide to WWE by Kevin Sullivan, Steve Pantaleo and Keith Elliot Greenberg
A New York Times bestseller, this encyclopedia is more than a coffee table book. It's all-inclusive and updated to include WWE's current roster with superstars such as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and The New Day. This encyclopedia features 400 full-color pages and over 1,200 Superstar and event profiles, with every performer covered. From the obscure to the elite, you'll find your favorite Superstar in its pages.

WWE Book of Rules (And How to Break Them) with a foreword by Daniel Bryan 
If you're a fan of WWE and sports entertainment, then you'll of course want to know the "rules" and every loophole to break them. This little book is less a formal guidebook and more an informal introduction to how the "rules" came to be. From being scribbled on receipts and scrap paper, to verbal decrees by Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE, this book can tell you the difference between a Hollywood Backlot Brawl and a Brooklyn Street Fight, why The New Day are able to use the Freebird Rule (and what the Freebird Rule is), and find out if it is actually legal for Braun Strowman to throw Roman Reigns in a garbage truck. And with a forward by current "Smackdown Live's" general manager and former WWE champion, Daniel Bryan, WWE Book of Rules has it all: commentary, illustrations, diagrams and more.

Booker T: My Rise to Wrestling Royalty by WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. Huffman
Five-time World Heavyweight Champion, Booker T. is more than a WWE Hall of Famer and current commentator, he is the face of resilience and strength. In My Rise to Wrestling Royalty, the follow-up to Booker T: From Prison to Promise: Life Before the Squared Circle, you'll learn how Booker T. was able to become the winner of 35 championship titles in wrestling. 

Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania by Daniel Bryan
If you follow wrestling today, then by now you have heard the news that "Smackdown Live's" general manager Daniel Bryan has finally, finally been cleared to wrestle again. Previously (and at the time thought to be permanently) benched for suffering damaging concussions, Bryan has finally been medically cleared by world-renowned neurologists to return to the ring. In anticipation of a comeback (and no doubt follow-up book), you should check out Yes!: My Improbable Journey to learn more about how an ultimate underdog became WWE's most unlikely hero.

WWE 50 by Kevin Sullivan
WWE 50 is great not just for its all-inclusive information on the WWE roster past and present, but for its lowdown on what really shaped WWE into the billion-dollar success story it is today. This paperback may be slim, but it's exploding with the real deal about t
he split from the National Wrestling Alliance, controversies galore, legalities and financial strife, innovative storytelling and death-defying high-risk maneuvers in the ring and in the stakeholders' boardroom. 

Hustle, Loyalty, Respect: The World of John Cena  by Steve Pantaleo
You either love John Cena or you hate him, as evidenced by the crowds cheers and jeers every time he makes an appearance. But whether you consider him a "part-timer" or the epitome of a WWE superstar, John Cena is a 16-time World Champion (just like the legendary Ric Flair) who despite becoming a film and daytime host celebrity has had his greatest success in the ring. But after challenging the retired Undertaker to a match at this year's Wrestlemania, it's hard to say whether John Cena is simply bold and brave, or downright stupid. So, why not pick up this book and learn all about his life and mantra before he's (most likely) buried by the Undertaker?

No is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life by Chris Jericho
"You just made the list." Never has there been a more giggle-worthy promo than when Chris Jericho acquired a clipboard and a pen and started taking down the names of those who offended him on "The List of Jericho." Jericho's claim to wrestling fame can be proven by another list, his wrestling resume of championships won: F
irst-ever Undisputed WWE Champion, record nine-time Intercontinental Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, European Champion, Tag Team Champion, World Tag Team Champion, United States Champion, the list goes on. So, do yourself a favor and don't make "The List of Jericho." Pick up this gem of a read and discover the heart and humor of the self-declared G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) of WWE.

NXT: The Future is Now by Jon Robinson with a foreword by Vincent K. McMahon
I must admit I'm so pressed for time, it's nearly impossible to catch "Monday Night Raw" or Smackdown Live when they're actually live on-air. When you consider all the current off-shoots, such as WWE 205 Live or WWE Main Event, and now the Facebook Live Mixed Match Challenge, you'd probably say I was crazy to add another program to your WWE line-up. But let me tell you, if you're not watching NXT TV, the developmental division of WWE where wrestlers become Superstars, then you're missing out on some of the most thrilling matches in Sports Entertainment. The fact of the matter is every Raw and Smackdown Live Superstar started in NXT, and everyone at NXT will (most of the time) eventually make their debut on Raw or Smackdown, so why not be "that" guy who can say "I saw them before they were famous" if you have the chance? This book sheds light on and reveals never-before-seen photographs of famous Superstars who "got over" with fans and were called up to the main WWE roster. From Finn Balor to Sasha Banks to Big E., this book is a wonderful collection of the blood, sweat, and tears (and blisters and surgeries) it takes to become a WWE Superstar.

Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte by Ric Flair and Charlotte
Ric Flair once said, "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." A 16-time world champion, Ric Flair is certainly the stuff of legends, and his daughter, Charlotte Flair, is no exception. Charlotte, who refers to herself as "genetically superior," already has Raw Women's Champion and "Smackdown Live's" Women's Champion listed on her wrestling resume. If you've ever been curious about the start-to-finish process of becoming a WWE Superstar, from training in NXT to debuting on WWE Live TV, then this book will have you woooooing in celebration.

WWE 100 Greatest Matches by Dean Miller with a foreword by Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Best to end on a high note, I always say. If you are a forever fan or even a newfound fanatic of sports entertainment, then this collection of WWE's greatest matches is all you need to know to keep the conversation going with fellow fans. What sets this collection apart from other coffee table books is that it contains in-depth discussions, as well as the lead-up and aftermath of each of the 100 matches included, accompanied by some absolutely stunning photographs. 

Still can't get enough WWE? DC Public Library has more than just books and biographies on the WWE elite. You can find numerous pay-per-views and animated cross-overs featuring wrestlers on DVD using our catalog. Until next time, see you at the show (or the library). Woooooo!