Book Review: Pure Dynamite by Tom Billington (Dynamite Kid)

Book Review: Pure Dynamite by Tom Billington (Dynamite Kid)

By: Bill

Right off the bat, this book is a bit odd in that, in the end, it pretty much keeps kayfabe in terms of what went on inside the ring. Truth be told, the way that's done is well done and it doesn't insult your intelligence, but it's odd to have the matches written up as not predetermined when the author is a bitter ex-wrestler who definitely "names names".

One overwhelming theme throughout the book is that Dynamite Kid really didn't like a whole lot of people. While he doesn't seem like an overly "bad" person himself, he's definitely not a "nice" person and he actively personally and/or professionally dislikes a lot of the other professional wrestlers. He doesn't like signing autographs or chatting up the fans. It's an irony that he points out himself when talking about the British Bulldogs. He'd much rather be the heel, so that was something he didn't like about being a British Bulldog. And he certainly did his share of really vicious pranks to get even with the people he didn't like. And even with those people he does like, he's pretty up-and-down about them. And, notably, he even played some really mean and dangerous pranks on his friends.

I found the book interesting because it was an opportunity to get the life story of the British Bulldog that never talked. It's sort of like getting the life story of Teller of Penn And Teller. However, if you are looking for a positive ending like Steve Regal's life story, look elsewhere. It's not a "feel good ending".

Overall, the book is a good book if you are interested in wrestling road stories or behind-the-scenes stories of the British Bulldogs' heyday. It is a hard-nosed autobiography by a very hard-nosed man. It is also a good book to give to anyone that says "Pro wrestling is fake". Not so much because he doesn't talk about matches being pre-determined, but because it helps you understand the physical toll that professional wrestling can exact on a persons's body and spirit. Plus, you really get a good idea about what a tough guy you need to be to survive outside the ring as well as inside it.

Highlights to watch for:

If I had to summarize this book, I would describe it is as the opposite of J.J. Dillon's book. Dillon's book was uplifting, this book was gritty. Dillon portrays himself as a really nice guy, Dynamite portrays himself as an unpleasant hard-ass.

As of November 2006, this softcover book can be purchased for around $15 on Amazon. Amazon doesn't seem to stock it, so you would need to find a third-party seller.

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