Tito Santana: Tales from the Ring
by WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana
Reviewed by Brad Dykens
In 1984-85, I was a very young impressionable six year old exploring the world’s treasures, searching for something that could stimulate my senses considerably more than an episode of Seasame Street. Then one day my beloved father brought home a rented copy of the very first WrestleMania on VHS. From the moment I laid eyes on Madison Square Garden, filled to capacity, I was hooked on Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation. I began a Saturday morning ritual of watching WWF SuperStars, and devoured every episode as well as every video tape I could find at my local video store. One of the highlights of WWF programming was a young super star from Tocula, Mexico named Tito Santana. Tito provided so many memories for wrestling fans all over the world, but one particular moment indelible impression on me as a child. It was the epic steel cage match between Tito and his arch nemesis, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. The visual of Tito kicking the cage door into Valentine’s face at the end of the match will be forever engraved in my mind as one of the most dramatic and historic things I ever witnessed. The consummate babyface, Tito Santana would spend over a decade working for the WWF – putting his fate in the hands of Vince McMahon. Throughout those years, many other wrestlers would come and go, so it goes without saying that Tito’s story would some day be presented in a book for the legions of fans who remember him with as much fondness as I do.
Tito Santana’s “Tales from the Ring” is a book written for everybody. It is very easy to read. It’s a story with an extremely positive message. There is very little negativity, or hurtfulness directed at other people in the business. If you’re looking for Vince-bashing or dirty laundry then look elsewhere. In fact, Tito is very grateful for the opportunities that Vince offered him. On the other hand, it’s nice to read a book that focuses on the good times in professional wrestling – and Tito had a very good run. Tito basically skims over as many topics that he can come up with, but doesn’t go into extreme detail with any particular subject. With a mere 159 pages, it’s more like an abbreviated version of Tito Santana’s life. Some people like that. The bulk of the book concentrates on the WWF, with brief chapters at the beginning and end of the book covering his pre-WWF and post-WWF life. “Tales from the Ring,” is a quick read that will be enjoyed by all who take the time to check it out. It might not be an long drawn out 300 page book, but it’s a hell of a better than no book at all! Arriba!
Courtesy of David Frederick, from www.titosantana.net
My Book Review of Tito Santana: Tales From The Ring
As I explained, kinda vague in the youtube video, the layout/structure of the book is unlike most books. Majority of any books are in chapters. Question was if it was Tito’s idea of how the sections were set up or Tom Caiazzo. No matter, if you want to know the man, whom used to be called Latin Lightning in the WWF Collseum videos, and or an honest/modest view of a company building it’s way over the shoulders of the territorial companies. He was there when Hulk Hogan and WrestleMania started. Watching the ups and downs, the company, wrestlers, friends and family took. This is a book where it’s easy to find where he was and when. Like many other wrestlers books, he reveals a few shocking revelations. Such as the racism. It’s a honest/modest view of how hard life was on the road, and the toll it took on him and his family. When he finally realized the W WF and Vince were actually going no where with him it was time to go. How would he tell his family especially without discussing it with them first. How can hide it, fulfill your job obligations and finish with a smile on your face. I had to read the excerpt on page 152 when he tells his wife Leah, it was time and her reply.
Tito Santana Tales From Ring is definitely inspirational. The book lives up to it’s name, with sections marked where and what he was doing and who he worked with. I might have sounded vague about the book in my video, but this book is no where near vague. Not just talking as his #1 fan, I’m talking as some who studies history especially wrestling. Many websites cover wrestling history, this is a wrestler’s view of wrestling history during it’s building years, media blitz and some tragic times.
I told Tito during his book signing here in Wilkes Barre that wrestling was my religion. Ever since I was 16, it kept me focused away from drugs, alcohol and trouble. Tito Santana is a man you can look up to.