Memoirs of a Wrestling Pitchman

by Gary Michael Cappetta

Description: Gary Michael Cappetta is one of wrestling's most prevalent father-figures. Well, he feels like a father-figure to me, at least; even more so now that I have read his book, "Bodyslams! Memoirs of a Wrestling Pitchman." GMC gives his candid recollections of what it was like being a fly on the wall in the industry's two most dominant promotions, working with just about every major name of the time period, and working with/for some of the most influential personalities in wrestling history.

Many of the stories included in these memoirs absolutely fascinated me; from the tale of how he broke into the wrestling business, to the defiant manner in which he left it. It's all in here, and Cappetta maintains his pride and dignity while learning the proper ediquet that comes with being involved in the greatest show on earth.

GMC walks you though his storybook career as a professional wrestling ring announcer, recounting his most memorable experiences. Some of which will shock and amaze you, others will have you laughing your tail-end off. I found it very inspiring to learn about Cappetta's employment with the WWF and the eventual fallout that occured when Vince McMahon Jr. failed to show the proper respect to one of his most loyal employees. Beyond that encounter, GMC shares his true-life anecdotes about his experiences with Victor the wrestling Bear, some not-so-honest promoters, being on tour with a group of female wrestlers, the famous WCW Tower of Doom match, road trips with "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, a thrilling story about Mark "The Undertaker" Calloway in WCW, Abdullah the Butcher, various road trips, and overseas tours for WCW (including the infamous Sid/Arn incident), dealing with Eric Bischoff and WCW politics; And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

This reprinted version of the original book contains a rare addition at the conclusion of the journey. There is an epilogue attached, plus another fifty pages of updated commentary discussing the tumultuous book tour and countless other things that happened since the original publishing. This is a truly unique feature for a book of any nature.

Gary Michael Cappetta was the voice of an entire wrestling generation. His presence was felt at thousands of wrestling events and he was one of the often over-looked heros of wrestling as an art form. The drama that he helped provide on the cards he worked often went unnoticed, and that is a credit to his talents and professionalism. As I wrap this review up, I would like to extend the invitation to one, Mr. Gary Michael Cappetta, if you ever read this, please drop me an email. I would love to hear from you. Otherwise, wrestling fans -- pick up Bodyslams! and you enjoy yourself. I promise!

Rating: 7.5 / 10 My biggest complaint is that the original cover is so much better than the new one!

Reviewed by Brad Dykens on February 5, 2007.


Memoirs of a Wrestling Pitchman

by Gary Michael Cappetta

Description: BODYSLAMS! is a surprisingly fun adventure of a wrestling autobiography.

Gary Michael Cappetta, opens a door not opened before in a wrestling book, that of a Ring Announcer. Gary gives insight into the WWWF, WWF, Vince Sr., Jr., and a young Shane McMahon. Gary shares his experiences with WCW, and the early days of the Bischoff reign. Mostly this book is stories about his interaction with some of wrestling's great stars. Mostly funny, there are a few instances where things become a bit dark. Gary discusses what he heard and saw in Britain the night of the Arn Anderson-Sid Vicious fight. There are funny stories involving Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, and "Mean" Mark Callous (of course now better known as The Undertaker). Gary speaks frankly about Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Gorilla Monsoon, and of course Vince Sr. and Jr. There are a lot of insights into the pro wrestling world of the past. Athletic commissions payoffs, The Grand Wizard, the old politics of the wrestling territories, ECW, and so much more are touched upon. One of the great little stories is Gary's own adventures in Germany with Cactus Jack's ear. As Gary writes from an excerpt from his own diaries, "I've got Cactus' ear, what do I do with it?"

The one draw back I found in BODYSLAMS! was Gary never really reveals himself. There is one story that shows the strange and somewhat dangerous world even a ring announcer can come across with obsessed fans. Only in tidbits do we see Gary, unfortunately they are far and few. How Gary become a ring announcer is a very interesting, by case and luck story. BODYSLAMS! Is a good read for the wrestling fan that can't get enough or just enjoys all things wrestling.

Rating: I give BODYSLAMS! A 7.0. The lack of getting to know Gary takes a bit from the book, yet it is still a good book for any die hard wrestling fan.

Reviewed by Kai O'Hearn on January 5, 2006.

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