The First Lady of Wrestling
Description: Before the Hall of Fame 2006 inductions Sherri Martel was probably one of the least talked about inductees, yet Sensational Sherri turned on the personality, came out swinging and arguably ended up stealing the show. I think this opened some eyes to impact the valets of the 1980's and 90's had on the business, when it turned from territory wrestling to global sports entertainment. One of these valets was Missy Hyatt. In 2001 following Mick Foley's best selling books she decided to write share her memories with the wrestling fans in this book humbly titled "Missy Hyatt - First lady of wrestling".
Personally I first became aware of Missy Hyatt in WCW's magazines around 1992. WCW wasn't broadcasted in Denmark at the time, but as a preteen WWF fan I bought pretty much any magazine remotely related to wrestling. In it the 34DD blonde came off as your typical loud-mouthed yet easy on the eye diva, but somehow she seemed perfectly matched for her role. I've followed her career sporadically culminating with the http://www.missyhyattandfrancinetv.com website, which left little doubt that she is both an exhibitionist and an opportunist, yet strangely likable nonetheless.
The story takes its beginning when Missy, whose real name is Melissa, after avidly following the down south wrestling circuit up close and personal, gets a gig as Missy Hyatt in World Class Championship Wrestling by Fritz Von Erich. Missy Hyatt is to play an heiress to the Hyatt Empire, with an attitude who accompanies heels to the ring. It turns out the attitude comes naturally to her, and the gimmick sticks. From the get-go she is as turned on by wrestlers as she is by wrestling, and the body-count comes to include everyone from Jake Roberts and Road Warrior Hawk, to Raven, Brutus Beefcake etc. On the back cover Kevin Nash jokes he's probably the only wrestler who hasn't slept with Missy Hyatt and the book does little to retort on that statement.
However, its not all about who has a peeing fetish (The Freebirds), who's a perv (Ric Flair) or who's libido is far from his gimmick (Val Venis), the story is told with a genuine passion for the wrestling business, and Missy Hyatt's tales of the industry are a pleasure to read in that she tells it like an insider; wrestlers are workers, knock-downs are bumps and she even tries to describe the science of a good chairshot.
In a lot of aspects it's like reading "A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks" mixed with "Bridget Jones' diary", because not only does Missy Hyatt have some choice words about wrestlers' in-ring abilities, she pulls no punches when it comes to describing them in bed either. What makes the book highly enjoyable, but will no doubt make some readers uncomfortable, is that the it isn't as much held together by Missy Hyatt's journey as by the men, wrestlers for the most part, whose arms she was wrapped around from the mid-80's 'til the book was published.
The most touching part of "First Lady of Wrestling" is no-doubt her relationship to Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert. While neither seems to be able to hold the relationship and eventual marriage together, there seems to have been an understanding between the two, from their start in UWF to the time they're both working in WCW. Wrestling fans will enjoy the story of how the two of them turned Troy Martin into Shane Douglas, and the way Missy Hyatt puts over Eddie Gilbert's booking-ability. We even get a look way behind the scenes to witness a saddened Eddie Gilbert spending a weekend in bed, because his dream of becoming part of The Four Horsemen is monkey wrenched by Kevin Sullivan. Eddie's death in 1995 is dealt with briefly as the two were broke up, but it's obvious to the reader it had a profound affect on the otherwise rather carefree Missy Hyatt.
The less well-executed parts of the story are the ones that haven't got anything to do with wrestling for instance Missy Hyatt's relationship to a then teenage Jason Hervey (of The Wonder Years) seem oddly misplaced. The constant references to WWE's Vince McMahon also become tiresome, but to her credit that's the only part of the book where Missy Hyatt becomes a politician.
Published by ECW press, the book is sandwiched by Missy Hyatt's accomplishments in that federation, and her interaction with Paul Heyman is written with great humour. Perhaps with the resurrection of that company Missy Hyatt will return to the squared circle (or her place next to it) as it seems ECW is building up all the nostalgia possible for the return.
"Missy Hyatt - First lady of wrestling" is an easy and entertaining read, which gives insight to the career of Missy Hyatt. At times it can get overtly opinionated, but for the most part you get the feeling the author does indeed want to share her life-story and she never shies away from pointing the finger at herself. Missy Hyatt may never have been The First Lady of Wrestling in terms of media coverage or grand accomplishments, but she has paid dues in almost all imaginable companies, and while perhaps not the first, she certainly were a lot of wrestlers' lady.
Reviewed by Peter Trier Aagaard (Copenhagen, Denmark) on May 23, 2006.
Description: Missy Hyatt first lady of wrestling tells of melissa hyatts rise and fall in
the wrestling business. The book is an interesting read put aside the fact
that the book is not really about her "wrestling" career at all she tells of
her boyfriends and wrestlers she has "hooked" up with and also how she
turned Vince down. But I give credit to her for trying.
Rating: I give this book a 3 out of 10 rating..
Reviewed by jacqueline on February 10, 2006.