WWE Unscripted

by Andreas Roenquist

Description: Unscripted is by all means a coffee-table book; its primary focus is on artwork, with a stunning display of photos of wrestlers both inside and out of the ring. The text, however, is shallow and particularly uninteresting. It's supposed to be coming from the wrestlers themselves (practically the whole WWE roster from when the book was first published in 2003 is featured in the book) giving short statements about themselves, how they got into the business, how they work out and how they enjoy or hate life on the road.

I said "supposed to", because what ostensibly is a shoot, seems both contrived and polished. The title of the book is Unscripted, but the whole thing feels - exactly - scripted. Now, I don't doubt for a minute that the Undertaker met his wife Sara at an autograph signing; that Steve Austin began hunting deer and enjoying it at the tender age of 13; or that Trish Stratus originally wanted to become a doctor. But the whole package feels so air-brushed, and the words that come from practically every wrestler in the book are so insignificant, that after a few pages you stop reading and just look at the pictures.
Those pictures look great, though. Some are from actual matches, some are taken in the backstage area, catching wrestlers unaware, and some are shot (or more likely, arranged) in their homes. Personally, I like the frame-by-frame montage of Brock Lesnar's legendary missed Shooting Star Press against Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XIX, but if you prefer the divas, there's something for you too. Of course, you don't get to see anything that you haven't already seen on WWE television.

Unscripted consists of four parts, or chapters: "Me", "Body", "Life", and "Home". They're pretty much all the same, only the wrestlers, whose real names surprisingly are acknowledged in the book, get to address different subjects. Some wrestlers are featured more prominently, like Steve Austin, Triple H and Undertaker, while some are left with a two-page spread, like Val Venis and Scott Steiner. Let's just hope Steiner didn't injure someone during the making of the book.

This is the least interesting wrestling book I've ever laid eyes upon. Artwork and photos are fantastic, yes, but the wrestlers themselves are reduced to cardboard employees of the sports entertainment company known as WWE. There are no controversies in this book, and no words Vince McMahon wouldn't approve of are printed in it.

Then again, this book was never published to let its readers think, but rather as a display of snapshots from the WWE ring and of the performers who spend their lives in it. The book is trying to give its readers an impression of what their workers are like in real life, but these scenes look choreographed and don't really say anything about the people in them. I guess the hardcore fans of coffee-table books and WWE fans will enjoy this book like hell, but for you readers out there, this is not for you.

Rating: To sum it up in one sentence: Unscripted is like an episode of Smackdown! - it looks good, but lacks direction. 4/10.

Reviewed by Andreas Roenquist on May 17, 2006.

LOUIS KERRY (AKA WRESTLINGKANE13) wrote in with his review:
This book is one hell of a read. Although it's only written by the wrestlers of the WWE era, its suitable for any wrestling fan of any era, such as TRIPLE H, SHANE McMahon, CHRIS JERICO and others will tell. The book is split up in 4 chapters/ sections called me, body, life and home. Me is my personal favorite section of the book and is great for people who want to find out about how wrestlers got into the wrestling business. RIC FLAIR talks about his early years of wrestling, REY MYSTERIO talks about the history of wrestling masks and much more. One of my favorite parts of the book is the photographs. The pictures taken are just amazing. Its also quite humorous in parts as well.

Overall rating A / 9 out of 10. Worth every penny of the money spent on it although its not cheap. Although they could of made it more interesting by getting some legends to add to the book.

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