Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $24.37

Buy Now for $24.37

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

For decades, distinct professional wrestling territories thrived across North America. Each regionally based promotion operated individually and offered a brand of localized wrestling that greatly appealed to area fans. Promoters routinely coordinated with associates in surrounding regions, and the cooperation displayed by members of the National Wrestling Alliance made it easy for wrestlers to traverse the landscape with the utmost freedom.  

Dozens of territories flourished between the 1950s and late '70s. But by the early 1980s, the growth of cable television had put new outside pressures on promoters. An enterprising third-generation entrepreneur who believed cable was his opportunity to take his promotion national soon capitalized on the situation.  

A host of novel ideas and the will to take chances gave Vincent Kennedy McMahon an incredible advantage. McMahon waged war on the territories and raided the NWA and AWA of their top talent. By creating WrestleMania, jumping into the pay-per-view field, and expanding across North America, McMahon changed professional wrestling forever.

©2018 Tim Hornbaker (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Death of the Territories

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Incredibly thorough research from Tim. All the information you could want on this topic - the power players, the gate numbers, the cards... Fantastic

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a book every wrestling fan should read

I'm so grateful this book exists because it captures a truly amazing piece of wrestling history a story that deserves to be told

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Casey
  • Casey
  • 21-03-2019

An Enjoyable Listen

As a Wrestling fan for 30 years I was very interested in listening to this audiobook. It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for but I still found it worthwhile.

The truth is that I already knew a lot of the information contained in the book. However, it did fill in a few gaps in my own knowledge of the time period. The book doesn't go as in depth as it could on any one territory in particular, so in that sense it could be considered a good place to start your research but for a fuller picture you would want to branch out from here. However, if you're a wrestling novice just looking for an overview of major events and the key players from this time period, this book will easily satisfy.

As for the listening experience, I found it enjoyable. I got through the book in about a day and was never bored by the performance. I even laughed out loud a couple of times which is not something I do frequently. One reviewer described the performance as monotone but I would call it steady. The fact is that the text itself is not particularly filled with emotion, no one subject is really lingered on for too long. Even in the case of a wrestler's death, the circumstances surrounding it are laid out but not a lot of time is spent dealing with the aftermath.

Whether you will personally enjoy this book will depend largely on what you are expecting. If you are hoping for a good overview of major events and key figures from the territory era of professional wrestling then you will come away satisfied. If you are looking for a starting point from which to do more research than you could do much worse. If you're looking for something that reads more like a tabloid that is full of wrestling style promos on Vince McMahon then you probably won't be so entertained.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for NelsonTorres
  • NelsonTorres
  • 21-07-2021

Really informative

A really informative book about the old wrestling territories and how end it. It was really good.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Charlie Jenkins
  • Charlie Jenkins
  • 03-07-2021

Take it for what it is

This is a dry, factual cataloguing of how the WWF outmaneuvered other promotions in the early '80s. What television affiliates and arenas Vince signed deals with, what employees he signed, what services he provided. You're not going to find humanizing biographical details or vividly recounted conversations here. Your vantage point is top-down, from the outside looking in. But in all likelihood a tiny fraction of fans today could provide more than a sentence or two's explanation of exactly how the WWF broke free from the territorial system, or what WWF programming looked like prior to the Wrestlemania era. If you're ready to take notes on the subject, this book is ready to lecture.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Grammar Hammer
  • Grammar Hammer
  • 11-03-2021

Wonderful adventure for the pro wrestling fan.

Even though most wrestling fans of any age know the end of the story, Tim Hornbaker does a great job given the readers excellent detail into the atmosphere of the territories in the pre-cable television pro wrestling landscape. This is a must-have book for fans. I enjoyed it greatly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-2020

Great Narrator

Awesome job by the narrator. Great pronunciation and pace of reading. I recommend this audiobook to any wrestling fan.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matt
  • Matt
  • 27-06-2020

In depth and informative, didn't love the voice

This book is truly deep, almost too deep at times, into the strange and chaotic world of territory wrestling and the rise of WWF and WCW. The length is just about right and while at times it reads like a book report, it kept me interested. Truly, the amount of research that went into this is staggering.

Unfortunately, the vocal performance leaves a little to be desired. Nearly every sentence is ended like the sentence carries too much weight. It's hard to describe, but it is read like every sentence should blow you away rather than just presenting the info. I found this pretty wearing after a few hours.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for kennylcx
  • kennylcx
  • 02-11-2019

A ruthless business it became

I heard many things over the years, but this book puts it in perspective how, when, and where. Good read!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris
  • Chris
  • 20-06-2019

Great for old-school rasslin fans

I really enjoy learning more about old school pro wrestling, er, rasslin and this has that! My knowledge of wrestling (for what it is) is mostly post-1984 and WWF's rock and wrestling, so hearing old NWA stories and about the territory days is fascinating to me. There were a few times where I was like, "really?" and in some good ways, some bad. Like talking about all the bad taste angles done in World Class by the Von Erichs and I didn't remember the Fritz-fake heart attack angle being mentioned at all. It was fun listening to 1983 in particular and how Vince was setting the stage for his national take over. Anyway, if you like old rassling stories, this is for you!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael Sessarego
  • Michael Sessarego
  • 31-05-2019

Great listen for the history of the territories

there's a lot I didn't know about the history of American pro wrestling but this book covers a lot and so glad I got to learn about it now

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James Dennis McLain
  • James Dennis McLain
  • 22-07-2021

don't want to come up with headline

It paints WWF as this huge force taking over as early as 83 or 84. Sorry, but TV production and everything was ahead of the WWF in Dallas at that time. From 82 or 83 til like 86 WCCW in Dallas was way more popular. and until late 80's the WWF was only big in the northeast. The south still preferred Crocket, Jarret, and Bill Watts territories over WWF

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-03-2019

Great book annoying narration

The book is fantastic, very in depth and a lot of background on wrestling even hardcore fans like myself hadn't heard of before.
But the narrator is poor, draws out words and emphasises the end of words more than HHH. Off putting and ruins the mood the book creates.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James Abernethy
  • James Abernethy
  • 15-08-2020

Great book

I've only recently become interested in wrestling and I find myself much more interested in the backstage politics rather than the in ring action. It covers different aspects that what I've seen or heard from other media which meant I was hooked on it and not bored by the same old things. The narrator wouldn't be good for novels in my opinion but his energy perfectly suits the timeframe when this story begun as well as the theatricality wrestling industry. There are time when things are rattled of like he is simply reading statistics of wins and losses. But those moments are few and far between, otherwise I think it flows really well. It feels like a view from the trenches rather than a general's view of the battlefield. There wasn't as much about the climactic battle with the WCW and ECW brands as I expected. This mostly covers the skirmishes and alliance between the large number of small territories in the early days of the wrestling industry. It covers the key events from wrestlers popularity, industry defining wins and losses, face and heel turns, business hardships and successes as well as all the backstage choices that lead to the state of the wrestling industry. Great listen and would have been an even better read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-2019

great book

loved this book. it provided a great history of Pro wrestling in the USA. would recommend

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.