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Death of the Territories

Expansion, Betrayal and the War That Changed Pro Wrestling Forever
Narrated by: Kyle Tait
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Sport, Other
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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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

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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

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  • 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebecca C.
  • 11-04-2019

Good but could have been better.

Lots of great info here but I think the author needed to pick a few of the promoters and really let us get to know them. He threw out so many names but there was no personality or physical image to go along with them. Still some great info and it does get better as it goes along.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred Wilson
  • 18-03-2019

Great Book Weird Narration

Great and well researched book on the history of professional wrestling before and after the WWF went national. I found the narration to be incredibly distracting. The reader extends the last syllable of every sentence out awkwardly long. It probably adds ten minutes to the overall book. Once you hear it you cant unhear. "Hulk Hogan was a very popular wrest-lerrrrrrrrrrrrrr in the AWA territor-eeeeeeeeeeee".

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James L. Main
  • 20-03-2019

No thanks

The narrator is monotone and the story is equivalent to a history text book. Unless you are just looking for a long list of wrestling facts, this isn't for you.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-2019

great book

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