Picking up William Regal’s book, I had to wonder why in the hell WWE would pick Regal to write a book. He’s not a draw in American wrestling by any means and he isn’t a main eventer in WWE. I mean, he is an excellent wrestler and has timeless classics, but he is not someone you would think WWE would put money behind to churn out a book. I just kept wondering, “Why Regal?” until I got home and read the book. Then I knew why.
Regal’s book, like every other wrestling biography I have read, starts off with a prologue that is from an event later in his life that is supposed to hook the reader. Boy does it. By the prologue alone, I could tell why WWE put their faith in this book. He talks about his drugs and alcohol addictions in-depth describing just how far gone he was and then leaves a great tag line to get people hooked into reading: “How had I let my life become such a mess? It’s a long story…” It was supposed to hook you, and for me, it did and then some. Over the next few days, I could not put down this book except to eat, go to the bathroom, and sleep. Regal does not write this book himself, but the ghost writer Neil Chandler does an excellent job of capturing all of Regal’s mannerisms into the book as I feel like they are Regal’s exact words. In the book, everything of Regal’s life is talked about. Growing up in Britain, becoming a fan, becoming a wrestler, perfecting his trade, his family, his wife, his kids, his addiction, his recovery, his sudden heart illness, and everything else. It’s truly a great story. You think once he gets out of his addiction, it is smooth sailing from then like most other stories, but not this one. A little while after he recovers from his demons, he is hit in the face with a crippling heart disease that almost killed him. Jeez. This book screams “Hollywood movie” to me.
One of the strongest things about this book is the detail to which Regal goes into his drug abuse. Most recovering addicts in wrestling talk about it, but not in the detail that Regal did. For God’s sake, if I took half of what that man took in the worst stage of his addiction, I’d be lucky to be a vegetable! This book is your typical look into a pro wrestler’s life, and it’s no different than any other biography in that aspect, but the depth of which he goes into his addiction (and illness for that matter) just oozes the feeling of spectacular to me. Some of the typical stuff you will read about in this book are Regal recounting days when he got up, coughed, forgot to cover his mouth, and saw dark red blood on the wall across from him, or when he stayed holed up in his bedroom like Howard Hughes for a while. Detailed is this book and plentiful are the horrid looks into a wrestler drug addict’s life that we’ve never seen before. Ever wonder how bad Chris Candido probably was before he sobered up? What about British Bulldog? Art Barr? Well, this book will show you and then some.