This past November I was sent a review copy of Chris Jericho's newest book, Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps. I hadn't read his previous book, A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex, but have always heard great things about it. I planned on waiting until December to start it, so I would easily have it finished by the time it released on February 16th.
I made the mistake of taking the book with me a couple of weeks after receiving it, and found myself having a hard time putting the book down. Before I knew it, I had finished the book only eight days later!
To be brief, the book is the best wrestling book I've read since Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks a decade ago (I also haven't read Bret Hart's book which I've heard is excellent, but plan to read it soon).
The book starts off with Jericho's debut in the then-WWF back in 1999. Jericho talks about how he hates his debut, and would do it completely differently if he were to do it today. He talks about not enjoying working with Chyna, and the heat that he was generating in the locker room. He talks in detail about the tough time he had in his first several months with the company.
Jericho then turns his attention to Fozzy, and talks about how the band was formed and being signed by MegaForce, the first label to sign Metallica and Anthrax to record deals. For the next 300-plus pages, Jericho alternates between his trials and tribulations with WWE and building his band and having to play some paltry gigs in the process.
Jericho leaves nothing out. He talks about the time he was REAMED by Vince McMahon when he was working the program with Chyna when he first signed. He said that The Rock was one of the only wrestlers who was supportive of him in the beginning. He talks about seeing something special in John Cena early on and insisting on putting him over. He talks about the end of his first run with WWE, and life after wrestling.
After his first run, Jericho lost two of his closest friends in the business in Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Jericho talks about losing both of his friends and how it affected him. He wrote about being upset with WWE using Guerrero's death in storylines, and said that after seeing Benoit cry at Guerrero's funeral, he rarely showed emotion with him and seemed troubled and distant.
Towards the end of the book, Jericho goes into detail about Benoit's death. Jericho noted that Benoit was his best friend, albeit an unreliable one. Benoit even skipped Jericho's wedding without ever giving him a reason why. Jericho said that Benoit had a dark side, and had a hard time making sense of the terrible tragedy after it happened.
Jericho closes the book talking about returning to WWE and the "Save Us" promos that aired building his return. The book ends with Jericho heading to the ring in 2007 after a 27-month layoff from the business.
To say that the book is a must-read for any wrestling fan is an understatement. It is the "frootest" (you'll get it if you read the book) auto-biography I've read in awhile, and I've already ordered A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex from Amazon.com.
The book is out next week, and you can purchase the hardcover edition for only $15.39 from Amazon.com by clicking here.