James J. Dillon always seemed like a nice, standup dude. After reading his book, I see that side of him even more and it’s damn hard not to respect and appreciate the man if you were ever a fan of his work in the wrestling ring or as a wrestling manager.
What makes this biography more interesting than a lot of the other wrestling personalities of the old territory days is that Dillon has a great mind and understanding of the business that led to him being a pretty important figure behind the scenes in the World Wrestling Federation, the biggest wrestling company the planet has ever seen.
Granted, me being me, a fan of the old school territory era of professional wrestling, I enjoyed those stories the most. As Dillon worked for a lot of companies, as well as alongside and against many legends over decades.
His story about Blackjack Mulligan beating the crap out of a stupid teenager and Dillon hightailing it to tour Japan, waiting for the heat to cool, was damn great.
The stories from his time as an executive in the then WWF (now WWE) were pretty damn interesting, as he was there during some of their biggest scandals and while the business was transitioning from the territory days to what it is in modern times.
However, I think most people will enjoy his stories about the formation of the Four Horsemen and his time managing them. From a regular fan’s perspective, this was what Dillon was mostly known for.
I’ve read a lot of wrestling biographies over the last few years but this is one that really stands out and stuck with me. Dillon comes off as a pretty generous guy with a lot of gratitude towards those he worked with and learned from. Also, he’s just a straight shooter.
Pairs well with: other books on the history of the old school territory wrestling business, as well as biographies on the personalities who lived it.