February 8, 2011

Rabid Reads: "Undisputed" by Chris Jericho

by Chris Jericho with Peter Thomas Fornatale
Grand Central Publishing (2011); a division of Hachette Book Group
425 pages
ISBN 9780446538152

At the height of professional wrestling's popularity, through the late 90s and early aughts, Chris Jericho was one of my favorite wrestlers. He's not wrestling these days, on hiatus from WWE to pursue other projects--and likely to heal his body from the relentless slog of a WWE schedule--and I'm not much of a wrestling fan anymore. Watching wrestling on Saturdays as a kid, then on Monday nights as a twenty-something, I have my memories as a fan, and I was curious to read Jericho's memories as a performer.

The only other wrestler whose autobiographies I've bothered to read is Mick Foley--and I've read three of his (Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Foley is Good: And the Real World is Faker Than Wrestling, and Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal). Coincidentally, Foley wrote the forward for Undisputed. So, with that and the fact that Jericho is one of the more charismatic and articulate wrestlers out there, I wanted to give this book a shot.

Apparently, this book picks up where Jericho's preceding book, A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex, leaves off as he begins his tenure in WWE. Along with that, there are also the exploits of his rock band, Fozzy. While I was never a fan of Fozzy, I admired Jericho's diversity and drive, and the road stories included in this book about the band's progression and hijinx is very enjoyable--and chock-full of name dropping.

My interest came from wanting to see his side of things through his WWE career, and the stories he includes are at times heartfelt when he talks about friends and family, and acid-tongued when recalling some of the more contentious and downright caustic moments backstage.

Any wrestling fan, former or otherwise, ought to check this book out. While the book doesn't carry the same flare for wordsmithing as Foley's early autobiographies did, this book doesn't meander into thickets of wild tangents like Foley's either. How does it rank among the litany of wrestler memoirs? No idea, but as a memoir it's pretty darned good.


  1. He's touring and doing a few book signings. My son is hoping to see him when he comes to Tampa at the end of the month.

  2. I can't imagine how excited I would have been as a boy if given the chance to meet a WWE (WWF at the time) wrestler. Meeting Bret Hart probably would have had me bouncing up and down like a tween girl for the Bieber.

  3. Huh. tried to comment on this post, then blogger ate my comment and said 'Bad request' :-S

    Anywho, just wanted to say great review and wondered if you'd seen "Breaking the Walls," that new Jericho DVD


  4. Haven't seen that DVD. Watched the Hart Family DVD last month. First time in ages I've watched something wrestling related.