- 09/25/2012 (6:34:01 pm)
- Bob Mulrenin
Review by Robert Weir
Most of the current crop of wrestler’s biographies tells funny anecdotes of road stories, or fond reminisces of allegedly sold-out, jammed-to-the-rafters crowds. Some even scratch the surface of the wrestler’s private lives. In From Prison to Promise Life before the Squared Circle, the first volume of Booker T Huffman’s biography, you will read the most intimate details of the early life of one of the most famous American wrestlers of this generation. Say this for Booker T; he does not hold anything back in this book.
This is the story of a person who, after both of his parents died while he was young, literally raised himself on the hard streets of Houston, Texas. He spends ample time reviewing his own nuclear family – one that ranged from well-adjusted middle-class brothers and sisters to a sister who was a professional hooker. Booker’s early life was one of dealing drugs, hanging around with heroin addicts, robbing fast-food restaurants and, eventually, serving time in prison. There is an old saying “never get arrested in Texas.” Well, Booker gives you the inside scoop of what life in a Texas state penitentiary is all about.
In prison, Booker came to grips with what his young life had become, and vowed that he would make a change once he was released. And turn it around he did. Once out of prison, he moved in with his estranged brother, Lash (Stevie Ray of Harlem Heat), found a steady job, and embarked on a career in professional wrestling.
You will read about the experiences that Booker encountered early in his wrestling career – the training that he received from WWE Hall-of-Famer Ivan Putski; what he and Steve Ray thought of Putski’s skills (or lack thereof); his first in-ring experiences; how the G.I. Bro and Ebony Experience gimmicks came to life; his first encounter with a shady wrestling promoter; finding out that said promoter tried to blackball them on the Texas wrestling scene; his thoughts about working in the legendary Dallas Sportatorium; his encounters with the fledgling Global Wrestling Federation (GWF) and then booker Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert and legendary manager Scandor Akbar. Finally, you are there when Booker and Stevie get the call to come to Atlanta and join World Championship Wrestling.
Booker T’s From Prison to Promise Life Before the Squared Circle was co-written by Andrew William Wright. It is published by Medallion Press and is available on-line and at better bookstores.