The Hardcore Truth and nothing but the truth
As far as wrestling books go, I find it hard to beat out anything written by Mick Foley and Chris Jericho. I have read all of Foley’s work and, even though the first two books are better, he has written some quality material. Jericho has released two books and I had a hard time putting either of them down. I didn’t think I would find another quality book that was written by a wrestler. Honestly, I thought that the only book that would rival any of those is IF The Undertaker ever came out of character and wrote something on his career. That would be a hell of a read in my opinion. But that may or may not ever happen. But I came across a book that surprised me and is a damn great read. And it was written by the unlikeliest WWE Superstar.
The Hardcore Truth: The Bob Holly Story is a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred look into the life of a WWE Superstar. But not a WWE Superstar who won multiple world titles or was even a main-eventer. Holly, who wrote the book with Ross Williams, was a great worker that spent his career in WWE as a mid-card guy that was used heavily to get over the wrestlers that the WWE was going to push into the main event. He wrestled the likes of Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, and others while they were still being pushed to the top of the card. He also wrestled guys that were gone before the blink of an eye. He was a wrestler that did what he was asked to do and more. And in The Hardcore Truth he goes into detail about that, who he got along with, who he didn’t get along with, and the side of wrestling that most people never see.
The book covers the usual pre-profession life that is typical in most autobiographies. From childhood, first love, jobs, and recreational activities, its all covered. Then he gets into the life of a wrestler working the independent scene. He talks about all the hardships involved with getting into the business: low pay, traveling, missing family, being overworked, shady promoters. After reading that, you have to have the heart if you want to get into the wrestling business. It is definitely not for everyone.
He then gets into his days with the WWE. He talks about coming in with the gimmick of a race car driver/wrestler named Thurman “Sparky” Plugg, and later Bob “Spark Plug” Holly, to his tag team of The New Midnight Express. And of course he details his time as Hardcore Holly, the man most wrestling fans of that time remember. Holly, along with his cousins Crash and Molly, was a staple on Raw and Smackdown during the Attitude Era, especially in the Hardcore division.
He also talks about the people that he worked with and his feelings on them as workers and as people. He talks about the early days of working with Jeff Jarrett. The Clique (Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H, Sean Waltman) and the influence they had in the WWE locker room. He talks about the respect he has for certain guys and the disrespect he has for others. He gives a great glimpse of what it is like behind the scenes when all these wrestlers are not on camera. Not even steroid use was taboo in this book. And he also gives his thoughts on the Montreal Screwjob, the Monday Night Wars, and the deaths of wrestlers like Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit.
The Hardcore Truth lays it out there plain and simple. Holly was never a main event guy like I said. But he was a solid worker that did what he had to do and did a damn good job. I personally think he was overlooked way too much. I’m not saying that Holly would be a Hall of Famer, but I do think he got the short end of the stick a lot of times. And if you read this book, you can see what I mean. It is a great book and shocked me as I read it. The man lays it out there with nothing to hide. If you are a fan of the books that Foley and Jericho put out, you will like this one too.
While he may have never caught a break in the WWE, he has a hell of a story to tell and did a good job telling it. He doesn’t shy away from anything. The man was loyal to the WWE when WCW came calling with Ted’s money and I’m glad he was. While The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were the top stars that people wanted to see, it was people like Holly that helped to make stars while putting on quality matches. So to that I say “Thank you Holly”. And then thanks again for the great story you wrote.