Thrilling but flawed, entertaining despite the swerves and double-crosses, captivating even when repugnant
professional wrestling has enjoyed the attention and loyalty of untold millions for nearly a century. How and why is precisely what Larry Matysik examines in his third book, Drawing Heat the Hard Way: How Wrestling Really Works. Wrestlers have their own private language, and in the unique world of wrestling drawing heat” is a very good thing: the successful generation of crowd reaction and fan excitement. The Hard Way? That’s both exactly what it sounds like and something no one in the industry plans for: a legitimate and unintentional wound suffered because something’s gone awry. In Drawing Heat the Hard Way, Matysik explains what it takes to win the hearts and minds of wrestling fans, and how, at times, mistakes, controversy and unexpected turns of events have damaged the reputation or forever changed the business he loves. If anyone understands wrestling, the problem-child offspring of whatever real” sport is, it’s Matysik. Drawing Heat the Hard Way takes on the way wrestling is booked or planned; analyzes the roles of wrestlers and announcers, and explores steroids as an industry and fan issue. It also considers wrestling’s power-brokers, from those who influence the business by reporting on it, like Dave Meltzer, to those who make the final decisions on what gets broadcast every week, like the omnipresent Vince McMahon, and even to those who influence the sport with their pocketbooks the fans themselves. At times humorous, occasionally heartbreaking, always insightful, Drawing Heat the Hard Way is ultimately an objective take on what it means to be a wrestling fan, from someone who knows the business inside and out.