Every successful superstar in sports, entertainment, and even the business world needs a utility player. In sports, Jordan needed Pippen, the Lakers needed Robert Horry, and Hulk Hogan needed Tito Santana. WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Tito Santana is one of sports entertainment’s greatest utility wrestlers and an unsung hero of wrestling’s biggest era.
Tito Santana wasn’t known for his talking during his era nor is he now. However, the mild mannered Santana has finally broken his silence and is telling his story. Tito joins the ranks of his brethren in releasing his autobiography. Tito Santana has won gold again with Tales From The Ring.
I was immediately disappointed when I first received the book by its length. The book is less only 159 pages. The length pales in comparison to some books like Bret Hart’s 500 pages. However, the short length of the book made it such an easy read that I was finished in two days. So the 159 pages turned out to be just right for the book.
[adinserter block=”1″]Different generations of fans remember Tito from different eras. Tito doesn’t disappoint any one of them. Tito covers his entire career from breaking into Joe Blanchard’s territory and training with Tully to finishing up his run as the Matador. Not only that, but Tito goes a lot deeper into his story than I could have hoped for.
As a fan and somewhat of a wrestling historian, there isn’t much anymore that surprises me when I read these wrestling books. Yet I will be honest and tell you that there were some things Tito said that surprised me. One nugget which I found fascinating was that Tito says he was told by WWE management that he was neck and neck with Bret Hart in getting a WWE title run. Could you imagine how different things would have turned out in pro wrestling without a Montreal Screwjob?
Speaking of history, it is amazing how things would have turned out for Tito had it not been for one of the most controversial incidents in wrestling folklore. Tito Santana almost missed out on his WrestleManias and Survivor Series’ after being shuffled around by Bill Watts and Ole Anderson. It is quite a compliment to think that Tito was brought back to the WWF to fill the gap left by the biggest babyface in wrestling at the time.
I was surprised to read about Tito’s struggles over his career with promoters and bookers. Tito was always one of my favorites as a kid and I appreciate even him even more today when I watch back his matches. How could someone so talented have problems with anyone? Tito had his problems and he wasn’t shy in talking about them.
Like many others, Tito takes his shots at Ole Anderson. Tito goes into details about the challenges of working for Ole Anderson in Georgia. Tito gives some great insight into working twice for Ole and the pressures of the old territory system. Tito’s Mexican heritage was a blessing and a curse for him throughout his career. Ole Anderson was one of a few that liked to remind Tito of his heritage and not in a complimentary way.
Tito has a lot of love for his former peers but does not hold back in his criticisms. Tito has deep affection for guys like Andre the Giant, Greg Valentine, Sgt. Slaughter, Paul Orndorff, Terry Funk, and many others. Tito has a lot of respect for Hulk Hogan yet makes some blunt remarks at the same time about the Hulkster.
Tito’s relationship with the McMahon family is an ongoing theme of his career. Tito talks of great respect for Vince McMahon Sr. Tito talks with great respect about Vince McMahon Jr., but is also very blunt about their differences. If you don’t think wrestling is a cold business, read about the day Tito gave his notice after ten years of service to the WWF.
I was slightly disappointed in a few omissions from Tito’s book. Tito never covered his life post-WWF/WWE. Tito didn’t just retire after he left the company in 1993. Tito continued wrestling in ECW, the AWF, and even made a one-night appearance in WCW. Tito briefly mentions the AWF, but he could have said more. Tito also got into teaching and opened up a salon. I was hoping to read more about his transition into the private sector.
[adinserter block=”2″]Overall this was a tremendous and easy read. The book isn’t a puff piece, at the same time it is not Ring of Hell. Tito’s tales from the matches, the locker room, the road, the booking meetings, and life are laid out like a great Tito Santana-Greg Valentine time-limit draw. The book starts slow, brings the reader up, takes him down, repeats several times, and finishes with the reader waiting for the rematch.
Order Tito Santana’s Tales From The Ring by clicking here .
See Tito battle Randy Savage and Greg Valentine on the WWE – The History of the Intercontinental Championship DVD by clicking here .
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