Before we start, I know that JJ Dillon’s autobiography has been out since 2005 and you’ve probably heard the reviews. Unfortunately, the cheapest copy I’ve found for the book is $29 on Amazon with new copies going as high as a hundred books. I scoured most used book stores for a copy, but I’ve never had any luck. This, along with Gary Hart’s book were the two books that I’ve badly wanted to read over the years but their lack of availability hindered that. Fun fact: The only used copy of Gary Hart’s book will cost you a cool $1,302. Luckily, Crowbar Press has released their entire catalog onto the Amazon Kindle program and having a Kindle myself, I finally had a chance to read it over the weekend.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know about Dillon outside of the fact that he worked in Florida, Memphis, NWA/WCW with the Horsemen and in the office and finally for the WWE. I know he appeared a few times on WWE TV as an agent but I just thought that it was just some random guy. That’s the great thing about this book; I didn’t know how many different territories he worked for. I didn’t know he worked for Vince Sr. as a ref, Amarillo for the Funks, Houston, Georgia, The Maritimes, and Australia among other areas. There are so many great stories about workers like The Funks, Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, the clients he managed, Harley Race and almost every big name that was around in the territories.
Even though the meat of the story is Dillon’s run in the territories, I’d say the best part of the book is when he goes to work for Vince McMahon. You get a very clear picture of the type of guy McMahon is (Works 24/7, astute attention to detail) but Dillon talks about stuff you never hear about. Booking the arenas, coordinating travel for the talent, payoffs, merchandising and the best part is that it isn’t boring. You think this stuff could be boring, but the amount of detail he puts into the behind the scenes aspect keeps you interested. He also went over how the live events are set-up which interested me and how Vince is pretty much the great decider in the end, if something isn’t drawing well then Vince will kill it not matter what feud it is. You also get a scope of how different the company was booked back then, Dillon writes about how himself, Vince and Patterson would book everything at Vince’s house. It’s also interesting hearing about the company during the steroid saga and the fact that Jerry Jarrett was pretty much set-up to run the company if the worst happened. Vince even joked that he would have Dillon and Patterson over to help book the company from prison if the worst did happen. I’m not surprised actually. We learn about Dillon’s departure from the company and what caused it and just how messed up WCW was.
While I do love the Death of WCW book, Dillon gives an inside view of the slippery slope the company was on after 1998. Some stuff won’t surprise you (ATM Eric), but stuff like the company eating rental car fees is surprising and just how easy workers in the company got their way. Dillon was with the company from 1996 till the end of the company, so there is a lot to read. I didn’t even know that Jerry Jarrett was trying to buy the company before Vince bought it. This part and Dillon’s time as Vince’s right hand man are the must read aspects of the book. It’s also good to see that Dillon found life after wrestling as a correctional officer. In an era in-which we hear about guys struggling to make it and sometimes grim results, it’s good to know that Dillon has as-least found stability.
In the end, I cannot recommend Dillon’s book enough, I went in with high hopes and they were met. You don’t need a Kindle Fire to get a copy, any tablet or smart phone with access to kindle and you can get yourself of copy of the book.
Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.
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