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Summary

Unauthorized. Unrestricted. No holds barred.

In We Promised You a Great Main Event, longtime sports journalist Bill Hanstock pulls back the curtain to give a smart fan’s account of WWE and Vince McMahon’s journey to the top. Untangling the truth behind the official WWE storyline, Hanstock does a deep dive into key moments of the company’s history, from the behind-the-scenes drama at the Montreal Screwjob, to the company’s handling of the Jimmy Snuka scandal, to the real story of the Monday Night Wars.

WWE is an extraordinary business success and an underappreciated pop cultural phenomenon. While WWE soared to prominence during the Hulk Hogan years, as the stakes grew more and more extreme, wrestlers faced steroid scandals and assault allegations. The whole story is here, good, bad, and ugly, from the heights of iconic cultural moments like Wrestlemania III to the arrival of global superstars like The Rock and John Cena.

We Promised You a Great Main Event is an exhaustive, fun account of the McMahon family and WWE’s unprecedented rise. Drawing on a decade of covering wrestling, Bill Hanstock synthesizes insights from historians, journalists, and industry insiders with his own deep research to produce the most up-to-date, entertaining history of WWE available. Full of amazing characters and astonishing stories from the ring to corporate boardrooms, it is a story as audacious as any WWE spectacle.  

©2020 Bill Hanstock (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about We Promised You a Great Main Event

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

OK but too many pot shots

This disappointed me, the author focuses on their own opinion of the history of wwe and makes alot of sarcastic remarks rather than the facts, clearly the author doesn't actually like wwe.
The beginning of the book rarely follows any time line in stead jumping from the early 1900s to the 70s and then back again. Finally settling in to a narrative about an hour in.

3 people found this helpful

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Inaccuracies, Mispronunciations and Monotony

Trying to generalise the entire history of the WWE is a task that has been done many times before with varying success. This example is one of the worst because besides being a bit too opinionates, it says nothing new that we haven't heard before, has a litany of small mistakes such as saying that Big Bossman vs. The Undertaker took place at WrestleMania XIV instead of XV and stating that Chyna died in 2011 when she actually died in 2016, and comes across very sexually implicit with loads of unimaginative metaphors that shows the author trying too hard to impress WWE and wrestling fans.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

A few times the chronology was off which led to repetition that was a little confusing, but generally this was very good

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  • JLA4
  • 29-12-20

Pronounce names correctly!

C’mon man ... if you want your audiobook to present as a legitimate take on the industry, hire a voice actor who knows how to pronounce wrestler names correctly!

(Kuh-mah-la not Cam-a-lah; Marty Jah-net-ee not Marty Jan-nah-tee; Dee-no Bravo not Di-no Bravo).

6 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 14-11-20

Could have done without the snarky editorializing

After listening to the book “Nitro” about WCW, I was hoping to find the equivalent WWF book. I was looking for a similar journalistic work, but this is not that. I get that the author used to be a humorist, and that he works for SB Nation (and not ESPN, for example). But the constant smarta**, judgmental, pithy one-liners, in addition to the author’s frequent first-person self-references, distract from an otherwise enjoyable historical tome.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 25-10-20

Terrible

The information is third or fourth hand and apocryphal at best. It’s like the author just listened to the Something to Wrestle podcast and transcribed it. In fact, several of the stories in the book had to have been directly derived from that podcast, that’s the only way the author could come up with certain information. I hope Conrad Thompson and Bruce Prichard get a cut of the profits. The tone is typical internet wrestling fan: snarky, holier-than-thou and pompous. Terrible.

4 people found this helpful

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  • B. Stone
  • 08-11-20

pronunciation goes a long way

there are a lot of mispronouncing of names and false facts. if that doesn't bother you though, it's a great book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-10-20

Great ballance

Wrestleing fans had devided loyalties until Vince Mcmahon took over. This book begins with the story of that event/
It moves forward to the modern era. The auther shows a biting sarcasm for the benifit of old school fans like me.
There are also pop culture refferences that I don't get from time to time. This book is for adults wanting to know more about wrestleing history. Personally I would not let kids read it. To a new reader I believe this book does a good job letting them know what sports entertainment is all about. The narration is excalent. I would recomend this book to any adult fan

1 person found this helpful

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  • M. Garza
  • 02-08-22

A triumph!

Mr Hanstock perfectly encapsulated the experience of being a lifelong fan of pro wrestling. Well written and researched and well performed. I look forward to future work from Mr Hanstock.

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  • justin
  • 11-06-22

Good

Started out great but towards the end it really fell off. New WWE blows what a waste.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shane King
  • 25-01-22

Great story and reading performance.

I loved this book, it was very well researched and was very informative and entertaining.

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  • Jason
  • 07-10-21

Very good, with a few inaccuracies

Very good and informational book. The only thing that kind of bothered me was if you're going to write a book about wrestling and the people that made it what it is today, learn how to pronounce their names correctly. And there weren't many but there were a few things that weren't completely accurate. Example being when he speaks of the Montreal screwjob match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, he says Shawn Michaels left immediately after the match. A couple minutes before hand he spoke of the Wrestling with Shadows documentary that caught the Montreal screwjob on film and audio. Telling readers to watch it (after finishing his book of course lol) But If he had actually watched the documentary he would have known that Shawn Michaels didn't leave directly after the match. He was in Bret Hart's locker room before Bret got there (which Bret claimed was strange as he had never done that before) and they spoke directly after the match. With Shawn stating he had no part in the finish of the match. It's a tiny flaw in the whole scheme of everything but there are a few parts like that that bothered me a little. Not enough to not listen to it, like I said it was a very good book with a lot of information.

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  • Mark H.
  • 03-06-21

Pretty good

It’s pretty good my only issue was it runs all the way up to 2020 so it is not really Historical. Overall I enjoyed the book and did not feel like it was a hit piece like other “unauthorized “ books