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Brian Solomon Talks Godzilla on Fox News

Brian Solomon, author of Godzilla FAQsat down with Fox News to discuss the godzilla character with the new release of Toho Films, Shin Godzilla. He briefly shares his thoughts on the character plus more.


The latest release of Godzilla by Toho Films is its first since 2004. That film, Godzilla: Final Wars, was intended to retire the character for at least a decade. Since then there have been 28 versions over the course of 62 years. This 2016 release, Shin Godzilla, hones in on the essence of the horrifying character that was created with the initial release in 1954.

The film is kind of not looking to remake that because it’s not a remake of the plot, but they’re looking to recapture that horror and kind of reinvent the character.

-Brian Solomon

godzilla_cvr_151237Brian was the perfect person to explaining the character and popularity surrounding it since he discusses Godzilla further in his upcoming release, Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of Monsters. The book will explore the many facets of the monumental, fire-breathing radioactive lizard that has roared his way into our hearts over a 60-year reign of terror. But more than just a movie monster, he has become a pop-culture avatar, pervading our consciousness as few fictional creations have. Now, Godzilla FAQ take readers on a headlong dive into the depths of this unstoppable cinematic force of nature.

When asked if the Godzilla character was a metaphor to the United States, Brian shared how there were some parallels.

I enjoy the parallel of seeing Godzilla as a symbol of something else.

Godzilla FAQ will be released May 23, 2017. To preorder the book, click here.


Listen to the Fox News interview in its entirety here.


Brian Solomon is a former editor and writer for WWE, having worked on such publications as WWERaw, and SmackDown!, which he launched during his surreal seven-year tenure with the company. He is the author of WWE LegendsPro Wrestling FAQ, and has also contributed to Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He speaks publicly on his experience in the business as part of New York’s acclaimed Kevin Geeks Out series.

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Brian Solomon on WGN Radio

Brian Solomon, author of Pro Wrestling FAQ, talks with Nick Digilio of WGN Radio about his new book!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00126963Sport? Entertainment? Art form? Perhaps a bit of all three, with a certain intangible extra something thrown in for good measure, making professional wrestling a truly unique entity unto itself. From its origins in carnivals and sideshow attractions of the 19th century, right up to the multimillion-dollar, multimedia industry of the present day, and all the bizarre, wild, and woolly points in between, Pro Wrestling FAQ delves into the entire history and broad scope of one of popular culture’s most enduring yet ever-changing spectacles.

With chapters devoted to the many fascinating eras in the history of the business, as well as capsule biographies of some its most memorable and important figures, this book will serve as the ultimate one-volume reference guide for both long-time wrestling nuts and initiates to the grappling phenomenon.

Revisit the legendary 1911 “Match of the Century” pitting World Champion Frank Gotch against archrival George Hackenschmidt, “the Russian Lion”; experience wrestling’s TV golden age in the 1950s, a time of such colorful personages as Gorgeous George and Antonino Rocca; relive the glory days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, when WWF impresario Vince McMahon took the business mainstream; and get the lowdown on recent favorites, such as John Cena, CM Punk, and others who have taken the business boldly into the 21st century.

WWE Legend Dusty Rhodes Passes Away

Yesterday, we were forlorn when we read this announcement on the WWE website:

“WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes — WWE Hall of Famer, three-time NWA Champion and one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history — passed away today at the age of 69.”

In celebration of the life of this WWE legend, we present an excerpt from Pro Wrestling FAQ, in which author Brian Solomon writes of Runnels’ amazing career.

Dusty-Rhodes

The American Dream

Ever since the advent of TV, pro wrestlers have required a lot more than pure athleticism to be successful and “get over” with fans. They needed to be uniquely charismatic, and, if possible, have a special way with words that could win the attention of fans, as well as convince them to turn over their hard-earned money, of course. In the annals of wrestling history, Dusty Rhodes is a watershed figure— a talent who was able to establish himself as a national attraction based on pure charisma and determination. It was of little consequence that he couldn’t really wrestle technically, or that he appeared overweight and out of shape. For the first time, the character  was everything.

He was born Virgil Riley Runnels, Jr., in Austin, Texas, on October 12, 1945—the “son of a plumber” as he would famously and passionately intone during countless TV promos. Growing up against a working-class background that would be represented by the persona he would cultivate for years, the young Runnels became a football standout during his college days at West Texas State, an institution known for the many future pro wrestling legends it boasted on its team.

Changing his name to the catchy “Dusty Rhodes,” he enjoyed his first taste of wrestling success as a heel, one-half of a tag team known as The Texas Outlaws, rampaging through the AWA with fellow Lone Star native Dick Murdoch. But Dusty was a born babyface, and when fans in Florida embraced him after he turned on his former partner, the villainous “Korean Nightmare” Pak Song, he never looked back. He took to calling himself “The American Dream” (a response to Song’s moniker), and became the biggest superstar ever produced by Eddie Graham’s Sunshine State promotion.

Rhodes was one of a kind, a dynamic performer who spoke to his audiences like a zealous gospel preacher, relating to fans as one common man to another. His interviews were even more entertaining than his matches. Just as Elvis did for rock ’n’ roll, Rhodes co-opted mannerisms and vocalizations identified with African-American culture, and it made him one of the most beloved fan favorites of his generation. His drawing power extended way beyond Florida, and his 1970s exploits in the WWWF, the Sheik’s Detroit territory, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and other locales, are the stuff of legend.

Up to that point, the National Wrestling Alliance had been careful to place its World Heavyweight title on “credible” athletic competitors only, preferably those with solid amateur credentials. But the overwhelming popularity and ticket-selling charisma of Rhodes led the NWA brain trust to dramatically break from tradition. Between 1979 and 1986, Rhodes would win three NWA World Heavyweight Championships, defeating Harley Race for the first two, and Ric Flair for the last. The shift to the concept of wrestler-as-entertainer was complete.

More than just a talented performer, Rhodes also demonstrated a great creative mind for behind-the-scenes booking. He first spent time as one of the main bookers for Jim Crockett Promotions in the mid-1980s, crafting the storylines during the company’s hottest period, and also infamously coming up with what would become known as the “Dusty finish”—a choreographed match conclusion in which a referee is knocked out and later controversially overturns the original, more popular decision. Innovative ideas like this have made Rhodes a creative groundbreaker, and he has since enjoyed booking stints in more recent years, first for TNA Wrestling, and currently for WWE, for whom he has been a member of the creative team since 2005.

Dusty wound down his in-ring career during the 1990s, enjoying final runs in both the WWF, where his “common man” gimmick was accentuated with ill-conceived polka-dot attire, and in WCW, the company for whom he had first made his creative bones during its previous incarnation as Jim Crockett Promotions. In recent years, he has enjoyed watching the careers of his wrestling sons, Dustin “Goldust” Runnels and Cody “Stardust” Rhodes in WWE. Most recently, he has been given creative control over WWE’s NXT farm system, using his enormous talents to help groom the next generation of pro wrestling superstars.

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Brian Solomon with Wrestledelphia

John Corrigan of Wrestledelphia recently sat down for an interview with Pro Wrestling FAQ author Brian Solomon!

Corrigan’s Corner: A Q&A with Pro Wrestling FAQ author Brian Solomon 

00126963Brian Solomon has “toasted champagne cocktails with Ric Flair all night in Manchester, England; hung out in ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie’s basement while wearing his house slippers; and once got stuck in a limo with Vince McMahon for three hours and lived to tell the tale.”

I was lucky enough to hear that tale while chatting with Solomon for an hour regarding his new book,PRO WRESTLING FAQ. Covering the carnie origins to modern day sports-entertainment, Solomon’s tome is the definitive guide to everything one must know about the history, athletes, and appeal of professional wrestling.

John Corrigan: With so much material covered, was there anything you had to cut from the book?

Brian Solomon: “I cut a total of about seven different chapters. I was going to do a chapter on, I’m a little biased, but the history of wrestling magazines. I was going to do a chapter on some of the more well-known wrestling arenas around the world. Also kind of a glossary of moves, something on wrestling books, wrestling movies, all that merchandise kind of stuff. And getting into all the different pay-per-views. But I had to decide what people wanted the most in there.”

JC: I’m glad with what you stuck with especially the chapters on the early days of professional wrestling. Before you began researching, how much of the early 20th century history did you know?

BS: “Well, thank you. Ever since I was a teenager, I was fascinated by the whole history of the business. And if you were following the stuff I did when I worked for WWE, you could probably tell I was one of the more historically minded writers they had. So I’m not going to sit here and say that everything in that book was off the top of my head, but I will say one of the reasons it took such a short amount of time to write is because I did have a lot of information that I already knew. So the process became just verifying that information.

Along the way I did find out things I never knew about and some of those things came from the interviews I did with just amazing people. Mike Chapman, he’s the number one authority on people like Gotch and Hackenschmidt and Joe Stecher, it was fascinating to pick his brain.”

JC: What was your favorite chapter to write?

BS: “It’s funny that you mention how much you love the Gotch/Hackenschmidt chapter because that was probably my favorite one to write. That might be why you like it so much because my passion for the subject really came through. I was so interested in portraying this rivalry between these two guys that I put so much effort into it. I even had a detail in there about how Frank Gotch on the night before his big rematch with Hackenschmidt in 1911 when he’s defending the title at Comiskey Park…well, the night before he went to Wrigley Field and caught a baseball game there. So I went through the effort of finding out who the hell played there on that night in 1911 and found out it was a double header.

In my head, I wanted this chapter, this whole book really, to read and sound as if it was a Ken Burns documentary. I loved doing that part, and I don’t want to say enjoyed because it’s morbid in a way, but I was really fascinated by the chapter I did on some of the scandals in the business. I didn’t want to make the whole book like that because I wasn’t trying to sensationalize and cash in all this negative crap, but you can’t do a book on all of the wrestling business and not touch on some of the scandals. It’s the stuff that’s urban legend in wrestling history and some fans may have never heard of it.”

Read the rest of Part I here

Read Part II here

Read Part III here

Listen: Brian Solomon on PW Torch Livecast!

Author Brian Solomon recently sat down for an interview with Pat McNeill of PW Torch Livecast, to talk about his new book, Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s Most Entertaining Spectacle.

>>LISTEN HERE<<

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Sport? Entertainment? Art form? Perhaps a bit of all three, with a certain intangible extra something thrown in for good measure, making professional wrestling a truly unique entity unto itself. From its origins in carnivals and sideshow attractions of the 19th century, right up to the multimillion-dollar, multimedia industry of the present day, and all the bizarre, wild, and woolly points in between, Pro Wrestling FAQ delves into the entire history and broad scope of one of popular culture’s most enduring yet ever-changing spectacles.

With chapters devoted to the many fascinating eras in the history of the business, as well as capsule biographies of some its most memorable and important figures, this book will serve as the ultimate one-volume reference guide for both long-time wrestling nuts and initiates to the grappling phenomenon.

Revisit the legendary 1911 “Match of the Century” pitting World Champion Frank Gotch against archrival George Hackenschmidt, “the Russian Lion”; experience wrestling’s TV golden age in the 1950s, a time of such colorful personages as Gorgeous George and Antonino Rocca; relive the glory days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, when WWF impresario Vince McMahon took the business mainstream; and get the lowdown on recent favorites, such as John Cena, CM Punk, and others who have taken the business boldly into the 21st century.

 

“Pro Wrestling FAQ” Trailer

Now available from Backbeat Books: Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s Most Entertaining Spectacle

Sport? Entertainment? Art form? Perhaps a bit of all three, with a certain intangible extra something thrown in for good measure, making professional wrestling a truly unique entity unto itself. From its origins in carnivals and sideshow attractions of the 19th century, right up to the multimillion-dollar, multimedia industry of the present day, and all the bizarre, wild, and woolly points in between, Pro Wrestling FAQ delves into the entire history and broad scope of one of popular culture’s most enduring yet ever-changing spectacles.

With chapters devoted to the many fascinating eras in the history of the business, as well as capsule biographies of some its most memorable and important figures, this book will serve as the ultimate one-volume reference guide for both long-time wrestling nuts and initiates to the grappling phenomenon.

Revisit the legendary 1911 “Match of the Century” pitting World Champion Frank Gotch against archrival George Hackenschmidt, “the Russian Lion”; experience wrestling’s TV golden age in the 1950s, a time of such colorful personages as Gorgeous George and Antonino Rocca; relive the glory days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, when WWF impresario Vince McMahon took the business mainstream; and get the lowdown on recent favorites, such as John Cena, CM Punk, and others who have taken the business boldly into the 21st century.

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