With one look, my wife derided the new WWE book offering, Divas Uncovered, as a "stroke book." Upon my "review" of the material, that's probably the best that can be said for it.
Divas Uncovered is vapid silliness through and through, a terribly empty book that is insulting to a wide array of targets -- wrestling fans, actual wrestlers, photographers, writers, the book trade -- let alone to your intelligence.
How a "book" like this gets green-lighted, I'll never know. But then I'm not a 16-year-old boy anymore either, about the only target market that I can imagine would want this useless piece of claptrap.
The facts first: It's $30 U.S., $41 Canadian, published by WWE Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), and runs 192 color pages at 7-1/8" x 9-1/4". Somebody named Michael McAvennie has his name attached to it as the "writer." For his sake, I hope it's an alias.
So while someone is credited with pulling the deep, existential quotes from the WWE Divas ("You get the sexiest pictures when you're wet" says Candice) in its infinite wisdom, the publisher does not acknowledge one single photographer. (And the photos, upon much reflection and consideration, are rather fine, if I do say so.)
Divas Uncovered has the recent bunch of WWE eye candy in a variety of poses away from the ring (Victoria on a motorcycle, Maria in the gym ...), and some in the ring as well. Lord knows how hard it must have been as a photographer to wait at ringside for the one clumsy attempt at a wrestling move by a Lou Thesz-wannabe like Torrie Wilson.
However, it is easy to enjoy the photos, as well as the irony of the inclusion of recently-released personalities Jackie Gayda, Ivory and Dawn Marie. The other Divas featured are Lilian Garcia, Joy Giovanni, Christy Hemme, Maria Kanellis, Stacy Kiebler, Lita, Michelle McCool, Candice Michelle, Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson and Victoria. Incidentally, the women are only addressed by their first name in the book itself, meaning that if you want to use this book as a reference guide to WWE Divas, you'd better not lose the dust jacket.
Then there's Trish Stratus. One moment, she's a vamp for the camera, showing off Toronto's finest and the next she's in action beating up someone. It has to gall her (and the others with actual talent like Ivory, Lita and Victoria) to be lumped in with the rest of the divas who have to get help lacing their boots.
As for personal information that one gleans from reading the quote that accompanies each photo, well, some of it is world-changing. Picking a favorite is next to impossible, but here are four candidates:
Candice: "I know who I am." (Yes, the name tag you put on your clothes helps you remember.)
Torrie: "You can always feel the energy of the crowd." (She's in the ring, and not one person in the crowd looks excited, though many are taking photos of her in a bikini.)
Maria: "If you're confident in yourself, that's all you need." (I believe Bartlett's Quotations will be calling for permission to include this one in its next edition.)
Maria, MENSA member, again: "Pushups are a major part of my workout, to keep my breasts perky." (I'll have to try that.)
But enough about Divas Uncovered. Think about all the wasted pixels and bandwidth I've used up. Now if only WWE Books and Simon & Schuster had had the same consideration for trees.
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Order Divas Uncovered
Greg Oliver, the producer of SLAM! Wrestling, has a pretty decent collection of wrestling books. He's got a special place for Divas Uncovered, along with other often-referenced books like Chyna: If They Only Knew and Breaking The Chains by Nikita Koloff. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org>