Wrestling for My Life
by Shawn Michaels
Yes, that Shawn Michaels. I have three older brothers, ok? Wrestling was always on in our house.
The official blurb:
In Wrestling for My Life, WWE superstar Shawn Michaels shares from his heart about the highs and lows of his life inside the WWE. Included are some never-before-shared stories and an intimate look into his career as well as stories of hunting, family, and faith.
With millions of fans, Michaels had adulation and all the attention he could ask for, but he discovered there was something more. When he became a committed Christian during his years in the WWE it had to affect everything. Michaels reveals what it is like to be a man of faith in this unusual world and shares insights for all of us.
Here’s the thing, God and I haven’t exactly been on speaking terms the last few years so I’m probably the wrong person to read this book. Or maybe that makes me just the right person. I don’t know.
If you have a fantastic relationship with your faith and you’re looking for a cheerleader, here you go.
If you have a shaky relationship with your faith and you’re looking for someone to show that it works for them, here you go.
If you find yourself often rolling your eyes at super religious folks or trying to understand how people have a relationship with an invisible man in the sky, it might not be for you.
If you’re looking for answers from someone else’s experience…well, that may be part of your problem.
Fans of Shawn Michaels who want to know more about the man he was during his career and his experiences in the wrestling world would probably be better off reading his first book, Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story. He touches on the business here and there, including the infamous Montreal Screwjob and discusses what it was like to come back to the WWE after his “retirement” as a Christian. Worried about how the guys, new and old, would accept the new him, Michaels approached it carefully. The outcome? No one really cared. No one treated him differently and he certainly wasn’t outcast because of his newfound faith. Though I’m sure being one of the biggest names in the history of the business had more than a little to do with that. You walk back into a business filled with people that grew up worshipping you and you’re certainly going to face less negativity than someone else may.
There’s a lot – and I mean A LOT – of “just accept God and it’s all gooooooood” in this. For someone that doesn’t buy into that a hundred percent, it’s hard to swallow some aspects of it. It’s not a bad book but readers of certain beliefs will get more out of it than others. Like most addicts, Michaels replaced the pills and girls with another addiction and clings to this replacement – the bible – like many alcoholics cling to the bottle. They need it every day to feel normal. Obviously this is the more socially accepted addiction but that’s another conversation for another day and another book. There’s a certain high that Michaels seems to obtain through his faith that gives me pause (not just with him, but born-again Christians in general). That blind faith that is never questioned or doubted is something I’ve never been able to wrap my head around.
All in all, it’s an easy read. Co-written by David Thomas, the tone is conversational for the most part. I’m sure some will be cleaned up a little before final publication, but some parts felt like they were trying a little too hard to be “aw shucks, I’m just a Texas boy at the heart of it.” I received an advanced copy so things may be different in the final draft, so I’m not allowed to quote the couple of things that I wanted to highlight here. Maybe I’ll revisit that later.
If you’re a fan of Shawn Michaels and want a little more insight into his faith and the later years of his career, you’ll likely enjoy this one. It’s always an interesting arc to watch a young boy become a man and then listen in as that man become a husband, a father, and an idol in their field.
Thanks to Zondervan (Michigan companies ftw!) and Netgalley for the advanced copy for review. Wrestling for My Life is scheduled to be released in February 2015.