Professional wrestling leagues aren’t exactly known for their intellectual prowess, and the WWE is no exception. In a league littered with laughable storylines, dramatic flair, and fake fighting, it’s somewhat surprising that many WWE superstars have actually successfully pursued other creative endeavors.
Those who have found success in the WWE usually know how to market themselves, an essential aspect of any industry. When wrestlers are pursuing avenues outside the realm of wrestling it’s often this skill that often bodes well for their future efforts. Essentially, they attempt to extend the character they portray inside the ring, plastering their face on every cover in order to market to their fan base.
That’s not to downplay their products, however, as sales and reviews for WWE authors in particular have been much higher than anyone would expect. It’s especially surprising when considering that WWE authors all stem from an industry centered on machoism and testosterone.
We’ve scanned through lists of superstars, read up on their biographies, and noticed a startling trend. The WWE has a knack for churning out authors. Next time you are scanning through the stacks of books at your local library, be sure to keep an eye peeled for these names. Read on for the ten WWE superstars you didn’t know were authors.
10 Adam Copeland (Edge)
Adam Copeland, better known as Edge by WWE fans, suffered an unfortunate neck injury during one of his matches that required further surgery. The operation was career threatening, and many have doubts as to whether the man will actually ever set foot inside the ring to wrestle ever again.
Edge published his book Adam Copeland on Edge in 2004 under World Wrestling Entertainment Books. It’s an autobiographical piece Copeland describes as “a mental picture.” The pages examine what it takes to achieve success in sports entertainment, and give readers an inside glimpse into Edge’s life while he was still throwing opponents around inside the ring.
9 Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is recognized for his rock star persona, leading to his nickname “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n Rolla.” He’s an acclaimed wrestler, earning a total of 30 championships spread throughout three separate leagues. In the WWE in particular, Jericho has hoisted the world championship belt six times.
His prominence extends beyond the ring. Jericho is known as a musician, media personality, and (you guessed it) an author. His autobiography A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex was a New York Times Bestseller. His most recent memoir, The Best in the World…At What I Have No Idea, was released in 2014, and gives readers some rather comedic stories behind the scenes during the “Save Us” era.
8 Steve Austin
“Stone Cold” is considered to be one of the biggest stars the WWE has ever created. Since he has retired, Austin has gone on to become an actor and producer, as well as host a popular weekly podcast titled The Steve Austin Show. As far as business smarts go you’d be hard pressed to find a smarter WWE superstar than Steve Austin.
His success has also led to a published work. The Stone Cold Truth was written by Austin along with J.R. Ross and Dennis Brent. The book showcases Austin’s trademark wit and colorful language. While his WWE character grew rapidly in popularity, this book seeks to tarnish the image a little bit, making Austin more relatable and realistic. Much like Austin inside the ring, this piece refuses to hold back punches in order to make its subject look better.
7 Triple H
The former bodybuilder has since become a stable of the WWE, marrying Vince McMahon’s daughter and entrenching himself in a corporate WWE role after his actual wrestling days dwindled. He continues to make appearances on WWE events, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
6 Ric Flair
“The Nature Boy” has endeared himself to fans much in the same way a rock star does. Flair lives his life in luxury, giving fans something to admire and be dazzled over. He is also considered one of the most tenured wrestlers of all time; his career spans over 40 years, an extremely impressive feat.
Just another accomplishment to add to the list is his bibliography. His book To Be the Man follows him from his early years, covering topics like a near brush with early disaster in a plane crash, his party boy demeanor, and his first National Wrestling Alliance Championship. Flair published the book back in 2005, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see another book come out in the future, as more than a decade of Ric Flair wrestling has since past.
5 Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels is a 2011 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, and is considered one of the greatest professional wrestler’s ever seen. He won four world championships and was the WWF’s first Grand Slam winner. By the time of his retirement in 2010, his career had spanned 26 years.
His book Heartbreak & Triumph was published four years prior to his retirement from the league. A classic autobiography, the book details untold aspects about his life. From his childhood inspirations with the Southwest Championship Wrestling league to his shady dealings with Vince McMahon, Michaels’ book is one geared towards his fans, and is surely one any fans of “The Heartbreak Kid” don’t want to miss.
Goldust is a member of one of the most famous WWE families to grace the sport. He’s the son of Dusty Rhodes, a professional wrestler who has recently tragically passed away. His brother, Cody Rhodes, also wrestles, and many consider him to be quite the emerging star. Clad in unforgettable black and gold paint, Goldust first burst onto the wrestling scene in the nineties. He has since proven his staying power, not to mention his writing skills.
Goldust’s book Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness examines his familial upbringing, giving fans a previously untold version of what it’s actually like to live in the shadow of a legendary wrestler for a father. The book details Goldust’s enthusiastic and flamboyant wrestling style as an attempt to escape the shadow, as well as describes his painful battle with self-medication. Whether you’re a Goldust fan or just a wrestling fan in general, this book is surely worth a read.
3 Hulk Hogan
Did you know Hulk Hogan describes himself as a “fat kid” when looking back at his childhood? His book Hollywood Hulk Hogan is chock full of interesting tidbits just like that which Hogan fans will all enjoy. Published in 2011 under Gallery Books, this piece is just another example of Hogan continuing to market his character.
It’s a recipe for success, as the voice and style that he found a niche within while wrestling with the WWE is clearly seen throughout the book. Written in a conversationalist tone, Hogan frequently addresses you as “brother,” and immediately the reader feels familiar with whom they are reading about. It’s a story of his upbringing and untold behind the scenes trials that one of the most famous wrestlers in history experienced, and yet another example that WWE superstars actually make rather good writers.
2 The Rock
Now we are delving into the more successful authors on this list. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is somewhat like a modern day Hulk Hogan in terms of popularity and name recognition. Both have gone on to act and become widely known public figures. Both have also established one of the larger fan followings in professional wrestling.
As it so happens, both are also successful authors, though The Rock certainly earned his place higher on this list. Johnson’s The Rock Says… is a highly rated memoir that should rocket to the top of your summer reading list. With such catchphrases as “Know your damn role—and shut your mouth!” this book is written in a humorous style, yet is riddled with a genuine sense of honesty that is rare to find. Its debut was so successful that it occupied the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list for nonfiction.
1 Mick Foley
The most decorated WWE author on this list is none other than “Mankind” Mick Foley. Foley’s down to earth character produced some memorable matches throughout his career, as he quickly developed a reputation for taking a beating. His finishing move The Mandible Claw involving the infamous Mr. “Socko” is one of the more humorous things we’ve seen in wrestling. It’s this same sense of charisma and charm that Foley uses in his writing to achieve success.
Foley’s memoirs have earned him spots on the New York Times bestseller list two times. Yet, he hasn’t stopped there. A self-admitted child at heart, Foley has also written four separate children’s books including: Mick Foley’s Christmas Chaos, Tales from Wrescal Lane, Mick Foley’s Halloween Hijinx, and A Most Mizerable Christmas. His children’s books are representative of who he is as a person, featuring light hearted, yet genuine writing, with an anti-bullying message frequently presented.