A no holds barred look at professional wrestler Don Eminizer who came of age when he entered the world of professional wrestling at 18.
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At the age of 18 in 1988 I ran away from everything that I knew to join a pro wrestling school in Orange, Connecticut. By the time I was 20, I had my own television show on an East Coast cable network, a national magazine column in Wrestling's Main Event, and a syndicated weekly radio show in 81 markets on American Sports Radio Network. By the time I was 23 I lost it all. This is a coming of age story that, unlike pro wrestling, pulls no punches. It covers all the trials that a young man must endure to survive and succeed in the world of sports entertainment. It even recounts the secret language a pro wrestler must master while learning the ropes in a carnival lifestyle few will ever know, but many would love to learn about.
Length and Sample Pages
The current draft is approximately 130 pages. You can sample the first 10 pages here. You can buy the eBook at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MZRGF2
What We Need Backers For
Your patronage will help make the publication of Down For The Count a smashing success. You'll help us pay for marketing and publicity, help us spread the word, help us get reviews, help us print the book, and help bring world peace. Well, all but the world peace part. Your backing will help us not only make the book a success, you'll help us get this story HEARD.Your backing will help us afford the following:
- Publicity and marketing
- A unique, state of the art website
- Lower the cost of the hard copies as we can print more
- Review Copies
- ISBN numbers, book store listings, distribution and library listings
- Packaging and mailing costs
You'll have access to the entire process as it unfolds via a Kickstart Backer only newsletter.
Why Back This Project?
I have ghost written over a dozen published books and even have a few published in my own name. I've made a living as a writer for over 2 decades now. In short, I know what it takes to make a book a success. It takes more than publishing a book and expecting the world to find it. It takes publicity, it takes marketing, it takes networking and the help of some good reviews. Oh, and it takes a good story. I believe I have the story part, and you can sample the writing here. I have a publisher. What we need to make this book work, to make it a success, are the funds and the backers to market the book and get the word out.
The ebook is ready, but if you're going to get reviewed and if you're going to get recognition from the press, you're going to have to have high quality hard copies. Besides, there's nothing like a book. The feel of the book in your hands, the fevered turning of the pages, and what would we do with book markers if we didn't have books? This project needs hard copies, marketing and some good old fashioned PR. With the right backing, this story can be told properly, and it needs to be told. Many people aspire to fame and success in many different venues, but usually the lifestyle is the same. It's rough, dangerous, and at the same time, extremely alluring and attractive.
Our goal is to get this story out there, to tell a tale that almost anyone can learn from: be careful what you wish for, especially when you get it. I got it alright, upside my head in the form of a steel chair. For helping us, by backing this project, you'll get this story too, and even some memorabilia to remind you of how you helped this project get its legs.
Excerpt from Down For the Count
I walked into the gym expecting magic, ten foot-tall guys with fifty-inch biceps. I thought I'd see the movie Rocky playing out in real life but for pro wrestling instead of boxing, guys with green tongues and dog collars working out. What I got was a sixteen-foot ring in the middle of a glitzy, snotty gym with guys in sweats hugging each other. The Beach Boys were singing about Kokomo on the radio. Where was the Metallica and the Anthrax? Girls wore leotards. Where was the smell of sweat? Where was the blood? There wasn’t even a spit bucket.
Passaraillo Quest. It was a nice enough place if you wanted a latte on a StairMaster. It had all the machines and the fruity drinks and the vitamin supplements, but it wasn’t exactly what you'd expected from a pro wrestling school. I sat my bag down and watched two puffy guys dance in the ring. They weren’t very good. As I’d soon find out, they were green like me.
Ken Passareillo rose from behind the counter. He was a former Junior Mr. Universe. He was short, maybe five-eight, but sumbitch if he wasn’t built like a tank. He was a walking cartoon, chiseled, cut, way too ripped.
“Can I help you?” he asked. I thought about getting flip but thank God I was sober.
“I’m here to see Mario Mancini.”
He pointed a finger over at a relatively large guy working out on a bench press. I recognized the guy from his matches on TV. He was a jobber for the WWF, I’d seen him get pummeled by many a Superstar on many a Saturday morning. Mario wasn’t fat but he wasn’t built either. He was a natural. He looked average but on a very large scale. As I walked over to introduce myself I saw Dr. D. David Schultz climb in the ring. Now he was big. He was the guy who smacked John Stossel on 20/20 on National TV when asked whether or not wrestling was real.
I saw fear in the two guys’ eyes as Schultz approached them. Dr D didn’t holler. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but he wasn’t all that animated. The guys nodded at him. Dr. D reared back like he was golfing without a club and unleashed a smack on one guy’s chest so hard that I almost turned around and walked out the door. Tears welled in the man’s eyes. You could see a perfect outline of Dr D’s huge hand on the poor bastard’s skin. Mario came over.
“You the writer from Baltimore?”
“You bring the five hundred dollars?”
I nodded and handed him the cash. Mario eyed me up and down like he was getting ready to purchase me. I had scored a magazine column in a wrestling mag called Wrestling’s Main Event. The column was called Learning the Ropes like that stupid Lyle Alzado TV show. I had grown balls one day and called Pumpkin Press in New York and asked for the editor, Sandy Krebs. I found the phone number in fine print in the table of contents. The pitch was simple. I would go to wrestling school and write a column about getting started in pro wrestling.
“Yew can’t shoot the business, though. You gotta’ keep it straight, I can’t print it if yawah trying to tell people it’s staged.” The high pitched voice directed me. I couldn’t tell if it was a guy or a girl. The name didn’t help me any, so I avoided saying sir or ma'am.
“And one mawah thing, I don’t pay my writers.”
Welcome to pro wrestling. I didn’t care. I got off the phone totally jacked and called the Passareillo Quest first thing. I'd seen the school in some magazine. I spoke to Mario. He ran a school for Tony Altamore and Lou Albano. They found and booked guys for the WWF and other organizations. I asked him how much I’d get off of the three thousand dollar fee if I gave them exposure in my column every month. He said fifteen hundred with five down, and he’d get me a job so I could pay the rest.
And that brought me to being stared at like a cow's ass in a butcher shop.
“We gotta' get some meat on you, kid.”
Mario signed me up for the gym and for the school. There was a release form about serious injuries that could perhaps result in death. I signed it. He showed me to the lockers and had me work out for awhile. The whole time I watched the guys in the ring as they ran around and fell and beat the shit out of each other. It looked like fun. Finally he waved me over and I crawled into the ring myself. It was a whole lot stiffer than I thought it would be. He patted me on the back and introduced me to Tony.
“Arright' kid, first things first. You gotta' learn to take a bump. You gotta' learn to take a bump and run the ropes. Today that’s all you’re gonna' learn, taking bumps and running ropes. Tony, show him a back bump.”
Tony dropped straight back. No, he plunged backwards as if his feet were kicked out from under him though nobody had laid a finger on him. He landed squarely on his shoulders.
“See that Don? Perfect bump, hands smacked the mat for extra sound. All shoulders and back. He tucked his chin to save his head from smacking. Good job, Tony. Now you try.”
I did and it was awkward. I’d jam my hands back, land on my ass, hesitate, hit my head. I kept trying and trying. It wasn’t easy after years of accepting gravity, to just fall down flat backwards. I tried several times but couldn’t get it down. Mario and Tony showed me how to fall from a kneeling position. I knelt down, crossed my arms, tucked my chin, and they pushed me backwards.
There it was. It didn’t really hurt that much either. Then I did it with my arms out, palms down smacking the mat, making that big sound. Then I stood up and did it without reservation.
When I came to I looked up and saw the two of them hunched over me.“Gotta’ tuck the chin in kid, but other’n that it was a good bump.”
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