Pure Dynamite by Tom Billington (Mini Review)

While hardly a new book, I was motivated to pick up “Pure Dynamite” after purchasing a Dynamite Kid DVD a month ago. The DVD I purchased showcases why Dynamite is considered by Bret Hart to be “pound-for-pound the best there ever was.” The Dynamite Kid-Tiger Mask series from the ’80s is one of my favorite pro wrestling rivalries, as their matches were definitely ahead of their time, and still age well.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the book.

The book is not really insightful if you want to know about Billington’s in-ring work, instead offering general recollections of his great matches. Probably the most descriptive he gets about a match is a WWF Tag Title defense against Don Muraco and Bob Orton, which resulted in a crippling injury (and saved Brutus Beefcake from an ass-whipping).

Dynamite is more descriptive when it comes to road stories. A couple stories about Harley Race were definitely chuckle-worthy. Dynamite’s take on his infamous fight with Jacques Rogeau is also interesting.

But compared to the high standards set by autobiographies written by Mick Foley, Bret Hart, and Chris Jericho, this just doesn’t hold up. Far from being the blunt, no-holds-barred book some claim, clearly certain holds are barred. Yes, he’s honest about his drug use, but while he alludes to marital problems, he doesn’t own up to his spousal abuse.

I highly recommend a Dynamite Kid DVD (if you can find it) to see just how revolutionary he was. Maybe the newly released Dynamite Kid documentary has more insight into his career. But take a pass on this book.

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