Ever since the mafia like code of silence governing the secrets of professional wrestling known as "kayfabe" was broken once and for all back in the nineties, pro-wrestling insiders have been tripping all over themselves to publish their own "tell-all" books about the sports entertainment business.
Some of these books, such as Mick Foley's Have A Nice Day have proven to be both entertaining, and quite revealing. Many others however, written by such names as Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair, have more often than not yielded little in the way of previously unknown details, and in a few cases have even proven to be more than a little self serving.
Bruce Hart's Straight From The Hart falls somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. On the one hand, this memoir of Hart's life as both a wrestling performer and "booker" (for his father Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling promotion) offers a fascinating inside look at the pro-wrestling business, with all of its colorful cast of characters and equally cutthroat behind the scenes politics.
At the same time, Hart's book also serves as a forum for the author to air some of his own dirty laundry in public. Reading between the lines, it's hard not to see through Hart's often harsh criticisms of his more famous siblings (this is especially true in the case of his brother Bret "Hitman" Hart), as not being at least a little colored by his own professional jealousy. There also seems to be some genuine hurt there over the way that Bret Hart handled the matter of Bruce's ghost writing Bret's syndicated wrestling column for the Calgary Sun.
Mostly though, this book is a real eye-opener that makes for some very fascinating reading, even if you don't necessarily call yourself a wrestling fan. As the lesser known son of the Hart family — a professional wrestling dynasty that includes such famous names as Bret and Owen Hart, British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart — Hart's qualifications as an insider with unique insight into the inner workings of the squared circle are virtually without rival.
Some of his stories will of course be familiar to wrestling fans. The story of the infamous "Montreal screwjob" at 1997's WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view for example certainly represents familiar territory. As such, Hart's own retelling of what went down on the night that Bret Hart was "screwed" out of the WWE title in a real life conspiracy involving Vince McMahon, arch-rival Shawn Michaels and referee (and close friend) Earl Hebner offers few new details.