Wrestling Ring Announcer Publishes Book 

Describes the business as ruthless game of deception.

Gary Michael Cappetta relates over 21 years of experience in the world of professional wrestling in his new book, Bodyslams! The book is a personal account of Cappetta’s experience in and out of the ring as one of wrestling’s more important in-ring announcers. Cappetta has worked in both the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Cappetta sheds light into the mysteriously private world of professional wrestlers that he describes as “a game of deception” in which performers regularly take advantage of each other, promoters ruthlessly lie and cheat to maintain power, and where the ultimate “con” has nothing to do with what goes on inside the ring. Much of the book relates Cappetta’s experiences traveling with the wrestlers. In one story, Cappetta tells of traveling with a young Mark Calloway, who WWF fans know as the Undertaker. According to Cappetta, Calloway met up with a fellow wrestler who had earlier swindled the younger athlete by running out on a wrestling school contract with Calloway, leaving the future wrestling star with a great deal of debt. Though Calloway never personally exacted revenge, the rogue wrestler that was Calloway’s target died of an overdose 2 years later. Cappetta says that the Calloway story is a good example of how “some of the wrestlers feed on the younger guys.” In addition to Cappetta’s experiences with the wrestlers, the book describes Cappetta’s own dealings with the television executives who hold a power over the performers. In one instance, Cappetta recounts his falling out with WCW due to the shenanigans of one Eric Bishchoff, then executive vice-president of Turner broadcasting, directly in charge of wrestling operations. According to Cappetta, Bishchoff repeatedly brushed off Cappetta’s interest in renewing his contract with WCW and even forced Cappetta into an agreement where Cappetta would work with WCW, without a contract. However, Cappetta decided to buck the entire system and walked out on WCW, and the wrestling world. However, Cappetta is not bitter about his experiences. About Bodyslams!, he says, “It’s my desire that when the public reads Bodyslams! they will think they have read an honest, even account of an industry twisted by personal gain.” He goes on to say, “There are a lot of people I praise.” Cappetta is currently working on a second book, this one about a fictional wrestler’s rise to the top and eventual fall. Bodyslams! is available by calling 1-800-BODYSLAMS or through the book’s website, www.bodyslams.com. (You can write Chris Przybyszewski at chris@memphisflyer.com)

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