“Follow The Buzzards: Pro Wrestling In The Age Of COVID-19” Review

Follow The Buzzards


Follow The Buzzards: Pro Wrestling In The Age Of COVID-19

By Keith Elliot Greenberg
ECW Press

SRP: $19.95

Keith Elliot Greenberg followed up his 2020 book Too Sweet: Inside The Indie Wrestling Revolution with Follow the Buzzards: Pro Wrestling In The Age OF COVID-19 in late 2022. The book looks at how the WWE, AEW, and Indie Wrestling Federations adapted to the virus, quarantines, and wrestling with no crowds.

The book picks up immediately after Too Sweet in 2019, which is right when AEW is getting off the ground. It sets the stage for February/March 2020 when everything shut down. You get some insight into what the different companies were wanting to do and how they decided to move forward in a time when you didn’t know who could show up.

The book then goes month by month, pitting the wrestling stories against the political climate of the time, touching on President Trump, George Floyd, the 2020 election, and Captial Insurrection, among other events. While it does allow the reader to see when things are happening, it’s kind of a turn off while reading. Some of the events don’t need to be revisited, especially by someone who is turned off by politics.

Greenberg does a great job of explaining how the lack of crowds impacted live wrestling and the ability to create cinematic matches that were previously something wrestling federations tried to avoid. You also get his travels as things begin to loosen up over the following year or 2.

He’s also able to use his personal relationships to get some depth to the stories; he’s able to talk to wrestlers to get first hand prespectives.

That’s a double edged sword though; when he does address the #speakingout movement (a criticism I had of the last book, although I did note in the review that the book was probably published as the events happened; he did note that was the case), he’s pretty vague. I get that he didn’t want to wrongly condemn wrestlers (and protect himself from potential lawsuits at the same time), but he really glossed over some wrestlers who were known to be involved. I’m sure there was some truth to not having enough of the facts to name them, but I’m sure his relationships also were taken into account for the lack of mentions.

I do think the writing style on this book was better then Too Sweet; the chapters felt less choppy here, and it came off as more of an oral history of the 2 years of the book rather then a recounting of the events. And while I didn’t enjoy reliving the politics of the book, it did help give a timeframe to the wrestling events.

Rating: 4 out of 5; the writing style was better, but the glossing over #speakingout movement and allowing his view of the politics took something away from the book. Hopefully, his next book can have more wrestling and interviews and not need to talk about predators and Presidents.

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