It’s 12:30 am, your toddler is inconsolable for reasons unbeknownst to you (more on that later). You’ve fed him, you’ve rocked him, you’ve held him close and soothed him to no avail. You think of ways to entertain your week-old child so he will be calm enough to get some sleep, and you can get a moment of rest. This was my peril recently. Without any other ideas, I sat back down in our rocking chair in his nursery and pulled out a book we were given by his godmother. This book, called “S is for Suplex,” by Ryan L Schrodt and illustrated by Nicholas Camia, piqued my interest for obvious reasons. I mean, you’re reading this on a wrestling website.
Before getting into this review and how my young infant son reacted to some of it, I feel like I should say a couple of things about some of the wrestlers involved in this book. There are a handful of wrestlers who were implicated in the Speaking Out movement last summer, as well as a few that have fallen out of favor for their actions, comments, etc. This review will not highlight or mention any of these people, and if seeing these people represented in any way offends you, don’t buy the book. This is a light-hearted children’s book designed to teach the alphabet in a fun way, and I can absolutely see how that would turn off many people. That said, when, if ever, my son asks me about these wrestlers, I will explain the given scenario to him to the best of my capabilities. Until then, I’d like him to have some fun learning the alphabet with a lot of wrestlers and scenarios that deserve the attention.
As mentioned, this book is all about the alphabet in relation to wrestling scenarios and terminology. It’s illustrated like a Saturday morning cartoon and uses real wrestlers in various scenarios. There are 92 different wrestlers and wrestling personalities in this book. In the back few pages of the book, the book identifies what wrestlers are on each individual page, which is a nice little touch. I tried to guess who was who on each page prior to looking them up in the back pages. Some are pretty easy to identify and some are most certainly not.
Wrestlers from all over the world and several different organizations are on these pages, which makes it a really cool time capsule. The copyright on this book is 2020 and I imagine the process started well before then, so it’s cool to see faces that now reside in AEW, NJPW, GCW, PWG, ROH and even WWE all in the same space.
As for the pages, I love the artwork that makes everyone a cartoon.
This ensures I’ll be able to go back to this book again and again as he gets older, or if he gets a little brother or sister down the road. Each page highlights a letter related to a wrestling term or scenario.
Some examples of this include “B is for Babyface” (with Leva Bates in full Blue Pants regalia), “H is for Heel” (delightfully represented by MJF choking someone out with his Burberry scarf), and “X is for X-Ray” (where Allie and Rosemary discuss Rosemary’s apparent ankle injury, and my son loudly emptied his colon).
Some other highlights include the Rock and Roll Express representing the old school, the now MSK representing tag team, and Swoggle and Frank the Clown laughing at a referee.
This is the only stretch in this book, as that would be the “Z is for Zebra” page and this wouldn’t be a wrestling article without sarcastic criticism. Throughout, my son gurgled, flailed his arms, and eventually solved his own problem by hitting the eject button into his diaper, so the reading session was a success!
Outside of the disclaimer above, I would recommend this fun wrestling and learning book to anyone.
As a fan and a new dad, I hope books like this will do a lot to help my son’s interest in my lifelong passion, so it can eventually become a passion we can share. At the very least, I guess it’ll help him spell and be able to blow his friends’ minds with what kayfabe means.