Unauthorized. Unrestricted. No holds barred.
In We Promised You a Great Main Event, longtime sports journalist Bill Hanstock pulls back the curtain to give a smart fan’s account of WWE and Vince McMahon’s journey to the top. Untangling the truth behind the official WWE storyline, Hanstock does a deep dive into key moments of the company’s history, from the behind-the-scenes drama at the Montreal Screwjob, to the company’s handling of the Jimmy Snuka scandal, to the real story of the Monday Night Wars.
WWE is an extraordinary business success and an underappreciated pop cultural phenomenon. While WWE soared to prominence during the Hulk Hogan years, as the stakes grew more and more extreme, wrestlers faced steroid scandals and assault allegations. The whole story is here, good, bad, and ugly, from the heights of iconic cultural moments like Wrestlemania III to the arrival of global superstars like The Rock and John Cena.
We Promised You a Great Main Event is an exhaustive, fun account of the McMahon family and WWE’s unprecedented rise. Drawing on a decade of covering wrestling, Bill Hanstock synthesizes insights from historians, journalists, and industry insiders with his own deep research to produce the most up-to-date, entertaining history of WWE available. Full of amazing characters and astonishing stories from the ring to corporate boardrooms, it is a story as audacious as any WWE spectacle.
About the Author
Bill Hanstock is an Emmy-winning producer, screenwriter, editor and journalist. He has covered and interviewed countless WWE and independent wrestling personalities and events for SB Nation, has contributed to Polygon, The Athletic, and Inked magazine, and has penned nearly a dozen stories for the official WWE comic book. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son, and two cats.
“We Promised You a Great Main Event is a fascinating dive into the physical art of modern-day wrestling entertainment and the unbelievable characters who make it work in the ring and the back, and a curiously heartwarming indictment of what neglects we allow in the name of entertainment. Highly recommended for both wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike.”
— Chris Kluwe
"Bill Hanstock loves wrestling more than most people love their families, even though he knows how silly it can be. That's exactly the kind of voice you want writing a comprehensive history of the sport, and he nails it, from the early days of the McMahon empire to its future. This is an impressive tome that's required reading for wrestling fans."
— Grant Brisbee, The Athletic
"A welcome WWE history that takes us from the very beginning all the way to the new challengers of AEW, streaming wrestling, and COVID-19, Hanstock's (at times personal) history never loses its love for the legend, commitment to the backstory, well-earned heartbreak, and sense of the moral, the metatextual, and the absurd that—to varying degrees—always lie at the heart of loving the squared circle."
— Jeb Lund, former columnist, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Gawker, OOWrestling
"Bill Hanstock's We Promised You A Great Main Event looks at the complete WWE story with heartfelt nostalgia while still managing to be incisive and deeply analytical about the world of professional wrestling....This may be an "unauthorized" history but it's definitive nevertheless."
— David Dennis Jr., Morehouse Journalism Professor and writer
"This book is a ticket to the ridiculous, uniquely American history of WWE, and Bill Hanstock (the funny smart friend who brought you to the show) keeps up a non-stop stream of fascinating, often hilarious, sometimes disturbing backstory as an endless parade of larger-than-life characters charge into the ring."
— DC Pierson, author, The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To