Big Apple Takedown
By Rudy Josephs
Published by WWE Books
After reading the first couple pages of WWE Books' first entrant into fictionalized literature, Big Apple Takedown, I went on over to Amazon.com to see what else the author "Rudy Josephs" had written. I write the term "Rudy Josephs" only because I have no idea if that is a pen name created by an author clearly embarrassed by his work. Anyway, Mr. Josephs is only credited with one other book, the adaptation of John Cena's The Marine. From that point on, I knew I was in trouble. Hell, it was like seeing an ad for a movie and hearing it was from "the guys who brought you White Chicks."
The good news is that I finished the book so that you don't have to force your way through 277 LONG pages. This isn't like Eric Bischoff's Controversy Creates Cash with a lot of stretching by using large print and short chapter. This is a whole lot of bad. Although I will say this book is so bad that it's fucking GREAT. Seriously, the entire plot of the book hinges on the reader being able to believe that the United States government, when looking for undercover agents, would choose high profile wrestling superstars that are on the regularly highest rated shows on cable television. The reason given was that the superstars have the perfect "cover" in that they travel from town to town doing house shows. I guess that means that the National Security Agency (NSA) first approached Elton John and Aerosmith but they passed on the job. That's right, a black-ops team comprised of people who keep getting noticed by casual people on the street during the story (seriously) but not the trained-in-security professionals that they are infiltrating.
The book's prologue immediately sets the implausible meter on "high" as Vince McMahon's limo was run off the road during a blinding snowstorm so that Vince would walk from the highway to the closest town and meet a waiting NSA agent at a local diner. Seriously. The NSA agent, Phil Thompson, was a former alumni of West Point, the very same school Vince McMahon himself went to many years ago. There was actually a running theme throughout the book of how Thompson was the “good” student at West Point that followed all the rules while McMahon was the “bad” student that earned the headmaster’s respect. Actually, looking back, this entire book is little more than a love letter to Vince McMahon, as it makes him seem a god amongst men at all times. Anyway, in the diner, Thompson approached McMahon with the idea of WWE wrestlers working deep undercover for their country. Reluctantly, McMahon agreed. I think this was how Mission Impossible III was supposed to start until Lost's JJ Abrams got involved.
The story fast forwards several years and we find Triple H himself is ready to go undercover in a CRYSTAL METH DRUG STING~! The NSA has a mole on the inside, named Trent, and Trent convinced his bosses that Triple H was on the up and up. The Game, being the cerebral assassin that he is, knew exactly how to disguise his appearance… by slicking his hair back. After Triple H took a tour of the meth warehouse, wearing eyeglasses with cameras on them that were taken straight off the set of Runaway Jury, he reported back with his information. In one of the best scenes of the book, Triple H met agent Thompson at a closed gym in a hotel. To make sure no one went into the gym, the NSA posted a guard at the door. After Triple H gave his info to Thompson, there was a surprise reveal that Vince McMahon was in the gym the whole time. Apparently, we were to believe that the guard went to go to the bathroom or something and McMahon slipped in earlier. After McMahon's speech we were then given another surprise reveal that BATISTA, JOHN CENA, CHAVO GUERRERO, and TORRIE WILSON had also slipped in at various points without the guard noticing. Your government money at work. In standard cliché form, agent Thompson felt it was too risky for the WWE superstars to work together on such a big case, but McMahon demanded that it go down like that. Before leaving, McMahon also said that he saw a shady character from Triple H’s video feed and put the picture through image recognition software to find out who it was.
Seriously. And let me state I have nothing against image recognition software, but I do find the idea that Vince McMahon using it to be completely laughable. I'm willing to be that McMahon is not unlike our President when it comes to computers and is probably still trying to access The Google.
The book revealed that when WWE fans are told the wrestlers are hurt and going away for surgery, they are really being sent to six week intensive NSA training courses. The plan then begins. Triple H will continue working as security for the drug maker. Chavo, who apparently has computer hacking skills (“Chavo has run a couple missions targeting Internet hackers,” says Vince. “Unfortunately, most of his work has resulted in the arrests of teenage boys, which, as you know, cuts into our target demo for Raw and SmackDown!”), would work with Batista in order to hopefully get into the drug dealer's secret files. I have no explanation for why the fuck Chavo Guerrero is in this book. Being a hacker doesn't even make sense! You'd think that skill would go to a dork like Gregory Helms or they could have even had Matt Hardy play the character and have him post whining messages on his MySpace blog during the mission. That would at least be humorous. John Cena and Torrie, who had already broken up a "sex slave ring in suburban Chicago" would work together in getting Torrie close to the European money man of this whole operation. That money man was the guy McMahon identified with the image recognition software.
The author tries to appeal to a readership that knows absolutely nothing about WWE and also to the hardcore fans by dropping lines out of nowhere like, "Not for the first time, Vince was reminded of the Briscos." Very, very odd. And worse, on some ROH forum there is probably some goof writing OMG! Mark and Jay Briscoe are going to WWE! Gabe got pwned! Back to the story. To get at the European money man, Torrie and Cena had to visit an upscale New York club and have a very public argument. Cena got escorted out of the building while Torrie got in tight with the European money man who also owned the club. I would have totally marked out if the European turned out to be Claudio Castagnoli carrying around a metal briefcase. There is also a drinking game to be made while reading Big Apple Takedown as every single time the story goes back to Torrie the word "pretentious" or "pretentiousness" is used. Seriously, every club was pretentious and every guy hitting on her was full of pretentiousness. At first I thought it was a rib on the reader, but a more likely answer is that the author didn't know another word to describe what he was trying to say. It gets to be laugh out loud funny after about the fifth time.
Well, in true book form the plan goes completely to shit at the end. Turns out the NSA's mole was secretly working for the European money man and while the drug bust was going on they were going to sneak a bunch of stolen guns into the country. Triple H and John Cena put a stop to that. Chavo and Batista were in the warehouse working against a timed bomb, which also led to Batista finally overcoming his claustrophobia (seriously!) Meanwhile, Torrie, after taking out two of the money man's goons (using a dropkick and an elbow drop on one) (seriously!!) was electro-shocked by the money man and held hostage.
This might have been my favorite scene in the book, and probably others too (for different reasons, as Torrie was tied up to a bed in a scene that was described like something straight out of Penthouse Forum). I enjoyed it as it finally proved without a doubt what I have been trying to tell TNA Impact and SmackDown audio guy Mike Roe for years. Here's the exchange I'm referring to, which came during an interrogation as the European money man wanted to know who Torrie worked for:
"What's the name of your organization?"
Again, Torrie tried to ignore him, but she could not stop herself. It as suddenly clear she was not only slipped a sedative, but was on some kind of truth serum as well. "The WWE."
I've been telling Roe for YEARS that it was "the WWE" and not just "WWE" but he scoffed at me. Now it is finally official canon! After presenting Roe with this information, he did come back with the logical explanation that Torrie's gimmick is that she is completely dumb, so maybe she was wrong when she said it. I don't think I'll ever get to the bottom of this issue.
Anyway, in a moment to be remembered for all time, in turns out that STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN was under even deeper cover working as the European money man's limo driver. He knocked out the Euro trash and freed Torrie before going to open a can of whoop ass down at the meth warehouse.
I thought I had read it all, but then came the scene where Triple H finally caught up with Trent, the NSA mole who was now a bad guy again. In a Porsche, Trent tried to run down The Game, but all three H's jumped to the side. Trent made another pass, but Triple H found a fucking SLEDGEHAMMER in the alley and threw it directly into the windshield of the Porsche, sending the car careening into a wall. Like I could make that up! And don't think it got past me that Triple H managed to bigfoot everyone in the book by having the last fight and proving he is the real star of the story.
Every bow on the package got tied up nicely. The bad guys all got captured - after a WWE style beatdown of course – and we even got to read all the catch phrases you know and love, including, "You can't see me," and "Give me a hell yeah."
Overall Thoughts: This is a book for the ages. A lot of people were keyed up to buy Eric Bischoff's new book, only to find it a big let down. I guarantee this book will not let you down, especially if you go in with the understanding it may be the worst book ever written by the human hand. There's a saying that if you gave 1,000 monkeys a 1,000 typewriters that they could eventually reproduce the written works of Shakespeare. I'm not sure about that, but I'm reasonably confident that no more than 4 monkeys, with a box full of crayons, could put out a better book than this one. Pure camp value is off the charts though. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Big Apple Takedown, Click HERE,
This god damn book even has its ownWikipedia page. As Farooq would say, "Damn."
Also, if this book interests you, check out the first ever release from WWE Books, the adaptation of See No Evil, that unwatchable movie starring Kane that comes out on DVD in Just a couple weeks! C’mon, commentary by Kane himself, you know you want it.
Special Thanks to radio host and Chicago sex slave operator Keith Lipinski, TNA and SmackDown audio guru Mike Roe and Sean Carless for thier invaluable help with this review. Be sure to check out Sean's hilarious piece called "jobs after dong JOBS." This laugh out loud piece goes over what wrestlers do once they step outside the squared circle!
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).