Book Review: The Three Count by Jimmy Korderas
Written by Graeme McGaw
I’ve read practically every wrestling related autobiography there is, so when I heard that ex-WWE referee Jim Korderas was reading a book, I was quite excited. I was very curious to see how things would be from a new perspective. I’ve read enough books from wrestlers – it’d be interesting to see a referees take on it.
The book is entitled The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee. Released at the beginning of April in 2013, it is published by ECW press and comes in at approximately 234 pages. Here is the Amazon Listing.
If you’ve read any wrestling autobiographies, you know that many of them go the big “tell-all” route, where many secrets are spilled both good and bad about wrestlers and things going on inside the industry. The sort of book that provides lots of water cooler talk with your friends after reading.
This is not that sort of book.
Instead, this is the book of a wrestling fan, who happened to get his dream job – working within the wrestling industry. As he wasn’t a wrestler he was never really dragged down with the politics and usual things that go in inside the wrestling business, so he is able to come out of it still full of optimism and happiness, with no bitterness at all.
While this isn’t the type of book I could read often – it was a very refreshing change from the usual wrestling autobiography. It was a very pleasant read, and one that left me with a smile on my face. Korderas is someone who has so much enthusiasm for the business and throughout the book, his enthusiasm never waned. This was someone who lived their dream.
There was no real negativity, either about the wrestling business or certain wrestlers. Often that will occur in a book because the author is still trying to get back into the WWE – but with Korderas, that really wasn’t the case. Early in the book, it’s established that he is a very positive, optimistic thinker who has a strong passion for the wrestling business. While writing the book, it’s obvious that the lack of negativity is not about politicking – but more just because he IS that sort of positive person.
Jimmy takes us through his career from starting, to refereeing such matches as The Undertaker versus Edge at Wrestlemania. He also provides a lot of education into the referees perspective – something most of us never consider when watching wrestling. It was fascinating to read, and really see what it takes to be a referee and what is involved with that.
Jimmy also shares a lot of stories from the road. Again, these are more of the “tame” variety but they are still fun to read. It was good to hear stories about the wrestlers at the hotel and what they do, and the games that they play.
Korderas also doesn’t fade away from the controversial topics. He was the referee in the ring when Owen Hart sadly died, and he dedicates a whole chapter to that. He also has whole chapters dedicated to both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit.
There was quite a few things about the writing of the book which bothered me, and makes me wish he had a co-author to assist him. Jimmy would often preface a story with “Okay, let me tell you what happened”, “Let me Explain”, or something similar. It was a small thing – but it came up so often that it frustrated me – just tell the story, we know you’re going to tell it. In another spot while talking about bad flights, he later states “Oh I forgot to mention something about Ric Flair on the flight”…why not just go back and edit it in? Maybe that was intentional but it just came off amateurish.
A lot of that is probably to do with Jimmys post-WWE career. Korderas went into both radio and television as a wrestling analyst. The style of writing is the type that would be perfect for telling stories on radio and television, so that’s probably how this sort of style came about. It doesn’t put you off the book at all – it’s just a slight annoyance that occurs.
Overall, this was a very refreshing perspective on wrestling, and one I really enjoyed reading. It’s hard not to get hooked as you can really tell right from the beginning the passion that Jimmy had for the business, and his job. While I much prefer books like Bret Harts, Chris Jerichos and Bob Hollys – I’d recommend reading this because you’ll gain a lot more respect for referees in general, and it’s the type of book that will put a smile on your face reading the writers enthusiasm.
It is available in both Kindle Edition and Paperback. The Kindle edition is just $9.64 – well worth it – available here.