This anthology collection contains stories spanning WWE’s greatest moments! Included here are tales such as Goldberg’s feud with Brock Lesnar, Macho Man vs Ultimate Warrior and the untold story behind the Montreal Screwjob. Also features WWE Superstar AJ Styles teaming with Michael Kingston (Headlocked) and Daniel Bayliss (Labyrinth: Coronation) to tell the tale of his debut at Royal Rumble 2016.
Going beyond what you get to see on TV and The WWE Network, WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Volume 2 takes fans through some of the most notorious moments in Sports Entertainment history. It collects the WWE Survivor Series 2017 Special, the WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Special, and the backup shorts from WWE issues #9-12.
These WWE anthologies are always a mixed bag for me. There are some truly amazing stories in this book, but there are also a few redundancies and some moments that are certainly memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. I mean, there’s a story about the Ric Flair winning the ‘92 Royal Rumble for the Heavyweight title, there’s Kurt Angle’s PPV debut at SummerSlam ‘99, a father/son tribute to Dusty and Dustin Rhodes’ relationship, and then there’s also a piece about Hector Guerrero dressed as a turkey, hatching out of a giant egg as The Gobbledy Gooker. Really?
That being said, let’s talk about some of the highlights. Dennis Hopeless pens a chapter on The Montreal Screwjob, drawn by Lucas Wernick. I’m convinced Hopeless moonlights as a professional wrestler. That dude has a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the industry and has a knack for realistically expanding the television storylines into an easily accessible, relatable package.
There’s a great piece that Michael Kingston co-wrote with WWE Superstar AJ Styles about Styles’ WWE debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble. There’s a funny dynamic that happens with fans when well-known, accomplished wrestlers arrive off the indy scene. It’s almost like these guys have to prove themselves all over again, regardless how many years they’ve been selling out shows around the world. AJ and Kingston don’t duck any of the awkwardness in the transition. They acknowledge the elephant in the room, smack it on the ass, and ride it down the ramp to ringside.
There are also stories about Brock Lesnar and Goldberg’s SummerSlam 2016 rematch following their lackluster Wrestlemania XX meeting, where both performers had one foot already out the door, Ted Dibiase headhunting The Undertaker in the desert ahead of SummerSlam 1990, The Shield’s formation in NXT through their WWE main roster “invasion,” TWO stories about Macho Man Randy Savage’s battles with The Ultimate Warrior (One of which features another Gobbledy Gooker reference. Why won’t that turkey die already?), a highlight reel of some of Kofi Kingston’s most impressive Royal Rumble close calls, and the Miz/Cena IC title match at WrestleMania 27.
Featuring an absolute murderer’s row of creator talent, WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Volume 2 SC is a fun little trip down memory lane. I guess I can even excuse the Gobbledy Gooker thing. For as much as I hate that that was even a thing, taking a member of one of the most prestigious lucha families and dressing him up as a dancing turkey, I do remember exactly where I was and who else was in the room when that turd of a segment aired.
WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Volume 2 SC, BOOM! Studios, 24 October 2018. Written by Dennis Hopeless, Lan Pitts, Box Brown, Kevin Panetta, Derek Fridolfs, AJ Styles, Michael Kingston, G. Brett Williams, Aaron Gillespie, Anthony Burch, Mairghread Scott, and Julian May. Featuring artwork by Lucas Wernick, Rodrigo Lorenzo, Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Derek Fridolfs, Daniel Bayliss, Kendall Goode, Michel Mulipola, Kelly Williams, Becca Farrow, and Tim Lattie. Colors by Jeremy Lawson, Doug Garbark, Fred C. Stresing, Daniel Bayliss, and Rebecca Nalty. Letters by Jim Cambell. Cover by Xermanico.