Friday Night in the Coliseum by Geoff Winningham
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Publisher: Dancer Press
Format: Flexicover (soft)
Before pro wrestling was a national pay-per-view spectacle it was a regional affair. For his 1971 book Friday Night in the Coliseum, Geoff Winningham immersed himself in the scene at the Sam Houston Coliseum, one of the key stops on the Southwestern circuit. His images not only capture the action—Gorgeous George II getting dropkicked in the head, or Mil Mascaras leaping from the top rope in a luchador mask—but also expertly reveal the intimacy and intensity of the crowd's relationship to the unfolding drama.
Friday Night established a sort of paradigm for many of Winningham's later books, as it combines his original photographs of professional wrestling, arranged in a cinematic flow, his text drawn from interviews with participants, and a brief history of pro wrestling in Houston. With the 1st 1972 edition now a collectors rarity, this 2nd edition was republished by Dancer Press in 2020.