This reader could not wait for the book, Everybody Loves Mickey: The Life and Times of  “Irish” Mickey Doyle to arrive. After over a year in the works, writer Tim Keenan’s first pro wrestling book hits the mark on one of Michigan’s favorite wrestling sons.

Tim Keenan.

From his humble beginnings growing up in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, a suburb just outside Detroit, Mickey Doyle started out as a wrestling fan like many of us, but with one big difference. He pursued his dream! This book digs deep, looking at what it takes to make it as a pro wrestler, the toll on one’s personal life, the travel, and what could have been.

As a Detroit Big Time Wrestling fan, this book really resonated with me, especially when it hits on Lou Klein’s gym, the site where many a pro wrestling dream was made and broken. This is where Doyle started. The hard training and inside talk is amazing. And photographer Dave Burzynski  adds many excellent tidbits throughout the book. This was a period in time when it took hard work and determination to make it as a pro wrestler and readers will truly feel and understand it here.

I must admit, I already knew Doyle’s history pretty well, but the book will take you on a tremendous journey of his career and the many territories that he has traveled. And there’s so many stories to boot. I learned so much more than I thought I would. One of my favorite things to learn more about was when Doyle teamed with Mike Boyette to form the Hippies.  What success they had! This tag team would have been hot anywhere they worked, but was limited due to personal reasons. The book also features great stories from Tampa, Los Angeles, the southern states and Japan with the superstars from that era: The Sheik, Freddie Blassie, John Tolos, Abdullah Farouk, Al Costello, Greg Valentine and so many others. Old school fans will definitely love stories like The Sheik taking Doyle under his wing like a father figure and helping him in his career by putting in a good word to promoters.

Doyle and The Sheik. Photo courtesy of The Mickey Doyle Collection.

As a fan who saw Doyle work so many times in the Cobo Arena and Ohio from the early ’70s to the indy wrestling scene, I can tell you Doyle never changed!  He always gave 110 per cent to every match!  In my following of Big Time Wrestling for over 50 years, I never heard a bad word about Doyle and in this book, you can see why. He’s a class act who had time for everyone and was always respectful.

I fondly recall going to the Border City Wrestling gym in Windsor, Ontario in the early ’90s when I found out Doyle was a trainer there. Just being able to hang out with him and talk old school wrestling was a priceless experience. I also enjoyed watching him in action as a trainer with the many kids he was working with, and what respect he had and gave to the students. I will never forget those times. It should be noted that many of those kids went on to decent success.

Wrestling fans: this book, is a must add to your collection!  I also encourage the young wrestlers out there to read this book and see how pro wrestling was back then! Keenan has done an excellent job here. The book is a pretty easy read with just over 100 pages and packed with everything I, as an old school wrestling fan, was looking for.

Doyle and Andre the Giant. Photo courtesy of The Mickey Doyle Collection.