Author Brian R. Solomon has announced his latest wrestling-related project — it’s a book about the one and only Gorilla Monsoon (Gino Marella), and it won’t be a “fountain of misinformation.”
Solomon revealed the news on his social media, noting that ECW Press will be publishing the book, called Irresistible Force: The Life & Times Of Gorilla Monsoon.
He was beloved by multiple generations of WWE fans. For one generation he was a rampaging monster, who tore through their heroes until becoming one himself. For a later generation, he was the voice of the company, narrating their most cherished memories.
He became a trusted member of the McMahon inner circle, even owning a piece of the company at one time. His presence behind the scenes was so valued that the area behind the curtain, where he’d see wrestlers off and greet them when they returned, is literally named after him.
To his friends, he was always “Gino”. But to the rest of us, he was Gorilla Monsoon.
A member of a number of Halls of Fame, Monsoon died in 1999.
In an email to SlamWrestling,net, Solomon talked about the origin of the project.
“I came to work for WWE in February 2000, just three months after Monsoon had passed, and always regretted just missing the opportunity to meet him. Even then, he was a legend both in the office and on the road while I was there,” Solomon said. “He was a fascinating subject to me, and an interesting opportunity as far as a wrestling biography, because he’s someone who’s known to even the most casual wrestling fan over the age of 35; he’s a totally mainstream name thanks to WWE, yet he also had a career that stretched back to the ’50s, and telling his story gives me a chance to get into all the old school wrestling stuff I adore so much. There are very few individuals who fall into both those categories.”
Not long ago, Monsoon’s name came up when Solomon was on a podcast with Dr. Mike Lano’s podcast. “We were talking about possible future books, and it just hit me — it was so obvious to me, but I hadn’t seriously considered it until that moment,” he confessed.
Work has only just begun on the book, but the contract has been signed with ECW Press.
Solomon is the author of Blood and Fire: The Unbelievable Real-Life Story of Wrestling’s Original Sheik, which was named the top book of 2022 by the readers of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. He also has written WWE Legends, Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s Most Entertaining Spectacle, The Ultimate World Wrestling Entertainment Trivia Book, and Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of the Monsters.
His latest book, Superheroes! The History of a Pop-Culture Phenomenon from Ant-Man to Zorro, hits shelves in May 2023.
The staff of SlamWrestling.net, many of whom grew up listening to Monsoon on WWF commentary, are hoping there will be a lexicon explaining all those body parts he referred to that don’t really exist.
TOP PHOTO: Gorilla Monsoon strikes a serious pose. Photo by John Arezzi
GORILLA MONSOON STORIES
BRIAN R. SOLOMON STORIES AND REVIEWS
- Apr. 28, 2022: Guest column: My book on The Sheik secures his legacy
- May 27, 2015: There’s a whole lot of facts in Pro Wrestling FAQ
- Aug. 23, 2006: Fuzzy focus hurts WWE Legends