A bruising, inspiring story

A bruising, inspiring story

Review: The Woman Who Would Be King by Debrah Miceli and Greg Oliver 

With the help of writer and editor Greg Oliver, professional wrestler and monster truck driver Debrah Miceli tells her life story in The Woman Who Would Be King. Working through years of notes and material, Oliver and Miceli tell capture a life in all its adventurousness and vulnerability. In so doing, they have created a unique story that will appeal to fans and nonfans alike. 

Throughout, Miceli does not varnish her life. She tells the stories of her less-than-ideal upbringing, which includes alleged negligence on her mother’s part, growing up not knowing her real father, her being a truant in school, and eventually, discovering professional wrestling training through her gym. 

We are treated to the inside story of Miceli’s rise through the indies, the American Wrestling Association (AWA), her time in Japan for All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling, followed by her time in WCW, with her WWF stint in between. 

Fans are treated to the inside story of Miceli’s debut on WCW Monday Nitro while still the WWF’s Women’s Champion, and how she came to throw that belt in the trash on-air. She also does not spare any feelings in sharing her experiences of misogyny in the wrestling industry. Perennially underpaid and subject at times to harassment, Micelli endured both climbing to the top of the industry while also being part of a women’s division that was sometimes an afterthought. As one of the pioneers of American women’s wrestling in the early 1990s, she now wants her (and others’) contributions to be recognised.  

Miceli shares a number of details into her life and experiences, including how she was sexually assaulted by the man she thought was her dad. The book also has another side, however, as she describes the efforts to find out who her real father was. All the while, the experience of reading is like being in the company of an old friend.  

Faith is not as such a focus point in The Woman Who Would Be King but it is referred to a few times. Those looking for a story about resilience and overcoming trauma will no doubt find a lot to enjoy here.  

As the above might suggest, however, this is not a book for the faint of heart, and the story has themes that hit hard. Miceli is not entirely sure how she got through her life experiences and has she largely dealt with them by remaining busy, an approach that has driven her to the top of multiple male-dominated industries. The bruising aspect of this story is something that the reader will take away, to do with what they will. 

The Woman Who Would Be King is available now on Amazon 


1 thought on “A bruising, inspiring story”

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for reading my book and taking the time. I am so happy that you enjoyed the book. There’s so much that is not in the book I mean, how do you put 40 years of entertainment and life in one book. I had to pick and choose, we are in the works of a audio version of the book and book number two. Thank you so much for the eloquent write up you are a great writer as well thanks again Australia has always been one of my favorites to entertain. Hope to see you all soon and thanks again happy holidays

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