John Arezzi and Freddie Blassie.
Tying together the stars of professional wrestling, country music and the New York Mets is one man: John Arezzi.
In his memoir, out in the spring of 2021, from ECW Press, Arezzi will bring the reader along on his wild ride, from a pioneering wrestling radio show to baseball's minor leagues to working with Patty Loveless, Kelsea Ballerini and Taylor Swift.
To complete his life story, Arezzi is teaming with accomplished wrestling journalist Greg Oliver, author or co-author of 15 previous books, including the acclaimed Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series. Oliver has also run the respected SLAM! Wrestling website for more than 20 years.
The Brooklyn-born, Long Island-raised Arezzi started in the wrestling business running a fan club for the notorious villain “Classie” Freddie Blassie, and progressed to shooting at ringside and writing for the newsstand wrestling magazines. A decision to enter the ring at a WWWF television taping as a wrestler curtailed his wrestling journalism career.
After college, Arezzi followed his other love, baseball, and worked for the New York Mets in the minor leagues, sharing laughs with the likes of Lenny Dykstra and John Gibbons through the wins and losses.
Then he walked away from it all, stunning family and friends, diving headfirst into country music, where his accomplishments include finding Patty Loveless singing in a dingy bar in North Carolina and guiding her early career. Decades later, in a different role, and under a different name—John Alexander—Arezzi propelled the careers of Kelsea Ballerini and Sarah Darling forward. He also worked on radio and TV projects featuring country royalty such as Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, the Dixie Chicks.
But professional wrestling is a tough mistress to shake, and it came calling again, and again, like an itch that could never be scratched away.
His insider radio show, Pro Wrestling Spotlight, was a must-listen for fans in the greater New York City area in the 1990s, to the point that fans would tape his broadcast and send cassette tapes to other eager fans.
Arezzi ran the first major fan fests, assembling a who's who of wrestling, to meet with fans eager to get to know their ring heroes. He was called upon by the mainstream media to offer up his take on the 1990s scandals in the then-WWF, with accusations of sexual abuse and steroid distribution. He promoted shows, both at home and abroad, and was a key figure importing the lucha libre style into America.
Today, Arezzi still works in country music, but has also dug deep into his rich archives to create the podcast, John Arezzi's Pro Wrestling Spotlight Then & Now, co-hosted by Brian Last, and various television projects.
His memoir, titled Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music and with the Mets, will be released in the Spring of 2021, by ECW Press.
For more on John Arezzi, see twitter.com/johnarezzi, facebook.com/johnarezzismatmemories or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Arezzi's Pro Wrestling Spotlight Then & Now podcast is available at http://pwspod.com/
For more on Greg Oliver, see www.OliverBooks.ca or email him at email@example.com. Greg is available for interviews to talk about working on the book with John Arezzi, and to promote his latest release, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Storytellers, From the Terrible Turk to Twitter.
John Arezzi and Sarah Darling.
(Sara Kauss Photography
John Arezzi and Kelsea Ballerini.
John Arezzi and Patty Loveless.
John Gibbons and John Arezzi in 1984.