EPISODE #21: Jamie Hemmings

Slam Wrestling Editor Jamie Hemmings talks about professional wrestling books, her love of Ms. Elizabeth, and growing up as a female wrestling fan.

My guest on the show today is the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Book Nerds,” the incredibly engaging Jamie Hemmings.

Hemmings grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada, and only had two channels on television – one local and one national. Her aunt, who lived in British Columbia, would send VHS tapes of cartoons for Jamie to watch because neither station played any kid-friendly shows.

One of the VHS tapes contained WWE shows from the mid-1980s, including episodes of Superstars of Wrestling and Saturday Night’s Main Event.

“This was the lead-up to the Mega Powers exploding and Miss Elizabeth had to choose who’s corner she would be in – either Macho Man or Hulk Hogan – at WrestleMania V. And that was it. I just couldn’t get enough.”

Jamie was bullied for liking wrestling as a child but that never stopped her passion and interest in the sport.

She was encouraged to watch and write about wrestling by her neighbor and mentor, Bob Leonard, a famous Canadian professional wrestling promoter, photographer, and author.

Jamie went to college to earn a degree in Journalism and even dressed up as Ric Flair to give a presentation.

Jamie’s love of writing and wrestling led to a position with Slam Wrestling where she’s worked since 2005. Her most recent position being the lead Book Editor for the popular wrestling website.

When she’s not reading about wrestling, she’s co-hosting the popular The Figure Gore podcast and the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Book Nerds.”

Jamie also shared her list of the wrestling books every fan needs to read. Here’s a quick rundown of titles to add to your reading list.

  • Tributes: Remembering Some of the World’s Greatest Wrestlers by Dave Meltzer
  • Queen of the Ring by Jeff Leen
  • Have a Nice Day by Mick Foley
  • Unladylike by Heather Von Bandenburg
  • The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Series by Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson
  • Women Love Wrestling edited by Jason Norris
  • The Eighth Wonder of the World  by Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hebert
  • Pure Dynamite  by the “Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington
  • Sisterhood of the Squared Circle  by Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy
  • The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling by Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno

In this interview, Jamie and I discuss her love of wrestling as a kid, her attraction to Miss Elizabeth, how wrestling writing has changed over the last fifteen years, the rise of female wrestlers, and her not-so-secret love of The Honky Tonk Man.



Chris Illuminati is a 5x author, runner, and single father. Follow him on Twitter (@chrisilluminati), Instagram (@messagewithabottle) or email him at cilluminati@gmail.com.

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