The following are highlights from a recent interview with the co-author of the "WWE Encyclopedia," Brian Shields.

His History of the WWE presentation this Sunday in Farmingdale, New York: “You know, it’s one of those things where we’ve been doing this now for about three and a half years. Over the summer, I had the honor of going to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and their induction weekend and giving this presentation there; they honored Ric Flair, ‘Cowboy’ Bob Watts, Edge, ‘Jumping’ Jim Brunzell, photojournalist and writer extraordinaire George Napolitano. So, for me to be able to work with WWE and DK Publishing and to be able to do these events has really just been fantastic.

I take the fans through a journey through time and we do it decade by decade; an overview thanks to multimedia, photos and video and really it’s just a lot of fun. I do these every few months in various locations and I always make sure they’re never the same. I’m very thankful to have a lot of supporters and fans that come to the events on a very regular basis and it’s funny in updating the presentation, I’m reminded, once again, that WWE is 52-weeks a year of compelling television content with no off-season. So, unless I somehow had this odd idea that I’m not going to update anything; for me, to do it correctly it has to be different from the previous presentation.”

How will this presentation be different from his most recent version in Iowa: “From a current product standpoint, there is going to be a little bit of a difference, some of the champions are different than they were in July and I add a lot of little things to the different decades; so, for this one, I talk about the managers even in the 1960’s, with your Wild Red Barry. In the 70’s, and a lot of fans don’t know this, but in the mid to late 70’s, WWE fans saw the WWE debuts of the likes of ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen so that’s in there; and I love the work of all of those competitors.

In the 80’s, I talk about, and especially being on Long Island, I like to talk about all of the great venues in the New York City area that people could go see the then WWWF; when people think of New York, many think of, obviously, Madison Square Garden, and then when the 1970’s came along, they’d think the Nassau Coliseum, but there were a lot of smaller venues like the Commack Arena and Sunnyside Gardens that had great WWE matches. So, I talk about that; I talk about this time how the first Saturday Night’s Main Event came from the Nassau Coliseum. I’m going to talk about how Hulk Hogan was so popular that he had his own Saturday morning cartoon. I’m also going to mention, somehow I’m going to fit it in, that I met Antonio Anoki in Phoenix the night when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. So, a lot of these things I’ve been talking about on social media to really give people and idea that I want to make sure all of these presentations are different from the previous versions.”

The aid he has received from the WWE for these presentations: “I have to tell you; the WWE could not be greater to work with. I’m very thankful that I have received special permission to do these events. These are free events, so anybody can just get a ticket and walk in. The images that people see, the video that people see are all part of WWE’s fantastic library, which I’m very grateful to have access to and very grateful to share with the fans that come out.”

His views on the current WWE product: “I have to tell you guys, I’m really excited about what’s going on today. I think there’s a lot of great stuff happening with both the Superstars and the Divas; I think the athleticism today is just off the charts. I mean, I think you have a generation of talent that were really inspired by whether it was the new generation of matches that Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, British Bulldog and Owen Hart were having, or the Attitude Era with Undertaker, Triple H, DX, Stone Cold, The Rock, Mick Foley and so many others. The athleticism was so influential and when you look at today’s competitors, again, both male and female, you’re seeing a lot of those influences and just as a fan, I think that’s really cool.”

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