Equal parts showman and artist, hustler and faithful son, trained tenor and fast-talking raconteur, Sam Tenenbaum is—to paraphrase Whitman—large, he contains multitudes. In this inspirational and quintessentially American “song of himself,” we see Sam pick himself up by the bootstraps of an awkward childhood in mid-20th Century Birmingham, Alabama, and forge an unlikely path through the roughriding, anything-goes early days of professional wrestling in the American South—all while nurturing his faith and pursuing, on the sly, his rst true operatic singing. In the end, we learn what Sam learned early how to live large, fear nothing, and never give up on your dreams.
Sam Tenenbaum's story was a quick and engaging read about an awkward, skinny kid who wanted nothing more than to be the next Enrico Caruso, but wound up a body building masked villain. While his first dream was to be a great singer, he was bitten by the wrestling bug after being approached by a wrestler at the Birmingham YMCA.
While he was never a very big star, and is likely not remembered by any but 1980s Birmingham wrestling fans, he managed to put together a respectable 20+ year career as a carpenter and mid-card heel and managed to put away enough money to enjoy life and ultimately settle down and take care of his aging parents in their final years. He didn't travel very far from his home town, mostly just working around the Southeastern U.S., and was always sort of an independent wrestler, but his story is always positive and he never falls into the rut of griping about the "business today" or how he was mistreated by promoters or other wrestlers, but instead focuses on how he was able to carve out a niche for himself doing what he loved and take care of his family.