Eric Bischoff: Sports Entertainment's Most Controversial Figure - Blu-ray Review

My wife just purchased this set for me for my Birthday along with the Jerry Lawler Blu-ray, and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I've read Bischoff's book Controversy Creates Cash and I must say that whenever he is interviewed or has an opportunity to tell his side of the story about his time in WCW I always find him to be very engaging.

The documentary part of the set runs for about 1 hour and 45 minutes which is on the longer side of the spectrum for a WWE produced documentary. It covers his childhood growing up in Detroit, his time in the AWA, and then his career in WCW. It ends with his run in WWE and his current career with Bishoff-Hervey Productions. It also features interviews with an assorted cast of characters including: DDP, Kevin Nash, Chris Jericho, Greg Gagne, Sonny Onoo, Bill Shaw, Harvey Schiller, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and some archival stuff with Dusty Rhodes. Included is a nice segment about a time in 1990 when Bischoff was working for the AWA and had a talent audition with the then WWF. Covered is his background in sales and how that was his door into the world of professional wrestling.

His time in the AWA is interesting in that he really got a chance to dabble in every aspect of the business both in front of and behind the camera. But the documentary really picks up when he went to work for WCW. It still amazes me that a company which owned two major cable TV networks, a marquee news channel, a MLB baseball team, and NBA basketball team also was in the wrestling business. Credit to Ted Turner for knowing what he loved and not being embarrassed by it.

Every time I read, watch, or hear accounts of the glory days of WCW I learn something new. And this documentary was no exception. For example, Kevin Nash let it be known that the revenue for WCW PPV's went not to WCW but actually to Turner Home Entertainment. It really is mind boggling to me that so many corporate suits were so willing to flush some of the best TV ratings ever seen just because it was wrestling and they didn't want to be embarrassed by the fact they were involved in some way, shape, or form with the wrestling business. Networks would kill for those kinds of ratings in today's TV climate.

Ultimately why I find this documentary to be so good is the fact that Bischoff himself is so engaging and articulate about a world that can be quite confusing to people who don't know much about it. What also grabs me is the fact that I believe Bischoff when he talks about the turmoil of the WCW days. Vince McMahon has a way of coming across as being very disingenuous in his interviews for WWE documentaries and I very rarely find myself willing to believe what he says as being the truth. Maybe it is, but he doesn't come across like he's being honest. Not the case with Bischoff. He explains that when he ran WCW he only gave one performer creative control over his character, and you can guess who that one performers was, Hulk Hogan. It's always been said that every wrestler Bischoff hired he gave them creative control. I find it hard to believe that someone as smart as Bischoff would do something that foolish. So when he says that Hogan was the only person who had creative control I believe him. Now I will say that the one thing Bischoff has to proven to be over the years is that he's a phenomenal salesman, maybe what I take to be his being honest is just a great sales to pitch to either maintain or restore his reputation. It's totally possible. However, since Bischoff is no longer in the wrestling business why does he need to lie about things that happened 20 years ago? Another thing that helps me to believe Bischoff is being honest is that that both Steve Austin and Chris Jericho, who at one point had major heat with Bischoff, both talk about now they get along great with him and consider him as a friend. Really it seems that Ric Flair is the only one with an axe to grind with Bischoff, but that is a whole separate story.

All in all, I found this documentary to be one of the best WWE has ever made, right up there with The Rise and Fall of ECW, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen, and the documentaries about the WCCW and AWA. Definitely worth watching if you were a fan during the Monday Night Wars.

Thanks for reading!!!

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