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Review: WWE: Eric Bischoff – Sports Entertainment’s Most Controversial Figure

REVIEWS - BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Richard Cosgrove examines the evidence for the WWE's claim that Eric Bischoff was SPorts Entertainment's Most Controversial Figure...

If there’s one thing the WWE hasn’t been short of over the years, it’s controversy, and so to describe Eric Bischoff, the subject of their new Blu-ray set, the most controversial man in sports entertainment may be seen as something of a bold statement. The reality, though, is that few men have had such a seismic or lasting effect on the professional wrestling industry as Bischoff, and the story behind his rise, fall and rebirth is a great one.

The centrepiece of this release is another of the WWE’s well assembled documentaries that is essentially an interview with Bischoff intercut with clips and talking heads, but is never less than fascinating. Pleasingly, while not a completely warts and all telling, Bischoff is not afraid to take criticism from some of the wrestlers that worked for / with him, and equally is happy to acknowledge his own shortfalls and failings over the years.

One thing that comes across from listening to Bischoff talk is that his career has been equal parts luck and hard work, and that even when taking decisions or letting his ego run riot, he’s never been less than 100% passionate about the wrestling industry and wanting to do not only what’s best for business, but to give the fans what they want as well (though this doesn’t always pan out, but at least Bischoff has the good grace to laugh about his failings).

Uniquely for a WWE release, aside from the documentary there are no actual wrestling matches, but fear not because there are enough skits, interviews, vignettes and featurettes to satisfy even the most ardent of Bischoff fans, a highlight being is appearance of JBL’s Legends show.

Inevitably, much of the footage of Bischoff from his wrestling days shows us the confident, arrogant and at times plain obnoxious man that he was back then, so it’s rewarding to see that he’s mellowed considerably over the years, living on a ranch and brewing his own beer and able to look back and laugh with us at the past.

WWE: Eric Bischoff – Sports Entertainment’s Most Controversial Figure is an essential purchase for any wrestling fan that lived through the Monday Night Wars and a very entertaining way to spend a few hours reliving the good, the bad and the ugly of that era.

5 stars

WWE: Eric Bischoff – Sports Entertainment’s Most Controversial Figure is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.


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