One thing you’ll certainly learn about Eric Bischoff after watching this new WWE release is that he is one of the most entrepreneurial people that has ever crossed paths with the wrestling business. From running a successful landscaping company and spending time as a catalogue model, to launching a board game and talking his way into an executive position with World Championship Wrestling.
Your writer spent most of the time watching the documentary portion of this release in mild bewilderment at the amount of different businesses and ventures that Bischoff had been a part of before and after his exploits in WCW. Resourceful would be the best way to describe Bischoff on the basis of this Blu-ray release.
Set as a talking head against a range of picturesque backdrops in Wyoming, Bischoff comes across as very likeable, and his way of re-telling old stories draws you in and keeps you interested. The documentary chronicles his early life in Detroit, his time spent learning karate and how an advert for a children’s board game led to a meeting with wrestling legend Verne Gagne. A lot of the talking heads on the documentary use words like smart, energetic and aggressive to describe Bischoff, and it was definitely these traits which enabled him to earn a role with WCW.
Hearing him speak now about his time in WCW, it’s clear that Bischoff had so many ideas that they simply over-ran him, he was constantly thinking up different angles and stories, though he does regret the fact that he wasn’t always the best at future planning or moulding new stars. A lot of what is discussed about WCW is pretty well known now, so there aren’t many revelations in that sense, but it’s still interesting to hear from Bischoff about which wrestlers did and didn’t have creative control over their characters; a topic which never seems to lose steam among wrestling fans.
There is a lack of dissenting voices on the documentary, which perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise, but the lack of input from Vince and Triple H themselves surprised me a little. Bischoff’s time in WWE is covered, but not in much depth, and he seems very happy with the time he spent there; you can tell he enjoyed being one of the talents instead of one of the executives.
What is perhaps most fascinating is that Bischoff is not one of those people for whom wrestling is everything. He has a passion for it but he is also able to step-away and do something else, this is a rare ability for people that have been in the wrestling business to have, and it’s comforting to see.
Overall this new package is an enjoyable watch, but in the era of the WWE Network I do feel that this would have been better suited as a special on that platform as opposed to a BD/DVD release, considering that Bischoff was not a traditional performer with a history of great matches to showcase. It could also have been slightly more probing at some of WCW’s failures, but history has chosen to take it easy on Eric Bischoff this time.
EXTRAS: The bonus material on the first disc includes a couple of good documentaries taken from the Network and some expanded interviews on different topics. The second disc contains a lot of content, of which most are interview and promo segments from Bischoff’s career. How much interest you have in Bischoff will dictate if you find the second disc of any use.