Pro Wrestling's Ultimate Faker
B. Lovian | United States | 01/18/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this is a very cheaply made DVD. The "studio" looked like some college dropout's first studio apartment.
The interview is very long -- you can see the interviewer's facial hair becoming fuller as it progresses -- but covers surprisingly little ground. It cuts off abruptly before Russo answers the first question about WCW and prompts you to buy the next DVD in the series to get the rest of the interview. The interviewer spends an inordinate amount of time probing Owen Hart's death, asking Russo and Ferrara in about a dozen different ways whether they think the show should have gone on. They said that's what Owen would have wanted, but the interviewer keeps badgering them about it.
Russo is a brash guy and obviously loves to be talking on camera (but for the record, he denies that he enjoyed putting himself at the center of attention on WCW's programming). Ferrara is visibly irritated by Russo's interruptions and subtlely domineering attitude throughout the interview, but Ferrara has little of anything of interest to add to Russo's commentary.
Some of Russo's stories are interesting, but anything he says must be taken with a large block of salt. Russo lied to people he worked with, screwed Terry Bollea (and Hulk Hogan) and many other superstars, and recklessly led WCW on a self-destructive path. Russo complains that wrestling had lacked "reality," so his idea of interjecting "reality" into WCW was to (literally) throw the title belts in the trash and tell the stupid marks who bought into their prestige that they never meant anything anyway. His idea of "realistic" storylines was to have wrestlers pretend that they are deviating from the script and "shooting." Hogan even wrestled briefly as "Terry Bollea" -- which was strange since he was always referred to publicly as Hulk Hogan, even in non-wrestling situation. If becoming the evil "Hollywood Hogan" didn't ruin his legacy with the fans, then becoming a hapless regular-guy "Terry Bollea" should have. Russo apparently never bothered to realize that since the fake "shoot" storylines he concoted are themselves scripted, there was no sense of reality to which fans could relate and no reason for them to care about self-consciously fake matches. People watch wrestling for the same reason people watch movies -- because they are willing to suspend their disbelief, not because they want to have their disbelief indulged.
One funny moment in the interview is when Russo says that the only people who still believe wrestling is real are the wrestlers themselves. Look at the way Bret Hart reacted when Vince McMahon screwed him out of his WWF title (it's just a fake title, Bret!). Look at the Ultimate Warrior, who actually changed his legal name to Warrior. Vince McMahon actually punishes wrestlers for infractions by denying them title shots, because they actually crave the glory that they think will be theirs with a "fake" title. Look at all the politics that goes on backstage about "creative control" and such...yeah, wrestlers think that what they do is all real.
Russo and Bischoff ran WCW like a couple of spoiled brats, clueless about how the real world works. They spent lavishly and wasted millions of dollars on talent such as Bret Hart (whom they never used productively). Hulk Hogan was interesting the first few months of his nWo turn, but quickly became as stale and even more predictable than the 80s Hogan. "Hollywood Hogan" -- billed as the biggest icon in wrestling -- didn't have a single good wrestling match there. They had him job to an out-of-shape Roddy Piper's weak sleepr hold repeatedly. Besides defeating Sting for a 1-2-3 in a botched match that was nonsensically restarted by Bret Hart so Sting could win, I don't think he won a single match as nWo Hollywood cleanly -- this, a man who was once virtually unbeatable. As a result, there was no sense of competitive drama about his matches, a basic requirement of a main event. Hogan's wrestling just stank. Yet he was capable of performing in the ring, as he finally would with the Rock at WrestleMania, much to fans' delight.
Since the collapse of WCW, WWE has come to realize that fans want more than just microphone antics and sexual shenanigans...that while they want to be entertained, they still want good wrestling, too. WWE does let wrestlers "shoot" when the show's over and even has them shoot about wrestling on their own DVDs. But for the most part, they keep kayfabe when they're in the ring, though sometimes the storylines the writers feed them are so absurd, it's difficult to do. But just like an actor stays in character when he's on stage even though the audience knows he's just an actor, a wrestler who steps out of character can ruin the show.
Bischoff and Russo seemed out to destroy the wrestling business itself. Bischoff proved that any idiot can succeed, for a while, if he's given access to Ted Turner's pocketbook. But Russo proved -- and on this interview basically admits -- that Vince McMahon, for all his faults, is the master, and Russo was just the apprentice. Russo screwed so many people at WCW and did so many shameless and sordid things in his desperate attempts to rule wrestling, that he begged God for forgiveness and recently became a born-again Christian. Russo may think he can save himself, but he can't save the ruined legacy of WCW."
Great Interview DVD for the price
Movie Madman | Nashville, TN | 03/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have never liked Vince Russo and I have always heard bad things about Ed Ferarra that made me dislike him (like the idea that he made fun of Jim Ross' Bells palsy disease on tv). I had no desire to get this dvd, but for this price, I decided to check out what they had to say. Like them or not, they were the head writers for the company that rose from the ashes to overtake WCW and have one of the biggest surges in popularity in the history of the sport.
By the end of the dvd, you get the idea that these guys were fans of wrestling, but were just worked to death and given little credit for the effort they had put forth. They talked frankly about the superstars of the time, the top being Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock. Really fun walk dowb memory lane and some interesting insight on how it would be to work for the McMahons. By the end of the dvd, I didn't hate these guys anymore and had more of an idea of where they were coming from when they left the company."
Pro Wrestling's Ultimate Insiders With Vince Russo & Ed Ferr
Jim Bryan | 10/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a big mark for Vince Russo, I really enjoyed this 3 disc set. The first disc features Vince and Ed in a tell all interview about their time in the WWF. Find out how they got in the company, how much power they had, How Austin, Rock and Triple H were behind the scenes, Survivor Series 97 with Bret Hart, Their feelings on Owen Hart and so much more.
On disc 2, they talk about their time in WCW. Find out what they wanted to do but were not able to, who they saw potential in, working with Eric Bischoff, putting the WCW Title on David Arquette and a lot more.
Disc 3 is one on one questions with them. See what they have to say about the WWF buying WCW, TNA, If they would ever go back to WWE and more.
There is also an extra feature where they are backstage at a SCCW show and script promos for the wrestlers. Also, 3 matches from that SCCW So Cal Super Card in 2004.
Psicosis vs. TJ Boy.
Chris Bosh vs. Super Dragon.
Big Q/Kenny King vs. Cyrus/Plague."
Jeff Rawlins | Texas | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a wrestling fan for many years and I'm always looking for some inside "scoop" on the WWF and WWE. Well, the ULTIMATE INSIDERS V.1 has the most inside info I have ever seen or read anywhere! You'll be amazed at some of the stories these guys reveal. I'll never look at wrestling the same again. This is a MUST for the true fan!!!"