Over the Christmas break, I managed to watch a few DVDs. One of these was 20 Years Too Soon, The Superstar Billy Graham Story. For those of you that don’t know, Superstar Billy Graham is a wrestler who was WWWF (predecessor to today’s WWE) champion in the late 1970’s and the man who sued Vince McMahon in the early 1990’s an caused him to be put under a federal investigation for steroids.
This DVD was a biography/archive of the Superstar’s wrestling career. I enjoyed the stories that he told of getting into the business and the way that the other wrestlers who were interviewed showed their adoration for the Superstar. Many of the greatest names in professional wrestling history cite the Superstar as their inspiration to enter the wrestling business. Men from Hulk Hogan to Ric Flair to Dusty Rhodes to Governor Jesse Ventura – all of them give Graham proper praise on this DVD.
The DVD gets very interesting when Vince McMahon and Billy Graham each recount their involvement in the lawsuit that Graham brought against McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation. Both sides tell their story, from Billy’s belief that he was thrown aside by the company he helped to build to Vince saying that many wrestlers don’t want to hear the honest truth of, “You’ve got nothing left to offer,” before they get fired.
The story does have a happy ending, though. Before going under the knife for a liver transplant, Superstar got a phone call from McMahon saying how the entire WWE was behind him. This buried the hatchet between the two and led to an eventual visit by Graham to a WWE PPV event in Phoenix. And, rightfully so, this led to Superstar Billy Graham’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
For the wrestling fan, I think this DVD is a must-see. I’m in the process of reading the autobiography that goes along with the DVD, so I’ll be able to post a review of that soon enough. However, if you’ve got a few bucks laying around or a Blockbuster rental and you don’t know what to get, go for this DVD.