Dark Side Of The Ring Composer Addresses Criticism Of The Show – Exclusive

Dark Side of The Ring returned to Vice TV last night with its season four debut episode, Chris & Tammy. The latest installment takes a deep look at the complicated and tumultuous lives of pro wrestling stars Chris Candido and Tammy “Sunny” Sytch. Fortunately for the showrunners, the episode has been well-received, and has not courted a great deal of controversy, something previous episodes have, even if unintentionally.

The most notable controversy to arise from a Dark Side episode came after last season’s Plane Ride From Hell episode. In it, a flight attendant who was on that infamous WWE flight, Heidi Doyle, described Ric Flair exposing himself, while wearing only his signature robe. She went on to accuse Flair of entering the galley, pressing her up against a door, and forcing her to touch his penis. Flair has denied the allegation of sexual assault but has acknowledged he did expose himself on the flight.

Towards the end of that episode, ECW original, Tommy Dreamer, made comments in Flair’s defense and seemingly laughed off Doyle’s accusations. The episode resulted in Dreamer being suspended by Impact Wrestling, he has since returned, and Flair being removed from WWE’s opening video package, he has also since returned. Some of the legends involved with the episode, like Jim Ross, took issue with how they were portrayed, and leveled criticism against the show over how it was edited.

In an exclusive Haus of Wrestling interview, Dark Side of The Ring composer, Andrew Gordon Macpherson, responded to criticism of the show following the Plane Ride From Hell episode.

“I think everyone was sorry about how that happened,” he said. “I think the thing about ‘creative editing’ was just that Heidi was such a compelling voice and you could see how heavy the events of the Plane Ride From Hell still weigh on her, and weigh on her face. And her story is so compelling that when you put it up against a guy who’s just sticking up for his friend and his, I don’t know, he’s somewhat ignorant about what she actually went through, it’s gonna feel like A plus B equals C. You’re gonna think that we’re, like, trying to put him on the hot seat, but it’s just he’s there to be the voice, the defense for Ric Flair.”

“I know for a fact that Jason and Evan (the show’s co-creators) have a reverence for all these wrestlers, and all of the subjects, and try and do right by them, and try to bring in the other side. Even in the reenactments, the reenactments are reenactments of the stories that the people are telling, not our interpretation of what happened. Even going back to the UWF episode, we show multiple ways that Herb Abrams died, that are just the ways that people say he died. So, it’s not editorializing, per se, by Jason and Evan about those things. It’s just capturing what they say.”

Following the episode’s airing, news sites were flooded for days with stories regarding Flair’s apology, or lack thereof, and other major names from the industry weighing in on it. In a separate Haus of Wrestling interview, the show’s co-creator, Evan Husney, acknowledged that it was a very difficult time for everyone involved. I asked Macpherson what it was like to be caught up in the fallout.

“The week of Plane Ride From Hell, I was just texting and calling the guys like, ‘Are you okay? This shit, it seems like, it went out and went crazy,'” he recalled. “I didn’t think that the Plane Ride From Hell one was going to blow up like a bomb like that, especially in a season where we had the Grizzly Smith episode. And we had, you know, we had other just world-shattering episodes in that season.”

If you use any quotes from this article please give a h/t to Haus of Wrestling for the transcription and link back

You can find the full audio from Haus of Wrestling’s Dark Side of The Ring podcast special courtesy of the embedded player below. It is also available on all podcast platforms.