This summer, WWE Network Documentaries will shine a light not on a famous Superstar or Legend of the ring, but on one of WWE’s most devoted fans.
That’s because for more than 30 years, Abouzeide — the subject of the upcoming documentary, Superfan: The Story of Vladimir — was a fixture at ringside in WWE’s home arena of Madison Square Garden. Anytime a wrestling ring was erected inside MSG, you could count on Abouzeide being in the front row, a grin spread ear-to-ear as he cheered on his favorite Superstars and gave the business to the rest.
It was there in October 1986 that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, during an edition of “Piper’s Pit,” invited Abouzeide into the ring to lend his opinion on which Superstar Hot Rod should team with against Paul Orndorff and Harley Race. Excitedly, Abouzeide leapt onto the apron and declared, “Hulk Hogan,” causing his fellow fans to erupt in approval. With that, the match was made.
“[Vladimir] carved himself a niche of popularity among the Garden faithful by showing his support for the Superstars who appeared in the World’s Most Famous Arena,” late WWE Hall of Fame announcer Howard Finkel wrote in a 2015 article about WWE’s most famous fans.
Abouzeide’s domain spanned beyond 4 Pennsylvania Plaza in the Big Apple, beyond even the New York metropolitan area at large. Over the years, he could be spotted in the crowd at dozens, perhaps hundreds, of WWE pay-per-views and TV shows, like sports-entertainment’s more conspicuous version of “Where’s Waldo?”
“I felt like he was at just about every show that I watched,” Sam Roberts says in the newly released Superfan trailer, echoing the sentiment of eagle-eyed WWE fans around the world.
Indeed, Abouzeide’s omnipresence turned him into a celebrity of sorts to fans and Superstars alike — Diesel greeted him by name as he strode down the aisle at WrestleMania XII, held in Anaheim, Calif. — but it also sparked intrigue. How was one man able to attend so many events, let alone always be in the front row? Did he have an inside connection to the company?
Superfan: The Story of Vladimir, which features interviews with Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Jimmy Hart, WWE executive Bruce Prichard and others, tackles these questions and more as it formally introduces Abouzeide to the WWE Universe for the first time.
The culmination of more than two years of filming, the documentary also examines the profound effect that the Covid-19 pandemic — which brought live-event attendance to a standstill in early 2020 — has had on Abouzeide.
“The relationship that Vladimir has with WWE, it’s part of his moral fiber,” Jeff Jarrett says in the Superfan trailer. “It is part of his identity, and that was taken away.”
After many months of not attending WWE events, Abouzeide finally returned at this year’s WrestleMania, where he not only took in The Show of Shows live and in-person but was even recognized by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, as he was presented with a plaque and named WWE’s first Official Superfan.
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 10, 2021
Don’t miss Superfan: The Story of Vladimir when it debuts this summer, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network everywhere else. Keep an eye on WWE Network social channels in the coming months for details on the documentary’s premiere date.