Showtime's Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller' to chronicle legendary sportscaster Mauro Ranallo's struggle with mental health issues
Legendary sportscaster Mauro Ranallo lays it bare in Showtime's latest documentary, Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller
Mauro Ranallo is revered amongst fans in the wrestling universe for his dramatic, excitable announcing style punctuated with the heavy use of metaphor and puns, with the 58-year-old having play-by-play called some of the most historic matches in the recent past. Case in point, Ranallo cast the match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, as well as the match between Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
While Ranallo's skill or temperament have never been called into question, most are now aware of the sportscaster's decades-long struggle with Bipolar Affective Disorder and his continued battles with mental health issues. The topic is now the subject of a new, unflinching documentary film by Showtime Sports, 'Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller.'
A homage to the moniker that Ranallo coined for himself when he was a broadcast personality and DJ in the early 90s, 'Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller' delves into mental illness and its effects and is set to premiere on Showtime on May 25 at 9 pm ET/PT during what is poetically also Mental Health Awareness Month.
Having cast sellout events across multiple sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts, and WWE, Ranallo is aware of the reach his voice carries and has repeatedly advocated for ending the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. But in what will be a first for the experienced sportscaster, he will lay himself bare for the camera through behind-the-scenes footage, candid personal interviews, and the words of close friends and doctors.
'Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller' will also explore Ranallo's career, his experiences casting two of the biggest sporting events on the planet, and how reaching his current position had always been a long-held childhood dream. However, for the 58-year-old, only one thing matters: that those with mental health issues are still motivated and inspired enough to pursue their dreams,
He said: "I have always tried to do my part to bring awareness to mental health issues. Over the last several years, I allowed my best friend, Haris (Usanovic), to film me at my lowest points as well as at my highest. The idea is simply to show others who suffer that they are not alone and that, even when the outlook is bleak, you can overcome and achieve success. Mental illness is a life sentence—there is no cure—but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence."
Commenting on the documentary, executive producer and President of the Sports and Event Programming for Showtimes Networks Inc Stephen Espinoza said: "Through BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER, Mauro Ranallo has chosen to share not only his life’s dreams but his nightmares as well. Having reached the pinnacle of his profession, Mauro bravely turns his keen observational skills inward to examine his own life-long battle. The result is a raw, poignant and ultimately inspirational film that personifies Mauro’s courage and selflessness."
The only sports broadcaster to have called boxing, kickboxing, MMA, and professional wrestling on US National Television, Ranallo's has worked for them all. He is known for his work as a commentator for Pride FC, a Japanese mixed martial arts promotion company, and more recently, Showtime for Elite XC, Strikeforce, Showtime Championship Boxing, New Japan Pro-Wrestling on AXS TV, and multiple stints with WWE.
'Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller' is directed by first-time filmmaker Haris Usanovic and will be produced by Brian Dailey, the network’s Vice President, Sports Digital Content and Strategy, and MALKA MEDIA GROUP. The impeccably made trailer offers an all-too-brief glimpse into the documentary, and a prospective viewer can expect a hard-hitting film that takes an in-depth look at a condition that affects nearly five percent of the U.S population.