Vince Russo recently spoke with Ring Rust Radio, here are the highlights…
If he still has something to offer the wrestling business
That’s a really good question and it’s really like a double edged sword. I am content doing my thing on the Relm network, there is no doubt about that. Vince Russo not having any chains, rules, and nobody telling me what to do is beyond a freeing experience, it’s incredible. However, what I do for a living at vincerussobrand.com depends on wrestling therefore, I make a living off of professional wrestling. When I watch WWE and TNA on a weekly basis, I see how subpar the television shows have become. I see the drastic decrease in ratings and that concerns me. Without wrestling, there may not be a Vince Russo. I would love to help those companies, I know I can help them, I know what they are doing wrong, but when you offer your services free of charge and they say thanks but no thanks, there isn’t too much you can do. The answer to that question is for my own longevity, the wrestling business needs to prosper, and I am willing to help it. If they aren’t interested that’s up to them, but I more concerned about my own future.
The fundamental changes he’d make to TNA
In my opinion, I watch TNA, it’s just wrestling 101. They are in the wrestling bubble, week in and week out they are telling wrestling stories, and a perfect example of that is the feud of Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter. You have a thirteen year feud between Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter, an ongoing story, and they way they introduce that story back to TV is through a King of the Mountain wrestling match? You don’t have to be Vince Russo to see that that is ridiculous. That’s bad fake wrestling; they came up with no creative whatsoever. If that story presented in the correct fashion and the right way, almost as a shoot with the history and reality of it, trust me it would have been a lot more compelling than Jeff showing up on a show and saying I am going to be in a wrestling match.
If WWE has too many writers and what the proper balance is
You are absolutely right. They have a week to write a television show. When there are twenty people involved in the writing of that show, you are going to spend a lot of time running into each other. While you are running into each other for a good majority of the week, you suddenly get to crunch time. All of a sudden its Saturday or Sunday and you don’t have a complete show yet, so we will just finish it when we get to TV and that is what you are seeing today. I’ll just go back to the old Russo and Ferrara way of two guys wrote the show, brought it and pitched it to Vince, and that’s it. It’s a proven ingredient and formula that worked. Now I’m not saying Russo and Ferrara should go back to WWE, what I am saying is replace Russo and Ferrara with two other guys, make it simple, same vision, and you will have a much better product. There is no way that could be a compelling and intriguing show with all those writers involved in it.
His biggest regrets booking WWE & WCW
I’ll say my regret is in the wrestling business because it doesn’t matter where I was; it falls under the umbrella of the wrestling business. My biggest regret as I stand here now, on the outside looking in, I’m 54 years old now, and my biggest regret is whatever company I worked for is I made them my number one priority. What that means is I put God behind it, my family behind it, my wife behind it, and my kids behind it. When I worked for those companies they were my number one priority. Now when I sit back and see how thankless those individuals are that I gave my life to and put before my family, I am absolutely ashamed of myself. Shame on me, I should have never of done that and I should have known better. It was never about the money, it was about my pride, and wanting to be the best that I could possibly be. I am a goal driven guy and I made that my priority. I made Vince McMahon my priority, I made Dixie Carter my priority, my time at WCW was my priority. Looking back now, that was a huge mistake that I can never take back.
Has wrestling evolved enough over the past several years?
I think as we speak, wrestling right now is a niche market. Look at your numbers. Less than five years ago, TNA was doing 5,000,000 people. Nowadays they are doing a quarter of that. Look at the fifteen-year decline of the WWE. The people watching wrestling in 2015 are wrestling fans that are always going to be watching wrestling. The problem is they have lost the casual TV viewers. Those were the 5,000,000 people that are now gone. Wrestling has already become a niche market. Anybody can study and look at the numbers, see where it once was, and see where it is today. I want to say this – I publically want to totally separate Lucha Underground from all of that. Lucha Underground is not a wrestling company, they are a TV show. They treat the product like a TV show, they produce it like a TV show, and they treat the wrestlers like TV stars. So in my opinion they are in a category all by itself because they are not a wrestling company, they are a TV company.
His relationship with Hulk Hogan over the years
Number one, we didn’t really have a relationship in WCW. People seem to forget about that. They want to pin everything that happened at WCW on me. The reality of it is I worked there for nine months. I really didn’t generate that relationship with Hulk Hogan during my time there. I was really grateful that when he came to TNA, we were able to settle any differences that we may have had. I am very grateful and thankful for that. As his spot in WWE right now, I am thrilled for the guy. I don’t know where the wrestling business would be without Hulk Hogan. For him to be in the spot he is right now as an ambassador for WWE, he deserves that spot. I am absolutely thrilled for him.
His relationship with Triple H & if he’s seen Triple H bury talent
No I never have, but I will say this: When Triple H was breaking into the WWE, and the Madison Square Garden incident happened, where he became the scapegoat, there was nobody in his corner more than me. When that character was first being developed, there was no one developing that character more than me. I used to write every single one of his promos. I only had one instance working with him that he really disappointed me. He straight out didn’t want to do a job to D’Lo Brown and I really had an issue with that. I never read or followed in any of that stuff about him, but I was very disappointed when I almost went back to WWE back in 2002 and found out more or less Triple H was not in my corner after all I did for him. Fast forward twelve years later and you see the position he is in and Stephanie is in and now it makes all the sense in the world. If you eventually want the power, then you want to keep a guy away like a Vince Russo away who from a creative stand point is going to produce better content and better TV than you can. A Vince Russo is a better writer and went to school for writing to be a writer and knows the art of writing. When that happened in 2002 and I learned he was working behind the scenes to keep me out of the WWE, I would be lying to you if I told you my opinion of him did not change.
Tags: Vince Russo