Exclusive Interview: Vince Russo tackles Q&A about his past, present and future (Bruno Sammartino, Lex Luger, Lou Albano and The Valiant Brothers)


As a loyal reader of Inside Pulse, there’s probably no introduction needed for Vince Russo. In the case that you’re not familiar, Vince was the head writer for WWE, WCW and TNA; he was also served as on-air commissioner for WCW and TNA beyond creative duties. As he wrote for countless top stars of the last two decades, Vince’s creative has left an undeniable mark on the wrestling business.

Now podcasting for Podcast One, Vince hosts Vince Russo’s The Brand five days a week; some episodes are hosted alongside Jeff Lane and Andre Corbeil, while others are straight-up one-on-one interviews. These days, Vince also writes for his own website. For those preferring his writing to come in the form of wrestling storylines, last year did see Vince contributing to the U.K.’s International Pro Wrestling and Australia’s All Action Wrestling.

Vince kindly answered some Q&A for me over e-mail, which I’ve broken up into three batches. The first batch of questions can be read on the website of Downtown Magazine.

Darren Paltrowitz: In your opinion, what was the golden age of wrestling?

Vince Russo: WOW, tough question. I’d have to say the Bruno Sammartino era.

Paltrowitz: Do you think there will ever be a time in which it’s not taboo to initiate a conversation about wrestling among everyday people?

Russo: No.

Paltrowitz: What was the first live wrestling event you ever saw live? Do you remember who was in the main event?

Russo: Commack Arena, Long Island — Lou Albano and The Valiant Brothers vs. Haystacks Calhoun, Dean Ho and Tony Garea.

Paltrowitz: I’ve heard you say that Lucha Underground is the only wrestling company that you’d like to work for in today’s business. What do you think that other promotions could stand to learn from Lucha Underground?

Russo: To not be afraid to DARE to be DIFFERENT. Risk equals reward.

Paltrowitz: You’re known to be critical of bad writing in wrestling. Can you name five shows on television that you never miss that have exemplary writing?

Russo: Currently: Baskets. Past: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show, Lost, Honeymooners, Odd Couple, All In The Family, Taxi — those are a few.

Paltrowitz: Is there a show on television today that you could stand to watch three hours of every week?

Russo: Baskets.

Paltrowitz: While a lot of wrestlers are still active with indie shows and appearances into the 60s, a lot of people walk away once they get disoriented with the business. What is it that inspires you to still watch and be active around the wrestling world?

Russo: The people that I worked with and now consider friends.

Paltrowitz: Do you have a favorite post-wrestling transition story? Or a person whose post-wrestling life you find to be especially inspiring?

Russo: Probably Lex Luger. He’s had to overcome so much in his life. He inspires me.


Paltrowitz: Podcast aside, what’s coming up for Vince Russo?

Russo: There is no “podcast aside” — that’s all I do!

Paltrowitz: Is there any chance of you working with Ed Ferrara on another project in the future?

Russo: I doubt it. I’m too old and tired to be working for a company at this point. Much happier just working for myself.

Paltrowitz: Professionally speaking, is there anything you’re still hoping to accomplish?

Russo: Nothing. Just want to live life to its fullest.