During this week’s episode of Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard: Vince Russo In The WWE, Conrad Thompson asked Bruce about some major moments during the Attitude Era and his thoughts on Vince Russo’s contributions to them.
Russo recently taking credit for writing the DX invasion on Nitro:
“The DX Invasion is something that was brought up in a production meeting where Vince was talking about WCW and these guys doing everything they can to try and put us out of business, and they’re being successful at it. ‘What would’ve happened in the old days?’ and I raised my hand and said ‘In the old days, we would’ve gone and knocked on their door. We would’ve sent our toughest guys to go sit in their front row and call out their guys. That’s what they did back in the old territory days.
“So the DX Invasion is something where we were in close proximity and came up with (the idea) for them to go down to the Scope in Norfolk, VA and basically make a presence. Show up at their show. Russo wanted so badly to go and produce that. And Vince McMahon wanted me to do it and sent me to do it. And I was told all the things I could and couldn’t do. One of the things I was told I couldn’t do was ‘do not under any circumstances go inside the building.’ I was told ‘Do not confront any of the talent or anything like that.’ When I was there, it was my decision and it was the talent, it was Road Dogg, it was Hunter, it was Chyna and Billy Gunn and all those guys that we (were told) what we could and couldn’t do legally from the police team that we had with us and we took it as far as we possibly could because it was great television. It was Road Dogg that said ‘Hey, the door downstairs is open. Let’s go and try to get into the building and at least get to the back door.’ And when we did, WCW, they closed the door on us. That was a spur of the moment, spontaneous decision that was made because we had the opportunity to do it. That was nothing written by Vince Russo for me or anyone else to do. That is something that we did, all the stuff in Atlanta, that we did on the fly that I produced. Not Vince Russo. “
In regards to Russo’s claims that he helped develop the Rock’s persona, including convincing him to begin referring to himself in the third person:
“That’s a bald-faced lie. And if you go into the archives of Vince Russo’s podcast, you will hear him tell the story of how we came up with the name ‘The Rock.’ So again, here’s another instance of Russo talking out of both sides of his mouth. Rocky Maivia had been out with a knee injury and right before he’d been gone, people had been chanting ‘Die, Rocky, Die’, ‘Rocky Sucks’ and so on and so forth.
Well, he’s coming back and Russo didn’t really have anything for him and came into my office and said ‘you got any ideas for Rocky Maivia?’ I said ‘Yeah, turn him heel and put him with The Nation.’ He said ‘but he’s not black’ and I said ‘he’s black Samoan. Give him the microphone and let him cut a damn promo.’ About the same time, I’d pitched the same idea to Jim Ross. He comes up with the idea of cutting a Deion Sanders promo where he would talk about ‘Deion says he’s going to have a good game this week and Deion says that he’s going to run all over so and so.’ And JR says ‘Well, god**m, Rocky should just talk about how The Rock says this, The Rock says that. Refer to himself in the third person.’ I’m the one that called Rock and pitched him the idea of coming back as a heel, with Jim Ross in the room, and him pitching the third person, calling himself The Rock. And that’s how we got him to come back into the Nation Of Domination and start referring to himself as The Rock. And yes, 100% of the credit goes to Dwayne Johnson for his portrayal of The Rock and turning that into a million dollar idea.”
Transcription by PWPodcasts Specialist Jeff Rush
For more, check out Bruce Prichard revealing Vince McMahon’s initial thoughts on Triple H and the backstage reaction to The Curtain Call.