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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Something to Wrestling With on Vince Russo – his pitch for an O.J. Simpson match, why he left the WWF, how much credit should get for the Attitude Era? (Ep. 51)

Dusty Rhodes episode

Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard – Vince Russo in the WWF

Air Date: 6/16/17

Episode 51

Recap by: Jeff Rush

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Noteworthy Items (full timestamps at the end)
– Russo once trained with Johnny Rodz to become a pro wrestler
– Russo pitched O.J. Simpson vs. Ron Goldman in a “Choose your weapon” match for WrestleMania XII
– Russo first reached out to WCW in 1996
– Chainsaw Charlie was the name of Terry Funk’s childhood barber
– Corporal Kirchner’s Leatherface gimmick inspired the Chainsaw Charlie character
– Russo was put on Livewire by Vince McMahon to teach him a lesson
– Deion Sanders was used as the inspiration for the Rock’s third-person gimmick
– Dustin Rhodes asked for $1 Million in exchange for receiving breast implants
– Mick Foley created Dude Love to be a Shawn Michaels pretty boy type character
– Jim Cornette first suggested using Stephanie McMahon on-air
– Shawn Michaels suggested Billy Gunn and Road Dogg as members of DX
– Russo wanted Bruce to portray a sleazy salesman on WWF television
– McMahon rode the zip line as a test prior to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII

Top Impressions
5. Vince is passionate about a slick face
4. Cornette threatens Russo
3. Cornette wants Stephanie on TV, perhaps eating a burger
2. Vince rides the zip line
1. Terry Funk describes Chainsaw Charlie

Some of the best episodes of this show are the ones that hit personal notes in Bruce’s life. Obviously, they all do to an extent, but Roddy Piper, Houston Wrestling, and Bruce Gets Fired all go one step beyond in that regard, and this episode joins those ranks. Bruce was given the opportunity to respond to many statements and accusations from Vince Russo’s 2005 autobiography, and he didn’t disappoint. But, to me, the most interesting aspects of the show came when discussing historically significant events such as the MSG Curtain Call or the record-setting This Is Your Life segment from Raw. We were given not only Bruce’s take but a perspective that allowed us to look at history changing or milestone events that are largely seen in white and black terms in an entirely different light.

Additionally, though most fans of Vince Russo might not be too pleased with this episode (and judging by the reaction on social media, they aren’t), having not read his book, this show gave me a far better understanding of his perspective during his time with the company and departure from it. I particularly enjoyed the info on his background prior to joining the WWF.

I want to make a note at the start of this recap of the source material used for this episode. Conrad mentions during the show that he did not use the Wrestling Observer as the backbone for the timeline, as per his usual routine. He felt that doing so would give an inherent slant to the show and he wanted to be as open and fair as possible. Instead, and as alluded to above, he is using Vince Russo’s 2005 autobiography, Forgiven: One Man’s Journey from Self-Glorification to Sanctification. The thinking being that using Russo’s own words and accounts of events is the best way to tell the story down the middle.

One final note: In an effort to keep things clear, I will strictly refer to Vince Russo as “Russo” and Vince McMahon as “Vince.”

Enjoy!

What happened when Vince Russo joined the WWF?

Conrad says both he and Bruce received calls from “the New York area” prior to this show, with numerous people offering information.

Conrad qualifies the episode by saying he’s always gotten along with Russo. He’s not looking to rant or bury him, but this show will be taking a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Bruce says he will be honest and fair.

Russo grew up in Farmingville, NY watching old school WWWF – Capt. Lou Albano, The Grand Wizard, etc. He loved promos.

He bought a video store in the late ’80s for $200K. It was the late ’80s and the video store market was huge. He opened a second location and would have wrestlers stop in and make appearances. After some time, a Blockbuster Video opened down the street, crippling Russo’s business.

John Arezzi approaches Russo. He’s running a “smart” radio program at the time and, having heard Russo had wrestlers in for appearances, he wanted Russo to advertise on his show. Russo was suspect of Arezzi, but agreed. Russo joined the show, but seeing it’s potential, he eventually moved it to a bigger station, hosting shows after WWF PPV’s in the early ’90s. He then started the Wrestling Spotlight newsletter. Conrad reports that Russo even trained with Johnny Rodz to become a pro wrestler!

Russo then moved on to sell appliances after the video store business dried up.

Russo applied to the WWF. Linda McMahon eventually brought him in to work on the WWF Magazine. The editor at the time was not a big wrestling fan and wrote in more of a Bill Apter-type style. They put Russo together with him. This is when Bruce met him.

The old editor would write about wrestlers in ways that was not true to their character. Having Russo onboard made life easier for Bruce because he was a fan and represented the wrestlers better. Eventually, Russo took over as editor.

Russo was not happy strictly working for the magazine. He began approaching Bruce and Pat Patterson. Conrad then reads excerpts from Russo’s book about Russo not trusting Bruce. Bruce says Russo is talking out of both sides of his mouth, since he brought him in to help with creative.

Conrad then relays a story about Russo wanting to book a WrestleMania match between O.J. Simpson vs. Ron Goldman in a match where O.J. would be handcuffed and Goldman could choose a weapon to use, including a gun. Really. And Bruce confirms this discussion happened.

Russo saw Bill Watts joining the company as an opportunity and buddied up with him.

Vic Venom was Russo’s heel persona that he used in the WWF Magazine, using edited profanity, etc. Bruce thought this was silly.

Conrad brings up that Russo created storylines for the magazine that didn’t reflect those happening on TV. Vince was not a fan of this.

Russo also interviewed Bret Hart in a shoot-style interview. This ran in stark contrast to the way WWF was operating at the time. Russo claimed Vince was furious with this, but that Vince needed him more than he needed Vince.

Russo refers to Bruce as being a yes man. Bruce says that is absolutely not true, that Vince would say it’s not true and that he managed to keep his job for so long by not always telling Vince what he wanted to hear.

Russo began writing promos wrestlers would do to promote upcoming events. Bruce notes he was put to work with guys who needed the help and couldn’t cut their own promos.

Russo was paired with Jack Lanza at this point, too. The guys discuss how Russo was paired with him so that wrestlers would actually listen to Russo’s direction rather than blowing him off.

Russo says he grew close to Lanza, and that Lanza would advise him to choose career paths he felt were right for him. Once he left WWF, he was upset that Lanza no longer wanted to speak with him. Bruce says company loyalty was super important to the old school guys, it’s just how they were.

The Fake Razor and Fake Diesel were a major turn off to Russo. He reached out to Kevin Nash in the fall of 1996 to see if there was interest from WCW. He eventually spoke with Eric Bischoff. He was offered a spot but ended up not taking it. Bruce told him to talk with Vince. Russo instead talked with Linda who then got Vince involved.

Conrad reads an excerpt from the book where Russo describes the day he became a head writer. It’s a self-validating account where Bruce, JR, Cornette, Shane and others are described as “minions” and put to shame as Russo is brought in and anointed the chosen one in front of them all. Bruce says it didn’t quite go down that way, that they were all made aware that Russo would be promoted prior to his arrival and that Vince simply wanted to go in an edgier direction.

Bruce also says he was not “demoted” off of the writing team. Rather, Vince needed him in Talent Relations. Although he didn’t want to do it, he went where Vince needed him.

At this point, the creative team consisted strictly of Vince, Cornette, and Russo. Russo felt he and Cornette were a terrible fit and says Vince grew tired of their constant clashing. Russo felt Cornette was stuck in the ’70s while he was trying to be fresh.

He continues to praise Cornette in his book for being a comedic genius before discussing how bringing in Terry Funk as Chainsaw Charlie was the nail in Cornette’s coffin. He claims he gave Vince a “him or me” ultimatum and that Vince chose Russo.

Bruce says that Cornette’s idea was putting Funk in a box for his debut, which they did, but that Chainsaw Charlie was actually Terry Funk’s concept. It was based on a terrible barber who cut Terry’s hair as a child. He says Funk was a big fan of Corporal Kirshner’s Leatherface gimmick in Japan.

Bruce says the info he got from Cornette was that he enjoyed developmental better than creative on the main roster and it was decided to move him to OVW.

Vince asked Bruce to talk to Russo, to bring him down to earth a bit as he was becoming cocky in his role as head writer and turning people off. Russo interpreted this in his book as Bruce making a move to get his spot back in creative.

Russo credited his son, Will, for inspiring his material and making it more cutting edge. Many others, including Bruce, believe he pretty much ripped off ECW. He says he referred to them often in meetings. Since Vince didn’t watch ECW, he thought it was all Russo.

WWF’s Livewire program is then discussed. Bruce says Russo cut a promo on Vince about everything sucking and nothing seeming real. Vince called Russo’s bluff on this and put him on TV as Vic Venom. Bruce points out the irony of Russo using an alias, becoming a character, in order to make things more “real.” Vince hated the job Russo did here.

“Creative genius” being applied to Vince drove Russo crazy. He listed many failed characters in his book, with an emphasis on Mantaur. Bruce says it sounded cool on paper but was “not a winner.”

Russo recently took 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**n, 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 Duane Johnson for his portrayal of the Rock and turning that into a million dollar idea.”

Russo also claimed to see something in Steve Austin before anyone else. Bruce says everyone was on board with Austin from the time he came into the company, that Vince was the only one who couldn’t get past his accent.

Discussion ensues concerning the creation and marketing of Austin 3:16.

Bruce gives credit to Russo for his contributions to the Goldust character. He says meetings were held with Dustin Rhodes concerning the creation of the character, but that Russo was heavily involved. Bruce says “Stardust” was even considered as a name.

According to Russo, Dustin offered to have breast implants if Vince paid him $1 million. Bruce confirms that Dustin did inquire about it.

Val Venis was a Russo creation. Bruce says, unfortunately, the gimmick had a finite shelf life.

The guys discuss good and bad ideas that Russo came up with. Bruce hated the Brawl For All and says Russo hatched the idea as a way to mess with JBL. The Oddities, anything involving Howard Stern, Beaver Cleavage and others are mentioned in the “bad” end of things. As part of the “good”, Bruce says Russo had much to do with The Three Faces Of Foley, but then shifts quickly to a story about Dude Love.

Mick Foley played the character as a teenager. He envisioned Dude Love being a cool, Shawn Michaels type character. When he told Michaels about this, Bruce asked to see the tapes Foley said he had of him doing Dude Love as a young man. The rest is history.

Next up we discuss the swerves Russo is famous for. The guys agree they were overdone. As Bruce mentions “sooner or later the bell has to ring.”

We also talk more about Russo’s disdain for Vince’s “profession” type gimmicks, like a plumber and a garbage man. Bruce then brings up the Undertaker as one of those types of gimmicks that clearly worked well. It’s funny what takes off and what doesn’t and clearly, it has a lot to do with the wrestler portraying the gimmick. It’s funny to think of Duke “The Dumpster” Droese doing the job to Roman Reigns in the final match of this year’s WrestleMania, then returning to the center of the ring, setting down a trash can and dropping his trademark rubber gloves into it and walking off into the sunset. Yep, all about the wrestler portraying the gimmick.

Bruce says for all the talk Russo’s done about being cool and hip if it wasn’t something that came from the Howard Stern universe, he didn’t know anything about it. This includes both Russo and Vince not knowing that The Godfather was making marijuana references in his pre-match routine.

Stephanie McMahon is brought up next. Bruce says the first person to ever suggest using her on TV was Jim Cornette. Russo then made it happen.

In his book, Russo takes credit for the Montreal Screwjob. He claims to have come up with the finish for the match. Bruce’s response? “WOW.”

So much has been discussed on this one over the years that this one pretty much refutes itself.

Russo also claims that Owen turned to him following the Screwjob and that Bret wanted to kick him out of the family for staying with WWF. He also says that Bret told him he wanted to return with a gun the following day.

It’s around this time in the show that Bruce says he really tried to keep an open mind heading into this episode, but that Russo is clearly delusional.

Conrad then reads excerpts from Russo’s book where he describes how he created the Mr. McMahon character. Bruce says he, Shane and Pat Patterson were the only ones around Vince at that time. Vince was staying away for a bit because of the black eye he was given by Bret and subsequent vision problems he was dealing with. Eventually, Vince wanted to get his story out, which is where Vince’s famous sit-down interview came from and that’s where the Mr. McMahon character was born.

Conrad then reads an excerpt where Russo describes the writing process at that point in time. He says he wrote everything and Vince “fine tuned” it. Bruce says “filtered” is a better word.

Bruce says Vince’s “big picture vision” is unlike anything he’s seen in his life and that he bases that on working with him for twenty-two years, not two like Russo, who says Vince is not good with the big picture.

Though Vince is known for making knee-jerk reactions, he’s also able to be remarkably patient, depending on his surroundings.

Bruce says Russo deserves credit for selling Vince on creating “tweener” characters, but that it wasn’t an original idea. He says many writers would discuss such things, but Russo was able to get through to Vince with it. With the “shades of gray” booking comes unpredictability and swerves. But if everything is a swerve, the unpredictability becomes predictable.

Russo is obsessed with receiving credit in his book. Bruce says he remembers Russo coming into a booking meeting pointing at his head and saying everything was coming from him.

Regardless of where someone stood on the card, Russo would treat them the same. He took pride in this and Bruce gives him credit for it.

Russo felt no one star was bigger than the WWF, but that Vince would cave to wrestlers all the time, particularly Austin. Bruce says it’s more a matter of Vince siding with talent since they’re the ones performing and you need them to be comfortable.

Russo claimed to have come up with the look, name, catchphrase and “The Game” for Triple H.

“He definitely did not come up with the look. I don’t know if he came up with ‘The Game’ or not, that might’ve been something that Russo wrote in promos at some point for Hunter, so that may be true. I do remember Corny (Jim Cornette) and Vince McMahon saying that Triple H would be a mid-card guy at best early on in his career. And Russo was a huge proponent of Triple H and I dare say that without Russo at the helm at the time, Hunter probably would not have gotten the breaks that he got at that time.”

Was Russo the biggest advocate for Hunter at the time?

“Yeah, and then Vince McMahon. But Hunter was one of those guys that was always around and always asking questions and wanting to be a part of whatever he could do and wanting to learn. I liked Hunter because I always liked his attitude – just willing to do whatever it took to learn the business. But Russo was definitely pushing Hunter and had an awful lot of ideas for him.”

According to his book, Russo didn’t see what the big deal was about the Curtain Call. He thought everyone (Cornette and Bruce in particular) were overreacting. He says Hunter stayed in the dog house for six months or so before he started booking.

“It was simply a feeling of what they did being disrespectful to Vince, being disrespectful to the memory of Vince’s dad and to do it in the Garden, in our home. It was something that hadn’t been done before and everybody was upset about. Not just me, not just Cornette, but Vince McMahon and every one of the boys that wasn’t involved in the Curtain Call.”

Bruce says where creative ideas involving Triple H and Chyna were involved, they were a package deal and wanted to be around when things were pitched to one another. Russo interpreted this as Triple H not wanting to leave Chyna’s side and being overprotective.

Shawn Michaels brought the idea of Road Dogg and Billy Gunn joining DX. Russo claimed it was Vince’s idea and that he (Russo) didn’t see it.

Vince was not present for a television taping where Michaels introduced the famous DX crotch chops. He chewed Michaels out later, but then was taken by Michaels attitude. Bruce says Vince then talked about “attitude” all the time. “I want more attitude!” and that’s where WWF Attitude was born.

Bruce says Vince was infatuated with Sable from day one. He saw Austin and Sable exchange a look on camera and a light bulb went on for how he could use her on TV. Russo was also obsessed with her and claimed he suggested what her character would become to Vince. Bruce says no, that was all Vince.

The guys then discuss Sable leaving the company. Bruce says success went to her head and that she thought she deserved more money than what she was making. She later sued the company over it but lost. Russo claimed that Vince bragged about winning that court decision. Bruce says that doesn’t sound like Vince.

Russo loved writing for the Rock and Mick Foley. This brings us to the famous This Is Your Life segment on Raw. With an 8.4, it was nearly the highest rating in Raw history. Vince was upset with Russo for running so far over his allotted time. Russo feels that the ends justified the means and that Vince owed him an apology after the ratings came in. Bruce says writing the show comes with a lot of responsibilities, including pacing. He says going over 15 minutes affects the rest of the show. While Russo is in the back high-fiving the Rock and Mick Foley, everyone else is scrambling, trying to clean up the mess. He says in this regard, Russo was naïve as a writer.

Russo writes a lot about his love/hate relationship with Vince. Bruce says a lot of people that work with Vince feel the same way.

Bruce thinks Bonnie Hammer at USA Network was a great partner to work with.

Russo complains about a lot of the crass content on the show and how the company claimed to be marketing to adults while selling children’s products. Bruce points out that Russo wrote Sexual Chocolate, Val Venis, Meat, and tons of other “adult-oriented” characters. Then Bruce says that Russo wanted him to portray a sleazy salesman based on a Dan Aykroyd character on SNL.

Russo brought the Wack Pack from the Howard Stern Show onto Raw. If you’ve made it this far into the episode, you know that Russo felt this was the epitome of hipness and cool. Bruce says they were all screwed up on crack and other drugs and were an embarrassment to deal with.

Bruce says that no one had an issue with Russo being honest with them, that it was his attitude that rubbed everyone the wrong way. He believes the world begins and ends in New York City.

Russo says traveling with Vince was brutal, that it was always work, work, work. He would not let you sleep and would suck you dry. Bruce says that part is pretty accurate. He says he loved not having to travel with Vince.

Russo loved the Ultimate Warrior and found him to be incredibly intelligent – “on a different plane.” He calls him a modern-day poet and a genius. Bruce says “absolutely no comment to any of that” before adding he couldn’t disagree more.

Russo did not think highly of Jim Ross. He says he was out of his league as the head of Talent Relations. He also claimed that JR would not make time for lower card talent. Bruce says he never encountered that and that his ability to treat everyone fairly earned him the position he had. He was always looking for that next star.

Bruce thought JR was the best Talent Relations head the company ever had. He says he was a great businessman.

Russo thought JR did a poor job of bringing in talent, to which Bruce counters that Russo had no idea what JR’s job was about, that there was a lot more to it than wanting a guy and getting him.

We then finish up the subject of JR with Russo, in his book, talking about how he didn’t want JR on TV following his bout with Bells Palsy. He then writes about how he had to have Ed Ferrara portray JR on WCW TV complete with a distorted face as funny, regardless of how tasteless it came off. Ugh.

It is then discussed that Vince rode the zip line in the arena prior to Shawn Michaels famously doing so at WrestleMania XII. Bruce says he was supposed to go second but chickened out.

Russo was upset with Vince when the company went public and he received no credit. Bruce says all the names mentioned publicly were officers of the company and that Russo wasn’t an officer, that he shouldn’t have been named.

When Smackdown was launched, Russo was shocked to learn he would not receive a pay increase to write the show. Bruce’s attitude here is that it’s the way business has always been done and that he didn’t feel bad for Russo.

Bruce says that Russo didn’t show much concern for injured wrestlers. He felt wrestling was a work and that wrestlers should be able to do what he wants, regardless of their health.

In the end, Russo was burned out and hated his job with the WWF. Vince wanted him to carry a cell phone and to be on call at all hours. Bruce says that’s the job description for that position. Conrad says that doesn’t feel right, but if it’s always been that way, it is what it is.

When Russo came to Vince telling him he wanted to spend more time with his kids. He says Vince told him to “hire a nanny.” Bruce says he could see Vince saying that. He says working for Vince is very taxing and if you can’t hang, you can’t hang.

Russo told Vince he wanted to retire when he turned 40. That would be in 15 months, and he wanted $1 Million to stay until then. Vince said he’d think about it, but Russo never heard about it again. A few weeks later, he called Vince on a Sunday night and told him he just got back from Atlanta and was leaving for WCW. Russo says Vince was angry with him, but Russo told him he didn’t want things to be ugly between them. He claims that Vince told him it was the most devastating call he’d ever received and told him he would’ve given him the $1 million he requested.

Bruce heard about the call from JR that night and spoke to Vince the next day. There wasn’t any talk of the specifics of their conversation. He thinks it doesn’t sound like Vince to tell someone in closing that he would’ve given them the money they asked for.

Bruce says when you work for Vince you spend so much time with him that he begins to feel like family, that it’s a hard relationship to put behind you when the time eventually comes.

Russo rejoined the company in 2002. It only lasted for a few weeks. He was to be named head writer of both shows. When he sat down with everyone to discuss ideas, Bruce says it became clear that Russo was not up on the current product. He wanted to strip every one of the titles and hold tournaments. He didn’t know if Triple H and Jericho had ever worked together, even though they’d headlined the previous WrestleMania. Bruce says after Russo left that day, the team presented Vine with all of Russo’s ideas, to which Vince responded “What the f**k did I do?”

From there, Vince spent a couple weeks shooting down Russo’s ideas and that was it.

Russo always campaigned for end credits to be placed on Raw just like they were on Prime Time Wrestling back in the day. Bruce says that likely only happened because Vince never made it to the end of an episode of Prime Time Wrestling.

Synopsis
Given Vince Russo’s fiery temperament and recent clashes with other podcast hosts, expectations were high heading into this show. Conrad and Bruce did not disappoint. Interestingly enough, though, they didn’t make this a newsworthy show by making controversial comments and laying down challenges (that part was saved for Twitter) but through simply reading Vince Russo’s own words, responding and expounding. Considering how hot, or simply flummoxed Bruce became at times, there wasn’t as much comedy in this episode as usual. Impressions were kept to a minimum, with only two Russo-style “Bro” exclamations throughout. That said, the format and topic (a non-televised personality) were unique and fans of this show (and Russo’s) should make a point of catching it.

Rating – 9/10

Time Stamp
9:55: Show begins
11:25: Prior to wrestling
16:03: John Arezzi
19:40: Linda brings Russo into the WWF
20:41: Bruce meets Russo
21:45: Raw Magazine
24:53: Relationship between Russo and Bruce
26:10: Horrible OJ/Goldman WM idea
28:23: Bill Watts
32:03: Vic Venom
34:50: Bret Hart shoot interview
38:08: Early promo writing
39:57: Blackjack Lanza
44:55: Russo reaches out to WCW in 1996
49:05: Russo joins the writing team
58:55: Chainsaw Charlie
1:04:10: Who?
1:05:49: A man without an island
1:09:30: Accusations of copying ECW
1:12:09: Livewire
1:14:45: Mantaur
1:16:35: The DX Invasion/The Rock
1:21:46: Stone Cold Steve Austin
1:24:32: Goldust
1:32:20: Bad and good Russo ideas
1:41:00: Stephanie McMahon
1:43:00: The Montreal Screwjob
1:54:50: SummerSlam 98
1:59:30: Shades of gray
2:01:13: Getting credit
2:07:18: Triple H
2:11:31: Chyna
2:14:05: DX/Attitude
2:19:27: Sable
2:27:00: This Is Your Life
2:30:14: Love/Hate with Vince McMahon
2:34:45: Bonnie Hammer/USA Network
2:35:50: Merchandise
2:38:27: Wack Pack
2:41:37: Clashes with talent
2:42:23: Howard Finkel
2:44:11: Ultimate Warrior
2:46:10: Jim Ross
2:55:14: Owen Hart
3:00:00: Russo’s departure from WWF
3:12:29: Russo’s return to WWE
3:17:42: No end credits?
3:22:21: Twitter questions
3:24:55: Bruce’s closing comments

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