Vince Russo was recently interviewed by the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast and talked about crash TV, challenging Vince McMahon on booking decisions and more. Here are the highlights they sent along:
Where did the “crash” TV mindset come from when writing shows in the Attitude Era:
“Basically where “crash” TV came from is real simple because there is no reason in the world that they should not instill the same freaking work ethic and if they instilled this today the show would go from a one to a ten overnight. Where “crash” TV came from was because we were going head to head with Monday Nitro. The way Ed (Ferrera) and I wrote the show is you had a television with a wrestling fan sitting in front of that television set on Monday night and they had a choice between Nitro and RAW. When they flip over to RAW and they are watching RAW they are begging you to give them a reason and give them a low and give them the opportunity to tune over to the other show and (bro) knowing if they tune over to the other show and there is something good there, they may never come back. Ed and I literally wrote that show like the wrestling fan was sitting in front of his TV on Monday nights and he had the remote control in his hand and he was begging you to let him flip over to see what was going on on Nitro. That is where “crash” TV came from and you know what? There is no reason in the world that it should not be the same psychology today.”
What is the main problem plaguing WWE across the board:
“Here is the problem in a nutshell and this is the problem across the board. It’s because of politics and that is what it is all about. It is all about ego and because of ego, politics and power they have people in key positions that have no reason being there. You know how in every other big company like if you work for Apple or you work for a Chevrolet, any company you work for will want to hire the best people to make their company better. That is how companies become better. You look at kids coming out of college and you look at people that are out there with experience and you are always looking for better people to make you better. Bro, wrestling is the complete opposite. They have inadequate people in key positions that got there because of politics and if you are on the outside looking in and you have any kind of talent whatsoever they will do anything in their power to keep you away. They will bury you, they will start campaigns online, they will smear your name, they will lie about you, they will make crap up about you and anybody that is better than them they just destroy because they are protecting their spot. When somebody comes in that is better than them all of a sudden they are exposed. There is no light at the end of the rainbow and they don’t have the right people in there and they don’t have the right people doing the key jobs and that is evident every time you watch one of their shows.”
Is it Vince McMahon just surrounding himself with “yes men” that is the problem:
“Bro, you want to know something that makes no sense? All of these clowns, they are all writing to please Vince. They are all writing to please a 72 year old man. Unfortunately, 72 year old men are not your audience.”
Challenging Vince on booking decisions:
“I will never forget there was a Summer Slam at Madison Square Garden with AC/DC Highway to Hell and I’ll never forget the main event was Taker vs. Austin. Taker and Austin were really good friends and they wanted to go into that match at Madison Square Garden and they wanted to make it a babyface match because as a shoot they were very close. I remember getting in a yelling match with Vince McMahon and lets face it Taker and Austin were the top guys and they earned that spot so Vince wanted to make them happy and I couldn’t understand that.”
“I remember saying to Vince and especially in New York at Madison Square Garden that people do not want to see a babyface match between Austin and Taker, they want to see these guys freaking kill each other. It’s freaking New York City bro this isn’t Wisconsin and I remember yelling at him in his freaking car. The end of that story is they had their babyface match and there was no response and both guys knew why but that doesn’t matter. My point is that I got away with that stuff because at the end of the day Vince knew my passion and he knew that Vince Russo wasn’t about power and ego and money and all that crap but he was about wanting the show being the best it could absolutely be. Vince knew that and if he didn’t know that do you know how many times he would have fired me? He knew what my agenda was and he knew where my heart was and it was always in the show being the best it could be. Today it is all about protecting your spot and making sure you are safe, write something that Vince will like and OH MY GOD bro it is freaking horrible.”
What is the biggest misconception of Vince Russo:
“You know what part of the misconception is about me and listen I’m not saying this to be braggadocios because I swear to you I do not have an ego and I don’t give a crap. But I wrote for characters long enough to know what gets a character over and at the end of the day here is what gets a character over.”
“Basically you’ve got to find something in them that is very real so when they go out and portray that (character) you magnify it a million times over and people believe it. They are not acting because it is real to them. That is the key to getting a character over. With that said, when they started putting so much freaking pressure on me to get rating at WCW, bro I never wanted to be a character on TV and I never had any intentions of being a character on TV.”
“To this day, I promise you that is 90% of the reason why so many people disdain me. They disdain me because in their minds I am still that character and I’m not. That is not me, I don’t carry myself that way and I swear to God that I buried myself at WCW and later on in TNA buried myself because I never put on a power play, I never wanted power, never wanted more money I just wanted to write the television show. That is all I cared about and those around me who were political animals buried me and were burying me because they were afraid of me and because they knew my talent. The only way they were going to bring me down was to continue to bury me over and over again until they convinced that person that I was the person that they wanted me to be. Bro, I didn’t fight back because my whole theory was if you want to buy into that and want to believe them than no problem just get rid of me and let them do the job and lets see what happens. With TNA, you can look at TNA and you can look at the numbers and you can pinpoint exactly where Russo left the company. You can look at those numbers and see that Vince wrote up to this point and than Vince left because you look at that number month after month and they started losing more and more audience. So that is the misconception, people don’t know me, they have no idea of who I am and they don’t know about Vince Russo the son, the husband, the father, they know of me as being a fictional character that they saw on TV.”
For the full interview with Vince Russo, check out the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast.
I love Russo. He’s right!