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Classic SETW: Vince Russo


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I created two and Dan for Brady. You GonNa talk all about me this week. It's all about this guy. How about Conrad which thinking man I think that your impression of in spruce Sounds like the mayor on the simpsons. It sounds like he's a he's the Kennedy family compound. Yes I can't wait to say era. I mean that's that's sort of impression man that's Russo. We're going to have them stirred up this week How busy is your twitter? Feed GonNa be tonight when this show comes out you know I. I imagine it's all going to be like tagged with what is at that rail network thing or whatever bro. Everything's GonNa be attached to the Grell network with the first three letters of that being bro that me tell you something so yeah I can hardly wait. One of the most controversial figures in the history of professional wrestling. Some of his success cannot be denied. But we're going to examine the highs and the lows lows today Bruce. Let's get started. Are you ready now. I'm ready the question is are you ready. So No tag is I do and I'm ready to get you fired. Art Today because our source material is Vince. Russo's book so it's GonNa be very difficult for him to call on some of the stuff we're saying here today Of course let's start from the beginning. Russo grew up in New York so he was raised on the Old New York territory. Wrestling Koslov Captain Lou in the valley and brothers eventually goes off to college falls in love and finds his wife there and they're still together to this day which is pretty rare in wrestling after college where he graduated with a journalism degree which a lot of venom fans may find hard to believe he got into sales. And I've always found that fascinating because it seems like one of the keys is to being good and creative is. You've got to be a bit of a salesman. Whether you're Eric. Bischoff or Bruce Prichard or Vince McMahon. Is it fair to say that in order to be you know. Oh influential and creative. You've got to be pretty good at sales to I think whenever you're telling stories and you're delivering anything to an audience or it just room full of people or one person. Yeah you're selling your ideas you're selling what it is that you believe in so you gotta be a good salesman absolutely lutely now these days. Rousseau is selling the real network. He's gotTA show every day. So I'm sure You'll see lots of responses from Vince. This week So after he gets into sales he discovers a business opportunity he could own a video rental store which was just tremendous business in the eighties survey so of course these days things are a little different but he starts to see blockbuster take his market share when they move into his area so he starts to look for something else to do do and he finds himself in a relationship with John. Razzie doing a radio show in November of Nineteen ninety-one there in New York all based on wrestling. What do you remember about Jonah Razzie Vince? Russo's radio show in ninety one. I remember Jonah Razzie. Having a radio show on I remember. Razzie was a quasi independent either wrestler wrestling promoter. Something like that out on Long Island. But I'd heard the name John. Resume the idea of Vince Russo. At that time so eventually convinced decides he wants to take us to the next level even briefly trained to be arrest ler earlier with hall of Famer Johnny Rods. Did you know that Rousseau try out to be a wrestler and even started training a little bit. I knew that he had gone to Johnny Rawson School there for a brief time but think taking bumps and getting hit every night wasn't for Vince Russo. That's not for a lot of people. Eventually though he finds this is way into the W. and I'm curious. Who would have been running the magazine at the Tom There was a guy. Tom Emanuel was a British Fella That was the publisher and he pretty much ran. The overall publishing of the magazine and then Edwards Schutte was the editor of the magazine so he handled putting it all together. He handled the content and handled the writers and photographers and everything for the magazine so once he finds his way into the magazine. And he's with the company. Do you remember how he sort of. I don't know meshed with the rest of the company I mean was. We'll see sort of falling in line or did he have grandiose ideas right from the start. From the best of your recollection. No events had grandiose. Ideas invents. Vince was looking for a way to change. Vince came in. He didn't he didn't want to do the things the try. Intrude way that it had been done for. So long they're Russa was looking to freshen things up not only with his writing style but the whole look look in presentation of the magazine as well do you remember about when you met vents with. This has been pretty early on. We'll see in the office every day. Yeah now Russell was definitely in the office every day and I I met him you know when he came in he came around and introduced himself to everyone and ask for help and the fact act that he actually was talking to people and then he was actually asking questions was refreshing sign in and of itself so that in that right. There was something that made Vince. Stand out from the other folks over at the magazine. How was he able to move up so quickly because he's tired tired on just to sort of assist with the magazine but before you know it? He's moved up to the editor of the magazine and even launches the raw magazine of course at the time the W. F. Magazine had been around forever but now they're going to add a second publication and it all happened under Rousseau's watch. How did this happen so quickly for him? He was able to come any have fresh ideas. He has some fresh ideas and they were good ideas to freshen up. We had had a magazine that had been kind of marred in an upscale wrassling magazine that had been on newsstands for years and Vince Russo came came in and just wanted to update it. He wanted to make it. I don't want to say more real but roussel actually got involved with the talent and and with us so that what they were doing in the magazine mirrored what we were doing on television. That was something that the magazine hadn't done before four. In addition he was pushing for shorter lag. Time of production time. So that what you had in the magazine was more current more up to date than what had been previously done. This is the current issue of the magazine and Vince Russo. Look at this walking in the editor rights. I this is very cool. When does there's this addition hit the standards? This magazine will hit the newsstands. This Tuesday may ten okay. And you have the Hitman on the cover but I understand the feature articles on the rocket. Well the Hitman is on the cover but the big news with is with the right heart tells the magazine that he used to be the Blue Blazer. Oh Man reason why he wore a mask was because because brother Brett didn't want owing to get a lot of really. How was he received by the boys when he is all? The sudden. got a different approach to the magazine. Zane do they look at it as something. That's going to help. Or is it a bit of a nuisance in something they don't really want to be bothered with. I think that there were a little bit of both. There were those who look data as an opportunity to get their characters over and they looked at it as an opportunity that hey this guy's actually coming to me and asking me for my opinion union. He's asking me for my comments. Then there were also you know that group of talent that felt. They've made it up for all these years prior prior. Why don't you guys just continue to make it up? You go you go right. Whatever the hell you want? I don't care so it was a mixed bag. Vinci's take on all this. He told us what the boys liked. Do you remember an incident where maybe Vince was. Not so pleased with something. The Russo had done for the magazine. Well Vince McMahon was please especially in the beginning because the magazine was taken on a new field and and it it was covering the story lines. Same story lines and be more up to date with the television product so this man was happy about that looking added. This is progress. I think that there were some times that Rousseau would print things talent would say that didn't necessarily follow their storyline and didn't necessarily Continue with their character and help enhance their character. It may have been more for example it was more Bret Hart versus the Hitman talking. It was made more Kevin Nash. VIN diesel so this one of those characters. Let's talk a little bit about how he starts to maybe move up. Politically eventually writes in his book that he felt like you know the the magazine wasn't good enough. He had aspirations higher than that. And he wants to move up and the way to to do that is to get close to the guys who were close to specifically Bruce and pat and he had a lot to say about you in his book he says. Oh I'm sure my relationship with Bruce Prichard was a bit more suspect Bruce in our better friends per se the patent our but call it instinct. I was always leery of him from the beginning for whatever reason I never trusted him and he goes on to say that your ideas while they may have worked in the old school wrassling era They were stale and not working by nineteen ninety-six and he suggests that you felt threatened by his presence. So you try to take him under your wing so to speak but really just as a defensive strategy to hide his true talent from Vince McMahon. So your response Bruce. So let me get this straight. I took him under my wing and I bring him into the mix with. Vince McMahon to talk about his ideas and to help us out. Because because I'm threatened. Does that make sense. Well he threatened. I'm GONNA keep him away if I if I don't WanNa there. I'm going to keep him away. I'm I'm not gonNA bring him into the mix no we. We needed help. We needed some fresh ideas and Russo had fresh ideas and it was another voice. So I wanted Vince Russo. To come in and be a part of it because he was contributing and it was a different way of looking at the business it takes you. Ask the task for a lot of your ideas in the book. And he's got one that I just can't let slip by. He says that he was able to sort of listen. And learn a lot from you guys but but he learned a lot about what not to do too including one time when you guys pitch the idea of having. OJ Simpson Wrestle at Wrestlemania toil for a million dollars dollars and allegedly heure. Even thinking of having. Fred Goldman which I just can't even believe participate and the stipulation was Fred would get this is directly from the book a bad that was a gun a machete or a hand grenade. Yeah that was an idea. That was Vince. Russo's idea our idea was for OJ Simpson to have a match with like a Roddy Piper. Her it was Vince. Russo's idea to have Fred Goldman have a match with OJ Simpson. That wasn't idea. I don't know why but the idea that. OJ At wrestlemainia ninety six. Is that the worst idea you ever had. It's gotta be up there. Oh God no. I've had much worse. It than that trust me it ranks it ranks up there is one of the most tasteless tasteless ideas We've ever had but not definitely not the worst. I've I've had worse but but the idea of no brawe. Aw It should be gold. Minute should be the father and we give the father bat a gun a knife whatever he wants to just be a shutout of OJ. What the a hand grenade this is real life live ideas? That was Vince. RUSSO IDEA SH- Russo. Also wrote the bill watts. Lots came in to create it for a little bit and I can't wait for us to talk about that at other time. But he does say that. In his opinion you're intimidated by Bill Watts and uh-huh oh you're laughing at that so you don't you. I am being intimidated by bill. Watch yes I'm laughing at that that's why to me. Why why am I laughing at that? Because I wasn't intimidated by Bill. Watts Bill. Watts was a bully and bill. Watts was somebody that was coming in. And actually that we were happy was coming in again. Someone with new ideas to help us out because we have been doing it for so long that we needed fresh ideas and we wanted somebody from the outside to come in and help. That was it but intimidated no way shape or form. Rousseau writes that it was bill bill. Watts who invited him to start sitting in on the booking committee meetings as that the way you remember going down the bill. Watts is the guy who I put them in that circle. I'm sorry I met her to go. It was me who took unders weighing and I was the one that I started bringing Vince. Russo on the one that I brought Vince Russo and when we would sit down and write. TV when we were doing things like that there was no booking committee. It was Vince. Pat and myself Alf. Bill Watts was added to that mix. Let's Jim Cornet doing a Jimmy. Jimmy wasn't a part of it yet. Okay Rousseau writes in his book that when Brett came back to the WSB the fall of ninety six. He does a full-blown shooter interview for the New Role magazine scene. And he shows you the rough draft any alleges that instead of doing what he asks which was take a look before I show this events he suggests. Maybe maybe you're a bit of a tattletale and you went and showed it to Vance and Vance flipped out asking you know what was Russo. Doing trying to put him out of business by referencing. Difference saying Eric Bischoff. And W W in the magazine. Do you remember that particular incident and the fallout from it. Sure I do. Yeah Vince Russo had done an interview with Brad Hart and he printed it as verbatim. That's what I mean about where he would take the bret. Hart the Human being and not the character the Hitman Bret Hart and he put that on paper and I did take a defense. I was like on is this. What is this what you want? The initial reaction was. This is bad this is bad for business. All this other stuff turned into Vince. McMahon in you know coming back is like debt this is what Iran has he needs to be. This is what raw I it needs to me. So you know. So if me bringing that to Vincent attention which is what got. Vincent McMahon to pay attention to Rousseau even more than again. That's my fault Yup sure. Did I brought Vincent attention. And it got Vince. 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I thirty percent off their first order by visiting solid gold pet dot com forward slash wrestle that solid gold pet dot com slash wrestle for thirty percent off your first order. Remember thirty percent off your first order when you go to solid go pet dot com slash wrestle that solid gold pet dot com slash wrestle. We'll talk about the The comment that the magazine and the TV need to look a little more. Like in the minute I I do want to ask. When when he describes you sort of running this rough draft over to events he says you have no spalding? 's and that you're one of the many yes man that vincit surrounded himself with for decades your response. Well I would have to go back to the fact that a it was there that long and be the fact that Vince McMahon and I usually disagreed on most things especially when it came to the business and creative ideas ideas. And that's why I stayed around for so long because I did disagree with this. However if he considers that after the two of US argue it out and the owner of the company? Your boss says makes a decision whether it's your idea or his idea. He makes a decision in a direction to go. I supported Vince. McMahon and I supported the boss wants. He made that decision. So that's being a yes man then. I'm yes man but I fought tooth and nail for my ideas years. I fought tooth and nail for other people's ideas with vents. But once you leave the room in a decision is made. You don't go behind people's backs and say like well you know what. Hey I had this idea and the old man hated it. But I'm in your corner buddy. That's not what you do you go out this. This is now our idea and this is what we're going to do and it doesn't matter what your ideas are. Vince is idea was what matters is the idea. And the direction action that was decided upon and move forward. Rousseau wrote that eventually McMahon started a call carve off more and more responsibility. What's ability including ham producing the localized promos for the individual talent? And he says before he was able to produce talent. Vince wanted to Put Him with blackjack Lanza sort of maybe a bit of a mentor of how to handle the boys. What's the strategy putting together an old timer and the young upstart like Doc? This well Jack. Lanza had been the one that had been in the in the rooms working with talent on a daily basis for the localized is interviews. And Jack was that longtime producer. So you've got to learn what the hell you're doing. Rousseau never produced television in his life he had never produced talent in his his life. So he's got to learn somewhere. And that was the starting point for Rousseau to start learning how to work with talent and how to produce talent works for television best so put them which Act Lanza of in that framework so that Rousseau could start learning Russa's pretty complimentary to some of the legends in the business who are helping the company in a backstage capacity at the time whether it was bob back land or chores. Animal stealer even Dutchman tail but I found that sort of interesting because he comes after you and even Jim Cornet for saying that you have these antiquated ideas. But he shows so much respect to these other legends. How do you reconcile all that? Well I think that they were different. We were probably a lot more outspoken Okun than the legends. If you will it we were also kind of the same age group. So the fact that we weren't his elder her Probably he had less respect for that. But the fact that I'd been in the business since I was ten years old. Same thing with Jim Cornet. We had a lot more experience and a lot more tenure in the wrestling business than he did. But it was a difference of opinion in my opinion More than anything anything else eventually. Russo starts to feel like the company is a bit of a sinking ship. He describes the fake razor Zor and fake diesel. I Dunno shenanigans as rock bottom. And he's so frustrated with this. He Calls Kevin Nash to see if maybe the spot for him in. WCW Rousseau's working without a contract here. So he eventually has a conversation with Eric. Bischoff where he just asked Eric for an opportunity. And Eric offers a seventy five thousand dollars a year position but before accepting. He wants to at least have a conversation with Vince. And thanks. Maybe I should try to have like a warm-up conversation with Linda just sort of feel out the process in the middle of that mating. Vince walks in and says that Rousseau is selfish. When do you remember hearing about Rousseau maybe testing the waters in WCW? And how did McMahon. Explain that meeting to you. Well it was 'cause again as you said Rousseau testing the waters and that that angered Vince McMahon Employees which Vince Russo was. We didn't have contracts so if you were an employee you were an employee and you didn't have to have a contract Pretty much you could leave of your own volition or if you were fired. I don't believe we had any non competes. We didn't have anything at the time so Russo was tested those water seeing if there was something else out there. I don't know that I guess you would know a lot better From talking there at Bischoff if indeed roussel was actually offered a a position I. I don't know that to be true but I do know that it. Anger Vince McMahon that he was leaving looking before he came to Vince. McMahon said hey is there something more I can do. Let's fast forward. Of course Russo doesn't leave he sticks around and by March of ninety seven raw magazine Israel hitting its stride and he calls a meeting. He being Vince McMahon Pronouns Pal and in front of everyone says that the show sucks and the show should be more like this and slams down the latest issue of the raw magazine and Russo would right with that one statement. I rose above all all the creative brass sitting in that room. He would continue man. I looked into the eyes of Pritchard. Ross and Cornet that day and I've never seen such hatred. They had to be thinking thinking. How did this guy pull this off? I'll tell you how by being honest and not playing anybody to get there by own merit and by just playing the game aim smarter. Do you remember this meeting. And what are your response. What is your response to Rousseau's comments here? That he was just better in the he had one the. What did he win? And again I go back to. You know if he's playing games. We weren't playing games. We were doing our job so it wasn't about playing games and I remember that meeting vividly the shows did suck and it was also at a time where I was looking for someone to come in and help us and Vince. Russo was one of those people that I was pitching for to come in and help us take some of that burden off of us to throw some fresh ideas in in there. Okay not the traditional wrestling ideas not another old school wrestler. Want somebody with a completely different outlook. which rich Russo had so I saw that and he did have a completely different outlook any sometimes? His approach was a little rough. But that's okay to by was as well but looking at him with hatred there was no hatred there at all it was okay. Great whatever for it is whatever it is to get Vince off of the fans and to get some change and get something different. Going is is good. I like when people talk about well. WHO's idea was okay as my ideas? His ideas her idea doesn't matter if it's a good idea. It's a good idea if it's a bad idea. It's a bad idea you ask. What did he win? Rousseau wrote that he won. You're spot on the booking committee because you were out out at that point and you were since talent relations. So Vince McMahon's dining room table. Had Vince McMahon. Jim Cornet and Vince Russo. All I did win my spot in any way shape or form. Let's talk about facts. Okay and what took place at the time. Jj Dylan Dillon. Left the company abruptly. Jj Dylan was vice president talent relations. Jj left abruptly left a huge void in talent relations with no. I want to step into that position. Vince McMahon made the decision to put me in that role. I didn't want that role wasn't good at that hat role to be clear and didn't WanNa go there. However Vince want someone that he could trust and he wants someone in that position that he we knew and then hit that also knew the INS and outs of talent relations? That's what happened. My role and talent relations didn't didn't allow me enough time to do both. And that was how Vince Russo. One that position Wind Shit Ha. It was moving. I'm I moved from here over to here. That's what happened well. I can't wait to say that you failed at that and you're only talent relations for a few weeks before you came crawling back because Vincent had to give that job to someone else. What now? Oh you are a man on an island with no country and you had nothing to do. So what better to do than to just sorta stir up some controversy. He says that you went to him and called them into into your office and said people in the office. Don't want to work with you. Nobody and he wrote he even went so far. Ars the name names again. Not Believing a word of this ploy. I questioned who everyone had spoken to Bruce. Everyone flat out denied the allegations locations. who was lying and who was telling the truth so he says you feel super threatened? Now that you've been kicked off of the booking committee you've been kicked out talent relations and now you're trying to you know sort of say. Hey nobody even likes you. Vents your response. So what the hell was I doing. Then because I was Intel talent relations from nineteen ninety seven until two thousand actually I was in talent relations from nineteen ninety two to two thousand but still That's aside the point now. What Vincent is making reference to there was an roussel got on the the writing thing was helping vents right the television show so he was Kinda running roughshod over a lot of people and particularly in the magazine in at the television studio? Vince McMahon came to me and said Powell. He's your buddy. You're the one that brought them in. You need to rein him in a little bit damaged. I'm getting people. Oh come to me and I think it would be best coming from you to talk to him. And I was blunt didn't sugarcoat it NASA events. You know you might want to ease the way that you're talking some people. Here's here's the feedback that I got in my feedback was directly from. Vince McMahon. I am now I did name names because I don't like you know when you're in a situation like that well who said that. Tell you who you said it. Russa went confronted them. They denied it to Vince. Russo had we had the opportunity to say. Hey everybody getting the same room. Including including Vince McMahon. And let's talk about it. I think it would have been a completely different situation. I was the fall guy my role in my position for so long I was the Asshole I was the bad guy I delivered the bad news. I was one that had to have those conversations with people but in that particular one that came directly from Vince McMahon and that was feedback that he had gotten from. People and Vince felt that it would be easier and be better matter. If I delivered that to Vince Russo. And I was able to. You know. Say Hey man get your shit together. Do this do that when he went confronted. People know Vince. I would never say that. That's human nature. That happens every day in every business all over the world. Well what does is a happen is when two people dislike each other as much as Vince. Russo in Jim Corr Nat Rousseau wrote in his book. That these guys just never got along. He felt like coronets ideas for twenty years too old. He had nothing new to contribute to the wrestling business. At least Russa's estimation and he says that they argued so frequently that McMahon would turn red the veins popping out of his neck. It was like separating children. This is typical wrestling wrestling. Is it wrestling. But what do you say down. The Amur can talk you at Tennessee. Wherever you come from topical Jim Nineteen ninety-six? Jim Cornet Yemi. People don't want to hear this anymore. Okay well let's aperture. I'm not concerned about adopt concerned about. This is the only one here who's concerned about the but he he says effectively Cornell had enough for up to sort of hang himself when he made a pitch that sealed his fate. At least in Russa's mind and it was the way chainsaw Charlie debuted. This was a gym cornet idea. And it's a pretty famous story on the podcast but above the bucks and he'll be over mother I don't know that the chainsaw Charlie debut is what sealed Jim cornets face fate. By any stretch of the imagination cornet and Russo were oil and water man. It was the north North Meeting the south and it was the civil war all over again. I hate that my Yankee son of a bitch. Now I've got spaghetti out of a box seat mother They just didn't get along man and and and corn and corn is ideas. Hi De as were based a lot in southern wrestling and memphis wrestling and southern wrestling. They were based on good versus Evil Evil and very traditional baby face. He'll strong characters if you will in that way and corny would would make comments sometimes like if it comes out of a box. He's over that you know. Rousseau would have fun with and with chuckled. So would vince McMahon however corners ideas work good sometimes. His presentation wasn't always the best but Rousseau and cornet hate each other then still do to this day for whatever reason and I think it's silly only in that regard as well well after this blow up about you know anybody who comes out of a box instantly over Russo says. I knew it wasn't going to work. It was horrible and I went to McMahon. and Said you've you've got to choose. This is not gonNa work him or me and McMahon decides to go through so so the very next week Cornet is off the booking committee. Is that the way you're going down. I remember well I remember or said this before but hey you know I mean I I remember going back. Act Two the first ever meeting. The Gym Cornet was in Vince. McMahon's Howson in corny going on and on and on and what you see is what you get with Jim. Am Cornet. Jim Is is constantly talking and constantly pitching and constantly going on about what he believes and how he feels. Business should should be after the very first meeting. Vince was like I vince. McMahon was like God. I don't know if I can work with that. and asked Corny Corny to tone it down a little bit which Cornet did because Cornets is smart guy. He understood that he was able to tone down his pitches. I I think what ramped it. Back up was Rousseau's pitches because Russo's were just as passionate but on the other side of the spectrum and and Russa's pitches had that same had the same passion the same enthusiasm as cornets. Did however I think sometimes is that came across not as Flamboyant or crazy sometimes as corny would because corny would be from that southern round that I think Vince McMahon Kinda would look down upon sometimes in or not embraced not look down not embraces easily. So it was New York versus Kentucky just all over again in his book. Russo sorted defends the idea that he got all of his creativity from watching e C. W he says that's not the case it was really more of a case of him going and sort of asking his son on. Will what our kids your age into and it was things like Tom Green. There's a name from the past that was really inspiring awe of Rousseau's ideas as opposed to maybe the nineteen seventies national wrestling alliance. And he says that's really the crux of his disagreements. At the time with Jim Cornet. That is that fair to say. I would say it's fair to say and Howard Stern Howard. Stern was. That was Vince. Russo's hero that is what Vince. Listen to every day and watched each and he thought that Howard Stern was the end all be all and how was pretty damn popular at the time so if anybody is going to Take credit or are. Would you look at what. Rousseau stole a lot of his ideas from is from the stern era in from that stern ideas let's Let's step back a little bit into late. Ninety six Russo has McMahon's ear about how everything sucks including the new show livewire which as a kid one of my very favorites. It was alive Saturday morning. Show where you guys would read. Emails faxes at the time. And even take callers with special guests to sort of further the storylines and just sort of keep the audience up to date as to what's going on. And pettingill was not favoured Rousseau's Rousseau the thought that Todd pettingill sucked in the role and eventually McMahon says well. Why don't you just do it and all the sudden vic venom? What's going to be the editor of the RAW? The magazine is now a television character. And it doesn't take long for him to upset Vance when he essentially gives a spoiler whether he meant to or not for the nineteen ninety seven royal rumble. Okay you want to spew a little bit of spew a little bit about the WWF royal rumble. I'll give you all you want to because the fact of the matter is it's a month way as I'm sitting here today. I already know who the wind is going to be. And you know as well as I know and everybody out there knows people are going to be coming from all over the world. to-to win the honor of meeting. WWF champion Wrestlemainia. And without a doubt. Bet You Rolex todd in your case bet you timex the winner. China is going to be Bret. The hitman Hart no doubt about it. We saw rousselot on every other television that he wrote whether it was TNA or w ABC. W why was this the only time we saw vic men on TV here livewire. And what can you tell us about that. Royal Rumble Spoiler story very well. The reason that you didn't see him on television because he sucked it was not good and it was terrible. Go back and watch. It was absolutely really terrible. The Rousseau came in was bitching about every show This show sucks. That show sucks. Every everybody sucked to Russo. There we're no ideas as far as how to fix them and how to make them better. So Vince McMahon was like okay. Sucks you go on the. Here's where it gets. The this to me is the the interesting part. Because Vince Russo will talk about how things need to be more real life base needs to be real and you need to get the real human being gene and you need to get beat. Be Real with your reactions and be real with everything. So Vince Russo. Being real goes on on as Dick Van Nam I M. He'll vic venom he'll because my name has van omitted is vivey Vic Venom. It was ridiculous it was. It was the stereotypical they put it. This way VIC venom would have fit in perfectly into into Jim cornets. Nine thousand nine hundred seventy memphis wrestling perfectly. Kay He would have been the heel manager cutting the promos that vic venom cut caught in what he talked about on mania that morning I it it was terrible. It was absolutely terrible. I don't remember what the hell he said. What about the royal rumble or anything like that? But I remember getting the call while the show was still going on from. Vince McMahon saying what the hell of I done. Hey the The the line was anybody. Who's paying attention knows that Brad Heart is GonNa win the royal rumble or something similar? We'll of course McMahon flips over that thinking that Rousseau new spoiler the real plans were Russo so at that point says he was not even involved in creative he had no idea he just thought it was obvious so the finish was changed and Steve. Austin wound ended up being the winner. So sort of an accidental thing. But maybe it was for the best. He does sort of question your creative genius at the time you know. You're saying that he had been questioned my creative genius by God Genius through he lists some of these ideas that you invents and pack came up with tasr the goon Freddie Joe Floyd a crack showing plumber who and Mantar a says says quote. The television product was embarrassing. To me so outdated so unhip so ridiculous this is why sometimes chuckle when I hear and read about. Vince McMahon this this creative genius. Who Do you think was behind the Buffalo? Yeah Bruce Pat. Were riding it. But Vince was approving it surrender the follow that cluster. I went the other way Do you want to defend who mantar or the crack showing plummer. Yeah I do because they they. They weren't stars and they were never meant to be superstars. They were enhancement talent that we wanted to give gimmicks to see care a little bit more about the people that were getting and defeated each and every week and they weren't they weren't the guys you were looking at. This is going to be the main event of wrestlemanias someday. No they talent that we were utilizing to help get other talent over but we wanted to give them a little bit of character and that was during the time that Vince took who they were and tried to just embellish on their personality the Goon Goon when he played hockey and high school and College Te'o Hopper offer was a licensed plumber in real life. That's what he was on. NYLA Mantar was half man a half beast. His feet were like hooves. They look like frigging loves. And that's how they came up with Mantar was here the Damnedest Big Feet League Mike Alec but you know those guys none of those guys. Wherever meant to be superstars? We didn't focus on them. They weren't somebody see that we were doing angles with or storylines with we just gave them gimmicks and tried to make them a little bit more than Mario Manzini from hoboken Bokan including half man half Buffalo. So let's talk about some of the ideas that Rousseau does take credit for and let. Oh you debunk or confirm some of these ready. Oh sure bring it on He takes credit for the DAX invasion of Monday nitro. True false false again and you. Yeah the one that always gets me because we we have been sitting in and production. Meetings and Vince was discussing old times in the wrestling business. Business what would have happened back then if a competitor had come into your territory and what would have happened in the old days if this had happened Ann and I remember raising my hand say and the old days we would gone and knocked on their door we would gone sent. You know our toughest guys and send a a bunch of our guys to go visit one of their shows call them out that was the germ of the idea that was in a production meeting in front of everybody about three or four weeks before the invasion actually happened. So when we get to where we were in Norfolk or whatever the Hell L. where we wherever the hell are you are. But the Shell Hampton. Yeah Hampton and Norfolk. So we get there and Vincent. Vince McMahon called me and said. Hey we're going to do a little invasion thing. We're going to go down there. You go with the guys I want you to produce it. You know what you're doing we get to that we get to the show and we have the DX army and the tank in all the military gear and all the other crap and Russo wanted to go produce that there I was standing right there. He was like well. I should go into this is like no. I want Bruce to do it. Because Bruce knows how to handle those situations and I need you here pal But RUSSA was butthurt over me going and producing. Listen that stuff in Norfolk. Because it was it was under extreme conditions there were Law Enforcement People involved. There was a potential potential of getting arrested. There were a lot of potential of a lot of chaos but at that way and things that could have happened a lot of situations that I've been in the Vince it's Russo. Never been in his life nor do I think he would have been able to handle in any way shape or form so the idea was mine to go knock on their door and go make present it presents at their show and on the one that produced it so also the one went to Atlanta thumbs. Far Gums close hundred now working zoom. Jeez I don't know. These guys are really cheesy cheesy and make fun of him when we do this one school. Okay gone in here. We're going to poise play. GotTa have a big building UTICA. Everybody knows that we got big. Produce all the stuff there CNN Center and SMYRNA Georgia the whole nine yards so don't auto hurt yourself. Pat Yourself on the back there too hard. I mean you pat myself on the back it was my with somebody else takes credit for your stuff. Yeah No I. It's suit every week I saw this. Let's keep going here. The Rock referring to himself in third person. That's that's a Vince Russo. Idea according to book your thoughts false that was Jim. Ross now going going back and going back. Because Vince Russo. Didn't have an idea rocket been out with a knee. Injury in rock was coming back and Russo didn't know what to do with Iraq because it was like people were chanting before he left Rocky Sucks and die rocky not die. I don't know what to do with invents wellspring back as a baby face. I I don't know what to do. Put Him in. The Nation is uh can't put them in the nation. He's not black half black half Samoan but regardless put him in the nation. It's controversial. You'll you'll be you'll fit in perfectly there Rocky didn't want to go into the nation rocky didn't didn't feel that that was right to go sky. You Guys GonNa turn on me. He'll say what else do we do with you and it was Jim. Ross who had seen a Dion Sanders interview we're Dion Sanders referred to himself himself. The entire interview in third person will dion says deals going to have a hell of a game this week. Dion says he's going to catch this many any passes rush this many yards in jr pitched that the rocky a says augier further yourself in third purchase. The Rock Doc in like the rock says and then you cut your Promo in rock no gravitate my favorite part of that is that the Sanders referred to himself as prime time and he was a cornerback. He wasn't a receiver and he did get is obvious. You know what I'm doing by Brian Ryan Works invitation right knowing anything about football down beyond beyond beyond says he's GonNa tackle early the he's GonNa he's GonNa Block and snap that football better anybody in Dion so you you get the idea damn and I'm giving you a they can analogy here work with the damn analogy okay. Diaz go to rush for some yards. I got. Let's talk about Austin three. Sixteen now he does say that Austin came up with it but the McMahon was not going to go with it and when he was trying to put Austin Austin three sixteen on the cover and on all the graphics McMahon wanted to get rid of it he didn't like it and Russa's as he dug his heels in and and made it work and of course the company and Austin may boatload of cash does Russo deserve the credit for fighting for Austin three sixteen as uh-huh marketing tool a hope. He did but once again. That was Jim Rawson. I sitting in a merchandise meeting with the merchandise guy. Begging begging Vince to do an Austin three sixteen shirt and a shirt with sid and just sits is on the shirt and no other graphics. Not a picture acid- no picture of Austin just Austin Three Sixteen and then a sid shirt with just those intense is. He's and one of those took off pretty damn good. I think I might go ahead pat myself on Dan back. Hey so he also says that McMahon came up with the golden character but all the vignettes the writing the character development. He says that was all him and some of his best work. He did see deserve a credit for the early success of gold dust out. Rousseau does deserve credit for the stuff that they did out in Hollywood Russo was able had a connection in Hollywood with the Academy Award people and they were able to shoot some classic vignettes in Hollywood around the big gold statue for the the Oscar statue at you and Russo flew out there that was one of his first projects that he got to go out and do by himself and he wrote a lot of that verbiage and a lot of the movie verbiage for Gold Ol- dust and helped out tremendously in the gold. Dust Character I give rousselot credit for that. He also says that Valvoline s was his idea. Says has he saw Sean Morley and said man this guy sleazy and he created a porn star. Character is val Venus the brainchild of injury. So that one doesn't feel like a stretch. Valve is the brainchild of Vince Russo. Russa wrote in his book for every great idea and wrestling. There attend a not so great ones. That's the way it works. You sift through the sand at times to discover one real Jim and he rattled off a few ideas of McMahon's he says he wanted gold dust in a full body stocking as the naked guy and he wanted sable with human oddities and he wanted to go. Got To be a hunchback SPAC whose shoulders couldn't be pinned to the Mat Do you remember any of these ideas you know that. We're getting batted around. What were some of the more ridiculous ones out the time? Well I think as far as goal we want a goal getting in for a long time he had it. I don't think anybody pay attention to it. Yeah he had big bulges in his mask. He wore that gold. Mask the bulges all over it so you can. The idea was so my God. What's deformed underneath that mask? And what have you and then Rosa went the other way with it putting him in the oddities which made it a cartoon tune more than anything. Yeah there was some bad ideas in there but I I think that the you get bad ideas to man say they can't all be winners. Yeah there I got a Shitload of them. Do you think the number one worst idea is probably the brawl for all that goes right up there is probably one of the Not only worst ideas and I hate to say stupid idea. Because I'm a firm believer lever and no idea is stupid idea. That one was a bad idea. Stupid idea in an idea for all the wrong reasons Or some of his good ideas you know. We're we're sort of dumping on some of these bad ideas like beaver cleavage and bloodbaths. And you know what the oddities parties but three faces of folly the stooges some of those events Russo. `ISMs right yeah. I think that Vince Russo was able to take and and to this day right here. All the network man you can check out you know the stooges which they have a section here. That is some of the funniest stuff uh-huh and most entertaining stuff from two guys that were retired from active competition. But we're two of the most entertaining some people during that attitude era and that being Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco and and Russo being able to put them and make them a part of that. Mr McMahon entourage thought was pure genius and I thought that was one of his better ideas. Russo had good ideas and the stuff that he did do with the Rock. Can Mick Foley and triple h and Shawn Michaels and you go on down the list. The one thing that I credit vince. Russo for more than anything. Is Everything on television. Had A story and it was he was able to take every single segment segment in every talent on the roster and give them an identity and give them some story larger small there was something going on on with everybody for you to care about them one way or the other and to that. I think that He doesn't get the credit he deserves on that one. You know the critics say that Vince Russo really just hated wrestling and wanted to sort of shock and all the audience was unrealistic. She had he he was just throwing against the wall. Sort of see what would stick and he wanted a pattern. Everything after Howard Stern which while we saw some of the scantily clad women and we saw the oddities auditees he wanted more of a crash. TV More of an adult concept with porn stars and a pimp. Any says that Vince will sort of out of touch with all of this. I including the idea that the godfathers references were really drug related in the godfather pimping. WHO's I won't you? The role of Fatty says Vince McMahon. into seemed it was all based on cigars. Is that true. Yes it's sorted Vince. Russo Vince. I didn't know what a blunt was. Vince I didn't know a four. Twenty was vincent in light. One up you know. wyde-am Fatty for this pimp. Daddy did know that that was in reference to that neither one of them new I'm GonNa need you saying lyda fatty for this pimp. Daddy is like my ringtone whenever you take me I think a lot of fans sort of gravitate take that attitude Era Ryan. A lot of that is because you know it's what we grew up on and the cool thing about. Ww Two k twenty is that you can relive all the great stuff with the legends. But you can also relive the groundbreaking journey of the four horse. 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WB history all walk claiming championships and igniting the WSB universe along the way and this new ww two k twenty roster is loaded. Loaded voted one hundred and eighty of your favorite. WB Superstars Legends Hall of Famers Annex T talent and never before seen characters. Really you've just got to see to believe now. The good news is this is available now for xbox one playstation for P. C.. I don't know if you saw Bruce but recently they put out a statement saying they realize there were some glitches in the game. They're going to be issuing patch and supposedly a whole lot new of new content new characters new environments. They're going to the good thing about two twenty. The as this thing is going to be ever-evolving with you. Well let's because of Rahmonov. I know the folks over two K.. They're listening to it and they're gonna fix it's everything and make it right and make the best damn game you ever played. Yeah I have a lot of confidence and Ramon Bryce and the staff that are over there that you you know whatever sort of little hiccups there have been here there. This thing is going to be really really kick ass. Because they're committed to it. They've always done right boss and they're just like you listening to this show. Show longtime something to wrestle. Fans believe it or not. They were one of our first advertisers here on the show. We appreciate their support and their loyalty and we hope you will extend some of that to check out the WHO W B Two k twenty. He also takes credit for putting Stephanie in front of the screen. He says that he saw her backstage and thought she would be a perfect television character. So all these years later we have Vince Russo. To blame for making Stephanie TV character. y'All we all give the credit to Jim. Cornet Grill it was ABS- absolutely I remember. Jim Cornet. Ed thought she is beautiful and would pitch often for Stephanie. To be on television and it was during the time of Rousseau and Cornet working working together the first time I ever heard that pitch was from Jim Burnett Russo also takes the credit for the Montreal. Screw job he says his house were sort of sitting around the dining room trying to figure out what to come up with. It was his idea to say. Why don't we just have him? Put them in a sharp shooter and then call for the bell and everybody got quiet and the next thing. You know the Montreal screwed job goes down Russo feels bad so he tries to make it right with Owen and Owen I would encourage him to call Brett and apologize and he did. What you remember about the Montreal screw job and and the heat that came after because Russo sort of saying that was his idea? Here boy you know. And and I'm sure Russo so Was the first man on the moon and look a lot of people suggested a screw job finish on that. Just take the title off of him. The idea for the sharp shooter came up while Brett. And Sean were going over the match and Brett suggested a spot where Sean reverse something and reverse it into the sharp shooter. And when he did did that. That's where Shaw Jerry Briscoe. Were like perfect because now sean hasn't been a submission hold and they could use that as the finish that Brett tapped out Brett Semitic so it no time ever. Aw leading up to that was there ever. Let's put him in a sharp shooter. was there At least not that I heard and again I've got I've got pages upon pages upon pages of notes of the conversations during that entire time of the phone calls between vents and Brad Hart and and just different things that were discussed. What the hell we were going to do? And and none of them other than just take it off of him. was any specifics discussed nor were specifics discussed until after Shawna Brad had had an opportunity. We need gotTa go over. What they wanted to do in the match in that spot was talked about it was like Eureka? That's the perfect time to do it. Let's talk a little bit about about the Mr McMahon Character Russo says. He takes credit for that too. Because right after the Montreal screwed job. Vince McMahon was holding a meeting saying. Okay let's get back to business and wanted to pretend as if none of it ever happened. Rousseau thought that was crazy because it was the most talked about on the Internet amongst that group of fans and and that they needed to cater to that so eventually he says he was able to convince them to reconsider and SORTA double down and as a result. We got the Y.. Y Y bit on raw seven days ago at the survivor series. Did you or did you not screw bret. Hart some would say I screwed. Bret Hart Bret Hart would definitely tell you I screwed him. I'll look at it from a different standpoint. I look at it from the standpoint of the referee did did not screw bret. Hart Sean Micro certainly did not screw Bret Hart nor did Vince McMahon screwed bret. Hart I truly believe that Bret Hart Screwed Food Bret Hart. What are you remember as Rousseau sort of the guy behind the Mr McMahon push? I'll give Vince Russo. Credit for being one of the people all that had Vinci's ear was able to help convince Vince McMahon to do that. And obviously we know what the Hell we had. As far as the Mr McMahon character and we didn't even really start that Mr McMahon character until later on just caught on and was just white the hot with stone coal but the idea of Mr McMahon. I can go back to when Jerry Jarrett was there and Vince was going down doing shots for Jarrett Memphis and work with Jerry lawler as a heel and I used to say all the time venture the biggest. He'll in the business you is a he'll works. That would be the best. He'll in the business and Jerry Jerry. Oh bans well wait a minute. I'm sorry man's as a heel. No one would believe that. Why Adventure Grade I love? You is a he'll I've been. I just saw Vince as heal from day. They want Vince. Russo was able to be able to convince. Vince McMahon to continue and to do that on air. And so yeah all credit Vince Russo. For that and being able to get that character on air because that's something that we tried to do for a while no one and I mean no one thought it was going to explode and take off the way that it did result gets upset when you SORTA lock yourself in there with other people role as being a big committee because he says you can read. All you want about your teams in booking committed committees. But during the time I was riding with Vince those were fictitious officious teams. There was no team. There was no committee it was. Vince McMahon Anna period to this day McMahon might not admit that but doesn't say he worked with Cornet and then later on he worked with that Ferrara advance and that is a team. Vince invents events. That's a team Vince. In Cornet invents team Vincent Ferrara and McMahon. That's team Bruce Pat thence that's a team mm-hmm And we all had you know. Vince McMahon coming back to us and running things by us on a daily basis. Maybe maybe Vince Russo. Didn't realize that but that was real life. Rousseau would write that he really put most of the shows together completely by himself Alf but McMahon would sort of fine line things and he wrote specifically in my opinion McMahon's forte. The thing that consistently used to blow me away about him is that he could make things just a little bit better. He visualized things better than I ever could and it was his small tweak here and there that will turn a fifty million dollar picture into one hundred million dollar blockbuster. That was his genius. Seeing things that nobody else could is. There is that a fair assessment about vents augury with that wholeheartedly. Yes yes EH. Vince McMahon was able to take a germ of an idea and make it into a story. He says that one events is best attributes To his surprise was patience. He says when the ratings come in every week they'd all be sitting at his house and there would never be a strong reaction one one way or another from Vance even when they're losing to Nitro he would say something like we worked damn hard for these threes. Is that the way you remember it. That McMahon I'm was was fairly patient and that he had a plan and he knew it was going to be week by week he was and he also knew that our business was on the upswing as well so he knew do that while on paper that the television ratings may show one thing that business wise it was showing something else and Vince. McMahon McMahon felt very confident in what they were doing and he didn't he did not dwell on that negative. There were times he would react in a big way maybe navy but for the most part he really wouldn't dwell on it. It was like okay next week. We're going to be better. Russo describe the Russo Slash McMahon booking philosophy quote. We wrote every show to be better than the last and every show as if it were our last you see. There was a formula along with patients events and took every trash traditional wrassling outcome or finish and went the other way whatever the audience was expecting give them. AM The unexpected. This of course is his philosophy that we know as this were Bro. does Russo deserve credit. For for that I mean it does feel like the attitude era. It was an era where the good guys or doing some bad things and the bad guys are doing some good things and instead of having black and white he had lots shades of gray. Lots of trainers as say. Is that sort of something that Rousseau brought to the fold in your opinion. I think that that was something. Yeah I do. I think that was something that Russa Russa looked at it. The business and a completely different way and challenged Vince McMahon to look at the business in a completely different way challenged all of us to look at it differently than we had previously. We had grown up with these tried and true traditions. This is how you do it. And and they blew that up and so. Why can't you do it this way? And it makes you look at the business makes you look at what you've traditionally done for so long on in a completely different light. So I yeah Credit Russo for a lot of that and being able to get Vince. Look at the business and all of us in a whole different light. Rousseau wrote that his biggest regret was hanging the undertaker from a symbol. He says I did a lot of things. I'm not proud of but lowering the undertaker on across the biggest regret A.. Have do you regret that angle. Bruce is that maybe the the blemish on the attitude era when when you guys did stuff with the symbol again. I think everybody has their own opinions. I didn't think it was that bad. I didn't think that that was nearly as bad. Is hanging the big boss man in the hell sale with the undertaker to me. Hanging a man in the middle of the rain was much worse. Let's talk a little bit about Credit because he gets really caught up in not getting enough credit in his book and one of the ideas is even calling triple h the game he says it makes him sick every time he hears. Jr Agreement because he should be paid royalties because those were his ideas and nobody even believed in AAA. She would say that Jim Cornet would say triple h whenever draw a dime in this business and Russo would respond that AAA relates drawn. A billion times. What do you think about him? thinking he should have some sort of ownership or credit for some of his creations. Like calling triple Appalachia the game. Well first of all I don't remember Russo coming up with the game. I think that that was something that was put in a promo and that Jim Ross had Jim Ross not picked up on that continually call triple h the game and reinforcing that that he wouldn't be called the game to this day but saw credit. Jim Ross for making it universal no difference. Jim Ross really helped with stone cold and a lot of guys as far as their nicknames. And what have you but the the whole EEO. Yes Jim Cornet said that triple h would never draw. Dime Vincent McMahon said the best is triple h will ever be is a mid Carter and Russo was in triple H is corner big time and he fought for for him the first sign that triple h won the WWe championship. That was something that Russa really wanted to do that. I would say almost to the man people. I didn't feel that triple H is ready for that. At that time that they wanted to wait a little bit longer to do it and Russo fought for that. So yeah I'd say that Rousseau so without a doubt is responsible for a lot of triple H is earlier success. 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L. E. C. H. E. W. dot com. Tom What's that Promo Code Vince. Wrestle Research wrote in his book that one of the Critical flaws of McMahon that he would cave to the top stars whether it was Hogan or it was Brad or it was Austin or showing and one of those moments was the Wrestlemania fifteen pertain main event. which was supposed to be Austin Rock and fully? But he says the Shawn Michaels Gotten Austin's ear awesome went to McMahon and get. It changed and he. He was the one who had to break the news to Foley that he was out of this wrestlemainia main event is that a fair criticism events that sometimes he would cave to the top stars Vince. Vince listens everybody. That's McMahon listens to everybody and if he feels that somebody has a better idea than he's going to go that way no different so then you know anything else in the business. Vince McMahon is going to make the final decision and maybe because was different than Vince. Russo's decision that he feels all well. God He didn't listen to me. He listened to somebody else. And so now Russa's upset about that but that's all that is and that happens to this day every single day. The Vince McMahon May change his mind at the last minute based on whoever the hell he talked to last so that's just called business this day to day life in the wwe. It's worth mentioning. I guess that he says that McMahon was just obsessed with Austin twenty four seven and that left him an opportunity to work with guys like Rock and Mick Foley Russo takes credit for putting them together and even the famous this this is your life segment. That Make Foley surprised the rock with WHO's got something. I think you're going to like this big rock. This is important as a matter of fact this is your life. But he says that McMahon didn't get it it was furious it went long until the rating came in which Rousseau of course paths himself on the back for. What do you remember about rock? This is your life has that one hundred percent. Rousseau Rousseau and something McMahon just sort of didn't get the this is your life lows Russo and. I don't think that any of US got it. Initially it was very entertaining gene. Here's the problem is more than twelve minutes heavy so when you have to our show and let's say you have of ten or twelve minutes allotted for a segment and then they take double that time. That's sometimes that can be two to three other segments. Now that are affected that you have got to go back and completely eliminate all right so it's not fair it's not fair to the other talent. It's not fair to the television show. He could have done the exact same thing in the twelve minute a lot of time and it would have been just just as good and got the same point across been just as entertaining. And you're still having your show and everything else works. That's the Vince. McMahon was furious about. That's what I was furious about because again it's not Vince Russo. Sitting up there at the last minute because he didn't know how to do it he's he's not the one reconfiguring the show I am and I'm trying to make it fit and I'd the one now getting all the heat having to tell people. Hey sorry you had to scratch your match. Why do you have to scratch my match? Well because the rock enough only segment wet way too long or who wrote that. WHO's charged that? Go see Vince Russo. That That was the reality. That's where people were upset. Not that it did a great rating it did do great rating. It could have done it in the same allotted amount of time and not affected the show negatively on the backside of it. Rousseau wrote this book I feel so corny saying saying this but I have to Vince. Inaugur really close at times. He almost felt like a father to me. I care so much about him his family and his business. Maybe as as much as I cared about my own flesh and blood I have by critics out there but the fact remains that without me attached to his hip Vincent has never achieved the success. Asa Did during that time so I want you to respond to both of those. I guess we'll start with the second part. I is it fair for prevents to say that McMahon never experienced that same level of success without him. No it's not. I would say when you go back to the early eighties and from eighty three to eighty seven. During that time Vince Russo was nowhere around in Vincent. Man was put ninety. Three Thousand People in stadiums. So there's no venturous around there and and we continue to do good business up until the time that we did so then during this time. Yes did absolutely phenomenal business. record-breaking business starting. The time that Vince Russo's writing and he did help and he did contribute a a great deal to that success. Since Vince Russo left the company is never made more money than it did. And you know it's the company continues to grow every single year. And so that's that's a ludicrous statement in my opinion Yes he had tremendous tremendous success and deserves credit for that and a pat on the back. However Vince achieve success before Vince? Russo Vince chief. Success after Vince Answer. So it's sort of interesting the dynamic he break signing the book about the Father Son Relationship Eight. He talks about how while Vince. What sort of cave to the talent and it would happen a lot of times in front of him which really killed his credibility? So if Rousseau's really arguing for an idea and the talent says that they didn't want to do it then McMahon would just agree to it even if the backup plan sort of stunk and Russo. I felt like it killed his credibility so he sets up a meeting to go sort of express all of this to McMahon and he says As I sat down on a chair across from Vince I started crying like a baby. I couldn't stop my emotions whenever they were came out in a river of tears. The expression convinces face. I don't think he knew what to say inside however he adds another. Perhaps the pressure of our success was getting to me and he needed to be strong and he knew that he needed a treat me with kid gloves after laid everything out. Vince said a few words and then ended assaults by saying Vince. I love you as soon as those words came out. I'm thinking two things one holy Shit. The scar really does care about me and to see kidding me. Or what. Why would he stoop so so low and be so sappy to make me believe he really does care about me? I love fences office not knowing if he had ever been sincere. That's a shame but that's what the business has done to me. You're always second guessing. You're always doubting to this very moment. I don't know that Vince McMahon ever met those words I WanNa talk about just the dynamic because a lot of guys have this feeling about McMahon he sort of referenced. Him is almost like a father figure to earlier. But we've heard other people say this as to whether it's Shawn Michaels or I mean there's tons of guys and even the creative guys who sort of have this weird relationship with advanced and you maybe yourself at different times. What can you tell us about this father? Son Dynamic that apparently vents inspires with a lot of people. Vince does and I've had the same relationship I guess for me. It was more of a big brother. Because I've got brothers. That are older than Vince. McMahon man so I I looked at him as is an older brother and somebody giving me advice but he does have that father figure with a lot of guys that look up to him and and and want that encouragement want that pat on the ass. From Vince McMahon fact that that Rousseau looks at everything is cynically as he does does. That's that's his fault. I mean that. That's that's his issues and that's his fault either. You accept it and you take it and you go okay in Man I love you too or don't pour your heart out to him but when you're talking about vents listening to other talent and and signing with other talent in front of you man that's just the job that's the job you'd have to be mature enough to accept it not take it personally personally and move on with your business or if the heat's too hot get out of the kitchen that's just I mean that's just business and and that's the way that it is. And that's how Vincent Man operates so that hurt your feelings or you're upset about it. Maybe it's not for you without explicitly saying so Russo takes credit for the word attitude and he says he did this months before the the the the term was coined. He gave Vince a t shirt. That said don't give me any of your attitude. I have enough of my own. And he says that that's really were. Vince came up with attitude. Do you remember where attitude came from. Yeah the attitude came from the Shawn Michaels interview. Jr that shot went out in his a little biker shorts with his crotch stuffed and got find a lot of money for being immature and unprofessional. After Vince having several conversations with Sean and talking about Shawn's attitude his bad attitude his poor attitude is unprofessional attitude. Vince came back and was like. That's what it is it's attitude that's what he's doing. He's given US attitude first time. I heard it and that was the first time. The Vince McMahon started using it right after that. And that's where attitude sued came from from my perspective with Vince McMahon was Shawn michaels interview right after that right after the conversations Sean you know in the attitude Sutera you guys were sort of trying to serve two masters on the one hand you want us much as you can in the ratings and so that leads you to creating some sort of risk gay content but at the same time all of your marketing efforts well not all but most are aimed at kids. RUSSA's sort of blames McMahon demand for that he says I don't know always seemed like Vincent never made enough money winners enough enough at the Tom Raw. Had One of the most risque shows on television division yet. Vince wants to admit it or not. The W was marketing to children and in Tom even though I was responsible for that as anybody I was beginning beginning to struggle with the idea. I would tell Vince over and over again that I wasn't writing a television show geared for kids. I was gearing to an audience of eighteen or older her time and time again. I would tell Vince that merchandise was going to get him in trouble but in business the philosophy is always to make as much money as you can. I guess that's the challenge. Here is Bruce. If you know that you've got this internal struggle about. Are we doing the right thing. Why don't you write different? TV well first of all because the radi the ratings baird out that that was what the audience wanted to see. First of all the second part that is when you talk about marketing and merchandising. We were actively seeking beer companies Whiskey companies More are adult oriented Advertisers for the show and they want they wanted that audience. The fact back that the product that we were producing at the time was attracting those fourteen year old kids who wanted to watch that. TV You know PG thirteen or the TV mature the fourteen year old kids. Those are the ones that are watching that stuff. All right. They're the ones that are that. Are that want all of that. So the marketing people and the advertisers. They realize that that's why they're advertising sizing there if you're not in business to make money that I don't know what the hell you're in business for. You're not in. You're not in business just to get. Hey well we had eight million people watch US last week but nobody advertised. Calf tree falls in the woods. Anybody here it does anybody here. So if you've got advertisers and you're making money that's the object of business and they did O obviously make a change to pg thirteen in focus and go directly to that marketing group go right to that demographic now now in what they're doing during that time we had an edgier product that was appealing to the fourteen year old kid and it was appealing to the advertisers. That wanted that fourteen eighteen year old kid says the reason a lot of the boys hate him is because he was able to be honest with them when others couldn't and he lists examples feels like that he says Goldberg Hogan Bradshaw Bischoff even Piper. All those guys hate him because he was able to tell them the truth ruth about their characters and he can live with that. Do you think that's the reason. Russo has a bad reputation. And you know he just tells the truth. No I think that how he deals with talent sometimes is probably the reason that he you may be disliked On our things Vince Russo. Deep Down as a really nice guy and I believe that deep down Vince Russo walks to do right right in his good hearted person. I think. Sometimes Vince Russo gets wrapped up in what he thinks he's supposed to be and so that honestly gets lost but as far as dealing with talent sometimes it didn't come out that well and sometimes people looked at it as well him because he's the guy delivering the message or he's the guy that came up with that idea and it's so much easier for talent and everybody else to blame anybody else. Other than Vince McMahon. Because if you blame. Vince McMahon You GotTa go confronts McMahon and. You've got to go and deal with him. Most those guys will say. Oh Yeah. I have no problem with that but they don't WanNa do it. It's much easier to blame someone else in between what for those examples that you're talking about where he just didn't get along with talent as when he says Shawn Michaels came to visit. And he got and billy head about changing some creative so when billy comes back to Rousseau and makes a comment about what the creative is and what changes he wants made. Allegedly Rousseau tells them to go himself and road. Dogg and billy gone are furious about this but eventually he goes back and tries to fix it by the end of the day. Is this pretty very common for Russo. or he would just be very abrasive and rub people the wrong way like that. Yeah because that's wrong way to handle that situation. I'll coming wait till you with with with a suggestion or another opinion. You listen to go K and you either. You can debate it. Hit the pros and cons or you go tell them selves. And now that's going to piss off and they're going to move in a different direction resources. One of the things he hated about his. This job is that it had to travel with Vincent man a lot and that meant you went everywhere. Events went even if you went to get a haircut you were with him almost twenty four seven and all all they ever talked about was the business never the families and children just the business and so even says right when he would fall asleep when the traveling together other. Vince would wake him up and want to talk about it more. And before they would part ways McMahon would want assurance. Did I get it. All and Russo would say something like every every drop he makes the analogy. That McMahon was almost a vampire after Russa's creativity and he needed everything he could get. Is that a fair assessment point of McMahon and his relationship with the critical part of his inner circle. Yes but that's what she sign up for. If you want to be Apar- love when people go. Oh you don't want to be the creative man that's what you sign up for. I love it when people talk about how. Well you guys traveling limousines and you got a jet plane taking in you're staying in these nice hotels yet picked up in a limousine go to work in that car. He got out of the car to get on the plane. You work mark the entire way to your destination. You Get out at your destination and you work on that short ride from the plane to the arena. You work all all day at the arena. You finish up in the arena. You get back in a limo to work to talk about what you just did to get back to that plane to to get on the plane and work to land in your next town get off that plane get in a limo work for your drive to the hotel it which point. Let's have a meeting and discuss some more. About what the Hell we're going to do tomorrow. Finish up three or four o'clock in the morning and end up with. I see you guys at eight o'clock to do some more work. That's what you signed up for and if that's not for you don't sign up for it however you know that that was Vince McMahon that is Who He is? I can't tell you the number of haircuts that I went to. I can't tell you the number of Stephanie's Basketball Games that we would go to and we would bring Our booking books in to the gym and we would work while waiting for her game to start that that was life. It's tough life man. Rousseau is not a fan either. He's pretty critical. Jr Basically says that He was unqualified to be like a GM of a sports team. And that's essentially what his role here was. When he ran talent relations? He says he was out of his league. And he doesn't think he had the people skills to handle people he says specifically a guy like dealer Brown wouldn't get the time of day but he would invite I Steve Austin over to his house for barbecues and it just doesn't feel like he was a good manager and he's pretty critical of his contributions to the company and even even took great offence when the company went public and a prospectus went out and Jim Ross was listed there almost as if he was like the general manager. Who'd made it all Happened a pillar of Titan but Russo was not listed. What can you tell us about this? Professional Jealousy or rivalry or RUSSA's assessment of Jr.. I would first question I would ask is that. Jr isn't a good manager compared to what Russa's who says vast experience in the wrestling business his vast experience with the Dallas cowboys or the Pittsburgh steelers his vast experience in sports management or his vast experience selling washers and dryers a PC Richard and renting out videotapes. So Jim Ross was was an excellent manager and he was I dare say probably the best talent relations manager vice vice president we ever had in that role and JR did a great job of communicating with all the much better than I ever was. I wasn't suited for that job. I'm not suited for that administrative roll. Didn't like it didn't do well but Jim Ross loved it and thought Jim Ross did very well in that role thaddeus completely on that Russa really lays it in on him here. He says you know what Vance used to call. Jr behind the scenes. Deputy dog he were that ridiculous. Niculae Cowboy hat twenty four seven and even offense was kidding. You know there was something to it. And if you're a young talent with all the promise in the world you're going to go sign with a sharp attractive energetic. Go getter like Eric Bischoff. Are you going to sign with a guy who's only worried about big on television talking about his barbecue sauce that bears his name him and moves at the snail's pace of a laid-back. Canine cartoon character. So Bruce what say you. What do you think of Rousseau's assessment where he sort of classifies pacifies? Jr as this old slug compared to the young energetic Eric Bischoff would say that his assessment estimate is extremely uneducated. Because Jim Ross was a great businessman and Jim Ross was diligent in going after new talent. And maybe it did move at the pace. That Vince Russo Wall. Because Russa didn't understand all the parameters we had worked under and Jim Ross. As a manager manager Jim had to do things. Make sure legally that we recovering our ass. But I I completely disagree with that assessment Areso says the JR's inability to sign new talent. Fresh names is what kept you know. His performance hindered and ninety six and he says a ninety seven. He takes a more active role in recruiting talent and that doesn't make jr very happy but he says sort of the Straw. That broke the camel's back is you. Does he started getting burnt out on seeing the same names on the booking sheets when he sees the ultimate warrior there he realizes he needs to take action so he goes out and tries to bring in Al Snow. Snow the Dudley's Tasr Stevie Richards and Chris Jericho All before he leaves. Of course I did find it interesting. That when he's taking Jr to task he's also saying. I signed all these guys for Mesa W just minutes after saying no. I didn't get any any of my influence from exactly. And you know the crazy thing about it is that you go uh-huh going you listen to all of this stuff and it all contradicts the other. So it's it's craziness craziness but you know. GMT was out there recruiting talent and Russa was out there suggesting talent talent. The Rub came when Vince McMahon and led by ventures so let's say that maybe Jr wasn't working fast enough guys. You know. We can only work as fast as we could. And and you're dealing again with legalities of someone's under contract. We can't touch them. Can somebody else go go out and talk to them and have an informal conversation with them. Yes but as officers of the company we could so there were a lot of details like that but yeah I I think that was just more of a personal thing and Russo not truly understanding and to this day. I think venturous would tell you. He doesn't understand Dan what it takes to actually have to go through everything you have to go through to sign in security talent Owen. Hart has been AH pretty. I don't know something that a lot of people blame on Vince Russo. Of course his accident happened and specifically Russo sites in his book. That Steve Austin came over to him and said. Don't blame yourself for this. It's not your fault but a lot of other people say had it not been written that way it would've never happened. And allegedly you know Russa wrote in the book that McMahon just a week after wanted to prove that the the stock could be done safely and even suggested doing himself from the top of the arena. You know we'll talk about the Owen situation a little later but in reality. Do you think it's fair. That Vince Russo. GETS BLAMED FOR OWENS TRAGIC ACCIDENT. It was a horrible horrible tragic accident but it was an accident and you have to leave it at that and point blame. That's unfair. Eventually you know Vince is starting starting to feel pretty burnt out. And he's not happy that he he's not getting any credit and this is a big part of Russa's book. He says every magazine with a picture of events made me WANNA WANNA vomit. This guy was taking credit for everything and I was nowhere to be found. Not even as a footnote at first. It wasn't a big deal as long as Vince paid me but the better we did. The more events talked about himself and the more despondent advocate convinced the genius. You're right this was the guy that gave the go-ahead on who's TAG team partner. What he was also taking Vince? The task in the book for You know challenging people the show up to work sick including a time once where he does that and McMahon says there is no sick and he calls him at ungodly hours. It just doesn't feel like McMahon sorta cares about him on as a person on a personal level and sort of the straw that broke the camel's back here. Is that now all of a sudden. He's writing smackdown as well as raw and he feels like he should be compensated for that. Because in Hollywood if you write right one show and then you're writing a second show. You get paid more money. But now he's riding raw and smackdown. He's doubled as workload and he hasn't been paid extra dime time to help me sort of respond to where Russo starts to feel pretty upset with McMahon overworked under appreciated under paid all the above called the job. And they're so all those years years I did it. I didn't get any credit for all those years. Pat Patterson did it. He didn't get any credit for after Russo all the years. Brian Works in it. He didn't get any credit for it. Kaczynski ASCII done get credit for it. Now they've report get credit for now. Vince McMahon. GETS CREDIT FOR IT. Vince McMahon the head of the company. It is Vince. McMahon's company Tony. He gets credit he gets blamed. So if you're in this thing for credit than than go to Hollywood get your name at the end of the show. That's it's not what this job entails. This job entails twenty four seven. You're at Vince. McMahon's Beck and call and again. That was the job that is the job. And if you don't WanNa do that then find another job but to to get in the job and then complain about it too is. This is my dream job and then you realize well it would be better if I only work my hours and if I didn't have to answer to him and if I got a big credit at the he ended every article was about me doesn't work that way. That's that's not the way it's structured. That's out the job. It never has been and I doubt it ever will be. Rousseau is pretty frustrated so he calls the meeting with Vance and says that his wife has recently started to refer to herself as a single parent in an effort to try to fix this Russo. Once a real okay. Tories no longer required to be in Stamford every day. And they can have the support system of being near her family and McMahon allegedly says something like. I don't know what the problem is. You make enough money now. Why don't you just hire a nanny an Russo feels like that is the sentence that proved to him? That McMahon never cared about him whatsoever so he sets a follow up meeting or lays out exactly what he thinks he deserves. He tells McMahon he wants to retire when he turns forty which is fifteen months away and in order for him to Sorta keep the train on the tracks. He wants to make a million dollars over that fifteen month. Stretch a says but man is shocked and says that's a lot of the money and he'll need to think about it two weeks pass. No call comes and he doesn't hear a word we know what's coming next next but before we get there. Is that the the nanny line or the refusal to accept the million dollar offer that ultimately led the Russo. Leaving in your opinion in my opinion Probably the nanny line but you know head he come to me with that same thing. I would've told him to want one hand shit and the other and tell me which one filled up I you know yet the over but I guess the nanny line is probably what what Kinda put him over the edge so we know what what happens. He accepts the job as WCW. Creative director in October of ninety nine and a lot of people would probably ask. What's that's the difference in Russo even lays it out in his book the difference is no vents? You're not gonNA have this crazy schedule where you're on call twenty four seven and and I guess here's where the rubber meets the road the night before a raw in New Jersey. Russo calls McMahon late at night. And let's have no that he's just now coming back from Atlanta and he's got nothing left to give Vince and McMahon blows a gasket saying is coming after. WCW and it's going to come after him and and Rousseau just like his into. You didn't honor my request from our money. You didn't care about my family. You demanded all of this from a and it's torn family apart and McMahon says something like I didn't know I was such a bad person I would've given you the money. I hope our paths cross again in the future. What what a year remember hearing about this phone call in the middle of the night and then all of a sudden you show up to raw and the guy who's been here sort of steering the ship? Creatively is completely clearly gone. Well I got the call that night I got a call from Jim are also Russa left was going to WCW. And I talked to. Vince McMahon man and he was like all hands on deck tomorrow. Let's take a look at what we got and WE'LL DO TV onward and upward He. It was hurt but business goes on and next day we've got to produce television and I would have thought that after that time you know at least you could have done without a face to face meeting with him and tell him okay. This is what I'm considering doing. And and take it from there He didn't do that so oh I disagree with the way that it was handled. And what have you you talk about when rubber meets the road and what's the difference now no vents. What's the difference now? Now was going forward. No success so now. You have an opportunity to see what Vince Russo. Without Vince McMahon tweaking his ideas ideas and being able to massage make work. Now you can go see what he can do and we saw we. We did see. There's a meeting. In July two thousand three in Stamford were Russo. Flies up to say McMahon your rights quote those. Just something calling me back to him. A sense of unfinished business. And he's sort of compares himself to Shane in the book and he says he wanted to see Vince. A soft side his human side and when he finally finally meets McMahon himself has overcome with emotion because he just wants to tell me man how he feels about it and how much he meant to him and McMahon says something something like he can't work that closely with someone not care about them and that's not really the answer that Rousseau was looking for. Why do you think so many guys just look for McMahon's approval like this because he's the boss he pays? She pays the TAB. He's the boss of bosses approval really the crux of the book as he doesn't feel like he got enough credit from the W for. WWe As it were he says but Vince has to give credit where it's due. Do think about it. Why aren't there any credits at the end of all? It's a television show isn't it. Why isn't anyone else being given credit sort of said? That's that's the job that's the business but I do think it's fair enough to ask walk. Couldn't there be credits right. Sure there could be but vance hence the stars the talent are the stars and the talent is what he's trying to sell he's not trying to sell gaffer's in lighting techs and writers and everything else the end you sorta ask yourself. Was It all worth it. Rousseau wrote I lived the Titan. Tower is a man possessed looking back now. Now I don't know why I was so caught up in the moment that I just couldn't see or hear anything else including again my own family today here embarrassed realizing how much a sacrifice my own family for a wrestling company. During that time they were not my priority work was and I'm ashamed to admit it one thing. I regret deeply that I could never make up for is that my son will went from the age. Seven to twelve while our prevents and I don't remember a single day from those years Bruce. That sort of sums up the wrestling business reports at all doesn't it. It does and you either want to be in it or you don't and those are the sacrifices that we all had to made they're not exclusive events it's Russo. I guess we should mention here that Rousseau says that he started with the company making around sixty grand topped out around three fifty and when he Egypt. WCW is best year. There was five thirty five base all of his contributions to the business. Do you think that you know not only did he not get the credit was he. was He compensated fairly. In your opinion I think it was overcompensated. Frankly well sort of put a bow on Vince Russo. Man You know he's. He's going to be responding on his daily show in the real network every day this week. I've sure and La Guess we should go ahead and say he's going to say. I wrote this book Bro and I wasn't drinker and it wasn't taking pills. Not like Bruce Prichard so his memory isn't as good as mine bro. That's what he's going to say. You're responding well. My response is I haven't taken pills

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