26th Sep2019

Exclusive Interview: Vince Russo

by Chris Cummings

I recently had a chance to sit down and talk very quickly to Vince Russo, the former head-writer for WWE back in the late 90’s during the infamous and beloved Attitude Era. He went on to work for WCW and TNA and has been a voice on YouTube and Podcasting in recent years. Controversial or not, Vince Russo left a mark on professional wrestling with his work and I want to thank him for spending a few minutes answering a few of my long-winded questions. So… short and sweet, here’s Nerdly’s quick-fire interview with Vince Russo.

Vince-Russo

Now, you’ve been a part of the wrestling industry for over 27 years, longer than many fans have even been alive. If you were to put a sum up your time as both a fan, writer and wrestling personality, what would you say?

Fan – 26 years
Writer – 21 years
Personality – 28 years

You began back in the WWF back in 1992 (I believe), in the time you were there wrestling changed a lot. It went from being incredibly popular in the 80s and early 90s, to losing its steam, to becoming the hottest and biggest it’s ever been at the end of the 90s. Do you believe we will see wrestling get as hot as it once was, again? What do you feel is stopping it?

In my heart of hearts I feel wrestling is dead. It has become and will continue to be a niche product. They changed the game. Storylines and characters no longer exist.

As a UK site, we obviously have a lot of love for British wrestling. Modern British wrestling is great, and there are guys like William Regal, The Bulldogs and others who have made waves in the States in the past. Do you have a favourite British wrestler?

Yes – I really enjoyed working with Doug Williams and Nick Aldis in TNA.

It’s widely known across the world of wrestling just how important your work was in WWE back in the 90s, especially during the infamous and hugely popular Attitude Era. It was the boom period for wrestling, a time when it was very cool to be a fan of professional wrestling. What was it like writing for WWE back then during such a red-hot time, and what were a few of your favourite storylines you wrote?

Honestly, to me it was just a job. A means to support my family. Every day I did the best that I could. Favorite storyline was The Rock joining the Corporation.

Do you have certain wrestlers/talent who you really enjoyed writing for? Any stand-out men or women who you always found it particularly easy and interesting to put pen to paper when creating for?

There were many. MANY. All the women I ever worked with were an absolute joy. Guys like Mick Foley and Kurt Angle were some of my favorites. But, there were many.

Your time in WCW is often spoken about with a negative edge, but instead of looking at that side of things, what were some things you did in WCW that you enjoyed, and what do you think was the main cause of the downfall of the company that caused it to shut its doors in 2001?

There wasn’t much I enjoyed about WCW. The downfall was strictly business. AOL didn’t want to be in the wrestling business.

What is your biggest issue when it comes to modern-day pro-wrestling, specifically WWE? I know you’ve spoken about how you struggle to enjoy the product in the current age for a number of reasons. If you could change a couple of things that you feel would have a huge impact on WWE, what would that be?

The emphasis shouldn’t be on the fake fight. The emphasis should be on story and character.

Now, before we move away from wrestling, I’d love to know if there are any current wrestlers who you look at and think “Man, I would have loved to have worked with them back in the day”. Which men or women stand out to you today as people you think you would have been able to write something special for back when you were in WWE?

I would love to write for all of them.

You have carved out a career for yourself on social media, from podcasting, your Brand and Twitch over the past few years. It’s clear you have a passion for it. What is it about being able to share your thoughts, opinions and stories with fans online that you love so much?

Being my own boss and not having to deal with all the Political BS that is involved in Professional Wrestling.

Nerdly is a UK site. Do you have any standout memories of being in the UK, both in and out of wrestling?

Only been to the UK twice – LOVED IT!

When you’re not online discussing your life, your career, music or your various other opinions and passions, what is it that Vince Russo likes to do to kick-back in 2019?

Spend time with my wife, love on my English Bulldog, Penelope, and go Thrift Shopping.

What are you working on right now, and is there anything you can tell us about the future of your career? I believe you have publicly stated that when you reach the age of 60 you’ll no longer talk about wrestling. What can we expect to hear from you after that?

It’s all about Vince Russo’s Brand – RussosBrand.com. New shows are being developed every day. I am even expecting the Disco Puppet to arrive this week. It’s all about providing CONTENT whether it be on Patreon.com/RussoTWC or twitch.tv/vincerussolive. I can NEVER create and provide enough content.
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I want to once again thank Vince Russo for talking with Nerdly and giving some of his time to answer a few questions.

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