Vince Russo Speaks On McMahon Turning Down His Ideas, Heyman/TNA & More

The following are highlights of a new interview with Vince Russo:

On his vision for WCW: “The vision was to flip the roster to get the middle guys out of that middle slot and start rising them to the top to be built around. With this format, I went into WCW with a giant target on my back from the veterans. I still went ahead with the plan because it was the right thing to do. As much as these guys are going to kill me, bury me behind my back, try to get me out quicker than I came, I stuck to the plan because I knew it was the right thing to do. To this day, I don’t regret that because that’s what needed to be done at the time.”

On the reason Vince McMahon turned down his idea to bring WCW back in 2002: “Probably because it was my idea. The last person I should have been pitching was Eric Bishoff, but he was a phenomenal on-air talent. Anything personal between us wouldn’t have mattered. Bishoff deserved to be on TV. I literally laid out this plan and then obviously things didn’t work out. I left WWE and Eric was hired. I watched it unravel at home on TV and I was like ‘are you freaking kidding me?’ They had a goldmine and week after week they were butchering it. They killed a million dollar idea.”

On how close Paul Heyman was to signing with TNA: “I don’t know if he was close. I called Paul to bring him into TNA and we had a couple of conversations that were hours long. I was under the impression Paul wanted to come in and have things 100% his way, but that’s not how TNA works. I turned it over to Dixie [Carter] and was out of the loop. I didn’t care how I was going to be working with Paul or who had what title. I thought Paul Heyman could make TNA a better product and that’s why I made the original contact.”

On Bret Hart’s issues with him and if he likes him: “Deep down inside, I don’t know if he does. When I went to WCW, I wanted Bret Hart in a position he longed to be in. I approached him my first day there and we sat down for an hour and discussed the Owen [Hart] incident. We talked about it man-to-man and I thought everything was behind us. Six months before I left TNA, I had a phone conversation with Bret about bringing him to TNA. He was very excited about that idea and I spoke to him personally on the phone for an hour. Face-to-face or on the phone, there has never been an issue between me and Bret.

“I find it hard to believe Bret feels that way because he had the opportunity on more occasions than one to tell me — especially when I tried to bring him into TNA. There’s the perfect opportunity for Bret to say ‘Vince I’m not working for a scumbag.’ That’s not how the conversation went; it was a very positive one. I find it hard to believe at his core that he feels that way, but I also know bashing and burying Vince Russo to the internet wrestling community is the cool hip thing to do. Some people think that’s what gets them over. Just throw a Vince Russo barb in the wrestling community and you’re over. All these people that have these issues with me and do interviews, never have I been confronted to my face. That’s unfortunate. I worked as hard as I could in the business, was very respectful, and am a family man. To consistently have to deal with all the negative comments, it gets old after a while.”

Check out the complete interview at

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  • Matt Boone

    Matt Boone has been a huge wrestling fan since the Attitude Era. He writes for and

    • raVen

      WCW was doing a slim few good things before the buy out but after years of terrible choices they had no chance of being saved. AOL didn’t help either.
      We all know how well the Invasion angle went…smh

    • Undertaker316
      • Cujo999

        Russo and Cornette both have their bad points. Can anybody honestly listen to one of Cornette’s rants on Youtube and honestly think he was easy to work with? Russo had some good ideas, and I do think he deserves some credit for his out of the box thinking, but at the same time, he was a guy that needed somebody that could reign his ideas back in when they went too far.

    • Jomo

      Who is/was Vince Russo?

      • Undertaker316

        booked object on pole matches

      • Eric

        Wrote storylines for the attitude era that garnered some of the highest ratings in pro wrestling history.

      • brad

        Worked for Wwe, Wcw, and Tna killed WCW and is also very hated on the internet.

        • Drmgiver

          Management killed WCW, not Russo.

          • mac888

            They were one and the same at one point, Russo was managing WCW. He didn’t single handedly kill the promotion but lets just say he held the smoking gun

            • Drmgiver

              No, he didn’t. And he isn’t the management I am talking about. I am talking about AOL Time Warner. They didn’t want wrestling. Turner could have funded it through anything because he loved it. But he didn’t hold a leadership position any longer, so it was killed. It is that simple.

          • brad

            He had a pretty big part, like Mac said he held the smoking gun.

    • thingschange12 .

      It’s 2014, let it go Vince Russo…………………

    • Dixie Carter

      Vince Russo is a great talent who happened to be buried by the IWC who only know about working for a company. Not running a multi-million dollar business and having a lot of staff and having a sallary of over a million per year minus tax. At the IWC rate you think TNA was a charity and not a business…but small minds…are just small minds!

      • Deante320

        Um let’s go by the TNA scorecard shall we?

        TNA with Vince Russo: bad ideas that so bad that even the tourist crowd even knew whose idea was it to the point they chanted “FIRE RUSSO”

        TNA without russo: little hit and miss here and there, the misses being hogan and bischoff. But after you got rid of them, TNA slowly improve. The crowd wasn’t as near death as it was before. NYC shows: excellent. The crowd (not a tourist crowd but a real pure crowd) LOOOOVED it. Even BFG is going to Japan. Something wwe has and probably will never will do with wrestlemania.

        Final verdict: although you’re right he was a great talent, but the key word being “was” Russo bats under .500 when it comes to booking, and that’s something a wrestling company want. Sorry for the long reply.

        • Dixie Carter

          You know wrestling is a business not a charity? I did say that. It’s about making money. Ask Vince why his product has not changed in 10years and get’s worse every week. If he did a big change he would lose half his audience so he sticks to the same formula which is Cena winning the belt 5x a year or holding it for a few years.

          I rather watch a Vince Russo booking than a WWE booking where anything that is considered a risk is shot down. You can only have safe storylines for the stockholders (not the fans). So if the storyline writers want to keep a job you better pitch Cena being 30x world champion in the next 5years.

          You or someone will get my vaild point. Vince is destroying his company that is why their is no new audience in the past 5years. Ratings have went down and WWE is on a down trend, not up. WWE pretend they are on up. It’s called marketing!

          • FTV

            Cena wins the title 5 time a year? Huh lets see here from Cena’s first wwe title win in 2005 that is 9 years so Cena is a 45 time world champion? Thank you for clarifying that.

    • Jeff Payne

      Russo is only good at pitching ideas not being the head writer

    • mac888

      You were a terrible booker on your own Vince you deserve all the criticism on a professional level. Any personal attacks are unwarranted however, nobody deserves that