The following are highlights of a new WrestlingINC.com 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 WrestlingINC.com.