Vince Russo did a new interview with Wrestle Talk TV in the UK and talked about various aspects of his time in WCW, TNA and more. You can see a trailer for the second part of the interview, in which Russo is asked some hard questions about his WCW run, below. Part one of the interview, in which he talks about TNA, is also below; check out some highlights:
Part two will release next week.
On Dixie Carter hiring Hogan and Bischoff: “Everything falls fully on the shoulder of Dixie Carter. There was a time when I was writing for Jeff [Jarrett]. Literally overnight, this Karen Angle/Kurt Angle/Jeff Jarrett thing blows up. I was on vacation and get an absolute call from Dixie out of panic ‘Jeff’s being sent home. We need you to write our television’. At that point, it was just me and Matt Conway. From a financial point-of-view, the best thing for the company at the time is we need to build this younger talent. Dixie kept trying to bring in the big names. TNA didn’t have a lot of money. So, I knew we had to start developing the homegrown talent: AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, Bobby Roode – all those guys. Literally, for two months, that was all we were doing. Dixie never told me about Eric and Hulk. While I’m writing and trying to get the company where it needs to be, behind my back, she was negotiating with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. She had every right to do that. It’s her company. But I don’t think she should have did it the way she did. We are going in this direction. You’re bringing in Hogan and Bischoff. I could have told you that they weren’t going to go in that direction. They were immediately going to take a left turn, call this guy, this guy, this guy, bring them all in and all your homegrown talent will be sitting at the back of the bus. I could have told you that from the get-go. She never told me about Hogan and Bischoff until they were hired. I said ‘Okay, it’s your company’. Sure enough, in they come. We were going this way. It was a sharp left to the point where Eric Bischoff basically saying in a creative meeting ‘TNA did not exist before we came here. Everything you’ve done never even happened before we came here. TNA starts today’ and I just sat back and thought ‘Okay, really? The seven years that everybody’s been busting their butts here with sweat and giving their blood. None of that mattered? Okay, Eric? What do you want to do?’”
On his role while Hogan and Bischoff were there in 2010: “It was pitched to me at the beginning that ‘Okay Vince. You’re head of creative. Your job doesn’t change. Eric is going to be a part of creative with the storylines concerning Hulk.’ I said, ‘Okay, no problem’. All of a sudden, Eric is sitting in for the entire creative sessions. All of a sudden, Eric is part of the creative team. Never told to me by Dixie Carter. It just happened. It was myself, Eric Bischoff, Ed Ferrara and Matt Conway at the time.”
On Bischoff possibly being superior to him in the creative meetings: “I didn’t think he was superior to me. I knew that we had two different ideas of where the company needed to go. I knew that and I knew that was going to be an issue and a problem. I think it was.”
On whether Hogan or Bischoff were good or bad for TNA: “I think they were a bad thing and I’ll tell you why. And it has nothing to do with Hogan and Bischoff. If anyone were to take a pot-shot at Hogan and Bischoff and say ‘Hogan and Bischoff killed TNA’, it would be Vince Russo to repay all the people that told me I killed WCW. That was not the case at all. When Hulk and Eric came into the company, they really thought they were going to turn the company around. They came from WCW when they had an endless bank account. I tried to explain to Eric early on that ‘You’re not going to be able to do the things you want to do’…When you’re working for WWE and TNA, you’re working for two different companies based on finances alone. Here’s a perfect example: when we were doing the WCW invasion [by WWF], for the hell of it, I wrote on the show format ‘DX drives rocket launcher up to [WCW] building’ never in a million years thinking they would get a rocket launcher. I wrote that to entertain myself to see what the prop guys come up with. Next thing I know, DX is driving up in a rocket launcher. We bought a $50,000 sports car to fill up with cement. That stuff makes good TV. If you don’t understand that and don’t know the difference between WWE and TNA, and expect ratings to be the same or close, you’re absolutely out of your mind. Eric and Hulk didn’t know TNA and felt they could come in and turn the company around. They worked as hard as everybody. They were in the trenches and were really trying. In order to afford them, because TNA didn’t have a lot of money. Money had to come from other departments. All of a sudden, you have Hogan and Bischoff which is great. Now you don’t have money to promote, advertise, brand because you used that money to pay for their salaries. At the end of the day, it’s a catch-22. What good is it to have those guys if you don’t have the money to promote that they are a part of the company?”