When it comes to “sports entertainment,” long-time fans tend to view Vince Russo as either a genius or the worst-human-being-that-ever-lived. Regardless of where you stand as a fan, Vince was undoubtedly responsible for thousands of hours of television, serving as the head writer for WWE, WCW and TNA at various points. The New York native played a hand in the character development of countless pop culture icons, including The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and The Undertaker.
Fast forwarding to 2016, Vince still has a hand in writing for a few international wrestling promotions. However, most of his attention goes to Vince Russo’s The Brand, as recorded five days a week for Podcast One. On The Brand, Vince not only offers commentary on the whole world of wrestling, but gets exclusive interviews with top names; Shawn Michaels was his first interview subject. In turn, Vince’s response about the first podcast he ever listened to is amusing.
Vince –- who was a pleasure to correspond with –- tackled some questions for Downtown over e-mail. Beyond Twitter, he can be followed online at www.russobrands.com, where he also posts articles about television, video games and other forms of entertainment. More Q&A from Vince will follow later this month on Inside Pulse.
What do you wish more people knew about Vince Russo?
Vince Russo: That he’s a blue collar guy, loving husband and father and takes great, great pride in his work.
Is there a particular period of your career that you look back at most fondly?
V: Obviously the WWE Attitude Era. Being a wrestling fan for well over 40 years, there just wasn’t another time like it. I’m very proud of that time.
Once you were successful with your writing career, do you ever consider moving to Manhattan?
V: No way. I was never a “big city” guy. I grew up in the suburbs of Long Island and that’s what I knew.
Your New York accent is one of the things that made you unforgettable to wrestling fans. Did you ever try to lose your accent? Or did anyone try and get you to tone it down?
V: I will NEVER lose the accent. New York will always be a part of who I am and I am very proud of that!
I know that New Japan and FWE have hosted shows downtown within the past few years. Have you ever been to a wrestling show in lower Manhattan?
V: Just early RAW shows at the Manhattan Center — “back in the day.”
How did you the opportunity to have your own podcast come about?
V: I just busted my ass at it, like I do with everything else I’ve ever earned.
In order to enjoy your podcast, does a person have to be familiar with your history in the business?
V: I don’t think so. I try to sell Vince Russo — who I am, my beliefs and opinions…
What was the first podcast that you ever listened to?
V: I’ve never listened to one, single podcast.
How long does it usually take for you to put together an episode of your podcast?
V: However long the show is. I don’t plan out shows — I prefer to just wing them and be spontaneous.
When you’re not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
V: Playing fantasy baseball, looking for buried treasures at thrift shops and adding to my vinyl collection.
Finally, Vince, any last words for the kids?
V: Yes — ALWAYS stay true to who YOU are.
-by Darren Paltrowitz