Vince Russo Discusses 2010 vs. The Attitude Era, Developing Personalities, His Book, More
Posted by Larry Csonka on 02.16.2010
Transcript credit: Marty Hotts
Vince Russo was on Right After Wrestling Radio 2/15/2010, here are the highlights...
Russo said that it is important to get an education and have writing experience. He started writing for a paper at age 19 in college and it helped him write wrestling. When asked about 3 hours, Russo said if he was asked to do it, he would although he feels 3 hours every week would be too much of an overkill.
Host asks about the audience of 2010 vs the Attitude Era as an example. Russo says the key is to write the type of show that the masses are going to watch - he says men, women, children of all ages groups by "masses": a little of something for everybody - drama, romance, comedy, action. If you have a part of your show that everybody likes, that's really the key. He said when they had the boom in the late 90s, when they touched the nerve with society and the masses - wrestling was cool and hip to watch. That was when they did the greatest numbers in the business. He thinks they have gotten away from that a little.
He said after 2001-2002, it went back to "wrestling" - there's nothing wrong with that, he says, but if you write a strictly wrestling show, the audience is smaller. The traditional wrestling show is smaller than a mass audience. He doesn't think anything has changed, but the key is to get as many eyeball as possible to watch your show.
The host asks about the difficulty to write for the roster and to get the masses to watch the show for TNA right now. Russo says when new characters and personalities come in, it gets the juices going again - there's new players to write for. He says that is always a challenge, but a good challenge. If you're writing for the same cast of characters year after year, it may get boring and monotonous. He says one of the things he enjoys doing is creating characters and having new people to write for. For all the new influx of talent that has come in, he says that's good for him.
The host talks about Rope Opera, his book, ends with Hogan/Bischoff arriving at TNA - the host asks about their current relationship. Russo says it has been great and that if you read the last chapter of Rope Opera, you will see that Russo was real concerned about the relationship with Hulk/Eric as he hadn't seen them for 10 years and the last time he saw them 10 years ago, it wasn't great.
He says since January, the experience has been tremendous. Russo says when you read Rope Opera and understand what he was going through mentally in WCW, it's crystal clear that the guy Russo was then vs now are two totally different people. He says he now has the opportunity to appreciate the genius of Eric Bischoff, the talent of Hulk Hogan, and to work with them - to get in their minds is a great experience. He's really thankful that they were able to come full circle and has the opportunity to work with these guys again in an environment that is much healthier than WCW ever was.
Host asks about the criticisms that Russo has had surrounding title changes. Russo says there's never a gameplan that every three months, they're going to change the belt. Russo says you give the audience what they want and if they gauge a character/wrestler to a point, they'll have a chance to get the point. Russo says he also likes to write from a reality standpoint. He says in reality, it's hard for anyone to hold a belt for a long period of time. They have a show every week and if the title is constantly defended, then there is a high probability that the title will change.
The host then follows up on it by saying if fans put too much reverence on the title; if fans care about people winning the belt more than 16 times. Russo says, in his opinion, and he knows that people disagree with him - but it doesn't matter. Russo says what matters is if he's watching a show, for those two hours on Thursday night Impact, it's important that the fans enjoy the show. He tries to write a show that entertains as many people as possible on a weekly basis.
A fan asked about Stone Cold Shark Boy, Voodoo Kin Mafia and Curry Man. I missed what he said about Shark Boy, but he did mention that VKM was something BG/Kip wanted to do and that it had to stop when Triple H got injured and they felt that they didn't have anywhere to go with it afterwards. In regards to Curry Man, Russo noted that it was played by Daniels and it was very entertaining while it lasted.
Scott D'Amore called. Russo said Orlando Jordan was a star the second he walks through the curtain and that Eric Bischoff was high on Jordan. Russo said Bischoff/Hogan brought people to TNA that they felt that could produce and Russo has no problem with any of the talent Bischoff/Hogan brought in.
Russo says he watches Raw, he is very bored by it because there is nothing compelling to him and that there's nothing he has to think about; the storylines are simple, the characters rarely change and he really thinks that is going to be the difference when TNA goes head to head: new characters, compelling storylines, stories that the audience will have to think about, cliffhanger endings, comedy, drama, and variety. It's not going to be the same wrestling show that has been going on since 2000. It's going to be new, exciting, and Russo promises you that there will be a lot of people joining TNA on the roster along the way.
The host promotes the book "Rope Opera" - Russo's new book. The last question was how easy it would be to write for Rob Van Dam. Russo said it would be very easy. Russo says RVD is one of the ultimate stars in the business and he'd like nothing more than to have RVD on the TNA roster.