Russo is joined on today’s show by former WWE/WCW Superstar Big Vito. On today’s show, Russo and Big Vito want to discuss the effect of kayfabe on the business of professional wrestling.
Russo recalls talking to George ‘The Animal’ Steele at a wrestling convention a few years ago. Steele shared stories with him of his time wrestling in the 1970’s, when wrestling was still considered legitimately real by most people. Steele told him that on most (if not all) occasions the heels would have to be led into the ring by security so they wouldn’t be attacked by fans. If the heel happened to win it would be even tougher to get back out of the arena without being attacked.
Russo also recalls ‘Doctor Death’ Dave Schultz legitimately slapping a reporter who asked him if wrestling was fake. The reporter’s hearing was never the same after that slap.
Big Vito says that for as long as his father lived he thought the business of professional wrestling was real. Vito’s father expressed how dissapointed he was in Vito on several occasions because Vito was a ‘terrible fighter’ and he couldn’t believe that his son was getting defeated so often. His father even accompanied him to an ECW show one night after Vito was defeated by Rob Van Dam the week prior, and his father actually approached Van Dam in the backstage area saying, “My son is going to kick your ass!”