Russo is joined on today’s show by former ECW, WCW and WWE Superstar, Big Vito.
Vito begins talking about the backstage politics in WWE. He says that WWE just wants ‘yes men’ that show up, do their job and go home. He says that playing into the backstage politics is everything there and you have to play that game in order to advance in that company. Vito says he didn’t play into that and Russo says he didn’t either, even though it probably hurt both of them in the long term. Everything they accomplished there was earned through hard work.
Russo recalls beginning his job as editor of the WWE Magazine. He was just doing his job day to day and didn’t have to put up with any foolishness. Suddenly one day Bruce Prichard approached him and said people were complaining that he was hard to work with. Russo didn’t believe Prichard, but he decided to personally approach one woman who Prichard mentioned to confront her about the situation.
This woman was shocked to hear that Prichard said that to Russo because she didn’t even have a conversation with Prichard. Russo came to realize that Prichard was simply lying in an attempt to get his job back as head of talent relations after McMahon relieved him of that role after just two weeks.
Russo went to Vince McMahon and told him he wasn’t used to having to play these types of games and McMahon knew exactly what Prichard was like. McMahon must have spoken to Prichard shortly thereafter because Prichard never bothered Russo after.
Vito says that if he heard someone was saying things behind his back he’d always walk up to that person and confront them about it because he hated all the whispering backstage. He’d rather have any potential issues out in the open so he could figure out what the problem was. He admits that a lot of people told him throughout his career that he could have been World Champion if he just would have kissed ass and played the game a bit.
Russo asks Vito if he regrets not playing the game now, knowing that could have resulted in bigger paycheques and opportunities. He says that he could certainly use a couple of Million dollars in the bank right now to help his family, but he never would have wanted to earn it from kissing ass. He thought his hard work and dedication should have earned him those opportunities.
Russo agrees and says that it’s pointless to accomplish things when the only way you’re accomplishing them is through ass kissing. If he would have earned all of his opportunities through sucking up to Vince McMahon and his other bosses, he doesn’t think he would be able to live with himself today.
He goes on to say that if you’re in a job where politics are that important, that’s not a good spot to be in the first place. If your bosses are stupid enough to fall for all the ass kissing and lies then maybe you shouldn’t be in that job at all. If you keep your integrity and don’t fall into the trap you’ll eventually find yourself in a much better situation elsewhere.
Russo shares another story from when he was working in TNA. Before Bret Hart returned to WWE, Russo got Hart on the phone and nearly had him convinced to come work at TNA. Russo told Bischoff about his idea to get Hart involved in the company and Bischoff loved the idea. Bischoff then went behind Russo’s back to Hogan and Hogan played his ‘creative control’ card and nixed the concept. Russo still doesn’t hold that against Hogan because that was Hogan’s prerogative, since TNA gave him creative control in the first place.
Instead of just being honest with Dixie Carter, Bischoff started burying Hart to Carter saying he was too old, washed up, and too hard to deal with. He did this to protect Hogan because he didn’t want Carter to get mad with Hogan. Russo was angry with Bischoff for burying his friend and they had to have a big meeting where Russo explained the entire situation.
He says to this day he hasn’t seen a master work a room like Bischoff did that day. Prior to all of this Russo had shared some of his thoughts on Carter’s business practices with Bischoff in confidence, and Bischoff turned to Carter during this meeting and told her everything Russo said about her in confidence. Suddenly the entire meeting revolved around Carter and Russo’s relationship, taking all the heat off of him and Hogan.
Speaking of backstage politics, Vito says that Emma’s recent release is the ‘biggest bulls*** screwjob’ that he has ever seen. Emma out-shined Asuka in their two recent matches and then she gets fired; it makes no sense. He says this is the worst firing in the history of WWE, and he hopes she goes out on the indie scene and becomes a bigger star than she ever was in WWE.
Russo points out that Emma tweeted out a broken heart emoji after being released and he urges her to not let WWE break her heart. You can be the greatest worker or entertainer in the world but if you’re not high on one or two people’s list, you’re going to be pushed to the bottom of the pile in WWE anyways.
That sums up today’s episode of Vince Russo’s The Brand. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya tomorrow for another recap!