Russo is joined on today’s show by former ECW, WCW and WWE Superstar, Big Vito.
Russo speaks about the ongoing scandal in Hollywood, with multiple stars coming out and speaking about sexual abuse that they’ve suffered at the hands of powerful people within the film industry. He says that he might get some heat for this, but he feels that nobody should allow themselves to be a victim. People need to stand up for themselves and take care of the issues when they first occur.
It doesn’t make much sense to him that a lot of these people are coming out with their stories years after the alleged activities occurred. Most of these people claimed they were too afraid of being black-balled in the industry if they came out years ago, but Russo doesn’t think that’s an excuse. Any person who’s being sexually assaulted needs to put their safety ahead of their careers and needs to come forward immediately.
Vito says that this type of thing is happening in every industry, but he agrees with Russo in the sense that the victims need to come out with their stories as soon as the issues occur. If someone in a powerful position is trying to bribe you, you either take it and deal with the consequences or you come forward with it right away. Waiting until years later to tell your story seems like you’re simply looking for lawsuit money.
Russo says he knows many women in the wrestling business who were victims, and these women would often come to him to tell him about it. Most of these women were ‘old school’ and had no intention of taking their issues public, but until they do it’ll never change.
Russo says he has really been giving Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Finn Balor a hard time over the last year or so. He feels the needs to apologize to those guys because recently he has realized that it’s not the talent’s fault that they’ve been put in this situation. It’s actually the process that Russo needs to be furious about, not the talents.
He points out that years ago you had guys like Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan, who passed the torch to guys like Steve Austin and The Rock. From there we got John Cena and Batista, but now we have Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn? He’s not sure what happened along the way but things have changed drastically and not for the better.
He says there are great coaches at WWE’s Performance Centre, and he’s not sure how guys like Terry Taylor and William Regal are okay with this new approach to the business. These ‘new-age’ talents actually got Bill DeMott fired because he was ‘too tough’ on them. Every time Triple H takes a picture with a new NXT talent who is supposedly the future of the business, he towers over them like a giant. It doesn’t make any sense.
Vito agrees and says that the system for moulding Superstars has definitely changed. He points out that a guy like Ricochet does 1000 flips each match and it looks great but it’s not professional wrestling, it’s acrobatics. These types of performers are considered the ‘great workers’ in the business today which tells Vito that the mindset has changed, and guys like Warrior and Hogan would be out of place in today’s business.
Russo says WWE’s issue is that they’re in the entertainment industry and the entertainment industry demands stars, stars like Hogan, Austin, The Rock and Cena. The first rule when identifying potential stars is they need to look like stars, and WWE’s roster is currently filled with main-eventers who do not look like stars. There are plenty of positions in the wrestling business for everyone, but the main event needs to be held in higher regard and the performers in the main event need to look like stars.
Lastly, Russo mentions once again that his issues with Owens, Zayn and Balor are not personal, and he apologizes to them. This style of wrestling simply isn’t his cup of tea, but it’s WWE that he needs to be angry with. If anything, he should be congratulating Owens, Zayn and Balor because these men had a dream to main event in WWE and they accomplished that dream.
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!