Russo is joined on today’s show by former ECW, WCW and WWE Superstar.
Vito says the greatest moment of his life was wrestling Terry Funk on WCW Nitro, when Funk agreed to put him over. Funk took the pinfall 1, 2, 3, in the middle of the ring and that really helped solidify Vito as a credible threat. Vito points out that nobody can get a wrestler over like a veteran performer who passes the torch in the middle of the ring.
Russo says that out of all the nonsense that people say about him, the thing that bothers him the most is when people say that he takes credit for the success of The Rock and Steve Austin. Russo points out that he has never said that once in his life because it’s a ludicrous thought. Rock and Austin are two of the most talented individuals he’s ever met, and they would have found a way to get over in any era with any company.
Related to this point is the fact that Kenny Bolin takes credit for ‘making’ John Cena. Russo informs that anytime Bolin says this he cringes, because it’s impossible for Bolin to legitimately take credit for the success of someone as talented as John Cena. Vito agrees saying that it’s possible to assist in the rise of someone’s career without taking full control of all the success they’ve ever had.
Russo takes the opportunity to wish a 50th birthday to Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno). He says that Gilbertti is a great friend and it’s hard to put into words how much Gilbertti does for him out of the good of his heart.
Russo informs that he recently did an interview with Ken Shamrock for Kayfabe Commentaries and that DVD is out now. He points out that this partnership with Kayfabe Commentaries will continue with him conducting a series of interviews with former Superstars from the attitude era, where they will discuss the writing during that time and how that affected their characters.
Russo gives his thoughts on Ric Flair’s 30 for 30 documentary. Russo says he already knew everything about the wrestler, Ric Flair, but he never knew the man, Richard Fliehr. The film appealed to him because he knew this was an opportunity to find out more about he man behind the Ric Flair character, and we certainly saw this in the film when Flair discussed his children.
Russo says that he never met Richard Fliehr in his life, and he saw him for the first time in this film. Flair never dropped his character while he was in the locker room or on the road with the boys. Ric Flair was no longer a character for him, and that ultimately led him down a very rough path in life. Russo was enthralled in the film, while meeting Richard Fliehr for the first time.
Vito says that he didn’t watch this film because he doesn’t have the courage. He also avoided watching The Wrestler when that film came out years ago because he knows these types of films will have a negative emotional impact on him. A wrestler’s lifestyle is not for the weak, and much like Ric Flair, he chose wrestling over his family for a long time.
Vito’s first wife passed away from pancreatic Cancer, leaving him as a single father to four children. He still chose wrestling over his children for a long time before realizing what really mattered most in life. He’s so happy now, that he eventually woke up and was able to spend some family time with his kids before it was too late.
Vito informs that when you were on the road with the boys back in the day you had to wear an invisible cloak of armour, where you’d shield all your emotions. Russo agrees with that, saying he spoke to several guys who looked him in the eyes and said they were okay when he knew that they were struggling with alcohol or pill addictions.
Even Superstars like The Rock and Stone Cold never let their guard down backstage. Every time Russo spoke to those guys backstage he was speaking to their wrestling characters, not Dwayne Johnson or Steve Austin. He thinks it’s a very strange phenomenon that these performers are terrified of letting their real selves shine though, and he believes it’s necessary for WWE to have sports psychologists on hand to help the wrestlers with the physical and mental abuse that accompanies the wrestling business.
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!