Russo is joined on today’s show by Big Vito.
Russo informs that his first love was working on radio, and he’s been constantly looking to return to the radio booth for 26 years. He mentions that editing the WWE Magazine and writing professional wrestling kind of just fell in his lap and he never had a passion to do either of those things. For that reason he simply treated those things as a job and he felt bad about that for many years because everyone around him had a real passion for the wrestling business.
He says that having to wake up in the morning and go to work at a job that you hate has to be the worst thing in life. Vito agrees and mentions that he’s been in that situation in the past. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get through the tough times in order to get to the spot you want to be in life.
Russo informs that he has started hosting a local radio show in Colorado, and he had Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler on the show as his first guest this past week. They discussed Andy Kaufman’s involvement in Memphis Wrestling and the new Netflix documentary, ‘Jim & Andy’. Russo points out that Kaufman and Lawler were 30 years ahead of their time in the sense that they incorporated a mainstream celebrity into a wrestling angle.
Russo points out that Kaufman actually contacted Vince McMahon Sr. about getting involved in the wrestling business but McMahon Sr. passed on the opportunity. Lawler stepped in and took Kaufman up on his offer, and in considering the success of this angle, Russo thinks there are three points that made it better in Memphis than it ever would have been in WWE.
Russo thinks Lawler and Kaufman had terrific chemistry, and Lawler was the perfect hometown babyface to rise up and put Kaufman in his place. Secondly, WWE would not have made this angle the main event in the way that Lawler did in Memphis. Russo thinks this would have been a secondary, mid-card angle in WWE.
Lastly, Russo points out that Kaufman was from the Northeast and was cutting very passionate promos on the Southern states, insulting them and garnering heat in the process. This made the audiences in Memphis hate him and they were more than willing to pay to see Lawler get a piece of Kaufman. If Kaufman was in WWE and performing for Northeast crowds, those promos wouldn’t have worked.
Russo says that WWE is in limbo right now because Stephanie and Shane McMahon are on separate sides of the fence waiting for Vince to die. Russo adds that if Shane McMahon was running WWE right now he’s sure he’d be hired to write the shows.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case and writing for WWE isn’t even on his radar right now. He doesn’t think there’s any amount of money in the world that could get him to return to that company right now and have to answer to Stephanie.
Vito thinks that if the right opportunity presented itself to return to WWE, Russo would jump at it and go back to writing wrestling full time. Russo isn’t so sure because he’s older now and he doesn’t have time to waste with backstage politics and unnecessary drama. Vito points out that Russo made some mistakes during his time writing for WCW and TNA, and he thinks Russo would embrace another opportunity to work for the biggest promotion in the world.
Russo says his biggest issue with WWE right now is there are too many performers who don’t look like professional wrestlers, and instead they look like children who dreamed of becoming wrestlers and somehow that dream came true. He’s sick and tired of watching amateurs who don’t look, act, or talk like stars.
He says that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are great examples of performers who don’t look like wrestlers. Finn Balor is another performer who looks like a kid with a dream, and he doesn’t belong on the show in Russo’s opinion. When WWE mixes guys like Balor, Zayn or Owens with someone like Brock Lesnar it’s an obvious mismatch, and the casual fans at home are the first ones to realize this.
Vito agrees with Russo, pointing out that in a real life scenario, Balor doesn’t stack up against any of WWE’s main event talent. Vito says that Balor belongs on 205 Live because that’s the only spot where someone of his size can realistically compete.
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!