Russo is joined on today’s show by former WWE Superstar, Big Vito.
Russo opens today’s show by informing that most Impact talents are now working for $150 per night. Vito can’t believe how far that company has fallen, and he also can’t believe that talents are working shows for that amount of money. He adds that he worked his first wrestling show in 1991 and he made $100 that night.
Russo and Vito begin to discuss some of the backstage stories surrounding some of the most high-profile shoot confrontations in the history of the wrestling business.
Vito begins by talking about the heat between Scott Steiner and DDP in WCW, stemming from Steiner’s behaviour towards DDP’s wife, Kimberley. Steiner and DDP began an angle together and as the storylines progressed, Kimberley got involved. Things got heated from there.
Vito recalls having to shoot an angle with DDP and Kimberley during this time, and the segment’s script called for him to grab Kimberley’s ass. He asked DDP’s permission and cleared it with Kimberley as well, and after getting both of their approval he was more comfortable with shooting the segment. Vito mentions that Steiner wasn’t quite as respectful during his time working with DDP and Kimberley.
Eventually things reached a boiling point and DDP and Steiner got into a physical dispute backstage one evening. Both men held their own and they were eventually broken up. Vito spoke to DDP right after who told him that he didn’t care if were to get beaten up – he felt like he had to defend his wife’s honour at that time because he didn’t like some of the things Steiner was saying about her.
Russo talks about the heat between Sable, Sunny and Luna during the attitude era. He informs that Sable and Sunny hated each other, and he thinks a lot of that heat stemmed from Sunny’s jealousy of Sable. What most people don’t know, is that Luna absolutely despised both Sable and Sunny. Russo thinks Luna was angry at the fact that the business was changing at the time, and a lot of sexy women who couldn’t work were beginning to steal the spotlight from her.
He thinks that Luna could have taken 75% of WWE’s roster at the time, male or female. He recalls Luna working with Gangrel in a tag team angle with Marc Mero and Luna, and Russo informs that Gangrel spent a lot of time trying to calm Luna down backstage. He adds that if it wasn’t for Gagrel, Luna probably would have torn apart Sable in a one-on-one situation during that time.
Russo recalls getting hit by Luna Vachon backstage at a show one evening. He happened to look down the hall and spotted Sunny mouthing off to Luna. He knew he had to split them up so he ran down the hall and stood between both women. Sunny continued to mouth off and finally Luna had enough. She speared Russo through a laundry cart and jumped on Sunny. Luckily, within a few seconds other people heard the commotion and broke them up. Russo says that was the hardest he’s ever been hit.
Vito brings up the heat between Hulk Hogan and Russo in WCW. Vito recalls the night that Russo became fed up with Hogan’s demands for creative control, and booked Jeff Jarrett to lie down in the middle of the ring so that Hogan could easily pin him and win the Title, which was what Hogan demanded.
Vito was friends with both men at the time, and when Hogan came back through the curtain he asked him if he was okay. Hogan was visibly shaken up, and said that he was simply going to go back to his hotel room. When Russo came back through the curtain Vito asked him, “What have you done?” and Russo simply said he’d had enough of the unrealistic creative demands of Hogan and the other old guard of wrestlers at WCW.
Russo feels that if Eric Bischoff wasn’t connected to Hogan’s hip, he and Hogan would have had a completely different relationship. Bischoff always stirred up controversy between Russo and Hogan, and when Russo spent time alone with Hogan they were able to get along just fine. Even to this day, he has no issue with Hogan and he’s very thankful for Hogan’s contributions to his career and to the business in general.
Vito next speaks about the heat between Edge & Matt Hardy in the mid-2000s. Lita was dating Matt Hardy at the time, but Edge worked his way into that equation and they began having an affair. It appeared at the time that everyone knew about this affair except for Hardy, which made the locker room area an uncomfortable place for a lot of guys. Eventually Hardy found out, and in the midst of storyline angle between both men there was a shoot fight where legitimate punches were thrown.
Vito points out that the fight was fairly even, and from there both men were able to work out their problems and actually draw money together in what became one of the greatest storylines in WWE history.
Russo talks about the heat between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Russo says the heat really boiled over between these men when Michaels brought Sunny into the equation. He informs that Sunny was making her way through the WWE locker room at this time and after having a fling with Michaels, she eventually rendezvoused with Hart. Michaels caught wind of this, and even referenced it on an episode of RAW one evening when he was under the influence of some substance.
Russo points out that Hart was in the wrong for cheating on his wife with Sunny, but Michaels should have never brought that up on live television. Vito agrees, pointing out that if Michaels really wanted to make a statement in order to get over on Hart, he should have bettered Hart in the ring or found another way to better him on the mic. Bringing Hart’s personal life into the feud wasn’t the right thing to do.
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 later this week for another recap!