The following are highlights of Vince Russo’s new interview with Al Snow:
On how long he has been in wrestling: “May 22 will be 33 years since I had my first match in Springfield, Ohio in 1982. I have made a living in the wrestling business for almost 33 years.”
On getting his big break in 1995: “Two things: One – it was a different business… At that time, when I broke in in 1982, it was different in the sense that the locker room that would be full of talent that had been working seven days a week for 10-15 years and that’s all they did for a living… It took a long time to work your way off to get in a spot where you were put in a position to draw… The other reason was timing: I broke in 1982; Vince started the war in 1984 and started buying up all the talent. Vince went around and bought all the workers in the territories.”
On coming up with the “head” gimmick: “Chris Candido was tight with Paul E. I asked him to go to Paul E who then went to Vince McMahon. Bruce Prichard, who was head of talent relations for WWF, rolled my contract for a third year and wouldn’t let me out. I actually asked for my release 90 days ahead of time. Vince put me on loan to Paul E. Paul E. didn’t overproduce you. He had no plans or intentions to me. He was doing this as a favor. It gave me an opportunity to go some place else so somebody would see me on someone else’s TV being a star and I knew I had to do that. I found this styrofoam head in the back and it worked. It caught your (Russo)’s attention and gave me a second opportunity with WWE.”
On whether it took time for “Head” to get over: “It connected pretty quickly…I ended up dislocating my shoulder badly in a match with a wrestler. Paul E. was taking an interest with the head gimmick and was going to get me to do something in the arena with Sandman. Candido went and argued on my behalf to do a vignette. I did a vignette in the locker room where everyone was normal and I was arguing with the head. Paul E. allowed me to do them, he never wrote them or told me what to do or say. He just told me to do these vignettes and film something. I came up with the most ridiculous stuff where everything was normal in a situation and the only thing that was crazy was me interacting and arguing with the head. Thanks to Paul E. for allowing me the freedom to do it, airing it and took advantage of it.”
Russo thought Snow would stay with TNA after doing the guest-referee spot, but he never saw Snow for a long time afterwards. “That thing was the most confusing thing I have ever been involved in. I honest to God have no clue. TNA brought me in. Mick Foley was the special guest referee between Rhino and Kurt Angle. I come out of the crowd out of nowhere, get an enormous reaction, slap Mick which leads to a distraction, allows Rhino to screw Angle. I figured at least the next day at TV I would do a promo or something to explain my actions or something and maybe do a match, since we were there for three days. I could put Mick over and be done with that. I get it. I literally slapped Mick, the finish happens, and Jeff Jarrett asks me to sit in the production meeting, doesn’t talk to me all day. I’m not on TV. Doesn’t talk to me the next day. You (Russo) catch him before I leave and then Jeff talks to me and says ‘I know you’re looking for a job. We’ll figure something out’, said something vague and that was it. To this day, I don’t know what that was about.”
On Grado and British Boot Camp: “I didn’t blow him off. You don’t just get respect in this business. You’re not entitled to anything in this business. You have to earn everything in this business.. I had respect for Grado until he showed up late for an opportunity…Here’s this kid on a TV show, most people would kill just to be on a TV show. To be on a TV show to pursue your dream and get a contract and be a part of an international organization, and a platform to promote yourself. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. You’re asked to come back to work out and you show up late… I’ve been there. You’ve got to have more than a fancy entrance to get me to respect you.”
On Vince Russo’s influence on the business: “…I genuinely have nothing but the utmost respect for you and consider you a friend in this business. I’ll say this and I’ve said this before in other interviews. There are a lot of people, Vince, who owe you for their opportunity and the break they got because if it hadn’t been for you, they would have never gotten it.”
Check out the complete interview at PyroAndBallyhoo.com.
PHOTOS: WWE Diva LANA Poses In Maxim Magazine!