Vince Russo on consulting for USA Network regarding WWE Raw and what it entailed, Shawn Michaels losing his smile, the WWF In Your House 13: Final Four main event


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Vince Russo
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Interview available at

On consulting for USA Network: “When WCW closed shop all the way back in 2000, whenever it was okay, USA Network hired Ed Ferrara as a consultant to watch Raw and write reports on Raw every single week and pitch ideas. And he was working with Bonnie Hammer and the USA Network. Vince McMahon, the WWE never knew about this. Okay. I knew about this because I’m Ed’s buddy and Ed told me. So fast forward, bro, to 2020 and the show is horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible. I can’t even watch the show. So. I come up with the idea of, you know, the USA Network needs a consultant. Again, they need somebody to smarten them up, let them know what is wrong with this show, why nobody’s watching this show, pitch them ideas. And and I basically said, I am going to contact USA Network. So I got in charge with the president of the USA Network that directly oversaw the WWE product. He got back in touch with me immediately, you know, knew who I was, knew my contributions, knew the history, was involved when Ed was consulting for them. So immediately he was interested in me, you know, having my hand in at least. reviewing Raw, smartening them up, loading them with bear when they had to have conversations with Vince (McMahon), Bruce (Prichard) and Kevin Dunn, so it looked like they knew what they were talking about.”

On what consulting entailed: “At that point, John, the show is already done. So it’s like being, you know, like a Tuesday morning quarterback. They wanted me to like really, really point out like, okay, Vince… And keep in mind, bro, I did this first thing Tuesday morning before numbers or anything came out. First thing Tuesday morning, just generally, what was your assessment of the show? And then basically, what would you have done differently? Then they would have me pitch what to do with certain characters, what to do with certain storylines, send in new storylines. So it was really, bro, like they weren’t so interested in the critique of the show because the show’s already in the can. This was more of a think tank of what would you have done going forward?… What storylines would you create? It was that kind of a thing, bro. It was more of a think tank.”

On Shawn Michaels losing his smile: “He did the same thing in the WrestleMania match with (Steve) Austin when he went in with the back injury. And then, bro, in the middle of that match, he did that kip up. And that’s when I said you got to be… now I know all about adrenaline and everything else, bro. It’s a WrestleMania, it’s a big event, but, bro, if your back is effed, you ain’t doing no kip up, bro. So he kind of did the same exact thing during that match. I always give him the benefit of the doubt, because I mean, you know, like I said, man, WrestleMania, there’s gotta be such an adrenaline rush. I’ve never experienced anything like that. So like, I always give him the benefit of the doubt, but that, that really stuck out to me.”

On the In Your House 13: Final Four main event: “I think, coming off the heels of what was going on with Shawn, I think they really wanted the most dependable guy. And that, without a question, without a shadow of a doubt was Bret Hart at the time. No doubt about it. I think in Vince’s mind, ‘Taker wasn’t ready. They, they weren’t gonna put… nobody took Vader seriously in that company, and Undertaker didn’t need it.”

Other topics include Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Mankind, Vince McMahon, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Vader, and more.


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