Russo Says McMahon Was Clueless About Publicity, Talks Austin’s Beer Truck Angle & More
Jun 20, 2014 - by Marc Middleton
– Vince Russo is now writing a monthly column for the What Culture website and his first piece is “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vince Russo.” Here are some highlights:
Ben Stiller Smoking Weed At RAW!
“When we had Ben Stiller on ‘Raw’, I couldn’t find him to produce the pre-tapes we needed. Where was he? How about smoking the WACY-TABACKY with Road Dog and X-Pac behind the trailers!!!
When we finally found Ben, who was promoting “Mystery Men” at the time, he was more than willing to take on a direct blow to the head courtesy of Double J’s, Jeff Jarrett’s guitar. To this day I don’t know if Ben agreed so willingly because he was a “mark”, or simply still high due to his earlier escapades with Sean Waltman and Brian James.”
Getting Threatened By Goldberg And Shawn Michaels
“I, myself, while never having gotten into an “actual” fight while serving my duties of Head Writer at WWE, WCW and TNA, was actually threatened on not one . . . but, two occasions. The first time was by Shawn Michaels after I cut a promo on him to his friend Triple H, for hijacking the WrestleMania 15 main event by getting into Steve Austin’s ear, who then talked Vince McMahon into changing the three way between him, the Rock and Mick Foley into a two-way, leaving Mick the odd man out. And, also a few years later by Bill Goldberg who was not happy when I needed him to do a job to Scott Steiner. Thankfully, I was able to get out of both predicaments completely unscathed.
In another backstage ‘confrontation’ I also once saved Sunny’s life, while putting my own on the line! I actually attempted to stand between Luna, and her target which she INTENDED TO KILL!!! The encounter ended with Luna spearing me into a laundry cart. I swear, Luna could have taken 50% of the MALE roster in a fight during her hey-day.
Luna, bless her heart, had it out for ALL the divas who in her mind weren’t “actually” wrestlers. She despised Sable, and made it very difficult for her to find her way early on. But, if you knew Luna, you loved her, she really did have a big heart. That was just the “old school wrestler” in her that would rear its ugly head from time to time. I’m also proud to say that about three years ago, I pulled “Awesome Kong” off radio personality “Bubba the Love Sponge”.”
Stone Cold Didn’t Want To Do The Beer Truck Angle!
“In the epic scene on “Raw”, when Steve Austin drove a beer truck into the arena, I actually had to talk Steve into it! The Texas Rattlesnake said he just wanted to enter in his pick-up. He didn’t “see” the beer truck. However, once the segment was produced, I think Steve totally understand the impact that it was going to have on the fans for many years to come. It was truly, one of the most classic scenes in the history of “Monday Night Raw”. Thankfully I talked him round, he didn’t go with the pick up, riding in instead with the beer truck, driving his way into wrestling history.”
Vince McMahon Didn’t Have A Clue About Mainstream Publicity
“In the Attitude Era, the hottest thing at that time on MTV was Tom Green. He was light years ahead of the “Reality TV” boom that would follow many years later. I wanted him to be revealed as the man responsible for Raw’s GTV!
Unfortunately, the idea never came into fruition because Vince McMahon had NO IDEA who TOM GREEN was! So instead of “GREEN TV”, it became “GOLDUST TV”.
That wasn’t the first time that Vince wasn’t “exactly” up on his pop culture. A few years later I had shot pre-tapes with “Dancin’” Steve Richards and the Blue Meanie as a parody of the “Blair Witch Project”. We called it the “Blonde Bitch Project”. The idea was to take an entertaining “shot” at Sable who had abruptly decided to leave the company at the time. Once again, the pre-tapes never saw the light of day because Vince had “no idea” what the “Blair Witch Project” was. The pre-tapes, that never aired, were shot ON LOCATION at WWE writer Ed Ferrara’s house… and backyard.
But wait… there are even YET MORE EXAMPLES of Vince McMahon’s little knowledge of the HERE and NOW. Here are a few more gems!
A friend of mine in the Public Relations Department at the WWE, pitched Vince to have legendary Eagles guitarist JOE WALSH perform “Rocky Mountain Way” at WrestleMania XI. Vince respectfully declined because he had never heard of the song, “Rocky Mountain Way”, or its singer/writer JOE WALSH!!!
Last, but not least, upon his arrival in the WWE, we shot a series of vignettes with Val Venus and LEGENDARY porn star Jenna Jameson. We even went as far as even having Jenna BUCK NAKED in Bruce’s Prichard’s Jacuzzi with Val. Upon seeing the footage, Vince decided against airing them, because in his words, Jenna was “ugly”.”