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Vince Russo Discusses The Release Of His New Book (“Rope Opera”), His
Relationship With Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff Since January 4th (And
Putting The Bash At The Beach Incident Behind Them), The Rumors Of TNA
Going Head-To-Head With The WWE Beginning In March (And Why It Would Be
A Mistake For RAW Or iMPACT To Go Three Hours), Why Stephanie McMahon
Becoming The Head Of WWE’s Creative Team Might Have Hurt The WWE, & A
Message To His Critics (Including Jim Cornette)

Courtesy: www.MondayNightMayhem.com

The author of “Rope Opera: How WCW Killed Vince Russo” & TNA writer,
Vince Russo, was the special guest on this week’s live edition
(02/01/09) of Monday Night Mayhem (presented by ReelWrestling.com),
hosted by The Big Mosh, Blade, “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd
Vincent, & MNM’s National TNA Correspondent, “Wild” Bill Brown. You can
feel The Mayhem live & in streaming audio every Monday night (at 8PM
ET/7PM CT), exclusively on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network
(www.MondayNightMayhem.com, www.ITunes.com, www.AudioWrestling.com,
www.Facebook.com/MondayNightMayhem, &
www.MySpace.com/MondayNightMayhem).

Vince’s highly-anticipated return appearance to The Mayhem is now
available for free in Windows Streaming Media, or via The Mayhem’s
official Podcast on ITunes:

Vince Russo/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Streaming Audio):
http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/waxfiles/020110.wax

Vince Russo/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Podcast On ITunes):
http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/feb10/02110.mp3

Here are some of the highlights of Vince’s exclusive interview,
provided by The Mayhem’s official correspondent, Paterson From New
Jersey:

=============================

Vince Russo was welcomed back to The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network
by The Big Mosh, Blade, “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent, &
“Wild” Bill Brown for his first on-air/public comments since the
beginning of the “Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff Era” in TNA Wrestling. The
world has been buzzing about Russo’s new book (being released March 1st
through ECW Press), entitled “Rope Opera: How WCW Killed Vince Russo.”
Many fans & critics alike over the years have referred to Russo as “the
most hated man in professional wrestling,” and he finally had the
opportunity to respond candidly to that moniker. “Man, the most hated
man in professional wrestling?…That’s pretty stiff don’t you think?”

“Rope Opera,” will indeed give a lot of insight into Russo & his time
in WCW, and his fans (along with his critics) will see a side of him
that very few have had the opportunity to see before. Mosh began by
asking Vince about the process of putting the actual book together.
“First & foremost the reason I wrote both books (“Forgiven” & “Rope
Opera”), to be honest with you, is because I really do enjoy writing;
that’s what I do, and it’s very difficult when you’re in the confines
of writing a wrestling show 52 weeks a year & writing 12 Pay-Per-Views
a year and being dedicated to that genre. I really wrote ‘Forgiven’ &
‘Rope Opera’ as an outlet to write outside an wrestling script. To me,
to just take what’s inside, and put it down on the paper, and get it
out there as real, as raw, as truthful as possible…that’s just a
freeing experience for me.”

“The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent brought up the controversial &
now infamous WCW Bash At The Beach PPV from the summer of 1999, which
he referred to as Russo’s own “Montreal Screwjob.” Todd asked about the
events afterward which Russo had the chance to describe in his book,
which unveiled a great deal about what happened leading into that night
& the aftermath of what ensued between himself & Hulk Hogan. “I don’t
think we really have enough time in this show for me to go over
everything, because it is a long story. But I could you this, before
January 4th, me, Eric, & Hulk had to sit down and have a conversation.
I had spoken with Eric on a few occasion before the 4th came (of
January), and everything was smooth & going cool, but I knew I had to
have the face-to-face with Hulk before January 4th, and it was
something I wanted very, very much. It was ten years after the fact, so
much was said, so much was reported, so much was spoken about. Bash At
The Beach was the last time I ever saw or had any contact with Hulk
besides lawyer depositions & things like that. When the three of us sat
in room, I was able to get my side of the story, and they were to get
their side of the story for the first time in ten years. What it came
down to was that I thought we had agreed to do things one way, and they
thought we had agreed to do things another way, and it was a major,
major miscommunication.”

With the increase in TNA’s ratings since Hogan’s arrival, everyone is
talking about iMPACT moving to Monday nights permanently, and reports
have even surfaced about TNA’s flagship program going head-to-head with
the WWE beginning on March 1st & every week thereafter. With all the
new talent arriving & with everything moving so smoothly as it has been
since January 4th, is TNA ready for the jump to compete with the WWE’s
Monday Night RAW, which has been rumored to move RAW to three hours if
TNA goes three? “This is the first I’m hearing of the three hours, and
I don’t think TNA has any claims on going to three hours. I think
either show going three hours would be a mistake. Three hours a
week…that is a lot of programming, and I know how difficult it is to
come up with two hours, so I don’t think three hours would be a good
idea. As far as being ready (referring to the Internet), I don’t know
if it’s a obligation to create controversy & to dwell on negativity;
all I know is for me to have the opportunity to go head-to-head against
a former boss who I’m not very fond of and work with minds like Hulk
Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, & Jeff Jarrett; to have that
opportunity, I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than that.”

In the new book, Russo mentions that he was considering a return to
World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002, and even met with their Creative
Team, but it never came to fruition. He also mentioned that putting
Stephanie McMahon in charge of WWE’s Creative Team was the worst idea
Vince McMahon ever made. Russo was asked to expound on that point of
the book. “When Ed (Ferrera) & I were writing for Vince, Stephanie just
started sitting in on creative, and my thought was that Vince just
wanted Stephanie to learn every aspect of the company. I never thought
in a million years that Vince envisioned Stephanie as head of creative,
and the reason I say that is Stephanie is a great girl, but the
meetings she sat in on…I never saw anything creative in her. She
never threw out suggestions or ideas, I just never viewed her as
creative. She was smart & intelligent, but smart & creative are two
different things. So when I left, and Stephanie became head of
creative, I was shocked, and I knew right off the bat that Vince had
made a huge mistake, because I knew if this girl fails in that role, he
cannot replace her. Good or bad, she was going to stay in that spot,
and that is exactly what happened over the years. I think Stephanie was
the wrong person for the job, and in the long run, that might have hurt
Vince’s company.”

Vince Russo has been one of the most criticized individuals in
professional wrestling history over the years, and some of the
industry’s biggest names have continued to call him out publicly,
including TNA employee Jim Cornette. Russo wished to respond to his
critics on The Mayhem airwaves, and if he’s at the point where he still
gets upset with them, or just takes them for it what is. “I will always
be that guy…It doesn’t matter if TNA can do a 7.0, an 8.0, or a
10.0…it wouldn’t matter. I would always get criticized way more than
anyone else, and here’s the bottom line: I don’t take what I do as
passionately as some people who watch the product, or even some of the
people who is involved in the business. To me, what I do has always
been my job. My job is to be a television writer and to achieve the
highest rating that I can…it’s that simple. That’s my job, and that’s
what I try to do week in & week out from the first day I ever started
in this business. The Jim Cornette’s & the critics are going to get
hung up on whatever they’re gonna’ get hung up on, I go to work
everyday to do my job, and I do the best job I possibly can, and that’s
all I can do.”

Throughout all the criticism from the “armchair quarterbacks” during
the years & his busy schedule now, Mosh asked Vince if he was happy
right with his life right now, especially with Vince addressing some
recent health issues as of late. “That’s a real good question. The rut
you fall into in what I do having to write a show every week, and it’s
year after year…it really gives you little time to enjoy anything.
It’s a very stressful & taxing job, and that’s why if I don’t have the
frame of mind that ‘this is a job & this is how I support my family,’ I
would become just like some of the obsessed that are out there that
criticize every single word that comes out of my mouth. And I don’t
wanna’ be that guy. I wanna’ be able to enjoy life, and I wanna be able
to do things out of wrestling. With me, the only way to stay sane is to
go about this like this is job, and outside of this, I’ve got a family
that loves me & a family that I love, and the time that is not spent
working on a show will be devoted to them.”

As a final parting shot, Russo was asked about the next Pay Per View
offering from TNA (Against All Odds) & what he would say to the person
that has been a long-time TNA fan, but may be on the fence about the
increase in TNA’s Pay-Per-Views (by an extra $5). “Of course we are
going to continue the trend of surprises & expecting the unexpected,
but I have to say this: Regardless of what anybody thinks what my
personal feelings were towards Hulk Hogan or Eric Bischoff, regardless
of people saying that I have to get along with them, because that’s
what people are saying, which is obviously not the truth. As a
wrestling fan, I am spending that extra five dollars to see what is
going through the mind of a Hulk Hogan, what is going through the mind
of an Eric Bischoff, & what dynamic can they bring to TNA. And if
that’s not worth five dollars to you, I really think you’re missing the
boat. With these guys comes a whole new perspective, a new way of
thinking, new ideas, and you’re always going to see something new. And
if that is not worth five dollars to the consumer, I really don’t know
what is to be honest with you.”

More is contained in this exclusive interview with TNA’s Vince Russo,
including his candid thoughts & comments why he believes his on-screen
character from WCW merged with himself (and why he feels he receives a
bad rap as a result of it), the main differences in TNA since Hulk
Hogan & Bischoff arrival into the company, what the loss of Shane
McMahon means to World Wrestling Entertainment, & much more! For more
on the release of “Rope Opera,” check out Vince’s official Facebook
page (located at http://www.Facebook.com/Vinnyru). Listen to Vince’s
return appearance on The Mayhem to find out how you can score yourself
an exclusive copy of the book prior to its release! Don’t forget to
tune into TNA iMPACT this Thursday night (beginning @ 9PM ET/8PM CT on
Spike TV), and call your local cable or satellite provider for TNA’s
Against All Odds, February 14th live on Pay-Per-View.

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