Vincent James Russo was born on January 24,1961 and is an American professional wrestling booker, writer, and pundit.
59 Facts About Vince Russo
Vince Russo is notable for his tenures with the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in creative roles.
Vince Russo occasionally made appearances as an on-screen authority figure, and professional wrestler, in WCW and TNA.
Vince Russo's writing style often blurred the lines between reality and fiction, while favoring elements such as shock twists, grand moments and larger-than-life characters over in-ring action, which made him a controversial figure amongst certain wrestling fans.
Vince Russo grew up in Farmingville, New York, and graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 1983 with a degree in journalism.
Vince Russo worked for the school newspaper The Shield as an assistant sports editor and later as editor-in-chief.
Vince Russo got his start in pro wrestling when he began training under the tutelage of Johnny Rodz at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn.
Vince Russo owned two video stores on Long Island, New York.
In 1992, Vince Russo was hired as a freelance writer for WWF Magazine following a letter that he had written to Linda McMahon, and would later become an editor in 1994 under the pseudonym of Vic Venom.
Vince Russo was eventually promoted to the WWF Creative Team in 1996.
Vince Russo believed that by constantly having storyline material on-screen, the viewing audience would be more reluctant to change the channel for fear of missing something.
In 1997, Vince Russo became head writer for the WWF and wrote their flagship show Raw Is War as well as their monthly pay-per-views.
Some more controversial characters during this time, often cited by critics of Vince Russo, include Sable, Val Venis and The Godfather.
Vince Russo contributed to the formation of D-Generation X, The Undertaker vs Kane feud, the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Mr McMahon feud, the rise of The Rock, and Mick Foley's three-face pushes.
In October 1999, Vince Russo was replaced by Chris Kreski as WWF head writer, after Vince Russo departed the company.
Vince Russo's writing style created a large turnover in title changes, reflecting his "crash TV" writing philosophy.
Vince Russo's booking of Jushin Thunder Liger losing and regaining the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on Nitro in late 1999 was not recognized by New Japan Pro-Wrestling in the title lineage until 2007; Liger lost the title to Juventud Guerrera, a luchador, after being hit over the head with a tequila bottle.
In January 2000, Vince Russo received two phone calls, one from Bret Hart and another from Jeff Jarrett, both saying that they were injured, thus could not wrestle and forced to vacate their respective championships.
Vince Russo said that Abbott might not have held the belt for more than 24 hours if this title change had actually occurred.
Vince Russo declined the offer and left the company, with his immediate replacement being Kevin Sullivan, who along with other bookers, chose wrestler Chris Benoit to win the title from Vicious in a singles bout with Arn Anderson as the referee.
On May 8,2000, Vince Russo booked Miss Elizabeth in her first official wrestling match against Daffney.
At Bash at the Beach 2000, Vince Russo was involved in an incident with Hulk Hogan where Hogan was booked to lose a match against reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett.
Vince Russo would come out later in the broadcast to nullify the match's result, as he publicly fired Hogan.
Hogan claims that Vince Russo turned the angle into a shoot, and that he was double-crossed by Turner executive Brad Siegel who did not want to use him anymore due to his costs per appearance.
Bischoff claims that he and Hogan celebrated after the event over the angle, but were distraught to get a phone call hearing of Vince Russo's in-ring shoot after Hogan left the arena.
Mike Awesome, cousin to Hogan's nephew Horace Hogan alleged in a shoot interview published by Highspots that the disputes and the incident affected his WCW run, in which Vince Russo allegedly took out his problems with Hulk Hogan on Awesome, citing that he was "too close of kin" to Hogan, by portraying several poorly received gimmicks.
In mid-2000, Vince Russo entered into an angle with Ric Flair.
The angle notably included Vince Russo sending cops to the ring to arrest Flair during the wedding between Stacy Keibler and Flair's son David.
Vince Russo won after Booker T dragged an unconscious Vince Russo onto Steiner for the three count.
The match did not appear to have a clear winner as Vince Russo was speared by Goldberg through the side of the cage at the same time Booker exited the cage.
Two days later on WCW Thunder, Vince Russo was announced as the winner and new champion.
However, the reign was short lived as Vince Russo announced he was vacating the title immediately after, as he was not a wrestler.
Vince Russo suffered a severe concussion from the spear spot, and took time off because of post-concussion syndrome.
Vince Russo's run as head writer and fledgling in-ring career came to a halt after the concussion and other injuries.
In July 2002, Vince Russo joined Jeff and Jerry Jarrett's NWA-TNA promotion as a creative writer and would assist in the writing and production of the shows.
The next week on June 4,2003, when Gilbertti fought Jarrett for the world championship, Vince Russo would hit Gilbertti with a baseball bat which in turn helped Jarrett retain his belt.
Styles and Raven fought Jarrett for the world title in a triple threat match, Vince Russo teased hitting Styles with Jarrett's trademark guitar, but eventually hit Jarrett leading Styles to win the world championship belt.
On October 1,2003, Vince Russo suffered the first loss of his in-ring career in a tag team match against Dusty Rhodes and Jeff Jarrett, although his partner, Styles, yielded the pin.
Vince Russo left the company after the 2004 Victory Road pay-per-view.
Vince Russo was paired with Dutch Mantell and Jeff Jarrett on the TNA creative team.
Vince Russo became head of creative for TNA sometime during July 2009.
On February 14,2012, TNA president Dixie Carter explained that TNA and Vince Russo had mutually parted ways during the week.
In less than two days, Vince Russo's statement was removed from his website.
On July 30,2014, Vince Russo claimed that he was "officially done" with TNA.
Not long after, Vince Russo revealed that he had been working for TNA since October 24,2013, claiming that he had been involved in creative meetings and critiqued the weekly episodes of Impact Wrestling.
Vince Russo stated that he was getting paid about $3,000 a month, averaging to $36,000 a year, to be a consultant with TNA.
On December 8,2017, Vince Russo signed with the Nashville, Tennessee-based Aro Lucha promotion as a script consultant.
WWE credits Vince Russo with being responsible for many of the Attitude Era's storylines.
Gene Okerlund claimed in 2004 that Russo's ideas were successful in the WWF because Vince McMahon was able to control them, while Ric Flair doubted Russo's WWF influence during their time together in WCW, later blaming Russo for the disorganization of WCW.
Velvet Sky and Angelina Love credit Vince Russo for being supportive of TNA's Knockouts division.
In 2014, Vince Russo wrote a series of columns for What Culture, a UK-based website with a dedicated pro wrestling section.
In July 2016, Vince Russo hosted a Fightful Wrestling podcast but left prematurely in November 2016 due to his heart no longer being interested in the current wrestling product.
Vince Russo now writes a weekly column for Chris Jericho's website WebIsJericho.
Vince Russo has written Forgiven: One Man's Journey from Self-Glorification to Sanctification, his autobiography documenting his early life, his WWF run, as well as his Christian faith.
Russo's second book Rope Opera: How WCW Killed Vince Russo was released on March 1,2010 and chronicles his tenure with WCW and TNA.
Vince Russo is an American of Italian descent, as his maternal grandfather was Sicilian.
Vince Russo has been married to his wife Amy since 1983.
Vince Russo was close friends with Joanie Laurer, professionally known as Chyna.
Vince Russo worked with Jim Cornette in the WWF during the 1990s and in TNA during the 2000s.