Vince Russo, widely recognized as an American professional wrestling booker, writer, and pundit, has left a remarkable impact through his work with renowned organizations such as the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Throughout his career, he has held various creative positions, showcasing his talent and expertise in shaping the narrative and direction of the wrestling industry. Russo’s contributions have solidified his status as a prominent figure within the realm of professional wrestling.
Height- 1.88 m
Born- 24 January 1961
Birthplace-Long Island, New York, United States
Full Name-Vincent James Russo
Spouse-Amy Russo (m. 1983)
Russo, an individual of American nationality, has Italian roots through his maternal lineage, specifically originating from Sicily. In October 2003, Russo experienced a transformative event and embraced the Christian faith, describing himself as a Born Again Christian. The following year, in 2004, he established a brief-lived online Christian ministry called Forgiven. Building on his newfound beliefs, in late 2005, Russo took on the role of producer for two shows within his independent promotion known as Christian Ring of Glory.
He and his wife Amy have been married since 1983.
The couple shares a beautiful bond and is blessed with the joy of raising three wonderful children as a united family.
Professional Wrestling Career
Russo joined as a writer and later became an editor.
He introduced controversial storylines and “Crash TV” style.
Helped WWF surpass WCW in ratings during the Attitude Era.
Created memorable feuds and characters like D-Generation X and Stone-Cold Steve Austin.
Russo and Ferrara joined WCW to bring the “Crash TV” style.
Implemented frequent title changes and chaotic storylines.
Russo left and later returned as lead writer with Bischoff.
Involved in storylines with Ric Flair, Goldberg, and Miss Elizabeth.
Summary: Russo’s influential tenure in WWF brought edgy content and changed the landscape of wrestling, while his time in WCW saw him bring the “Crash TV” style but faced challenges and departures.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)
from 2002 to 2014 involved the participation of Russo as both a creative writer and an on-screen character. Russo played a significant role in shaping the direction and production of TNA shows. Initially, there were power struggles over creative control, but Russo eventually became an on-screen character known as “Mr. Wrestling III” and engaged in feuds with Jeff Jarrett. He formed his own faction called Sports Entertainment Xtreme (S.E.X.) before leaving the on-screen role and returning sporadically. Russo later returned as the “Director of Authority” and portrayed a face character. Despite mixed reactions from fans, Russo continued to contribute as a writer, occasionally facing criticism and “Fire Russo!” chants. He parted ways with TNA in 2012 but made a secret return as a consultant in 2014, unintentionally revealing his involvement through an email.
Legacy In wrestling
Russo is a highly controversial figure in the world of wrestling. He strongly believes that the storytelling and character elements of the show are what attract viewers, prioritizing entertainment over the actual in-ring wrestling. While he has scripted some of the most successful television programs in wrestling history for WWF, WCW, and TNA, Russo remains a widely disliked personality in the wrestling industry due to his unconventional approach to the business. He often receives criticism for his views on the current WWE product, claiming that there is an excess of wrestling and a lack of compelling storylines. In his book “Rope Opera,” Russo reflects on being both hailed as the savior of WWF and the man who ruined WCW.
Russo is credited by WWE for creating many of the memorable storylines during the Attitude Era. Bob Kapur of Slam! Wrestling acknowledges Russo’s contribution to shifting the company away from the cartoonish style of the early 1990s towards more mature and engaging storylines and characters. The Rock, who worked with Russo in WWF, has praised him for his openness to unconventional ideas. However, opinions about Russo’s influence vary. Gene Okerlund suggests that Russo’s ideas succeeded in WWF because they were controlled by Vince McMahon, while Ric Flair doubts Russo’s impact during their time together in WCW and holds him responsible for the chaos in the company. Eric Bischoff accuses Russo of deceitfully overstating his influence in WWF to secure his position in WCW. Wrestling promoters Tony Khan and Jody Hamilton, along with TNA co-founder Jerry Jarrett, criticize Russo’s role in the downfall of WCW.
One of Russo’s most controversial decisions was having David Arquette win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Despite the negative reception, Russo defended his choice, pointing out the mainstream media coverage it received. The decision was heavily criticized, with WrestleCrap naming Arquette the worst wrestling champion of all time and blaming Russo for dealing a severe blow to a company already facing significant challenges. WWE’s documentary “The Rise and Fall of WCW” largely attributes the decline of WCW to Russo’s actions, although some argue that he shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. While Russo’s booking decisions have faced considerable scrutiny, some believe that the ultimate demise of WCW was influenced by Jamie Kellner’s cancellation of WCW programs on Turner Networks.
Regarding his time in WCW, Russo personally stated that he and the company were never aligned in their vision. Dixie Carter, former President of TNA, praised Russo’s talent but acknowledged that his presence became too distracting for a continued working relationship. Some wrestlers who have worked with Russo in TNA, such as Hernandez, Kurt Angle, and AJ Styles, have spoken positively about their experiences. Additionally, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love credit Russo for his support of TNA’s Knockouts division.
Russo, in addition to his involvement in the wrestling industry, is also recognized as an author. His autobiography, titled “Forgiven: One Man’s Journey from Self-Glorification to Sanctification,” was published on November 29, 2005. The book serves as a documentation of his early life, his time in WWF (World Wrestling Federation), and his Christian faith. It was originally written in 2000 under the title “Welcome To Bizarroland” and portrayed individuals in the wrestling business in a negative light. However, after experiencing a spiritual transformation and becoming a born-again Christian, Russo revised both the title and content of the book to align with his newfound faith.
Russo’s second book, “Rope Opera: How WCW Killed Vince Russo,” was released on March 1, 2010. This book focuses on his tenure with WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and TNA (Total Nonstop Action Wrestling). The title “Rope Opera” originates from a television series concept that Russo pitched to networks during his time with WWF.
He gained recognition for his involvement with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA, now Impact Wrestling) in various creative capacities. In addition, he occasionally appeared as an on-screen authority figure and professional wrestler in both WCW and TNA. Known for his unique writing style, he often blurred the boundaries between reality and fiction, emphasizing shocking twists, memorable moments, and larger-than-life characters over in-ring action. This approach made him a controversial figure among certain wrestling fans. Notably, Russo’s tenure as the head of WWF’s creative department during the highly regarded Attitude Era resulted in the company achieving record-breaking television ratings.
In his personal wrestling career, which he arranged himself in WCW, Russo became the WCW World Heavyweight Champion once and achieved televised victories over respected figures in the industry such as Ric Flair and Booker T, both of whom are now WWE Hall of Famers.
Net Worth 2023
He has accumulated a net worth of $1.5 million.
Latest News About Vince Russo
Vince Russo’s Sexism Towards Sable In WWE
Vince Russo, who was the head writer for WWE at the time, recently spoke about the sexism Sable faced in the wrestling business. He described it as a “good ol’ boys” club and highlighted a specific incident to illustrate the issue. Despite Russo’s belief that performers should be selected based on their ability to draw ratings, he noticed that some influential figures within the company were unhappy with Sable receiving significant TV time. In fact, Russo revealed that a top male wrestler influenced Vince McMahon’s decision, leading to Sable managing The Parade of Human Oddities, a heel stable transformed into a comedy act after Sable’s involvement.
During this period, Sable’s association with The Oddities was short-lived, as she shifted her focus to her feud with her then-husband Marc Mero and his valet Jacqueline. The experience that Sable faced serves as a reminder of the challenges and sexism prevalent in the wrestling industry during that era.