Former WWE, WCW and TNA head writer Vince Russo recently appeared as a guest on the “Pro Wrestling illustrated Podcast,” and shared his thoughts on the current push of Roman Reigns in WWE and Vince McMahon’s inability to know what wrestling fans want in 2016.
Regarding the way Reigns is being pushed right now, a style that WWE fans are crapping all over, Russo puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the WWE Chairman.
“It’s Vince [McMahon],” said Russo. “In Vince’s mind, it’s Bruno. It’s Backlund. Look at his history. He’s done it over and over and over again . . . Kevin Nash was this killer who beat Bob Backlund in like 8 seconds in Madison Square Garden. I was the editor at the WWF Magazine at the time. Diesel wins the belt. The next thing I know, Vince wants a picture of him on the cover of the WWF Magazine smiling like a Cheshire cat. And I remember arguing with Vince at the time, saying ‘What are you doing? This is not the character.’ And Vince wanted the white bread babyface.”
Russo continued, explaining that McMahon wanted a similar style when the pushes of Shawn Michaels and The Rock came around in the late-1990s.
“From there, it was Shawn Michaels’ turn,” Russo continued. “I remember Vince had me write every single promo for Shawn when they did the house show promos. Vince wanted every single promo being that white bread babyface promo. And I sat there with Shawn for hours. And it was so difficult and hard for Shawn to do, because he wasn’t that guy. After that it was the Rock. I’ll never forget. I was sitting in the office—me, The Rock and Vince— the day after The Rock won the title with that corporate swerve. And Vince is sitting there wanting him to go out and cut this white bread, babyface promo. And Rock kept looking at me like, ‘Is this guy serious?’”
Finally, Russo concluded by explaining his belief that Vince is simply out of touch at his age.
“Here we are with Roman Reigns 25, 30 years later [and] he’s doing the exact same thing,” said Russo. “Because Vince, at 70 years old, really believes that the 1970s philosophy is going to work today. . . It’s all he knows. He’s repeating it over and over again. And there’s nobody there with the balls to say, ‘Vince, this does not work in 2016.’”