The following are highlights of a new Wrestle Reaction interview with Vince Russo:
On the Nikki Bella backstage segments and storyline: “It’s difficult for me to criticize people, but I try to do it in a nice way. Nikki Bella is not a good actress. Now, you have to understand, these people are wrestlers. Acting isn’t their forte. You’re asking them to be good wrestlers and good actors. Some people are just good wrestlers and not good actors; those are the people you have to work with more. When they first started doing those backstage segments tonight, my first thought is “good”! They’re protecting Nikki Bella. They know she’s not a good actress. They’re putting her in a pre-taped situation where, if it’s bad, they can shut it down and do it over again. Then what do they do? They put her out there in the ring, in front of the people, on a live show where there is no net, no protection, and she’s not a good actress. Something like that makes absolutely no sense! Look at the time we spent on that in-ring segment and at the end of the segment all we got was a shove. If the idea of that segment was for Stephanie McMahon to give Nikki Bella a Diva’s Title shot, well then when she’s in the back with Triple H, call Nikki into the office and do your business back there in 30 seconds. It doesn’t warrant a 12 minute in-ring segment where nothing happened and you made your Diva’s Champion Paige, the most valuable person in that ring, a supporting actress in the background. There was no point to that. At the end of the day, it was a waste of time!”
O the current WWE creative mindset: “When Ed and I were writing for WWE, we were not of the wrestling world. We were fans like you guys. So, we weren’t “The Bookers” who had 25 years of experience in the wrestling business and did things only one way. We were fans, we came in fresh. We were writing from a fan perspective and what the fans wanted. That had a lot to do with the success of the Attitude Era. The minute Ed and I left to go to WCW, WWE went back to what they know and what they know is “wrestling”. They have people working backstage, in their training facility, who have been wrestlers for years and years and that’s the product that they put out there. Unfortunately, and Glenn Gilberti (The Disco Inferno) said it best on my show, “Wrestling does not draw”. At the end of the day, the matches do not draw. It’s everything else in between that draws. They don’t know how to do that anymore. They’re just doing what they know how to do and that’s “wrestling”.”
On Vince McMahon wanting The Rock vs Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31: “This is my opinion. I’m the biggest fan from the guys from my era and generation. I mark out when I see Shawn Michaels come out last week. When I see The Rock, I mark out. But, there has to come a point in time, in my opinion, where the WWE stops relying on that older talent to get a boost in the ratings. They have enough talent now. The talent is there. They have some guys that are unbelievable! That article I wrote for PyroandBallyhoo.com, where I talked about Rollins and the Shield, the fact that they split up the Shield and made stars out of all three is unbelievable! That is a great accomplishment by the WWE. They’ve got those guys, they’ve got Bray Wyatt, the talent is there. At some point, you have to start going with what you have and build that up. You have to stop relying on Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, as much as we love to see them, you gotta bring Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to that level. I think Vince is out of his mind to go with Brock Lesnar vs The Rock. At some point, the future of the WWE has to be now! It can’t be the Attitude Era, it has to be now!”
Check out the complete interview below.