According to former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz, Vince McMahon apologized to the creative team after Vince Russo’s short-lived return.
Russo, WWE’s head writer in the late 1990s, played an integral role in RAW’s television ratings success over WCW. Vince McMahon rehired the one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion as a creative consultant in 2002. However, it soon became apparent that the deal was not going to work for both parties.
Gewirtz wrote about Russo’s return in his book, “There's Just One Problem...: True Tales from the Former, One-Time, 7th Most Powerful Person in WWE.” He recalled how Vince McMahon broke the news to everyone about Russo’s sudden departure:
“Vince [McMahon] sat in silence as he contemplated what he was going to say next,” Gewirtz wrote. “For the first and possibly only time I can recall in my sixteen years in the company, Vince apologized. ‘This isn’t going to work ... I’m sorry I brought that a**hole back.’”
Gewirtz felt that Russo had not done enough research on WWE storylines before returning to the company.
Three months after Chris Jericho and Triple H headlined WrestleMania 18, Russo asked whether the two men had ever faced each other. He also wanted The Undertaker to suddenly vacate the Undisputed Championship because he was “not hip and cool.”
Vince McMahon asked Brian Gewirtz to work with Vince Russo
Before his brief WWE return ended, Vince Russo was told to report to Brian Gewirtz on a weekly basis as part of his new consultancy role.
Gewirtz enjoyed his conversations with Russo, but the former WCW and WWE writer soon left the company and joined IMPACT/TNA:
“In order to save face after making a big announcement and letting the word get out, Vince [McMahon] was going to keep him on as a consultant,” Gewirtz continued. “It would be my job to call him each week, get his ideas, then pass them along to the team. The calls were always professional, and I actually looked forward to getting Russo’s input. Again, he’s an extremely creative guy. Ultimately, it didn’t last more than two weeks.”
Watch the video above to hear Gewirtz’s thoughts on Russo’s style as a wrestling writer.
What do you think about Vince Russo's legacy in the wrestling business? Let us know in the comments section.
Brian Gewirtz’s book, “There's Just One Problem...: True Tales from the Former, One-Time, 7th Most Powerful Person in WWE,” is available to buy on Amazon.