Brian Gewirtz, a WWE writer between 1999 and 2015, has questioned the logic behind Vince Russo’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship victory.
Russo was WWE’s head writer before joining WCW in October 1999. The 61-year-old booked himself as an on-screen character in WCW, where he performed as an authority figure and occasional wrestler. He also won the world title on the September 25, 2000, episode of Nitro before relinquishing it seven days later.
Gewirtz told Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Riju Dasgupta that Russo’s unpredictable booking made for entertaining television. However, he disagreed with the former WCW writer putting himself in a world title storyline:
“You can say whatever you want about that writing style. It was certainly never boring,” said Gewirtz. “There was always something going on. I just thought, ‘Wow, maybe that works for him,’ especially when you start putting yourself in matches and then winning titles, even if it was just for a day or two, all that type of stuff.” [5:13-5:33]
Gewirtz added that he expected Russo to receive backstage heat from wrestlers who worked for years to earn a world title opportunity:
“I just thought, ‘Wow, I hope he’s got a lot of friends backstage,’ because I would think that you would be a walking heat magnet if you were amongst the boys and you have wrestlers who are like, ‘I’ve been training my a** off for years, traveling, independents, everything else, and I’m not gonna be on camera because the writer’s on camera?’” [5:33-5:56]
In the video above, Gewirtz also gives Russo credit for his storytelling during WWE’s Attitude Era.
Former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz thinks wrestlers should be writers’ priority
Vince McMahon occasionally asked Brian Gewirtz to appear in cameo roles on WWE television, but he never became a regular character.
Gewirtz understands why the likes of McMahon and former WCW President Eric Bischoff also performed on-screen. In Russo’s case, however, he thinks the one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion should have booked wrestlers in prominent positions instead of himself:
“It’s one thing if you’re a Vince McMahon or an Eric Bischoff, who had an on-screen presence anyway as an announcer and people kinda knew who you were and kinda elevating yourself as more than that on the television show because people were familiar with you already and you’re a natural performer.” Gewirtz continued, “I always kinda thought that to put yourself on television as a writer is just not something I philosophically agreed with.” [3:41-4:06]
Gewirtz further explained why others in WCW likely had issues with Russo winning the company’s world title:
“There’s so many talents. TV time is precious. Every minute, you have to fight and strive for it, and in addition to wrestlers there are non-wrestlers… managers, announcers, behind-the-scenes interviewers, all those type of things, so many people to service and so many characters to have on that, even if you have good intentions, which I’m sure he did as a writer to get other talents over, I never felt it was your place as a writer to do that.” [4:08-4:41]
Russo recently admitted that performing on-screen was the worst part of working for WCW. According to him, portraying a villainous character on television took time away from his other jobs as a producer and writer.
What are your thoughts on Russo winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship? Let us know in the comments section.
Brian Gewirtz’s new 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.
Please credit Sportskeeda Wrestling and embed the video if you use quotes from this article.
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