Podcast News: Vince Russo Says You Need A Little A-Hole In You

“The American Gangster” Chael P. Sonnen is back with another episode of You’re Welcome and this time, his special guest is none other than Vic Venom himself, Vince Russo. Get ready for a lot of insanity, here are some highlights of the 60 minute session:

– Chael calls Vince “the troublemaker” and one of the most polarizing and controversial figures in pro wrestling, which Chael finds amusing since he’s been called the same for the world of MMA.

– Vince says Chael is in the wrong business, and that he was born to be in the wrestling business and probably would have made more money than Stone Cold Steve Austin did (And that’s a shoot!)

– Vince doesn’t know much about MMA since he was never into the fighting, wrestling aspect, he’s always been an entertainment guy.

– If Vince was writing for Chael during the Attitude Era, Sonnen would have been World Heavyweight champion

– To get a time frame of when this was recorded, Chael is just now talking about Punk’s first Art of Wrestling podcast appearance and that there is a “rumor” of Punk entering MMA. Chael doesn’t know if it’s real or if Punk is working people.

– Chael notes that UFC fans are all marks, they don’t know when they’re being worked, or how to be worked since nobody tries to manipulate them

– Vince calls Punk a straight shooter, loves that he speaks his mind without worrying about being PC

– Chael doesn’t know if Punk is sure of what he’s getting into. “He might be a MMA fan, but he might not be a MMA guy.”

– Chael loved the Four Horsemen, but hated that Steve “Mongo” McMichael was a member of it. Vince agrees that Mongo was the worst Horseman ever.

– Chael says Mongo, like Brian “Crush” Adams, had no natural mic skills despite having mic time every week

– Vince says guys like Crush were nice guys and didn’t succeed, while the Horsemen were jerks and became mega-stars. “In order to get to that level, you’ve got to have a little bit of a-hole in you, and if you don’t, if there’s a slightest trace of good guy in your body, you’re not going to make it to that level”

– Chael asks about Hogan refusing to do the job to Jarrett at Bash at the Beach 2000, since fighters basically do whatever is told of them, otherwise they are out of a job and he wants to know how it’s handled in wrestling. Russo explains that Hogan is the only guy he’s ever worked with for any company he ever worked for with full creative control, so that situation is different. As for the average guy, the wrestlers tended to trust Vince due to the success everyone was having during the Attitude Era.

– Russo had to use psychology, be a psychologist to get wrestlers to do certain things that were best for business

– Vince says that sometimes the wrestlers were short-sighted, couldn’t see the forest for the trees in terms of something going on tonight that would lead to something big down the line.

– Chael never predicts anything in wrestling because he always gets it wrong, he can never see anything coming. He was shocked when Tyson ripped his shirt off and was friends with Stone Cold. However, he says it’s obvious that Brock will drop the strap to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, so how big of a problem is it for writers when something like that gets out?

– Vince, during his time writing for WWE at the height of the Attitude Era, never read any of the rumors, speculation, or leaks because he didn’t want it to have any influence on his writing. “You’re talking about an internet wrestling community that are very hardcore, very serious wrestling fans, but when you compare that to the millions and millions of casual wrestling fans that are out there, it’s a very small percentage.”

– Vince attributes his success to not listening to the internet, but instead getting the casual fan’s attention, who don’t follow wrestling that closely, so they wouldn’t know about leaks or rumors anyway.

– Chael wanted Russo to make Tank Abbott a star, since he was a rough, bar fighting drunk and basically turned that personality up

– Vince Russo wanted to put the WCW world heavyweight title on former backyard barbecue fighter and novelist Tank Abbott. His plan was to have a Battle Royale, start with Sid Vicious, who would last until the final entrant, TANK ABBOTT, LEGITIMATE PIT FIGHTING BADASS

– Because Russo didn’t get to make Abbott the champ, he went home for three months.

– Vince says that even now, the idea that things must be done according to the “wrestling box”, which is horrendously outdated, is the reason the current audiences are half of what the Attitude Era and nobody wants to change things or go outside the “wrestling bubble”.

– Chael says that since they are exact opposites, if you didn’t like David Arquette becoming champion, you have to like the idea of Tank being champion

– Chael loves the Miz, enjoys him as an entertainer, but doesn’t buy him as a badass and never will

– Russo says that when he took his hiatus, the former wrestlers came back, started booking things and snubbed Tank for being a MMA fighter, and also the fact that he couldn’t work, instead of recognizing the potential of the character.

– Vince says the biggest jerk in terms of most difficult to work with was Bill Goldberg. Vince thinks Goldberg started to buy into how badass he was based on how he got booked.

– Vince says he wanted Goldberg to do a job to Scott Steiner once, and Bill told him “If this were real, Scott Steiner would not beat me”

– Chael feels that Goldberg never got it, “He woke up on third, he acted over time that he hit a triple”. “Over time, he started to mark out for his own hype”

– Chael says that when Bill got into MMA, he learned some moves and positions and then became an announcer. What ran Goldberg out of the business is when Bill went to do a post fight interview with Jake Shields “real, baddest dude in the world”, after defending a world title, Bill dwarfs Jake, puts his arm around Shields and shakes him around while congratulating him, making Jake look small and weak.

– With his history of working with them, Vince says pro wrestlers are not stupid, they are street smart, they know what they are doing 100% of the time. “Wrestlers are trained and taught to get themselves over at everybody else’s cost. Wrestling, it’s not a team, they’re independent contractors. They’re all competing against each other, they’re all backstabbing each other in the back, they’re all stepping over each other, and they’re all trying to get themselves over at everybody else’s expense.”

– According to Chael, at a MMA event, Goldberg got called out by a drunk Tank Abbott from the crowd, but declined, knowing better than to mess with Tank.

– Vince says that Kurt Angle, a legitimately great wrestler, would do whatever was asked of him, no questions asked, no complaints

– Chael says he got on a plane in LA to go back to Portland a few months ago, and it was full of wrestlers coming back from Australia to go to Portland for Raw the next night. Sheamus blew him off, while Chris Jericho was really cool about things even though Chris doesn’t follow MMA, so Chael was basically A Guy on The Plane.

– Chael laid out a gimmick for Sheamus, kind of joking, partly to break the ice and let Lobster Head that Sonnen’s been following his career. “It’s essentially what Akeem the American Dream did”. “I think you should do a gimmick where you come out as a black guy”. Sheamus responded by pulling his hat down and putting headphones on.

– Chael’s still upset that Sheamus no-sold the gimmick pitch, adding “He’s not Hulk Hogan, he can’t just go throw a black and white shirt on instead of red and yellow and everything’s solved, he’s freakin’ Sheamus! He’s a dork! At the end of the day, he’s a nerd!”

– Still stewing mad, Chael fantasizes about shaving Sheamus, filming it, and tweeting it out because he got Big Timed. Chael’s going to get himself over at Sheamus’ expense! Of course, Chael doesn’t actually do that

– Russo adds that the biggest rib in the wrestling world is waiting for a dude to fall asleep and then shave his eyebrows, so Chael would have been following in proud wrestling tradition if he had gone through with his plan.

– Vince wants to know if Chael did the black guy gimmick for Chael’s next UFC fight. Chael’s defense for not taking his own advice is that he’s not in entertainment

– Chael contends the gimmick was funny when Akeem did it, before the world got so politically correct, while Russo adds that if he’s ever put in charge of a wrestling company again, there’s a strong chance that gimmick makes a return.

– Russo says he currently has no relationship with Vince McMahon, which he calls very sad. He adds that if you aren’t making money for McMahon, any kind of friendship is essentially over

– Russo identified a lot of CM Punk’s grievances as issues coming directly from McMahon

That’s quite a lot to process from an hour-long podcast, and as much as I hate to say it, Russo said some decent things that didn’t make me yell or throw things across the room. Granted, he also said he wanted to make Tank Abbott the WCW world champion, so the plaudits are tempered a bit there.

Also, I’m glad to finally know that Chael’s podcast does not match up with reality since they are just now getting to Punk’s first AoW appearance. I’m kind of hoping Chael speaks with Punk about his “new” decision to join the UFC sometime in mid-January.