Hack-Man Pro-Wrestling Vince Russo interview

Last updated 16 January 2000

Question: Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara, the newest members of the WCW team will be here soon.

Vince Russo: Great to be here. Thank you very much.

Vince Russo: I need a headset!

Question: Bill Busch, executive vice president and general manager of WCW announced today that Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara will head Programming Development for WCW.

Vince Russo: what's to me?

Vince Russo: yes, going to her cube now.

Question: World Championship Wrestling (WCW) has signed a new creative team to direct the popular entertainment franchise's storylines and characterizations.

Question: Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara will oversee all creative development and writing for Turner Network Television's TNT Monday Nitro Live and TBS Superstation's WCW Thunder beginning Monday, October 11.

Ed Ferrara: This is Ed Ferrara. How's everybody doing tonight?

Vince Russo: This is Vince Russo. Fire away!

Question: What caused to make the descision to jump to WCW?

Vince Russo: I came to the realization that I did everything I possibly could do with the WWF, I fulfilled all my personal and professional goals, and I was ready to move on to the next challenge.

Vince Russo: The WCW was extremely appealing to me, and it exemplefied a real challenge to me.

Ed Ferrara: When I spoke with Vince Russo about the possibility of joining him, I was very excited about the proposition and I jumped at the opportunity to continue what I believe has been a very successful and personally satisfying relationship

Ed Ferrara: Both professional and personal, as we've become very close friends.

Question: I would like to ask Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera if they think that they will have as much freedom to write what they want in WCW and be as controversial?

Vince Russo: I think that there are going to be guidlines we will have to stay within.

Vince Russo: but the bottom line is controversy is our middle name.

Vince Russo: and if there's not controversy, we ain't happy.

Ed Ferrara: Guidelines we're not used to... but I'm pretty sure we'll find away to piss somebody off.

Question: Will there be new characters soon?

Ed Ferrara: Actually, we were thinking of one named Angel, but...

Vince Russo: I think there will definitely be new characters.

Vince Russo: The WCW talent roster will begin to grow immediately.

Question: Do they have plans or aspirations to give the lovely ladies of WCW more prominent roles?

Ed Ferrara: I think it would go without saying that we will find a way to give the lovely ladies of WCW much more prominence.

Ed Ferrara: And in ways that we probably haven't even imagined yet.

Vince Russo: I was gonna say, one of the things we have in mind is a nitro-girl jello battle royal!

Vince Russo: Don't tell me that won't get ratings!

Vince Russo: and I even think we're allowed to do that.

Question: will chris benoit get the push he deserves?

Vince Russo: No question about it! There will be no WCW super stars stuck in the middle.

Vince Russo: It's going to be an even playing field and it will be up to the individuals to rise to the top.

Vince Russo: ...and I have to believe that Chris Benoit will be one of those individuals.

Question: Is there anyone you are especially looking foward to working with?

Vince Russo: I've wooked with several of the WCW superstars when they were in the WWF, and I really look forward to working once again

Vince Russo: both creatively and personally with Kevin Nash.

Ed Ferrara: Unlike Vince, I have not had the opportunity to work with just about all of the current WCW superstars, but

Ed Ferrara: I've been a fan for a long, long time and I'm familiar with all of them

Ed Ferrara: and I look forward to working with all of them.

Ed Ferrara: It's going to be a whole new world for me, and I just can't wait to get into the thick of it.

Ed Ferrara: And I'm also looking forward to working with Bobby The Brain Heenan, because he called me a cheap bottle of wine last week.

Question: Are you going to remake the wolfpak?

Vince Russo: It's hard to say exactly what we'll be doing... because our style of work is to work closely with the talent

Vince Russo: so we need to get into their heads and see where it is that they'd like to go.

Vince Russo: Once we get a feel of what they're looking for it will give us a much better idea.

Question: Do the two of you plan on keeping WCW a "family-oriented" program?

Vince Russo: lets put it this way: we're going to get away with whatever they allow us to get away with.

Ed Ferrara: As much as we possibly can

Vince Russo: because it's not about what Vince Russo and Ed Ferraro want, it's about what the fans want.

Ed Ferrara: that's always worked

Question: Will you bring Lenny and Lodi back?

Vince Russo: We're not familiar with that situation.

Ed Ferrara: But we will be looking into it.

Ed Ferrara: As far as we know, it is a controversial situation, so read into that what you will

Question: Are you excited with the talent you have to work with? How does it compare with your former wwf roster?

Vince Russo: We had a very limited talent roster at WWF

Vince Russo: as far as headcount.

Ed Ferrara: sheer number of boys on the roster

Vince Russo: and Ed and I spent many Thursday afternoons thinking about what we would do if we could get our hands on the WCW's roster.

Vince Russo: and now our filty, dirty, greedy hands are on it.

Ed Ferrara: we're learning to be careful what you wish for, but apparently, we never learn fast enough

Question: Who do you think is the most under-used wrestler in WCW?

Vince Russo: If you said "under rated" one guy that really stands out and is really ready to have some impact would be Buff Badwell. I think Buff has all the tools and he just needs the opportunity and now he will get it.

Question: can we expect an explosive nitro on the monday after havoc?

Ed Ferrara: Absolutely

Ed Ferrara: That nitro will be the first one that we will actually write

Question: how long do you think it will take to bring WCW back to prominence?

Vince Russo: If I had to guess I would say 6 months to a year, I went through a similar situation at WWF

Vince Russo: basically I think it's a situation at WCW where it needs to be broken down and we need to start from square one.

Vince Russo: and i think week by week you will see a change, but it probably will take about six months before you start to see any movement.

Ed Ferrara: Any return on that investment. I'm good with the analogies.

Question: Vince, what is your relationship towards Bret Hart?

Vince Russo: Well I always personally liked Bret Hart, I have a great deal of respect for Bret Hart, I look forward to working with Bret Hart.

Vince Russo: Honestly I don't know what Bret's feelings are toward me at this point.

Vince Russo: I guess that since I worked so closely with Vince McMahan I may be guilty by association in Bret's mind.

Vince Russo: but Bret Hart will be one of the first people I speak to when I get to Nitro next week.

Question: Will Hart turn Heel?

Vince Russo: anything can happen in the WCW.

Ed Ferrara: Anything is possible.

Question: Will you guys be showing more emphasis on the wrestling or more of the entertainment side?

Vince Russo: Entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment. The audience is screaming for entertainment and the audience will be entertained.

Ed Ferrara: Who do you think you're talking to?

Question: how did you guys get into your field of work?

Vince Russo: It was a long road.

Vince Russo: It started at a little radio station in Long Island.

Vince Russo: ...and I'm just eager to see where it ends up.

Ed Ferrara: My story is a little bit longer than that

Ed Ferrara: I was a writer and producer in Hollywood for about nine years

Ed Ferrara: and about 15, 16 months ago, I was looking to leave Hollywood as quickly as possible because I'd had my fill and couldn't stand it anymore

Ed Ferrara: An opportunity came across my desk to work with WWF, I took it, I've worked there for the past 14 months, and now I've moved on with Vince Russo

Question: How much freedom do you two actually have, as far as your creative ideas and such?

Vince Russo: Well, we'll find that out as soon as we start getting yelled at.

Ed Ferrara: And if that takes very long, we're losing our touch.

Question: What is the future for Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan?

Vince Russo: It's very difficult for us to say, not having been around the boys yet.

Vince Russo: We need to basically get into the WCW environment and get around the boys, and get in their heads, before we really can make specific decisions on specific individuals.

Ed Ferrara: But anything can happen in the WCW

Question: how big is the roster in wcw

Ed Ferrara: more than we used to

Ed Ferrara: more than we used to have, but I can't give you a straight answer on that yet, haven't looked at a full roster yet

Question: How much does the internet influence you writing and booking??????

Vince Russo: Well we'd lie if we told you that we didn't listen to the voice of the internet, but we also have to take what the internet says with a grain of salt only because it is a small percentage of the overall audience.

Vince Russo: ...but we do listen and we do hear them loud and clear.

Ed Ferrara: ANd that's mainly where we get our direction from, a lot of the times.

Question: Whats some of the main diffrences in wwf than wcw

Vince Russo: Up until this point, the main difference has been story lines and lack of.

Vince Russo: ...but beginning after Halloween havoc, that will all change.

Question: where do you see WCW in a year from now?

Ed Ferrara: Top of the heap.

Ed Ferrara: ANd if not on top of the heap. rapidly closing in

Vince Russo: I'd say on top of the heap, yeah!

Question: What about the ICP?

Vince Russo: I don't know what their situation is with WCW, I don't know if they have a contract. I know their manager can't look you in the eye.

Ed Ferrara: I don't know what they're situation is with WCW. I don't know if they have a contract, I don't know if they don't have a contract. I know their manager can't look you in the eye.

Vince Russo: lets just say that they entertained me when they did their little stint for the WWF.

Question: do u think bill goldberg can carry the torch in WCW?

Ed Ferrara: Absolutely. Without question. Unequivocally. Yes.

Question: will there be a womans wresling chapion

Ed Ferrara: That would be nice.

Vince Russo: We're big fans of women!

Vince Russo: The only question is will they be allowed to be scantily clad!

Question: where is the hardcore divison headed?

Ed Ferrara: Rest assured, we're going to do everything in our power to resurrect the hardcore division.

Question: What do you think it will take to win the controversy-crazed fans of the WWF over to WCW?

Question: Any characters you think might need a makeover?

Vince Russo: it's just hard to evaluate without being there....

Ed Ferrara: Controversy... you answered your own question...

Question: Will you use your knowledge of the WWF's new few shows as a way to gain ratings and beating out segments?

Ed Ferrara: The upcoming shows haven't been written.

Vince Russo: We wrote television week to week, so the last shows we wrote for the WWF are being shot tonight

Vince Russo: we have no interest in what they do.

Question: What about the trademark groups, such as NWO, 4 Horseman and WolfPac?

Vince Russo: It's just difficult to know before we really dive into it

Question: Will you push the mexican wrestlers?

Ed Ferrara: If they can speak English and cut a promo....

Question: with the huge talent pool of wcw, do you think you can write an even more exciting nitro?

Vince Russo: with all due respect as far as Nitro is concerned, you ain't see nothin' yet.

Vince Russo: It's gonna get wild, it's gonna get willy, it's gonne get funky like a monkey.

Ed Ferrara: funky like a donkey


Vince Russo: It's tough, because the business is a whole subculture in itself I would say.

Vince Russo: You have to be in the right place at the right time and pitch the right idea to the right people and that just gets you in the door.

Vince Russo: If you want a challenge in your life, I would suggest giving that a shot.

Question: ED what is your Most memerable moment with the WWF?

Ed Ferrara: Probably getting dumped on my head by Dr. Death Steve Williams in Bakersfield and popping a rib.

Ed Ferrara: I was a wrestler, but not a big-time. Just did outlaw stuff in California.

Question: Well you be helping wrestling establish marketable catch-phrases?

Ed Ferrara: Yes.

Vince Russo: Yeah, there will be... I think you'll see a dramatic change in the mic work.

Vince Russo: ...of the WCW superstars.

Question: whats the average salary of a wrestler??

Vince Russo: That just depends on where you are in the food chain...

Vince Russo: and how many years you've been in the business.

Question: Who are your guys favorite wrestlers?

Ed Ferrara: When I was a kid, I idolized Ken Patera.

Ed Ferrara: But probably my all time favorite would have to be... uh, Ken Patera, I 'll leave it at that.

Ed Ferrara: Nobody talks about him anymore Tue Oct 5 17:41:39 1999

Vince Russo: I would probably say one of my favorites would be the big cat Earnie Lad.

Vince Russo: Ladd

Question: Who you think is gonna win the World Series Vince?

Vince Russo: The Atlanta Braves!

Question: Who do u think has the best angle in WCW

Vince Russo: The announce table.

Question: Who is the top wrestler in wrestling today?

Vince Russo: If I had to give my honest opinion, right now I would probably say the Rock.

Ed Ferrara: I would have to agree with him.

Question: How do you go about writing your material?

Vince Russo: We sit in front of the television and watch the Jerry Springer show.

Ed Ferrara: for four hours, the same show, four times in a row. After about four shows, we start hallucinating, and that's when the ideas start coming at us

Ed Ferrara: We have a dwarf stenographer that we have take down all our ideas

Ed Ferrara: He types 'em up

Ed Ferrara: We stick the ideas, rolled up, in his back pocket

Ed Ferrara: And we make him run down to the local Kinko's and make him fax 'em off where they have to go

Vince Russo: ...but I make sure I pat him on his little ass before he leaves.

Ed Ferrara: Or else he'll have a pout on the whole way there

Question: What was Steve Austin Really like?

Vince Russo: If I commented, I'd only get myself in trouble.

Question: What do you think of WCW's internet presence with shows like WCW Live!?

Vince Russo: It's hard to comment on that, I'm not too familiar with it.

Ed Ferrara: I'm not all that familiar with it either, but I'd say that, to whatever extent its used now, we'll be exploiting it to the best of our ability.

Ed Ferrara: It's an extension of the shows and the stories on TV, and to not use that to its fullest... it's a no-brainer to use it as much as possible.

Question: How much will the fans influence your booking and writing?

Vince Russo: They influence it all.

Vince Russo: One of the most important tools that we have is to go out into the crowd and to listen to the people, cause the people make it loud and clear who they want and who they don't want.

Ed Ferrara: And who's over and who's not over

Question: how long does it take for a script to go to air

Ed Ferrara: We've written scripts - they're not scripts, they're shows - as much as a week in advance, and we've written shows on the fly

Ed Ferrara: Depends on the particular show

Question: Welcome to WCW. What is a typical day like in the life of a wrestling booker?

Ed Ferrara: Hell

Ed Ferrara: Sheer unadulterated hell

Ed Ferrara: It sucks

Vince Russo: I've got a headache.

Ed Ferrara: It bites, and we wouldn't have it any other way

Question: Who will you guys miss the most in the WWF?

Vince Russo: I'd have to say a couple people, the talent that I was the closest to would have to be Mick Foley, The Rock, Triple H, and China.

Vince Russo: I'll miss everybody but I'll probably miss those four more than anybody else....

Vince Russo: and Jeff Jerret.

Ed Ferrara: I would agree with all five of those, but I would also go on and say I'm definitely going to be missing X-Pac, Kane, D-Lo and Hardcore Holly.

Ed Ferrara: I mean, when you work so closely with these guys, you develop a closeness with all of them, and it's really hard to single certain ones out.

Ed Ferrara: There's very few people that I won't miss. There's a few, but very few.

Question: how long have you two been writing together?

Ed Ferrara: Fourteen months

Ed Ferrara: And we're getting married in may

Ed Ferrara: We're still fighting over who has to wear the gown

Vince Russo: We're still fighting over who has to wear the gown.

Question: Will the WCW begin to focus more on wrestling or storylines? In the recent past, the WCW has been admnant about getting good wrestling across over good storylines. What do you plan to do?

Vince Russo: Will be giving good stories and good wrestling.

Ed Ferrara: We're going to be adamant about that.

Question: What are your impressions of the status of the talent in WCW?

Ed Ferrara: Good stories over good wrestling.

Ed Ferrara: What else can we say besides the fact taht we're ecstatic about this opportunity, and there's a LOT of talent that we can't wait to work with.

Ed Ferrara: Just going to be a couple of weeks before we start the actual work, but you can't ignore the amount of talent that exists on this roster

Ed Ferrara: ANd we're going to get as much as we can out of these guys and do everything we can to bring this company up to where it belongs

Question: do think there is too much wrestling on TV now, that it's over-exposed

Vince Russo: Yes.

Ed Ferrara: Yes, definately

Ed Ferrara: Way too much

Ed Ferrara: Gets to the point where you can't expect your audience to watch too much of a product

Ed Ferrara: because if you do, you're going to end up alienating them

Question: who do you see as one of the most promising wrestler in wcw?

Ed Ferrara: Yeah, that's you.

Vince Russo: I'd have to say, up and coming because he hasn't been around that long, Billy Kidman.

Ed Ferrara: I'd have to say Buff, if we're going to go that way...

Question: What will be the biggest obstacle you will face in WCW?

Vince Russo: Network censors.

Vince Russo: but we'll make sure to grease their palms every Christmas.

Vince Russo: :)


Vince Russo: big plans, he will go as far as his talent will carry him.

Ed Ferrara: He will be given the opportunity to run with the ball, and knowing him, he will not drop it.

Question: How much leeway do you have in writing for WCW and how much more are you restricted?

Vince Russo: We'll have to wait and see...

Ed Ferrara: We haven't really had the opportunity to piss anybody off yet, but I'm sure that'll happen soon enough.

Question: What will be the first thing you are focusing on when you work for WCW?

Vince Russo: Ratings!

Ed Ferrara: Ratings. TV ratings. Pay per view buy rates

Question: How would somebody get into wrestling as a wrestler?

Ed Ferrara: Seek out one of the schools where you can learn to wrestle and not get hurt. It's not easy at all.

Ed Ferrara: It gets very difficult and it takes a lot of dedication.

Ed Ferrara: Then, work some matches, get a videotape of yourself, send it in and... not to be negative, but prepare for disappointment, because you don't have any idea how many of those tapes get sent in and how many amount to nothing.

Ed Ferrara: It's a very very difficult business to break into

Question: do you just write the dialogues or do you also plan the exact way a match will happen?

Vince Russo: We do a little bit of everything.

Question: Will there be a harder edge to the wcw product?

Ed Ferrara: yes

Ed Ferrara: definitely

Question: Hey guys, who do you most respect in wrestling?

Vince Russo: My Wife for putting up with the lifestyle.

Ed Ferrara: That was me! My wife puts up with the lifestyle...

Vince Russo: I'd probably say one of the guys who I probably respect the most and is probably one of my mentors early on when I started is Jack Lanza.

Vince Russo: Jack taught me a lot of what I know, and yanno I'll never forget him for that.

Question: Will you start booking more Canadian Dates?

Ed Ferrara: I don't think we have any say over where we do the shows.

Ed Ferrara: We're just in charge of telling people what to do when they get to the arena.

Ed Ferrara: We don't pick the arena.

Question: Vince are you going to be writing the WCW magazine also ?

Vince Russo: I just don't think I'll have the time. I mean I was still writing for the WWF magazine up until the end and quite frankly I just didn't have the time to do it.

Ed Ferrara: He will, however, continue writing his submissions to the Penthouse letters forum.

Question: We're there any hard feelings with Mr. McMahon?

Vince Russo: Not on our part. Basically I made a decision that I felt was the best desicion for my family. It was nothing personal and I will always have a

Vince Russo: special feeling for the entire McMahon family.

Question: Did you guys know the late Owen Hart? What was your favorite moment with Owen or something that he did?

Ed Ferrara: We both knew Owen very well.

Ed Ferrara: We both were very close with him. He was very special to us.

Ed Ferrara: I can't name a moment shared with Owen that wasn't a special moment.

Ed Ferrara: And that is the God's honest truth.

Vince Russo: Owen Hart was like no other person I've ever met.

Vince Russo: I really cared about him more than any other.

Vince Russo: ...and I'll never forget him.


Ed Ferrara: Yes

Vince Russo: Yes...

Ed Ferrara: We talk to all of these guys and get their input on everything, especially the stuff that involves them.

Ed Ferrara: Because we found with everybody working towards the same goal, you get a much better product.

Ed Ferrara: All the boys contribute, because they all talk and we all listen.

Ed Ferrara: Makes for better TV shows and better specials.

Question: Can Kane talk?

Vince Russo: Seven different languages.

Ed Ferrara: He's a hell of a tenor, too

Question: Ever thought about writing a movie about wrestling?

Ed Ferrara: Yeah, we've thought about it

Ed Ferrara: but we thought we'd maybe go out on a limb and make a GOOD movie about wrestling, just to be different

Question: Any chance of reforming the horseman?

Vince Russo: It's hard to say without being into it yet.

Vince Russo: We need to evaluate what we have, take a look at the big picture, and go from there.

Vince Russo: It's premature to answer that question.

Ed Ferrara: Vampiro!

Ed Ferrara: He's another guy that's got great potential.

Ed Ferrara: We're excited at the prospect of having him on the roster.

Question: why did The Total Package change his name?

Ed Ferrara: No idea.

Ed Ferrara: That happened before we were hired. Tue Oct 5 18:11:48 1999

Question: Why did you doublecross Bret Hart in Survivor Series?

Vince Russo: We didn't double cross him!

Ed Ferrara: I wasn't even in the WWF then.

Question: What angle/gimmick are you most proud of coming up with?

Vince Russo: I'd have to say, a couple of my personal favorites were probably Gold Dust, Val Venus.

Ed Ferrara: I would say that one of my favorite storylines was the relationship between X-Pac and Kane.

Ed Ferrara: That and one of our biggest swerves was the Rock turning heel at last year's Survivor Series.

Question: Vince can I be your lackey? I'll fetch coffe and your papers and even carry your golf bag(if you golf)

Ed Ferrara: I think it's a contractual thing that the WCW provides us lackeys.

Vince Russo: You wouldn't wanna be my lackey, because I guarantee you'd probably suffer third degree burns from all the heat I get put on me.


Ed Ferrara: Ron Jeremy, just the.. he's still going. He's the Energizer bunny.

Vince Russo: I don't have any....

Ed Ferrara: What about Adara, the chick on the Springer tape?

Question: Who is the best looking woman in wrestling?

Vince Russo: Sable.

Question: What about the worst gimmick?

Vince Russo: Putting Jim Ross at the announce table.

Question: Are you all going to be on air on any WCW shows?

Ed Ferrara: Yeah, probably during some of those backstage shots, if the camera whips around a lot, it'll catch us.

Ed Ferrara: We've been caught before and it'll probably happen again. We have no plans to be on camera. We'll be too busy writing.

Question: Can we see Gorgeous George in a bikini contest?

Vince Russo: I hope so.

Ed Ferrara: If we have anything to say about it.

Question: Do you guys have a favorite match of all time???

Vince Russo: My favorite match of all time was probably before it's time... Wrestlemania three.

Vince Russo: Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage.

Ed Ferrara: I would say, for its time, the match that basically sparked my interest in wrestling was the first match between Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zybysko

Ed Ferrara: That just grabbed me, and i was hooked from there on in.

Question: westling needs some nudity

Ed Ferrara: Please write a letter to the censors.

Question: Any gimmicks that backfired?

Ed Ferrara: Can't think of anything right now.

Question: How many of the Injuries are real injuries and not just vacation time?

Ed Ferrara: These guys are out there night after night, not just the nights on TV, but night after night giving 110 percent, and injuries happen when you work on that schedule.

Ed Ferrara: Sometimes we have to change storylines and write guys out of storylines... it's just a fact of life.

Question: what ever happened to superfly snuka

Vince Russo: I think he still wrestles occasionally.

Question: what are your plans for saturday night

Ed Ferrara: We don't have any right now.

Ed Ferrara: We need to sit down, concentrate and look at all the product.

Ed Ferrara: Right now our top priority is Nitro and Thunder

Question: what happened to cage matches? they hardly occur these days!

Ed Ferrara: You'll probably be seeing more of them.


Ed Ferrara: She's a beautiful woman with an incredible body. You're talking to Russo and Ferrara. What do you think the answer is?

Question: How will you handle any wrestlers refusing to do the job?

Vince Russo: I'll kick his ass.

Vince Russo: I will take him outside and I will KICK HIS ASS.

Ed Ferrara: When he says that, that means he's gonna tell ME to go kick his ass.

Ed Ferrara: So I guess I'm gonna be getting my ass kicked a lot.

Question: Will you focus on the women of WCW more?

Vince Russo: Yes, and I'll even get a pair of glasses if it means I'll see them better.

Question: What is the biggest change that you see yourself making to the WCW story angles?

Ed Ferrara: Increasing the sets of eyes that are watching these storylines. Getting more people watching the show.

Question: Ed and Vince have to go now - the limo just arrived to take them away. Thanks for joining us.

Ed Ferrara: Just want to say, in conclusion, that Vince and I are both absolutely thrilled with the opportunities we have in front of us with our new positions here in WCW.

Ed Ferrara: It's going to be interesting, I think it's going to be a lot of work, but I think it's going to be extremely rewarding and I just can't wait to get down to work.

Vince Russo: I would say that I GUARANTEE YOU that the fun is about to start at WCW.

Vince Russo: Business is about to pick up!