Source: PWTorch LivecastFormer writer for WWE, WCW and TNA, Vince Russo, was interviewed by Pro Wrestling Torch and discussed a number of things. However, one of the more interesting things of note was Vince Russo's defense of his much-criticized writing style. Here is a transcript of how Russo feels his writing style came to fruition:
"This is why I'm hated by the internet community and I completely understand it but there's nothing I could have or would have done differently. When I started writing at the beginning of the 'Attitude Era' -- I'll never forget it -- the Raw show that broke the camel's back did a 1.9. The next morning, I got called into Vince's office (and) the rest is history. A 1.9. At some point, that 1.9 turned into a 7.0. Now, that 7.0 is once again at a 3.0.
"You have to understand something; I don't have a wrestling philosophy. The way I've always written a show is, 'Whatever is hot and whatever is drawing eye balls, we're going to go with it. And if something wasn't hot and if something wasn't drawing, we're going to get this off the show.' So, at WWE, we literally looked at the minute-by-minute ratings. We knew -- every minute -- what the people were watching (and) what the people were turning off. We just kept going with what they were watching. What they were watching. What they were watching.
"That 1.9 fan-base they had was the wrestling fan. When we grew it to a 7.0, that was really the non-wrestling, casual fan that was now tuning into the show because the show was now cool and hip. They could talk about Steve Austin and The Rock. You know, the blue collar workers with Austin and McMahon. It became hip to the non-traditional wrestling crowd.
"Well, they're non-traditional and they're not the wrestling crowd because they weren't watching it for the wrestling. They were watching it for the stories, the characters, the soap opera. That's what drew the casual fans in.
"Now, my job is based on bringing in the highest rating to the company. That type of wrestling was not the type of wrestling that the internet community was into. The internet community wants to see wrestling and I understood that. I knew that. But I also knew that I was getting paid to draw the highest number. That's my job.
"I had this conversation with someone the other day. If an A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels 20 minute match drew a high rating, wouldn't Vince put it on every show? If the casual fan -- and I mean the masses -- really loved the wrestling aspect of the show -- 20-30 minute matches -- and that's what they were watching for, do you know how easy that would have made my job? To just book matches on the show? My job would have been a piece of cake.
"But, the reality is that the difference between that 1.9 and that 7.0 -- they're not technical, wrestling-on-the-mat fans. They're casual fans that like the entertainment aspect. So, my job was to feed those fans and not cater to that internet crowd that really liked those 30 minute, 5 star matches. The frustrating thing is that I'm a wrestling fan. As a wrestling fan, at the end of the day, I want as many people as possible to watch the product. Because the more people that watch it, the more that everybody related to the business thrives. That's all I tried to do."
To check out the entire video, watch it below.
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