On the seventh installment of Nuclear Heat right here on Wrestling Inc., Vince Russo talked about how injuries to top stars affect long term booking and how he has dealt with such problems in the past. According to Russo, there is no substitute for having a deep talent pool that is over with the fans. Russo claimed that Triple H was being groomed to take Shawn Michaels' spot prior to WrestleMania 14 since WWE Creative was aware of Michaels' injuries and the inevitability of Michaels needing to take time away from WWE to address them.
Russo recalled that WWE prepared for Michaels' eventual departure by slowly building Triple H as a top babyface prior to WrestleMania 14.
"Heading into WrestleMania , we knew that Shawn Michaels was having back issues. We knew that it was only going to be a matter of time before Shawn Michaels was going to be put on the shelf. We didn't know exactly when, but we knew that the time may come, so we might have to have a backup plan. So, if you go back and you look at all those Attitude Era shows, you will see how slowly but surely, in the background, we were building Triple H. We would give Triple H the mic. Triple H would talk before Shawn spoke. We were getting Triple H over. We were grooming Triple H to take the place of Shawn whenever he was going to leave."
Russo said that this contingency plan for losing Michaels also included getting 'the Road Dogg' Jesse James and 'Badd Ass' Billy Gunn over and adding them to the D-Generation X stable.
"In conjunction with [building Triple H], the New Age Outlaws were coming into their own because we knew we were going to marry the Outlaws to Triple H and Chyna and make them a force in the absence of Shawn Michaels. So, after a couple of weeks when you had DX going strong now, with this new group, all of a sudden, we forgot Shawn Michaels."
In addition to talking about grooming Triple H to take Michaels' spot in WWE, Russo discussed wanting to make 'Tank' Abbott WCW World Heavyweight Champion after Bret 'Hitman' Hart went down with a concussion and how he would book the ongoing WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament. You can check out the episode in the video above, and you can also download it directly by clicking here. If you want to subscribe to the Wrestling Inc. audio channel, you can do so through iTunes and Stitcher as well as our RSS feed, which you can use this to subscribe through any podcast app. If you're enjoying the show, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes!