On Wednesday’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Podcast, former WWE and WCW Head Writer Vince Russo joined Raj Giri, Glenn Rubenstein and Chris Callicutt. During the episode, Raj asked Vince about Michael Hayes tweeting last week that Russo wanted to retire The Undertaker 15 years ago.
“So, I have NO heat with Vince Russo, treated me good with Hardy’s, just did not tell the truth when he came back, didn’t know the product,” Hayes tweeted. “If U don’t believe me, ask Heyman and Gerwirtz!!! I’m not lying. Russo wanted to retire Taker, I made more money with Taker after that! True.”
Russo responded to the claim on Twitter a few days later, tweeting, “even an idiot would know Taker “retiring” at 37 was an angle.” He elaborated on Wednesday’s podcast when WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri asked him if he remembered wanting to do it.
“No bro I don’t remember it at all,” Russo said on The Wrestling Inc. Podcast. “And I’ll tell you why I don’t remember it all, Raj. Because, here’s what people have to understand. Back in 2002, I was meeting with Vince McMahon secretly for about three days. Nobody knew I was meeting with him. Bro, I went through the roster A through Z of what I would do with every single person on the roster. That’s why it was like a two or three day session. Vince McMahon hired me. We agreed to money, he hired me,” Russo revealed. “Where the deal fell apart bro was, I said to Vince, ‘OK, how do you want to let people know about this now?’ And it was right before King of the Ring of 2002 and Vince said to me, ‘just show up at TV.'”
Russo explained that he told McMahon that wasn’t right and he needed to tell the writers, so they agreed for Russo to stay overnight and attend a writer’s meeting the next day.
At the meeting, Russo commented, “Vince introduced me and left. OK, I laid out the same creative to that room that I did to Vince McMahon that he hired me on. And I got to tell you bro, Michael Hayes was in the room, Paul Heyman was in the room and keep in mind, the ratings at that time had gone down the crapper. And when I laid out my creative, I could see jaws drop. Because quite frankly, had Vince McMahon re-hired me, there was no need for any of those people in that room.”
Russo stated he knew what was going to happen and as soon as he left, it happened, where everyone in the room went to Vince McMahon and buried him. Russo alleged had he been hired, none of the other writers would have been needed. He explained his big pitch to McMahon was to hire Eric Bischoff, who hadn’t worked for WWE at the time.
As for what Michael Hayes tweeted, Russo admitted that he probably pitched a retirement angle around The Undertaker at the time. However, Russo pointed out three points he believes Hayes doesn’t understand. Number one, if he pitched the room that angle, he’d already pitched it to Vince and Vince hired him on it. Two, The Undertaker was 37 years old at the time so he clearly wasn’t looking for Taker to really retire and three, writers don’t have the power to retire wrestlers.
The Wrestling Inc. Podcast airs post-WWE pay-per-view Sundays and on Mondays immediately following WWE RAW with Matt Morgan, Glenn Rubenstein and Raj Giri. It airs Wednesdays at Noon ET with Chris Callicutt and Glenn Rubenstein. The archive of episodes is available by clicking here.