With Vince Russo sidelined indefinitely, we've decided to bring you some features from his latest Podcast with us here at Fightful.com. Earlier this week, Vince spoke about how his relationship with John Gaburick soured. At the same time, Russo is often blamed for the downhill slide TNA has been on. However, Russo says that a combination of things, including TNA sending Eric Bischoff home -- as well as the amount they had to pay him and Hulk Hogan -- helped put the company where is is.
Russo opened up about TNA's decision to remove Eric Bischoff from his role, much to the dismay of Spike.
"I’m not going to take anything away from Eric Bischoff. Eric Bischoff does many, many, many, many things better than Vince Russo does. I give him all the credit in the world for that. Eric Bischoff has a skill set, I’ve got a skill set, they're completely different. He does some things and he’s great at some things I can’t do. You’ve got to understand these were the Spike executives that had been working with Dixie Carter. Bro, everybody know is starting to see ya know…Dixie Carter. I’ll never forget when Billy first became the minority owner of TNA, and anybody can go check it on my podcast, I had him on my show and he said to me, 'Vince, are you meaning to tell me that you don’t think a wrestling company can be successful under the direction and guidance of Dixie Carter?' I said, 'Billy, absolutely not. No' and he said, 'Vince, I disagree with you.' Well look where that situation is now. Now the real Dixie is coming out. Bro, Spike saw that real Dixie years and years and years ago. They had no respect for her. She could never make a decision. The tail was wagging the dog. Now in steps Eric Bischoff. Now you have to understand how intelligent Eric Bischoff is. Eric Bischoff sees this situation and every situation he uses to his advantage. He knew the Spike executives did not like Dixie, he knew they did not respect Dixie. Now he comes in with all this television knowledge and let’s face it, Spike knew nothing about wrestling, nothing. Zero, nothing. I don’t want to say Eric worked them because Eric did know what he was talking about there’s no doubt about it. But Eric within a very limited time made Spike feel like, 'Finally, somebody who knows what the hell they are doing. Finally, we can move forward.” They lived and died on everything Eric told them and one day without good reason…Eric Bischoff gone and you’re going to tell me an email to Mike Johnson carried that same kind of impact. That is so ridiculous it’s not even funny," said Russo.
When Bischoff and Hogan were hired in late 2009, TNA saw a major turnover in talent, backstage policies, and the way the company was run. Russo sees that as being detrimental, because TNA wasn't able to market in the same manner anymore.
"No doubt. No, no doubt. They never recovered from paying those two. They never recovered from it. I don’t know what they were being paid, I have no idea but here’s what I can tell you:The minute they had to pay those salaries you immediately saw less marketing, less advertising, less promotion. The money had to come from somewhere. That’s my point. The money had to come from somewhere to pay those two. The money that they paid those guys, they never got out from underneath it. You’ve got to keep in mind these are Dixie’s shortcomings. Dixie wanted Hulk Hogan. Dixie had no interest in Eric Bischoff. She didn’t go after Eric Bischoff whatsoever but Hogan gave her the old…Well you want me you’ve got to hire my friend for God knows how much money. She wasn’t interested in Eric but Dixie got worked and for what she paid them for as long as she paid them they have never been able to get out from underneath that," Russo told Fightful.com.
After Bischoff and Hogan were hired, TNA's aforementioned roster turnover included the additions of Sean Morely, Orlando Jordan, The Nasty Boys, Bubba the Love Sponge, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, all of whom worked with Hogan in the past. Russo recalls being told The Nasty Boys would be coming to TNA.
"I can remember we were told that in a meeting with Eric and Ed Ferrara, who is the most mild mannered guy you ever want to meet, he literally got in a verbal altercation with Eric. Basically, are you freaking kidding me? The Nasty Boys? That was it . They came in and Dixie did every single thing they wanted to do. It’s this simple, she was a mark for Hulk Hogan and it didn’t matter what a Vince Russo would have told her, it didn’t matter what a Jeff Jarrett told her, it didn’t matter what anybody told her, she was a Hogan mark," Russo said.
You can see the full podcast above.