Vince Russo's move to WCW in 1999 began with a meeting with Vince McMahon that went awry.
Russo was on the "The List & Ya Boy" podcast and talked about what led to his decision of leaving WWF and joining rival WCW in 1999. Russo tried to ask for a raise of nearly triple his yearly salary at the time in order to find an excuse to leave WWF. Russo said McMahon's comments and attitude in that meeting was the straw that broke the camel's back and set the move to WCW in stone.
“You know how sometimes you’ll do something because you want to get out of it? Like you know you’re done with something and you do something to subconsciously get out of it. I did ask for a million dollars. I honestly think mentally and emotionally and physically at that time, I was done with the company and I wanted Vince to say, ‘no way, no how’ and that would be my out. I really felt that way. A million dollars was ridiculous and I threw a ridiculous number out there and it wasn’t because of the money. It was the fact that he was running us to the ground with RAW. He added SmackDown without letting me or Ed Ferrara know so I threw out this ridiculous number because I think I was done. But then I remember after that, I went to Vince’s office, I broke down, I started crying. I think I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I told him I wanted to move my family closer to my wife’s family in Indiana because I was never home and I wanted her to move for family. I’ll never forget it when he looked me in the eye and said to me, ‘Vince I don’t know what the problem is. You can hire a nanny to take care of your kids.’ I was done right there. You don’t say that to someone who loves their freaking family the way I love mine. It wasn’t about the money at that point. It was the fact that he basically said, ‘your family doesn’t mean shit to me and this company needs to be your priority.’ I left that office that day and I contacted J.J. Dillon. When I made the phone call to Vince saying I was heading to WCW, one thing he said to me was, ‘Vince, I was going to give you the million dollars.’ I said to him that it wasn’t about the money and you still don’t understand. He had no conception of the importance of family,” Russo said.
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