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Vince Russo Shares His Own Account of Brief Return to WWE in 2002 & Heat With Stephanie McMahon, Denies Previous Bruce Prichard Claims

May 16, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Vince Russo Stephanie McMahon

– In the latest episode of the Truth With Consequences podcast, Vince Russo spoke about the account of his short-lived return to WWE in 2002 that lasted for about two weeks. Russo denied some of the previous claims about this story made by Bruce Prichard on his own podcast. The story goes that Russo came into a story meeting and wanted to strip everyone of their titles and hold tournaments, similar to what he did in WCW in 2000. Prichard also said that Russo apparently hadn’t been up to date on the current WWE product at the time and didn’t know that Chris Jericho and Triple H had already feuded with each other. Vince Russo denied many of Prichard’s previous claims, but he did admit to not following the current WWE product before his 2002 creative meeting. Here are some highlights:

Vince Russo on Bruce Prichard’s claims about his 2002 creative meeting with WWE: “My reaction to that is this. First of all, Bruce was not there. I don’t know how Bruce could know anything about, ‘Oh. I wanted to strip everyone of the titles and have the tournaments.’ Bruce wasn’t there. Bruce wasn’t there. When Vince McMahon put me in with the creative team, Bruce Prichard was not there. I did not have a conversation with Bruce Prichard about — I did not see Bruce. I never crossed paths with Bruce. So for where Bruce gets that from, I have no idea. Could it have been Paul Heyman? Maybe. Could it have been Michael Hayes? Maybe. Bro, first of all, you got to understand this. Everything I pitched to those guys, I had already pitched to Vince. I had gone to Vince’s house like three or four times. And it was, ‘Vince, what would you do?’ I laid it all out to Vince. OK bro? There was no stripping people of titles and having tournaments, bro. That was not even mentioned. It was much, much, much bigger than that.”

Russo on how the creative team buried him to Vince McMahon: “So first of all, I had already laid everything out to Vince. I go in that room, bro, Bruce isn’t in the room. So whatever information he’s getting, he’s getting secondhand. He wasn’t there. I laid out an entire year of programming for that team. They were silent. Their jaws hit the ground. They were dumfounded, and it became pretty evident to everybody in that room, ‘Well, if Vince McMahon hires this guy, there’s no need for us.’ I knew damn well when I left that room, those guys were gonna bury me to Vince because what I laid out, they couldn’t lay out a tenth of that on their best day. And I knew they knew, ‘Holy s***. If this guy comes in here, there’s no need for us.’ So they go into protect your spot mode. I knew all this, but in the back of my mind, I’m saying, ‘Vince, if you want to go with these guys, go with these guys.’ So, I fly home. The whole plane ride I’m like, this isn’t going to work. I knew it wasn’t going to work.”

“Sure enough, I get home. My wife tells me that Vince is trying to get ahold of me. It was late in the evening at that point, I spoke to Vince the next morning, okay? Here’s where all the holes in the story. Here’s what Vince says to me, ‘Vince, this is not gonna work out.’ And here’s what I said to Vince, ‘Yeah Vince, it’s not gonna work out because the minute I left that room, everybody went back to you and buried me and buried my creative, which is exactly what I knew they would do.’ And I said to Vince, ‘I’m telling you right now, Vince, you do not have the talent in that room to turn your company around.’ This is 2002. I said, ‘You do not have the talent in that room to turn the company around.’ Now bro, what happens at that point? At that point, bro, Vince is doing his best to keep me on as a consultant. And why is Vince doing that, bro? I’ll tell you why he’s doing it. Because he knows I’m right, and he knows what I’m saying is right.”

Vince Russo on not watching the current product at the time and Stephanie being upset with his hiring: “Bro, I did not watch the product leading up to 2002 because the product sucked! I’m not gonna sit there and watch a s***ty wrestling show! I didn’t care what they were doing! The ratings were going down the toilet! Nobody cared what they were doing, so was I watching the product? Was I smart to the product? No! Here’s where it broke down, bro. Vince McMahon hired me without telling Stephanie, and he told Stephanie after he hired me. And the reason why I knew this was not gonna work out was because Stephanie was not there in person when I met with him in person in 2002. I had to go in a separate room and talk with Stephanie on a speaker phone. And off the bat, Stephanie was treating me like I was her redheaded stepchild. She did not want me there. She was not happy. It was not part of the process. When she hung up the phone, I said, ‘This is not going to work.’ So now, Stephanie’s hot. Vince knows Stephanie’s hot. Everybody in that room, which Bruce Prichard was not in that room, buries me to Vince. Vince tells me things aren’t gonna work out. Yeah Vince, they’re not going to work out. But yet, he wants to keep me on as a consultant. Why? Because he knows I’m right, and he knows I’m telling him the truth. If everything Bruce is saying is correct, then why in god’s name would Vince have paid me six figures as a consultant?”

If you use any of the quotes, please credit Truth With Consequences with an h/t to 411mania.com