Wrestling industry icon Vince Russo talks Long Island and more
When professional wrestling comes to mind, the average non-fan probably thinks of superstars like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Yet for stars like those to have the personalities that they are remembered for, someone had to be writing those storylines. Enter Vince Russo: wrestling industry icon and Long Island native.
After attending college in Indiana, Vince Russo was a video store owner on Long Island with a passion for wrestling. After getting the attention of Linda McMahon with a simple letter in the mail, Vince wound up writing for WWF's monthly magazine. This eventually led to writing for WWF's weekly television programming, and ultimately becoming their head writer, responsible for storylines involving The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and many other soon-to-be legends.
Vince's success with WWF caught the attention of main competitor, Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling. He jumped ship to WCW in the late 1990s, not only serving as head writer -- alongside long-time collaborator Ed Ferrara -- but as an on-screen authority figure. After his WCW tenure (and another run with WWF, then known as WWE), Vince took over as head writer of TNA, where he spent over a decade in various roles. Aside from those thousands of hours of television he helped create, he currently works with All Action Wrestling in Australia and International Pro Wrestling in the United Kingdom.
Now broadcasting for Podcast One, Vince Russo has reinvented himself as a podcaster. As host of Vince Russo's The Brand, he talks about the state of professional wrestling five days a week. Other content can be found on his official website, as Vince also likes to talk sports, movies, and politics.
A lot of people think of you as being "Vince Russo from Long Island," but not much is known about you as a Long Islander. Where on the Island did you grow up?
VR: I grew up mainly in Farmingville, right across the street from Suffolk Community College.
How often do you get back to Long Island?
VR: NO WAY as often as I'd like. I really miss home.
What's the best concert you ever saw on the Island? Did it involve KISS?
VR: I actually saw KISS for the first time at Madison Square Garden. Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour was sick, as was when I got to see ALL the Wilson brothers perform together at the [Nassau] Coliseum.
Do you have a favorite restaurant on Long Island?
VR: Hands FREAKIN' Down -- White Castle!
What, if anything, do you miss about Long Island?
VR: DEFINITELY the sports scene. Nothing else like it anywhere in the world!
In your early days within the wrestling world, you hosted a show on WGBB. Were you a fan of Long Island radio? Like WLIR?
VR: Yes, sir -- good old WBLI!
Finally, what do you wish more people knew about Long Island?
VR: That it IS the GREATEST City in the world!!!