Vince Russo is known for being a former WWE, WCW & TNA writer/producer/booker, and for saying “bro” even more than the average pro wrestling insider. Nowadays, like so many others in the business — and especially those whose glory days are in the rearview mirror, Russo opines about the state of the industry on podcasts.
Personally, I don’t listen to Russo’s pods. Excepting ones that feature interviews that sound interesting or might be newsworthy, I don’t spend a lot of time listening to any wrestling podcasts. But I especially steer clear of Vince’s, because when I read quotes from it they always seem negative for the sake of being negative, because negativity gets more attention than positivity (and also the whole “bro” thing... it’s a lot).
That’s just background for some tweets I stumbled across, and why I found them so enjoyable.
Last week, Russo was criticizing Bayley’s wardrobe. He was saying she needs to have more outfits; I guess he doesn’t like the white and black looks she’s been rocking since returning at SummerSlam. He pointed to Becky Lynch as an example Bayley should follow.
Thing is, it wasn’t that long ago Russo was criticizing Lynch’s Big Time Becks looks. And Lynch had proof:
Mustafa Ali responded to Lynch, commiserating by sharing an idea Russo pitched on his podcast for Ali’s character...
one time, he suggested I should be a racist cop.— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) October 6, 2022
stop with the hoe behavior, Russo. pic.twitter.com/sZu8vEWsCS
Vince seemed to doubt this one, but Ali had multiple receipts:
audio…and video. hoe. pic.twitter.com/pNUNqJsTvy— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) October 6, 2022
An aside: it’s not that the idea of Muslim police officer who’s covertly racist isn’t interesting, or couldn’t be used in a good story. But it’s not something that translates well to a traditional pro wrestling story, nor is it an angle many would want to see a traditional pro wrestling company tackle because it would require more nuance than even the best wrestling storytellers usually traffic in. Russo’s right that “Mustafa Ali: Racist Cop” would get people talking, but that doesn’t mean they’d be talking about it being a great pro wrestling story, or one they’d pay to see the end of. The disconnect between what gets attention and whether that attention leads to good stories that draw money has long been Vince’s issue as a booker.
Back to the Twitter tale at hand... the problem with Lynch & Ali engaging with Russo is that they’re trying to shame someone without much shame. So rather than admit that he’s not always right, not all of his ideas are winners, or that like many of us he has some conflicting opinions, he played off his reason for asking Mustafa for the audio by claiming he wanted to hear himself pitch this “GREAT Controversial angle” again. And, of course, he’s using the fact two WWE Superstars paid attention to him* to hype his paywalled podcasts.
Workers gonna work. But at least this one got some work in the process.
* They probably shouldn’t have, and I probably shouldn’t have written this, because it’s just giving Russo the attention he wanted in the first place. But I can’t judge a wrestler who snaps at one of these guys every once in a while too harshly. A ton of this stuff comes across their screens everyday. And me? I’m just a petty man who gets a kick out of seeing loudmouths get dunked on.