Vince McMahon brought back an old friend in Eric Bischoff to take over as Executive Director of SmackDown Live, which led to rumors that another prominent writer would be rejoining the company.
Brad Shepard of Oh, You Didn't Know (h/t Ringside News), was discussing the returns of Bischoff, WWE producer Bruce Prichard and the decision to hire Paul Heyman as the new Executive Director of Monday Night Raw. He then brought up the name of former WWE and WCW writer Vince Russo, and sources told Shepard that his "name is mud around here".
Shepard has since followed up on that point. Apparently, Prichard was the one who "nixed" the idea of bringing back Russo, not the WWE chairman.
According to a source, @THEVinceRusso was presented by @VinceMcMahon as someone to bring on to help with writing and big picture planning, as part of the recent changes.— Brad Shepard (@TheBradShepard) July 10, 2019
I’m told @bruceprichard nixed it. #WWE #RAW #SDLive https://t.co/mpFcJDvCOV
Russo was one of the most influential WWE writers during the '90s. He's widely credited for launching The Attitude Era, forming D-Generation X and building the legend of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. Over time, Russo had put together a product that helped WWE take the lead over WCW in the Monday Night Wars.
However, Russo left the WWE in 1999 and joined the rival WCW promotion. In a 2014 interview with WrestlingInc.com, Russo claimed that he was "burnt out" and was unhappy without being told ahead of time that McMahon was launching SmackDown Live. On top of that, Russo said he wasn't seeing his family enough - which led to a dispute with his boss. The decision was made to part ways from there.
Russo spent time with the TNA but left the promotion in 2004, and he worked briefly with Aro Lucha before leaving in 2018. It's been two decades now since Russo left WWE, so unless he and McMahon are able to bury the hatchet soon enough, it seems highly unlikely that the legendary wrestling writer will be back.
What This Means
Even though Russo was instrumental in helping WWE regain momentum over WCW, his relationship with McMahon ended on a sour note - and there aren't any indicators that they're about to make amends. Russo hasn't been shy in criticizing the current WWE product, either, so he may not even be keen on a return anyway.