God, man, I can remember the weeks leading up to my decision to leave TNA back at the end of 2011. I was in a position where I was absolutely miserable. Dixie had booked me in a spot that was the closest thing to torture I think I’ve ever endured. I kept praying to God–over and over–asking him how I was going to support my family if I chose to walk away from my salary with no net. At the very end I went out to dinner with Sting–just the two of us–between my salad and my steak Sting told me, “Vince, you’re not supposed to be here any more. That’s what God is telling you.” And on those words—I made my final decision. Sting knew me, knew my heart, and most importantly–also knew God really well. I knew it was time to go.
So I walked away from a business that I had just spent the last 20+ years in. I had no idea what I was going to do. Nobody was going to hire a man well in his fifties with a resume that wreaked professional wrestling. So I decided to open a business with the money I had saved over the years. My wife was dead-set against it—but I didn’t listen. Running a soft pretzel franchise was a real bad experience–it just wasn’t me–my wife was right. In less then four months I closed shop–if I hadn’t I would have lost much more money than I did. At around that time I was contacted by John Gaburick of TNA, asking to consult for them. Even though in my heart of hearts I knew John was offering the olive branch only because Dixie wanted him to, and it was going to lead to disaster like everything else had for me ever since Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan joined TNA, I took the job—I needed the money.
With Jeff gone, Eric gone, Hulk gone and Bruce gone I thought it would be different–it wasn’t–the only thing that had changed was the players. Thankfully I accidentally sent an e-mail to a geek that wanted to be famous and Gaburick jumped all over it like a vulture on a dead carcass. He took that opportunity to get rid of me—and laughed while he did it. Next chapter. I get contacted by someone I had known for years about starting a website which I would do some podcasting on. I was hesitant–I know how those on the “fringe” of the wrestling business can be–but again–I needed the money. I spent nearly a year putting everything I had into Pyro & Ballyhoo, unfortunately, the guy who talked me into the idea wasn’t making the money he perceived he would be making fast enough. So–despite our agreement–he gave me an ultimatum. He said that I either agree to his new set of demands–or, he was going to pull the plug on the site. Being old school–I declined. I told him that we made an agreement and I had every intention of living up to it—just like I was—that night around midnight he pulled the plug on a year’s worth of work.
Once again—I had nothing—I had to start with that blank piece of paper. I soon thereafter contacted the RELM Network and started all over again from scratch. I was making no money. Zero. Day in and day out I was busting my ass. This was my baby, it had my name on it, and I was going to make sure that it was a success—or—at least paid my bills. After a year between RELM and doing free lance work for other sites my salary was back up to a whopping $2,000 a month. I was making more money my first job out of college 33 years ago. But it didn’t matter. I was going to see this through because this—THE BRAND—was me–it was who I was at my very core. I loved every, single person who supported me–why–because they all GOT ME. They understood me. I was never understood at WCW, I was never understood at TNA, but my supporters—they understood–they knew who I really was.
I knew something was going to happen . . .I just felt it. I was working to hard for it not to. Then, out of the blue came an unexpected call from somebody who I have admired and respected for years—Steve Austin. Steve asked me if I would make a return visit to his show on PodcastOne. Of course—I dropped everything. The right people were listening . . . the rest is history.
It’s difficult to put into words how I feel as I type away at almost one in the morning. All I know is that this past week I’ve been in a place that has just been “so right”. This is me. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is my calling. I haven’t experienced this kind of a joy since a little period back in time called the “Attitude Era”, where I was working with the greatest array of professional men and women that were every assembled. We WERE a family. We cared for each other. And, out of that love we created a magic that has not, and will not ever be repeated. I miss them . . . I miss every one of them. But in all honesty–that void has finally been filled by all of you. Every tweet, every e-mail, every comment. The love that comes through my computer on a daily basis just fuels my drive to not only be the best I can be, but to also be a person that you know is there for you and will always be honest with the truth. I just want to be real. I want you to know that we are all in this TOGETHER. We are all equal and despite all the trials and tribulations that we all experience in our lives—we are not alone. We are all one and are there for each other. When the sun goes down at night—that’s what the day was all about–brotherhood–bro.
So, from the bottom of my heart I just want to thank all of you for this past week. Where we go from here—only God knows—he is the one writing this story . . . we are just going along for the ride.
Please know, I love you all, and I mean that from the deepest reaches of my heart.