It’s 4:26 Saturday, Christmas Eve. For some reason 4am has been the alarm clock in my head for the past few weeks. I don’t know, maybe it’s because the judge shows air back-to-back starting at 4. I always liked those judge shows for some reason; I watch Judge Judy on a daily basis—have for years. Nobody has her no-nonsense, no-BS attitude. She takes crap from NO ONE. If you lie to her, she’s going to call you out and make you feel foolish. She’s confident, she is, who she is, and isn’t going to change for anybody.
Does that sound familiar?
It took me a long time to get to the point I’m at. About 6 years, to be honest, that’s how long it’s been since I worked for TNA on a full-time basis. I left TNA because there was just so much bullshit there. It was a political mess that I could just no longer be a part of. I left 6-figures on the table at the time, not knowing what I was going to do next. But, being 50 at the time . . . enough was just enough. I was swimming in a sea of sharks and I just wanted to go home to be with my wife. I was beat up, battered and broken–just badly in need of fixing myself. That was not going to happen if I stayed in the Mainstream Wrestling Bubble.
Once on the outside, I must say, it really took me a while to find myself. I found out that there were just so many Vince Russo haters out there, strangers who had no idea who I was, but built up their “idea” of me, based on internet writers and fans, who quite honestly wished they had achieved what I did. The world on the outside, was almost as bad as it was on the inside. Early on, I took a devastating blow with Pyro and Ballyhoo, when the person who got me started wanted to change the rules after the game had just started. I was threatened that if I didn’t—he would pull the plug. I didn’t . . . so he did. Honestly, at that time I think just about anybody would have put professional wrestling in a box, packed it in the back of a closet and moved on with their lives. That’s what I wanted to do, but who was going to hire a 50-something year old man in a new profession.
So I got back on the horse and started again. Key people helped me get back on my feet. Of course, one of them was Jeff Lane, who I guess you would call a Vince Russo disciple. Jeff was key in those early days, even more so now. Truth is, I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone with his level of commitment. Jeff’s just there, man, he always is, both professionally and personally. So, I started all over again.I got on twitter for the first time and quickly had some kind of misunderstanding with my old friend, Taz, over some stupid tweet. I remember Taz, who was hot at the time, said, “I understand you have to build your “BRAND”, but . . . .” Thus the “official” birth of Vince Russo’s Brand.
Man, I was committed. I was committed to those who were committed to me.Let’s face it, very few do a podcast FIVE DAYS a week. They usually phone in their weekly two hours, and then call it a day. But, if I was going to have paying customers—I was going to give them the same effort that I gave Vince McMahon. I did, and I can proudly say—I still do. After some podcasts I am a sweating mess. My blood pressure is high and my heart is beating fast. But, that’s my passion. That’s who I am. When I feel a certain way—you’ll know it. Something I had to suppress when I worked inside the bubble.
But, as time went on, and as our listeners and subscribers grew, I started to realize more and more everyday, that it wasn’t about me . . . it was about us. As I got to know may of you I got to clearly understand that on a daily basis we are all carrying a very, heavy load. We are all broken, we are all damaged goods. We are all seeking those who will just listen. And, the more I listened to you . . . the more you listened to me. I care about my audience, I really do, that’s why when I smell a RAT—I’ll let you know about it. I have always been truthful and honest, regardless of all those tall tales you hear by those who are simply professionally jealous, or just don’t like “my kind”, big-mouthed, Italian New Yawkers. You know . . .the kind who speak the truth regardless of the consequences. Some people just don’t want to hear the truth and that’s unfortunate. Like they say, the truth WILL set you free–if you get you’re feelings hurt—you’re missing an opportunity to grow as a human being.
I knew that God created me to just be there for you. To send a message that only I was built to send. That you would understand, even if I mispronounced a word, or two. I knew that I was SUPPOSED to do “That’s Life”. I knew that was my mission from God. My heart is out there every week, good, bad, or indifferent. And, you are listening. And, we are all becoming stronger thanks to the support of each other.
Why am I saying all this at now 4:51? It’s simple. I love my Brand. I love all those who are a part of our crazy world. We are different. We are unique. But through it all—our hearts are in the right place. There is a longing to help others. A longing to just make ourselves better people, and no wrestling show, or wrestling scoops are ever going to be more important than that. As a matter of fact—wrestling is just our backdrop. It is what brought us together as people. It is what united us. Now . . . now . . . we’re an army . . . we’re a loving, caring family with branches all over the world.
With Christmas eve upon us, I can’t help but think of all those I have loved and lost. My grandparents, my best friend, my mom, Yogi. I miss them all so much, they were a part of who I am. They are the very foundation I was built on. I miss my son, Will, who won’t be here for the holiday—I think it’s the first Christmas that we’ve been apart for 30 years. When I think about the hurt and the pain, it devastates me at times, so much that I have to put it away. Somewhere where I can’t see it . . . or, hear it. And, many times it is during those moments that I go to YOU. I go on social media and you are ALL THERE, giving your love and support as you always have. I truly hope others have the love and support from their base that I do. It’s important to me. It makes a difference. When strangers become family . . . it’s just a beautiful thing.
So, from the Russo’s, to every one of you—Merry Christmas. I truly, truly love you all. I just wish you had one crumb of an idea of what you all mean to me!!! God Bless.
Now go open your “shitty” gifts!!!