Vince Russo was born on January 24, 1961 on Long Island, NY. Vince got his start in the wrestling business by co-hosting two wrestling radio shows in New York during the early 90’s. In 1992, he became a free lance writer for WWF Magazine. In 1994, he became editor of the magazine.
The Business is Changing:
By 1996, the business seemed to be passing the WWF by. WCW was destroying them in the ratings and ECW was capturing the essence of 90’s culture. In response, the WWF creative was giving their fans wrestlers that had day jobs (ex: plumbers, garbage men) and characters that made no sense (ex: Mantaur and Who). Around this time, Vince became editor of the new RAW magazine and started to write promos for the wrestlers.
On paper, a show featuring Bret Hart vs. Triple H, Sid vs. Mankind, The Rock vs. Vader, and Owen Hart vs. The British Bulldog looks like a PPV. Instead, this show was presented so poorly and the writing was so bad that the show garnered a 1.9 rating. After this debacle, Vince Russo was praised by Vince McMahon in front of the creative department for having the only good product in the company. Vince would become the head writer of the company by year’s end.
The Attitude Era:
Under Vince’s writing, the show would be drawing 8’s within the next 2 years. During this era, stars like Steve Austin and The Rock became pop culture icons. Most importantly, Vince made sure to build up new stars and in a short time men like Triple H and Mick Foley were soon in the main event. The era is also known for some very controversial programming but it was always entertaining.
Due in part to the success of the WWF, Eric Bischoff was fired from WCW. In October 99, Vince took over the writing of WCW. After a string of injuries in his first few months on the job, he was let go from this position in January. After several months of boring TV, he was rehired along with Eric Bischoff. Too much damage had already been done to the company and it was sold in 2001 as part of the AOL-Time Warner fire sale after that very unsuccessful merger.
Vince became involved in TNA as a consultant in 2002. He became an on screen character by the end of the year when he helped Jeff Jarrett win the title. He then formed a faction called S.E.X. (Sports Extreme Entertainment) that was a focal part of the shows. He left TNA in late 2004.
Born Again & Return to TNA:
Vince became a born again Christian in October 2003. He had written a manuscript for a book detailing his life from birth till the end of his tenure with the WWF. With his newfound faith, he could not publish the book in the form it was in. In 2005, he released the book, Forgiven, which tells his story through the eyes of a converted man looking at his old self. The next year, he returned to TNA. In 2010, his second autobiography, How WCW Killed Vince Russo was released. That book dealt with his tenures in WCW and TNA. He parted ways with TNA for the second time in 2012.
WCW Title History:
9/24/00 Nitro – beat Booker T
Sources: Forgiven by Vince Russo, PWI Almanac and Onlineworldofwrestling.com