|Is Russo telling the truth?|
Photo via the Pyro and Ballyhoo Facebook page
Vince Russo gave his side of the story regarding his role in the uncertain future of TNA with Spike TV via a statement on his personal website. According to Russo, he was hired by TNA Executive Vice President of Talent and Creative John Gaburick in October of last year as a consultant with a promise of a permanent position if he performed well enough. His employment with the company would be contingent on no one but those two and Dixie Carter knowing about it.
He also states that the story of Spike TV only finding out about Russo's employment only a few weeks ago is a falsehood. Russo claims that Gaburick told network official Scott Fishman about his employment with the company in the beginning of this year, and that Fishman "was cool" with the work situation. Russo's claim runs contrary with every report that put Spike TV as not being copacetic with his involvement at all, but at the same time, with a lucrative (and in TNA's case, vital-to-existence) contract at stake, everyone is going to be working a propaganda angle, whether it be Russo, Carter, or Spike TV. Russo's account now shifts the tone of the story from "cut and dried" to a matter of which carny one chooses to believe.
Either way, the whole situation seems to be a mess, and it lends more credence to me that Spike might want to be getting out of the wrestling business altogether. If the network was really concerned about Russo's involvement in TNA as a condition of it airing the company, then why wait until now to bring the issue up? Then again, maybe Global Force Wrestling is closer than Spike thought to being ready to ship, or maybe it found out that Ring of Honor was available for purchase around the same time that Russo sent that e-mail. Either way, the press release seems to pose more questions than it answers at the moment.
The most interesting thing in the statement, however, deals with Russo developing a script for a television show called Belle of the Brawl about a woman who owns a wrestling company. I'm sure THAT has nothing to do with a real life analogue, not in the least...