Vince Russo has had his shares of ups-and-downs recently. He claimed he wasn’t working with Impact Wrestling… which, turns out, he was lying about… and which might possibly have cost TNA their TV contract with Spike TV.
It hasn’t stopped him from speaking his mind. Most recently, in an interview on Pro Wrestling Report, called out the company that might just hold the fate of Impact Wrestling in its hands. When speaking of the network:
Spike TV is a horrible partner. Why TNA would ever want to partner with Spike is beyond me, unless there were no other options. If Spike TV were the only option to stay on television, then I would understand it. They are a horrible partner. They know nothing about the wrestling business. They way they advertised and marketed the program over the years was absolutely atrocious.
Surprisingly, he then went on to praise USA Network and, indirectly, Vince McMahon:
When you had Bonnie Hammer at USA and Vince McMahon, the sky was the limit. If TNA signs another deal with Spike TV, great for them. It will move along for another two years and everyone will work, but the product will not grow on Spike TV. My hope for TNA is that a new network comes along and embraces TNA and gives them the time and investment to help grow the product. I can’t say this enough. TNA on Spike TV will never grow.
It’s crazy, really. Spike TV has been more than generous with TNA and Dixie Carter. In fact, it even gave the fledgling company a prime-time Monday night slot – against the biggest competition, no less – whenever TNA was willing to try something new. Spike TV has tried to pair the company with MMA organizations, has moved time slots, and even entertained various TV offshoots of the promotion.
Of course, Spike TV fired back. David Schwarz, the network’s Senior Vice President of Communication, had the following to say:
We took TNA from a late night spot on Saturday nights, doing 500,000 viewers, to a two-hour time slot that did two million viewers over time. Spike went out of its way, not in just adhering to its contract, but above and beyond the contract… We paid Hulk Hogan, we paid Eric Bischoff, with our money. We financed many shows. We financed U.K. shows. We helped promote. We gave TNA a prime time slot of Thursdays from 9-11 p.m. I think his comments are way off base. Clearly, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s somebody who thinks more of himself than really exists. Vince Russo never meant anything to Spike TV. He had nothing to do with negotiations. Nobody cares about Vince Russo at Spike TV. Nobody cares or knows who he is.
He even went on to say that “We (Spike TV) have a great relationship with TNA.”
It’s fairly obvious there’s some bad blood between Vince Russo and Spike. More interesting, however, is the fact that Schwarz actually praised TNA. For clarification – Spike TV did pay Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. What affect these comments, if any, will have on TV negotiations with Impact Wrestling is unclear at this time.
So who’s right here? Has TNA been mishandled by the network? Or is Vince Russo living off his celebrity status just a little while longer? Let us know who you side with in the comments below.