Jim Cornette Hilariously Recalls Vince Russo’s Worst Creative Ideas

Jim Cornette Vince Russo

Jim Cornette has recalled a series of bizarre creative ideas from Vince Russo including pitches for Gillberg and the creation of a “Shotgun Tough Guy.”

It’s no secret that Vince Russo and Jim Cornette do not get along. From their early days working together in the then-WWF, to clashing backstage in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, there is a healthy list of public spats between the pair dating back decades.

So naturally when Cornette appeared on a his podcast with a 25 year-old list of failed booking ideas from Russo, he and co-host Brian Last held little back.

During an episode of the Jim Cornette Experience, the legendary manager deduced that the document in his possession had been created by former WWE writer Russo. The ideas were in relation to WWF Shotgun Saturday Night which ran from January 1997 until August 1999.

Airing in a new late-night timeslot, the show was intended to be edgier than usual WWF programming, and was broadcast from a nightclub in New York.

Before getting into the list of ideas from Russo, Cornette explained that it was during this period that he realised that he and the former writer were not going to get along.

“But the only other person pitching ideas in at this particular time period was everybody’s favorite WWF magazine editor… We know him as shit stain [Vince Russo]. So, I’ve got a document here, Brian and it’s not signed. Nobody took credit for this. It’s been 25 years, but I saved it for a reason and the reason I think I saved it, I remember was because it doesn’t sound like anything that I would write. It doesn’t sound like I think Bruce Prichard would write and Vince never did stuff like this. Jim Ross, I’ve seen his stuff a million times and as I’ve mentioned, Pat didn’t write down a bunch of stuff.

So, unless this was Shane, and he just went completely off the rails and did something that I’ve never seen him do before, and type three pages of shit to send over to Vince’s.

I know who the author of this is. This was the first inkling that I got that it would not be a good idea for me and him to be in the same room for an extended period of time talking about the wrestling business. This was before Vince actually cracked up after a bad rating on a show that everybody told him was going to suck and lost his mind and hired the guy to be on the creative team, but he was trying to get his two cents in.

Remember, it’s been said that Vince loves ideas. Just give him ideas. Well, this is the kind of ideas he was getting from this guy.”

Moving onto the document containing the list of ideas, Cornette and Last ran down the list of failed pitches.

Jim Cornette: “The Shotgun Tough Guy match. There is one Shotgun Tough Guy who holds the Shotgun Tough Guy Title. He takes on new challengers every once in a while, but only on Shotgun Saturday Night. On other shows he can be referred to as the Shotgun Tough Man, but the title can only be challenged for on Shotgun Saturday Night. All the matches are gimmick matches, i.e., bar room stool in each Man’s Corner or tables or whatever.

I think a guy like Crush would make a great Shotgun Tough Man, it’s a way to get him over without giving him one of the real titles. Instead of a title belt he’s got a badge!

Next idea the wildcard extra match, a match between two WWF Superstars but the twist is every five minutes a new extra, that’s what marks who weren’t actually in the business called the job guys, a new extra is sent into the ring and he can do whatever he wants or attack whoever he wants. So the two Superstars try to pin the other guy to win, so they would both have an interest in getting rid of the extra so then they could get the other back in. So, you’ve got Steve Austin and The Rock and suddenly every five minutes in comes Mario Manzini or fucking Dwayne Gill. It would be scintillating television, right?

Brian Last: It’s kinda like the Royal Rumble, except I wouldn’t pay money to see it.

Jim Cornette: How about this one since we will know when the show is off the air and it’s live. Why not let the last match be a time limit match with a clock in the arena and the crowd could count down the waning seconds of the match and the show the match starts with a shotgun blast.

Here’s another match stipulation, two minutes with Jake the Snake, if you can’t beat Jake in two minutes, you have to leave the WWF.

Brian Last: What? Because Jake only had two minutes left in the tank?

Jim Cornette: At this time was when Jake had just or was about to be appointed to the creative team and his matches were bleh. Somebody probably wanted to be on the creative team instead of Jake…or instead of wrestling, Jake the Snake could be like a roving reporter and always has his snake around his neck. It would be pretty cool to see a guy hanging out in a bar or whatever with a snake.

Brian Last: Yeah, this is definitely Russo. there’s no doubt that now!”

Vince Russo began working with the WWF in 1992 on WWF Magazine. He eventually rose to become editor before becoming WWF Head Writer in 1997. He left the company in 1999, heading to WCW before returning to WWE for a brief two-week stint in 2002.

Russo later worked with IMPACT Wrestling on numerous occasions.

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