Former WWE, WCW, and TNA writer/creative mastermind Vince Russo discusses his top ten list of superstars that were easiest to produce in a new post on his official website, PyroandBallyhoo.com. The feature is a two-part exposé entitled, “Top 10 Easiest Talents to Produce (1995-2002).”
Russo lists a number of superstars that he’s had the pleasure of working with over his impressive career before getting into his top ten. Upon getting into the list, he mentions Ultimate Warrior, The Rock, Shane McMahon, and Sting. As for the top three, Russo picked Goldust (Dustin Runnels), the late WWE Hall of Famer Paul Bearer (Bill Moody), and WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund.
Russo had this to say about working with Goldust,
Far and away, Goldust was the most intricate character I’ve ever had to write/produce for in my career. No two promos were ever the same, or was the same movie ever quoted twice. So much research and reading went into the process of writing for Dustin—-and my kids will tell you—I HATE READING ANYTHING!!! I can’t even imagine the train wreck we would have had on our hands had Dustin not been cooperative, and gone with the written word. 100% trust on his part—100%, and at one time that character was more over than any other heel I had ever worked with.
He also had some amazing words to say about the late Bill Moody,
OLD SCHOOL RULZ!!! The old school guys just get it—what can I say? I loved working with the late William Moody, every chance I got. He was just such a pro, and so freakin’ good. See—the New Yawk just came out of me there. I don’t know how else to say it—to bring life and believability to such an over the top character is a true, true testimony to the man. Just one of those guys that you take for granted because you know that every week he’s going to deliver no matter what you put in front of him.
And, what a southern gentlemen he was. I think he respected “Vinny Ru” as he would refer to me, just as much as I respected him. Man, he is so sorely missed.
And as for Russo’s top talent that was easiest to work with, Mr. Backlund, he writes,
When you look back now, how ridiculous is it to think that Bob Backlund needed Arnold Skaaland as his mouth piece when he was WWWF Champion. Well, I guess it’s not ridiculous at all—having gone back and looked at many of those Backlund interviews with a young Vince McMahon. Timid, soft spoken, kind, polite, Backlund just did not have the traits necessary to cut that strong baby face promo to sell tickets.
Fast forward a little over a decade later when MR. BACKLUND hit the scene. Are you FREAKIN’ kidding me?!!! (there I go again). Who is this guy, and where did he come from?!!! I remember in the mid-90s when I was writing for the WWE Magazine–when I was on the road, and Mr. Backlund was in a pre-tape room, I would stop whatever I was doing to just go watch—-and listen. I swear to you all, this was the best thing I had ever seen since the BIG THREE—-and I’m talking Albano, Blassie and Wiz!!!
Like Warrior, when I would later be producing Mr. Backlund—you couldn’t write for him. There was NOTHING—NOTHING I was going to write that was going to be better than what was just coming off the top of his head. This was entertainment at its finest form—nobody better—nobody.
My TOP memory of ALL-TIME in the wrestling business is when I got to go to spring break in Daytona Beach with Mr. Backlund sometime in the mid-90s. As a shoot—Backlund—sorry—MR. Backlund wore a grey wool suit, red bow tie and white preventive sunburn cream on his nose, being that the temperature was in the triple digit range. There was even a scene where he rolled up his pants and waded in the pool with some of the unruly students. Again—as a shoot because I was there—Mr. Backlund started preaching to these kids and within FIVE FREAKIN’ MINUTES—these teens were sitting on his every word. It was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen.
You can read the entire list yourself by heading to PyroandBallyhoo.com and checking out both parts. Russo will be updating his website with new wrestling related material following “Monday Night Raw” each week. If you are a writer and/or a video specialist, and good at what you do, Russo would like to hire you! All you have to do is head to PyroandBallyhoo.com/hiring to apply!