NO… this WAS NOT MINE! But, I do have the interesting backstory on it that I think you’ll enjoy.
At the time the Fake Razor and Fake Diesel storyline took place, I was Editor of the ‘WWF Magazine’. As I informed you in an earlier column, Bruce Prichard, who was part of the writing team at the time, had taken me under his wing, keeping me abreast of what was going on creatively. Or… at least letting me know what HE wanted me to know.
On one late afternoon, Bruce asked me if I was available to have dinner that evening. At that time, I never told Bruce no, I was so hungry to learn every aspect of the business that I would jump at the opportunity to sit down and learn from him.
Well, on this night there would be no “learning”.
As I sat down with Bruce I could immediately tell he was not his jovial self. Usually Bruce would open up the conversation with some laughs, stories, gossip, etc., but on this night he was in an extremely solemn mood.
“Kevin and Scott are going to WCW”, he told me. Obviously he was talking about Scott Hall and Kevin Nash joining our competitor. Now, as I was taught early on, no talent was ever bigger than the company. Wrestlers came and went and the WWF went on.
So, OK, big loss, but we’ll be alright. But, this time it was a bit different. Bruce told me that Vince was really concerned about losing Hall and Nash, I guess perhaps the reasoning being that it was two top talents leaving at the same time and not just one.
With the Boss concerned, I could see that Bruce was concerned. Honestly, I don’t think Bruce would have been concerned if Vince wasn’t. Bruce’s philosophy was always that talent—any talent—was replaceable. But with Bruce—if Vince is concerned—then HE’S CONCERNED.
It was just about a week later when I got back together with Bruce. As usual, we went over magazine business first, then he would give me the future plans for various WWF talents. That’s when I first learned about Fake Razor and Fake Diesel.
I remember Bruce laying all this out to me. He attempted to be extremely convincing because there was a look of dumbfoundedness on my face that I could not hide.
“Come again,” I asked.
“Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were playing CHARACTERS, they were playing the ROLES of “Diesel” and “Razor Ramon”. We (WWF), we OWNED those characters, so it’s not about who’s playing them it’s about the CHARACTERS.”
What Bruce was saying is that when you go to Disneyland and see Mickey Mouse, the guy in the costume doesn’t matter. You can put anybody in the costume—the DRAW is MICKEY MOUSE.
No, wait… WHAT? Kevin Nash MADE the “Diesel” character, Scott Hall MADE the “Razor Ramon” character. You can’t just put ANYBODY in those roles. They are indeed a HUGE PART of that character. WOW!
What this came down to was this—Bruce attempting to convince Vince that Kevin and Scott leaving was a non-issue. Kevin and Scott didn’t matter—the only ones that mattered were “Diesel” and “Razor”.
Yeah—it is as ridiculous as it sounds, but they did it anyway. And, man, DID IT SUCK.
To this day I still can’t believe that they had convinced themselves that they hadn’t missed a beat. I remember JR attempting to call this debacle. He knew that he’d lose all credibility as a broadcaster, but Vince gave him no choice.
What a swing and a miss. Perhaps one of the GREATEST FAILURES in the history of the WWF. And, embarrassing at that—QUITE embarrassing.
Vince Russo is a wrestling booker, writer, and pundit best known for his work with WWE, WCW, and TNA. You can check out his podcasting network at RussosBrand.com or ChannelAttitude.com and are encouraged to support his Patreon.