Bro, break out the tin foil hats. Vince Russo is at it again, bro.
Russo is cobbling together a conspiracy theory about the potential working relationship between AEW and WWE. He has been putting out a one man chat-style video series on his YouTube channel with discussion of potential hints. Russo is drawing from his experiences with WWE when they had a working agreement with ECW on the sly as a basis to observe patterns that could repeat themselves in the war between the two promotions.
To be fair, it should be mentioned that Russo repeatedly explains that he isn’t doing this series in a desire to get attention or get his foot back in the door for a job in the wrestling industry. It is supposed to be fun look at what could be happening in secrecy behind the scenes.
I enjoy conspiracy theories, so count me in. Let’s see what Russo has to say.
Part 1 talks about Russo finding out WWE and ECW had a working relationship. Vince McMahon told him when he became head writer of Raw. There was talent sharing between the rival federations, but it seemed to be one-sided for ECW. Russo’s desires for wrestlers were always rejected by Heyman. Russo believes Heyman never told his guys, and people such as the Dudleys and Taz ended up reaching out to Russo through a third party.
I guess the point of that story was to show that the locker rooms were unaware of the arrangement.
Russo closed with the following idea about the framework being set before in history.
“This happened once before. When you had Paul Heyman and ECW, bro, posing as the renegades, the outlaws, F WWE, bro, and everybody was buying into it because they were doing a good job convincing people, the fact of the matter is Paul Heyman and ECW were on WWE’s payroll and there was a talent exchange.”
It is important to note in Part 1 that Russo mentioned Bruce Prichard as the middle man for Paul Heyman. Prichard is a central figure in the continuing conspiracy theory for Part 2.
Part 2 centers around the firing and re-hiring of Bruce Prichard to WWE. He was brought back to WWE out of the clear blue sky after 10 years away. His position has never been made clear.
So, why is Prichard there?
Russo followed the breadcrumbs to a connection between Prichard and Conrad Thompson. Thompson has a close relationship with AEW. Russo is proposing that Prichard is acting as the go-between again. This time between WWE and AEW. The idea is to create competition for WWE like they did 20 years ago. What do they have to lose by trying it again? Russo says it is not so far-fetched. It has all been done before.
I’m not sold on the conspiracy theory, but it is fun to consider. Those are kernels of information that could be built upon. AEW is trying to be edgy and the appearance of a viable competitor has already resulted in WWE’s hirings of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as executive directors of Raw and Smackdown. It could be unrelated, but those two are veterans of promotion warfare.
Russo teased a big Part 3. We’ll be sure to update you once that gets released. In the meantime, you can follow Russo’s conspiracy on Twitter at AEWWEWORK.
Do you think history is repeating itself with the war between WWE and AEW? How convincing are Russo’s arguments so far, bro?