TNA and Vince Russo have mutually parted ways as of this week. The separation is amicable and professional.We are glad for the opportunity to have worked together and wish each other nothing but good luck and success in the future.
The announcement came after days of speculation about Russo's role in the company, with the news spreading like wildfire on Sunday that he had been removed from his position on the TNA creative team and replaced by former WWE writer Dave Lagana (who joined TNA several months ago to work on the company's Indian project, Ra Ka King).
Some initially disputed the reports, and downplayed Lagana's role, and even now it remains to be seen what the "I Want Wrestling" scribe's role is in the organization and if will have a decent say in creative direction or just be carrying out the orders of others, like Eric Bischoff.
Interestingly, Bryan Alvarez would report in this week's F4W Newsletter that, rather than being fired as many assumed, Russo in fact opted to leave the company, after being demoted and having his creative efforts stifled by newcomer Bruce Prichard and producer Eric Bischoff (whom Russo has had a rocky relationship with, dating back to their days in WCW).
Dave Meltzer would back this up on Sunday night's edition of Wrestling Observer Radio (available to subscribers only) noting that "Russo quit; Dixie Carter would never fire Vince Russo."
Carter has been a big-time supporter of Russo for years and steadfastly stuck with him, even as iMPACT struggled to get beyond 1.1s in the ratings, pay-per-view plummeted and most in wrestling slammed and berated his ability to properly book a good wrestling program.
Speaking about the situation, Alvarez wrote:
Russo's power had been limited in recent months. He'd gone from head booker to basically someone who filled out and wrote formatting sheets underneath Eric Bischoff and Bruce Prichard... Russo was said to be unhappy that his power was restricted, so, much like he did in WCW when the same thing happened, he opted to go home.
While many may hail this as a giant step in direction for Impact Wrestling (and certainly it is a step in the right direction), the fact that Russo gave up on them, rather than being fired for his shoddy booking skills, many not bode well for the company's chances in the future.