The mid-90s marked the beginning of the most exciting and controversial era in the history of pro wrestling. The days of Hulkamania and Saturday morning cartoons were gone—fan interest waned, the on-air product became dated and ratings plummeted. And then, from Long Island, New York, the WW’'s billionaire owner Vincent Kennedy McMahon found a most unlikely savior.Ask any wrestling fan about Vince Russo and you're sure to get a heated reaction. Opinion varies, but it's always passionate: the guy’s a genius; or he single-handedly ruined the sport. Either way, Russo is perhaps the most enigmatic and influential figure in modern wrestling. What’s weird about being “the most hated man” in an industry where public ire is money in the bank? Vince Russo wasn’t even a wrestler—he just wrote the stuff.A visionary trendsetter, Russo surfed the zeitgeist. Before phrases like “shock TV” and “reality TV” were ever uttered, Russo brought those revolutions to pro wrestling fans worldwide. Part of the select few responsible for creating the late 90s phenomenon known as “sports entertainment,” as lead writer Russo took the WWF's flagship program Monday Night Raw to unimaginable heights, its 8 Nielsen rating market share making it, to this day, the highest rated cable program in television history. Forgiven: One Man's Journey from Self-Glorification to Sanctification is the book that every wrestling fan has been waiting for&mdashfor the first time fans will get the true story from the man who was involved with it all. Other books have touched on the successes and tragedies&mdashthe double cross that cost Bret Hart his championship and ruined his two decade long father/son relationship with Vince McMahon; the rise to superstardom of “The Heartbreak Kid&rdquo Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and The Rock; the tragic accidental death of Owen Har&mdashbut none can offer this perspective: Vince Russo was part of it all, writing it all. But Forgiven is not just destined to be another best-selling wrestling book. Here, the most misunderstood man in sports entertainment finally comes clean&mdashwith the fans, and more importantly, with himself. A touching and beautifully written memoir, Forgiven offers Russo's life, his work, and his very soul as a modern day parable about the price of success. In heart breaking detail he shows how a “Godforsaken&rdquo business and the desire for power and acclaim led him, unwittingly, into a spiritual wasteland. As one of TV's most successful writers of the late 90s, there was nothing he wouldn't put before the camera to make wrestling entertainment's hottest commodity. But as he became more and more successful&mdashwith million dollar a year salaries being dangled before him&mdashhe became despondent. Ultimately, Vince Russo's Forgiven becomes a story of redemption. In the end, it is Russo's faith and family, not his “role” in professional wrestling, that bring him true happiness. Finding guidance and forgiveness in God, he becomes more powerful than he ever was helping to guide an entertainment empire.
Vince Russo landed a job as a freelancer at WWF Magazine. A year later, he became its editor. After a successful run at WWF, rival organization Wwcw hired him away to head their creative department. In 2002, Russo returned to the WWE as the creative force behind NWA-TNA. He recently retired from the business to become a Christian minister.
Published: November 2005
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.