We have more details about the highly-publicized departure of Vince Russo from TNA Impact Wrestling. To avoid confusion, this story went down in three parts and they are as follows:
- Russo made a "power play"
- TNA called his bluff
- Russo made the decision to leave the company
First of all Dixie Carter had hoped to talk Russo into changing his mind about quitting so things were kept very quiet. This is the reason for the conflicting reports as Dixie didn't want word getting out to the talent and crew in hopes Russo changed his mind and he might be back in a few days.
As for the power play, Russo had been discontent for awhile about his diminishing power backstage in TNA over the last couple of years. Russo's argument was that ratings had not improved as his control slipped and if anything, they had gone down (which is not completely far-fetched and probably closer to accurate than not). While the complaining was nothing new, I'm told Russo recently went to Dixie Carter and gave an ultimatum - either he was given more control over the creative direction or he was leaving.
According to a source close to the situation, Russo implied he could return to WWE, working for their upcoming television network at a higher salary but stayed loyal to TNA. However, my source says Russo was upset with the ratings slide and wanted the chance to get more control over the creative direction or he was gone.
Russo's play for more power didn't work out but Dixie asked him to stay. I'm told she pursued him even after he actually quit to try and come to a resolution. Russo's problem was that she would not budge on the power structure and stood behind what is termed the Bruce Prichard/Eric Bischoff regime. Remember, while Russo, Prichard and Matt Conway were writing the TV scripts, Bischoff had (and still has) final say.
I'm told no one took Russo's threat seriously as first, although many were hoping he would go through with it as several people have tried to force him out the last several years and Dixie has always stood by him in support and refused to fire him.
We should find out soon enough if Russo really is WWE bound, however, that's how his departure played out behind-the-scenes.