As the head writer of WWE’s popular “Attitude Era,” Vince Russo wrote twisty storylines for superstars like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock. But now he’s in a feud with its own wild turns — one of which has cost him his relationship with PodcastOne, the network that until recently hosted his many shows packed with wrestling commentary.
Russo said PodcastOne canceled his channel after wrestling blogger Ryan Satin accused Russo’s fans of threatening to kill his girlfriend when Russo and his “Castrating the Marks” co-host, Jeff Lane, mocked the couple. A “mark” in wrestle-speak is a fan who takes wrestling much too seriously.
Russo and Satin have history: Satin has accused Russo of saying racist, sexist and homophobic things about wrestling fans, and asked sponsors to leave Russo’s podcasts. Russo said he lost one advertiser as a result.
On the March 8 episode of “Castrating,” Russo and Lane mocked Satin and his girlfriend, who asked not to be named for this story, after Satin’s girlfriend posted a video online in which she and Satin kiss while wearing facial masks and watching the Oscars.
Russo repeatedly called Satin a “douchebag” and referred to the couple as “abnormal” and “ill,” but he did not name Satin’s girlfriend or suggest anyone reach out to her. (You can catch the comments at the 41-minute mark in the video above.).
Satin, a former TMZ reporter who now runs popular blog Wrestling Sheet, said Russo has also made derogatory remarks about the couple behind a paywall.
Satin said his girlfriend received “death threats” after the March 8 episode aired. As a result, he reached out to Russo in what Satin said was an attempt to squash their beef and have Russo “call his fanbase off.” Russo says the call devolved into Satin cursing him off instead of providing details on the threatening parties.
Russo did not address the issue with his listeners. Unsatisfied, Satin lobbied PodcastOne to remove Russo. Some of Satin’s 39,000 Twitter followers did the same.
What happened next is a bit confusing, especially because PodcastOne declined comment on this story.
Russo complained on YouTube that he had been canceled, and railed against PodcastOne. But he later said PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz called and offered him his show back, blaming a “miscommunication.”
Russo said he “declined” Pattiz’s offer. He has moved his podcasts over to the RELM Network, where Russo has also hosted shows for years.
Here’s his video update:
UPDATE ON @PodcastOne Earlier today after I sent an e-mail to PC1 saying I was getting my lawyer involved, Norm Pattiz, owner of company, called to say there was a "miscommunication". He said I could stay on their platform if I so chose-I declined. https://t.co/nKTmpJCn9O
— Vince Russo (@THEVinceRusso) March 22, 2018
Russo doesn’t sound too broken up over parting ways with PodcastOne, which is the home to “The Adam Carolla Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show” and “Small Town Murder.” After all, Russo said he’s only made $1,100 over the past three months at PodcastOne.
The 57-year-old script consultant for pro-wrestling promotion Aro Lucha did not say how much he makes or will make with RELM, but Russo believes it will be more. RELM costs a subscriber $3.95 per month, and a number of Russo supporters have pledged to follow him over to the pay platform.
Whether or not this turns into a financial windfall for Russo, Satin said justice was served.
“It’s nice to see that there are companies who care more about human life than the bottom dollar,” Satin told TheWrap. “I’m truly thankful PodcastOne has decided to stop giving a powerful platform to someone who willfully spews hateful rhetoric and sits idly by while his toxic fan base harasses an innocent bystander.”
Russo, who has had plenty to say about the situation on Twitter and over his subsequent podcasts and YouTube broadcasts, maintains that nothing he and Lane bantered about encouraged anyone to threaten Satin’s girlfriend. He isn’t convinced there really were death threats.
“I… asked him numerous times on the phone who was issuing the threats, and could he pass them along to me so I could address them if they were indeed coming from anyone that was supporting me,” Russo told TheWrap. “He couldn’t supply me with a name. Or one threatening text. He still hasn’t even though hundreds now have asked to to supply the proof.”
All of Russo’s content has been removed from the PodcastOne landing page.