Gerald Brisco Opens Up About His WWE Release, Post-Release Meeting With Vince McMahon
Gerald Brisco Opens Up About His WWE Release, Post-Release Meeting With Vince McMahon
On a recent episode of The PWrestling.com Daily podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco sat down with PWrestling.com Managing Editor Nick Hausman to chat about his WWE release this past year. Brisco talked about being asked if was upset about his release after working with WWE for many decades, and he said he’s not because he can look back on the friendships he’s made throughout his career.
“When I got free, I kind of took a deep breath, and people said, ‘Weren’t you pissed off?’ People were trying to get dirt from me,” Brisco noted. “36 years with one company, I got dirt, but do I choose to go there? No, because I just think back on the wonderful friendships I made. I was there day one for Undertaker, and I felt bad I couldn’t be their last night, but with this damn virus, we can’t do a lot of things that we want to do.
“I just respect the holy cow out of him. I just got wonderful memories of guys like Mark [Callaway], and Bruce [Prichard], and Vince [McMahon], and Shane, and Stephanie, and Hunter (Triple H) and even guys that I didn’t get along with, warrior-type guys that had those attitudes and those egos and Luger’s and all those guys. I still got along with them, and I respect them in their own little frame. They’re just in a little egg shell, and there’s so much more out there. So when Vince and I talked and agreed it was time to draw to an end, and I haven’t quit totally.
“I’m still out there scouting college kids. I got college kids all over the place I talk to. I’m going to give them direction. The eagerness in me to help these young men and women in college and independent wrestling to get to another level. that’s what’s inside of me, that’s what my mom taught me all my all my life, to give back. And this is a great opportunity.”
Since his release, Brisco has had fun trolling fans on Twitter, which has come to a surprise to many seeing a 74-year-old man utilizing social media in a fun, creative way. He discussed how nothing is original and how everyone is just takes something and makes it their own and that is what he’s trying to do.
“So when it came to my release, I started sitting there. I’ve taken good care of my funds,” Brisco noted. “So I wasn’t in a panic. ‘What am I going to do? I’m going to be kicked out of my house or this. There wasn’t panic or anything like that. I’m fortunate I was taught that also by a bunch of fantastic old-timers in this business kid. It’s not what you make. It’s what you say, and so I took that to heart and lived with that credo my entire career.
“I started looking out there, and I started looking at the old thing [and see] different guys were doing. Nothing in the wrestling business is original and nothing on social media is original, unless you were the very first one. You can look out there and I always see guys looking for different moves and everything. Steal that move but refine it and change it a little bit where it’s your move and use it so much where people become familiar with it. Then that move becomes your move.
“It’s a move that you borrowed from somebody. We all borrow moves [like] the figure-four leglock. Ric Flair, I was over at Charlotte before Ric Flair. I left Charlotte. What did Ric Flair do? Because it was over, he did my figure-four. Why did I do the figure-four, because Buddy Rogers did the figure-four. So we all borrow stuff.”
Brisco continued where he touched on his new show “Mailbag with Gerald Brisco” on AdFreeShows.com. He talked about how much fun he’s having on the show answering questions from fans.
“I saw this wide-open world out there, and to a 74-year-old man, it’s intimidating as hell,” Brisco admitted. “But if I have friends like you, and friends like Taylor [Williamson] and my son’s that are active on social media and other guys and Bruce’s and all those guys, I give them a call. ‘Hey, how do I do this? How do I get started?’ And he’s in, and then Taylor came up, ‘Let’s just do these big announcements.’ And before that it was ‘Brisco’s Road Stories’ that Dale was helping me with it.
“I did a series about eight to ten of those saved. Told old road stories and those got a little bit too personal I think, and I was asked to kind of pull them back. So we came up with was something else, but [AdFreeShows.com] that I’m doing now for Conrad Thompson and the boys over there, it’s so much fun because I get to interact not one on one, but through questions and answer questions that fans send in.
“And I try to give them the best, most honest answer, and you know what, it might not be the answer they’re looking for, and it might not be the accurate answer, but it’s the the answer that I saw in my mind because I was there and I was asked a question. I experienced it. So I’m giving it to you in my verbiage not somebody else’s.”
Brisco then talked about his relationship with Vince McMahon noting that he has known McMahon since 1974. He recalled being sent to the northeast territory from the Mid-Atlantic region due to the amount of exposure wrestlers and territories get working in the northeast.
“I talked to my wife, and she can tell you, 36 years with a company, up and down with the company. We weren’t always the billion-dollar company,” Brisco pointed out. “In the mid-’90s, right after I started with them, we started having a talent issue. That’s when Turner started printing that money and guys started jumping. ‘I’m jumping down south to us there.’ So we were kind of hurting, and we all took pay cuts, and pay bumps and all that stuff, until the business came back.
“And Vince was very generous and gave us back what we lost, but the whole thing of it is, I’ve known Vince since 1974 when I went up and I did some shots from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling when they had a good relationship with Vince Sr. Back in those days, in your territory, New York was the place to be because of Apter magazines. [Bill] Apter made a few shots out here and there, but the promoters knew if you wanted that mainstream press, you had to send your guys to Madison Square Garden.
“So I was fortunate enough to be in that position where the promoter Eddie Graham, and Jim Crockett Sr. and Jim Jr. would send me to New York to do a shot with somebody. So all the mainstream magazines will get in, and that’s actually when I met Vince in ’72 or ’73.”
Brisco also recalled his first job under McMahon where he was a promoter in the Florida region. He noted that he’s never had an official position under McMahon, but he has been “involved in more major decisions in that company.”
“We weren’t best of friends, but there were times where him and his dad would be in Florida for a holiday, and we’d be running showing in Miami or Lauderdale or Hollywood, Florida,” Brisco recalled. “And they would drop in, so I always had some type of relationship with Vince, and then I started to work for him. And when my brother and I decided to make the deal to start working for him, I started as a local promoter, basically doing Tampa, Florida and Florida.
“And then my town started doing well, and then all of a sudden, he thought, ‘Hey, would you like to do Georgia? We can’t get buildings in Carolina. You think you could help us?’ I’d make a trip to Carolina and talk to the building manager because of my relationship with the Crockett’s a from the old days. I was always looking at that business side because that’s where I knew I eventually wanted to end up was on the business side of this sport. That’s how I ended up getting a lucky start, done a lot of hard work. That’s how I ended up on on that side. From a local promotion, he brought me up, and I’ve done a plethora of jobs for Vince.
“I never really even had an official position with Vince, and one of the reasons why, I’ve probably been involved in more major decisions in that company than just about anybody from the very beginning. And I’ve never been on officer or never had an official title in that company, but I was involved in that, and I don’t know why. Maybe because Vince likes me? I doubt it. Because I had something to offer is more likely so I had a great relationship with him and have a great relationship with Vince.”
Hausman asked Brisco about McMahon calling him about his release, and Brisco spoke again about people asking him if he was pissed off about his release. He admitted that he was angered a bit, but he reiterated that he then reflects on the relationships he’s made and the accomplishments that he’s achieved throughout his career.
“So when he called me, everybody said, ‘were you pissed off?’ How can you be pissed off when you spend 36 years with somebody like that and help them grow a company from the ground level into the empire that has grown into that,” Brisco pointed out. “Did I have a little anger. Yeah, I was a little angered, but most of all when I get angry, I just think of the relationships and the accomplishments that was done during that 36 years and it just blows my mind. So I walk out of there with a clear clean conscience that I gave him everything I had and a clear clean conscious that he reimbursed me for all the effort that I had.”
Brisco revealed on the podcast that WWE contacted him to film a segment with Bray Wyatt on his property in Florida after his release. He said Bruce Prichard was there, which was not a surprise to him but what was a surprise was McMahon himself driving down to the location to chat with him. He talked about how much that meant to him, and he discussed how McMahon is in real life.
“Well, I was a real fortunate. We did a taping here right after I got let go matter of fact,” Brisco recalled. “I’ve got some [property] here in Keystone, FL, and Bruce knew about it. Bruce called me. ‘Hey, would you allow us to come in and do some filming? We want to do some filming with Bray Wyatt,’ and I said, ‘I got the perfect spot for it.’ So they did, and I was really shocked because Vince never shows up to these remote tapings or anything. And we got a phone call in the middle of the afternoon that Vince was coming by for me. He was going to drive over from Orlando. [He’s going to] have a car bring him over from Orlando, come over and say hello to me.
“It didn’t shock me that Bruce was coming over because Bruce is my brother, but it did shock me that Vince would take the time out of his schedule after flying all the way down from Connecticut, going through all the protocols and everything that you got to go through, get in the car and drive another hour and a half, come over and visit me for an hour and a half. So we got to talk a little bit. To get a relationship with Vince, takes effort on your part because Vince, contrary to what you see on TV, is not one of those guys that’s really in your face all the time.
“He’s media shy, he’s fan shy and he’s group shy. He’s not good in group conversation, but if you got something that you want to talk to Vince about business-wise, you can go to him and, you can ask a lot of people, his door’s always open. I hate it when people walk out of there with bad perceptions of Vince, and sometimes, I think it’s unfair. And sometimes, I think it’s right, but there’s more guys that don’t feel about how I feel about him, that feel about him like I do, so he’s a strange cat.”
Hausman then asked Brisco if he foresees Vince stepping down and turning over leadership to either Stephanie, Triple H or Shane. Brisco spoke highly of Vince’s work ethic especially towards his physical and metal wellbeing before saying I don’t see it in my lifetime, and I don’t see it in his lifetime.
“Vince is one of the most healthiest guys I’ve ever been around in my life,” Brisco said. “He takes care of his body better than anybody. He eats the right things. He drinks the right things, and he can’t go without working out. He would leave TV in the middle of day. Vince is working out. We knew at a certain time and day, Vince would go work out, and we had to get keep on with doing what we’re doing there.
“As long as Vince stays healthy, and I know this is going to be a disappointment to some of the fans out there, as long as Vince McMahon stays healthy, he’s able to make the trip physically, and even though you got your own jet, your own car, limo, I’m here to tell you. I’ve been in that jet and out of those limos. He don’t stop working. Sometimes, we’ll fly across the country, and we’re talking business. They’ll land from New York and LA, and we hadn’t finished talking about business. Vince will not open that door. That door will be opened until we finish our business that we’re talking about.
“So I feel he is taking more input from other sources, but do I think, as long as his mind is mentally fit, his body is mentally fit, that he’ll relinquish 100%? I don’t see it in my lifetime, and I don’t see it in his lifetime. I think it’s going to be one of those things where maybe, I hope it never happens, but where he’s not mentally stable or not physically healthy enough to make these trips. That damn guy got a hip replacement on a Friday, and on a Monday night, he was taking a damn bump on the ramp of Monday Night RAW. This guy’s a freak!”
“Mailbag with Gerald Brisco” is now available on AdFreeShows.com! New episodes drop every other Monday. Gerald’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The PWrestling.com Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.