In 2013, Jeff Lane self-published a book chronicling his 11 years of experience in the restaurant industry–it was only a year later that his writing ability landed him a position working with Vince Russo’s website. Writing lead to more responsibilities and eventually a spot alongside Vince as co-host for his daily podcast on Podcastone.
ADuelGet! spoke with Jeff Lane about his experience as a wrestling fan and how he eventually came to work alongside one of his idols in the business.
When did you first become a fan of professional wrestling?
WrestleMania 4 was the first event I ever watched as a child, and I was hooked. I’d watch WWF with my grandpa anytime a new Coliseum Home Video was released, as well as Superstars on Saturday afternoons. I lost interest around 1994 or so, as I was growing up and the product wasn’t. The nWo brought me back as a fan when I was in college, and the rise of the Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars as a whole kept me hooked.
Do you believe that the Attitude Era was the greatest period in professional wrestling?
That’s a tough question. Would be top 2 for sure in my opinion. How do you make a decision between the Attitude Era and the mid-late 80’s? Both eras brought new fans in masses to professional wrestling. I don’t believe there has been another period or product that has had the same effect other than those two.
What is wrong with today’s wrestling product?
This could be a two page answer. In short, I don’t believe they are putting out a product that appeals to the average television viewer. Ratings & ticket sales show that the business booms when you have larger than life athletes & characters, engaging soap opera type storylines, and matches that look like a real physical contest. All of that is missing today, and the fanbase grows smaller and more niche by the month.
How did you become friends with Vince Russo and what lead to you becoming his co-host on Russo’s Brand?
The work of Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara is what first interested me in the creative aspect of professional wrestling. After watching Survivor Series ’98, I decided that I wanted to try and get involved in writing. After college, I joined up with a professional wrestling school in Syracuse, NY which was ran by independent wrestler Zaquary Springate III. The school was unique, as not only did they teach the students how to wrestle, but they taught them TV by filming a weekly show. I got started in the business by writing their TV. I moved on to do some work with other indy promotions, and that’s where I met one of my best friends Rudy Charles (WWE’s Dan Engler).
Rudy worked closely with Vince in TNA, and I used our common connection as a reference when I applied at Vince’s first website in 2014, years after I had left the wrestling scene. I started as a writer on there, but my work led to more opportunities as Vince saw what I could do. When Vince moved to RELM in 2015, he offered me the opportunity to produce and co-host the shows.
What does a typical day managing The Brand look like?
Some days are more challenging than others. Daily duties include posting content on RussosBrand.com, running the social media accounts, and editing the next day’s show if need be.
Wednesdays are usually my busiest day, as I spend practically the whole day producing, filming, and editing Castrating the Marks. I also spend time editing/posting our free archive videos, posting other contributors content, watching the current WWE product, and filming/producing our other RELM Network / PodcastOne episodes.
A lot of changes have been introduced to the format lately to critical acclaim—how did these changes come about and what should we expect from Russo’s Brand in the future?
Vince, thanks to a moment of clarity provided by the Disco Inferno, realized that our listeners want to hear Vince talk about wrestling. He’s giving The Brand what they want. Castrating the Marks was Vince’s creation based on his idea to incorporate audio/video clips into our episodes, and provide a humorous way to discredit the so-called “experts” who have been warping the opinions of wrestling fans for far too long.
Going forward you can expect more wrestling content, including a look into more shows that Vince was involved with, as we did recently with the April 10, 2000 WCW Monday Nitro. Based on fan feedback, we are also now reviewing the WWE PPV events.
Are you still working with Rocky Mountain Pro?
I’m still doing some website work for them, but I haven’t worked on a show since Vince moved from Colorado. I was honored to write episodes 12 and 13 of season 1, which are now posted free on FiteTV. Vince is still consulting for them, and he’s talked with me about helping him with that. He also may be moving back to Colorado, so I hope to contribute again when that happens. RMP owner Matt Yaden is a phenomenal human being, and it was a privilege to work with him and hope to do so again.
What personal goals do you have beyond Russo’s Brand?
My #1 goal is to continue our growth of The Brand, but beyond that, I just want to write. Whether in professional wrestling or not isn’t a sticking point. I would love to write comic books and television as well.
What is the best way that people can support The Brand?
Listening to and sharing our shows five days a week! We’re on PodcastOne absolutely free, but we also offer a VIP Membership on The RELM Network where you can see these shows on video before the audio versions are released. VIPs also get exclusive castrations on Castrating the Marks, and can watch Vince and myself film our WWE RAW or SmackDown reviews live and ask Vince questions in the chat room. All information is at RussosBrand.com and you can also follow us on Twitter for all Brand news.