While it can't be proven that there was not some intention of the audience thinking about the former writer — a more logical explanation is Johnny Russo is the name of a current WWE creative writer who likely was the one who helped write that segment and letter for The Miz to read.
Luke Gallows Returns To United States
Former WWE and TNA star Luke "DOC" Gallows has been spending most of the year in Japan with great success in The Bullet Club. He will be making a rare appearance in the United States this year for a show on August 15th in Jackson, Georgia. The event is called "WrestleMerica" and will take place at the Georgia National Guard Armory. Tickets for ringside are $12.