Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Russomania

Simple, straightforward question: are there any ideas/gimmicks from the Russo era that you'd like to see resurrected today?

Example: I'm probably crazy, but I kind of miss the 24/7 hardcore title defenses. Sure, the matches were train wrecks but for the most part, they were fun to watch, if only to see how far they'd take the "anywhere, anytime" title defense concept.


​Russo was fine as an idea man behind a filter, but his issue is that he wanted to be the guy running the sh​ow.  Someone on the blog had a great suggestion where Russo gets a huge cheque to come in one day and throw 150 of his best ideas at Vince and the writers, then fuck off back to New York again forever.  Then they can take those ideas and distill them into a watchable wrestling program.  If the show starts to get boring again, call up Russo again, repeat as needed.  

The 24/7 stuff was fun for sure, although it wore out its welcome pretty quick past a certain point.  However, the "hardcore" genre in general as defined by that time was something that needs exploring again, because it featured a variety of different locales and settings, even if it's just going backstage for a match as a change of pace.  I do also miss chaotic brawls from the Austin/Rock heyday where it was basically safe but just all sorts of crazy stuff going on.  There was an APA open bar fight challenge in the post-Russo era that was trying for that spirit but didn't quite get there.  I think Steve Austin would also be a really good idea man for that sort of thing, if he actually cared enough to get involved with creative.  Which he wouldn't.  I also feel like they should hire Bret Hart to come up with finishes.  But we're getting off-base from Russo here.

One thing I did like about his involvement in TNA was making the backstage stuff more organic, rather than "robotic interviewer asks retarded question" as setup for someone cutting a promo.  Even up to the early 2000s, they used to have much better backstage segments and they've totally fallen off of that, which is ironic because the shows are now 3 hours and there's more time to fill with exactly that sort of thing.  Like go back and watch the Christian/Jericho/Lita/Trish stuff sometime, or of course the gold standard like the random wacky running storylines with Mick Foley and Edge/Christian/Angle.  I know that stuff wasn't Russo, but a big part of his deal was coming up with character moments for guys in the midcard like that, which gave you World's Greatest Curtain Jerker the Godfather.  That is absolutely the spot that Enzo and Cass should be occupying right now on the main roster, no question.  


154 comments:

  1. I wouldn't be surprised if McMahon might start getting ideas from Russo now that ratings are at almost historic lows, kind of like how he got ideas from Heyman back in the mid 90s. Although, I think McMahon is much more isolated in his own little bubble now than he was back then.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One thing that I think Russo did do well was give midcard guys something, like the Godfather.


    Everything else...geez, many people suggest Russo worked because his ideas were filtered, but looking back....a lot of that stuff from the Attitude era has aged horribly.


    Attitude era got hot because of how different the product was from traditional wrestling, and they had a teenage audience that ate it up. This is the same crowd that now boos and hijacks major PPV shows.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I didn't hate him turning Alex Wright into Berlyn in WCW but I think they killed that because it had too much of a Columbine vibe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would be. He's as toxic as it gets.


    And at the end of the day, he's still the guy that killed two companies.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Every person on TV had a storyline and a gimmick. What was Luke Harper's storyline for the last 6 months? What is Ryback besides a big muscular guy? What is Big Show's motivation (is he still with the authority)?

    ReplyDelete
  6. At the end of the day, they had Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Vince McMahon. Three of the best performers in the history of the business.


    I agree, you look back on a lot of the filler stuff that screamed being Russo ideas and it's bad, but it was easy to ignore because of the stuff going on at the top.

    ReplyDelete
  7. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    So what? He still was the brainchild behind one of the biggest boom periods in wrestling history. You can bash his booking style's shelf-life not being so high and not being able to adjust to the complementary times, but you're trying to rewrite history. Russo created the Attitude Era.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Most episodes today feel so forgetable. Russo at last made stuff that people remembered 18 years later (like the choppy choppy pee pee).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I didn't say it'd be a good idea. But, at the end of the day, we don't really know what McMahon thinks about Russo.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Attitude Era is nothing without Austin, Rock, McMahon.


    And he had nothing to do with the creation of any of those gimmicks. Even he, who is a well established liar and revisionist, doesn't have the balls to claim credit for those himself.


    Strip those away and what are you left with? Gang Warz? Val Venis? Goldust & Luna doing stupid shit each week.


    To say he created the Attitude Era isn't quite accurate. Russo created a style called Crash TV. And he deserves credit for that. The successful parts of that Attitude largely have to do with the talent.

    ReplyDelete
  11. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    To give Russo zero credit for making the Stone Cold Steve Austin character is bullshit. Russo came up with concepts to make that character larger-than-life. Austin riding in a beer truck, Austin running over Rock's car, Austin filling up McMahon's car with cement, or Austin pretending he was going to shoot McMahon. Yes, Austin was without a doubt tremendously talented, but Russo's ideas elevated that character to higher levels.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't know if the Russo of today has a lot of ideas to filter though. He complained recently about Sami Zayn and Owen's debuts being done incorrectly, but he never really said what he would have done differently.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As memory serves, I believe Berlyn debuted a week or two before the Columbine massacre as he was shown sitting in the crowd on Nitro as the announcers were aghast that this trenchcoat-wearing, mohawk-sporting person was Alex Wright.

    He seemingly disappeared for several weeks after Columbine.

    I believe the original concept was for Berlyn to be a neo-nazi before the militaristic aspects of the character were naturally toned way down.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The 24/7 title was a Chris Kreski idea. It came post-Russo.

    ReplyDelete
  15. agreed. Most things with Cena are so forgetable. He can put on great matches but I don't remember any great "Austin-like" moments from him in the last 5 years.

    ReplyDelete
  16. All that was way, way pre-Russo, though. Columbine was on April 20 of '99 and Berlyn's re-debut came shortly before Russo's arrival.

    ReplyDelete
  17. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    Sure, and you have to give Russo a lot of credit for keeping those characters fresh and finding ways to arc their characters. He discovered ways to keep raising the bar, especially with the Austin character. Austin would do something one week that was never done before and then they would raise the bar the next week.


    He did create the Attitude Era. He pitched the idea and was the HEAD WRITER OF THE SHOW. Honestly, WWF might not even be here if it was not for Russo. Russo's ideas took a company that was on its deathbed and turned it into a juggernaut.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That stuff went on for a long time, though. The whole gothic trenchcoat thing was a big deal for a while back then. I could see Turner S&P giving him shit for that gimmick once they saw it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    Kreski was the perfect writer. Piggybacked off Russo's creations, but put an emphasis on continuity and the in-ring wrestling.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My guess is something like this: They start out as a tag team. Midway through the first match, Owens turns on Zayn and beats him up, but when the opponents try to get the pin, he breaks it up and tags himself in. Once Zayn is recovered, he turns on Owens and lays him out. Near the end of the match, we find out it was a SWERVE that they set up and they've been friends and a team all along.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Enzo should be a manager with a stable of people on the main roster right now, the guy is hilarious, and has a Jimmy Hart Bobby Heenan vibe to him.

    ReplyDelete
  22. AND YOU CAN'T...TEACH...THAT!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, I don't doubt that. And in all honesty yanking the character after Columbine was the right move. It wasn't anybody's fault, just a bad coincidence, but you simply couldn't have a guy walking around on wrestling TV whose look revolved around a black trenchcoat.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Are you Vince Russo or running his fan club or something?

    ReplyDelete
  25. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    I don't even like the guy, but it's ridiculous how fans make fun of WWE for trying to rewrite history, then do the same exact thing. Sometimes, people just can't give the devil his due.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hated the 24-7 rule. The logic gap was too much - why bother showing up for a match in the ring at all? You can't lose the title and even if they stripped it, you can just find the champ and pin him anywhere. That concept was ok for like one show

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anybody else think a ranking system wouldn't be half bad, make wins/losses matter and possibly make an everyday raw match more interesting? Like the WWE Champion is at top obviously. Wins and loses earn or deduct points from a wrestler, even how a wrestler wins or loses determines the points. For example a pin/submission victory earns a wrestler 15 points, count out 10 points, DQ 5 points. A wrestler loses the same points in a similar fashion.

    Whoever is the lead on points by the PPV gets the title shot. This could lead to some nail biting RAWs right before a PPV with the leader in points intently watching the wrestler second in points match. Even have last minute change ups occasionally. Maybe if the WWE doesn't want to do this with the WWE Title, try it on the IC Title first. I think this could be something interesting to try at least during the summer months to see if it catches on. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  28. You're overvaluing his contributions.


    Vince McMahon and Vince McMahon alone booked these shows. Russo pitched ideas.


    Building Austin, building Rock, building HHH, giving Mick Foley his moment, push Angle to the moon in his first year, building HUGE PPVs that drew huge buyrates. That's booking.



    And that's a huge reason by WCW failed under Russo. Because he didn't understand what draws money in wrestling.


    Again, he deserves credit for the Crash TV style but don't be fooled. You could argue Jim Ross deserves as much credit as anyone because he was the guy who signed all this talent, several of which he had to beg McMahon to consider (especially in the cases of Austin and Foley)

    ReplyDelete
  29. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:26 PM

    Evolve tried that and it got old fast.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The Network would be perfect to bring back the 24/7 hardcore title. They could literally have breaking moments at all times on the Network, like news channels with breaking news alerts.

    ReplyDelete
  31. That would be an ok use of Russo, I suppose. I always hated his booking, but liked that mid-carders were on the show a little more. Most of the matches on shows in 1998-1999 sucked though. Sure some of the main events were pretty awesome, but for the most part match quality suffered.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Bring back the WCW Top Ten for singles and tags, but for WWE!!! Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Before I go on, Russo sucks. Like, really sucks. But I will give him two things ... 1) Every guy on the roster had something to do. When you watched Raw (and NItro even) if you were on television you had a role. 2) He did want to push the right guys, especially in WCW he was all for the Eddies, Benoits, and Reys of the world. He was just HORRIBLE at doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Totally agree. Most filler stuff was putrid, but the main events and the stars were awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Michinoku-Pro!!! (Kaientai)

    ReplyDelete
  36. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    (1) Vince McMahon has never written a show in his entire life. He overlooked what Russo wrote and made tweaks.


    (2) By 1998, Russo became the head writer. After the Survivor Series 1998's success, McMahon gave him more freedom.


    (3) Again, Russo had lots of input on those characters.


    (4) Yes, Russo needs filter, but WCW failed for so many other reasons than just Russo.


    (5) Jim Ross deserves lots of credit too.


    (6) Nevertheless, Russo came up with the Attitude Era idea where Vince McMahon was completely burnt-out and running around like a chicken without his head. McMahon had no idea how to counteract WCW's success. If Russo didn't pitch the Attitude Era, they would have been screwed. Meltzer said that if WWF lost money in 1998, they would have been bankrupted.

    ReplyDelete
  37. In regards to the second point, I think most people in wrestling realized that. That WCW situation was more about Bischoff and Hogan just not giving a shit. But Heyman loved those guys when he had them, WWE did push those guys when they got them. It just speaks to how inept Bischoff and Hogan were at anything other than promoting Hogan.


    Russo is a guy who probably has some value on a writing team, or at least did at a point in time. I don't know how in touch he is with today's audience, but he understood the WWF audience in 1998.


    Russo is the last guy you want booking a company. He's just inept and doesn't understand wrestling.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You have to admit that Bischoff got Goldberg right.

    ReplyDelete
  39. You had to do more than find the champ; you had to find a referee as well.

    Though it was never mentioned, you probably had to find a cameraman too.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Bret Hart's concussion would beg to differ.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Clearly you have a point of view, and it's not going to change and you're entitled to that.


    I'd just say I think you're confusing what a writer does versus what a booker does.

    Vince McMahon makes the cards. Vince McMahon tells his staff who he wants pushed. Vince McMahon lays out the future of the company and how it's going to flow over a six month to year period.


    The writers pitch ideas to conform to Vince's needs. The writers don't book.


    If you do everything the WWF was doing in 1998 stylistically but do it with Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner as your top guys, that company does die.


    The talent they had and the recognition by the owner of their ability to draw money is what saved that company.


    And even in terms of the written content on shows, Vince Russo wasn't scripting promos like they're scripting now. So the guys selling the matches on these RAWs, your Austins, Rocks, HHHs, Foleys, Angles. A lot of that is just them.


    Again, I'm not saying the guy was worthless, just that he's not as significant as he claims to be.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Up until he gave away Hogan/Goldberg for free.

    ReplyDelete
  43. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    Bischoff was inept? He almost put WWF out of business. Wow, you like ignoring history, don't you?

    ReplyDelete
  44. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    "Again, I'm not saying the guy was worthless, just that he's not as significant as he claims to be."


    By and large, that's the problem. In his world, he believes he created everything that occurred in the Attitude Era. Not even close. However, he had one of the biggest contributions to the Attitude Era and came up with the concept. Therefore, there's a valid argument to make that without Russo, there likely wouldn't have been an Attitude Era.


    I know the difference between booker and writer, but McMahon is neither. McMahon is a promoter.

    ReplyDelete
  45. He made him a star and got a huge gate. What happened afterwards doesn't invalidate his success.

    ReplyDelete
  46. WCW's masters were Turner - Nitro's rating was more important than pay per view buyrates.

    ReplyDelete
  47. These people took the most well funded, well promoted, firmly backed company in the history of wrestling, which was basically afforded unlimited funding, and drove it out of business. Why are you acting like they're geniuses?


    He bought most of Vince's talent, and he stole the nWo idea from Japan. And that bought him the year and a half at the top. And then he ran the company into ground. That's just a fact. He was fired for how drastically that changed. They went from making tens of millions in 1997 and 1998 to tens of millions in losses over night.

    ReplyDelete
  48. And he popped a big rating for them when they needed it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Also ... I'll never understand his obsession with making Jeff Jarrett a world champion.

    ReplyDelete
  50. so like the TNA top 10 or the bound for glory series?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Yep. They also gave away Luger submitting Hogan for the title the year before for free on television, too.

    ReplyDelete
  52. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    You just like debunking everyone's success in the business. JCP/WCW didn't even come close of topping WWF for 20 something years beforehand. It took Bischoff a few years to become the king of the mountain.

    ReplyDelete
  53. You could do some interesting stuff - only 8 people in with a winner & losers bracket. A clause allows substitutes to wrestle if the competitor is injured might give advantages to stables. Guys having to fight in spite of injuries because forfeit cost more points than a loss. Someone taking an early round DQ loss to injure an opponent so he loses later matches. It could be a nice plot device, but what's the motivation?

    ReplyDelete
  54. they had tons of title changes on house shows. Shawn Stasiak had 15 runs for the title lasting less than 1 day in all of them combined.

    ReplyDelete
  55. He had the right idea just poor execution a lot of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  56. They didn't need it. They were toe to toe with WWE, they just couldn't stand that WWE was pulling some ratings wins and rather than make some substantial changes to the product, they blew their load on a one week ratings win when that program could have drawn them probably the biggest PPV haul in company history if they had build it right.

    ReplyDelete
  57. In Chikara you get a point by winning a match ,and lose all your points by losing a match. Pin,submission,DQ,it's all the same 1 point. When you get 3 points you wrestle the champion for the belt at the next show he's not already signed to wrestle on.
    Tag teams work independently of that. Say you and I win two tag matches where you make the pin. Then you win a 1 on 1 match. You and I would have 2 points toward the tag gold,you personally would have one towards the singles belt.

    ReplyDelete
  58. They bought Hulk Hogan. And they bought Randy Savage. And they bought Kevin Nash. And they bought Scott Hall. And they bought Lex Luger.


    It's not rocket science. They spent Vince into near submission.

    ReplyDelete
  59. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:52 PM

    So they brought in old stars who were doing next-for-nothing for WWF at the time and turned them into people that fans wanted to see again. Kudos to Bischoff.

    ReplyDelete
  60. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    This. Russo had a lot of great ideas. He just needed other people to fit it into the context of wrestling.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Russo was great at creating gimmicks or repackages but rarely thought of ways to continue to build that character and often times put what could be a great gimmick on the wrong guy.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I looked a lot like Berlyn back then and it was weird for awhile. The same people who used to try and give you shit were suddenly scared to even look at you.
    A month later no one cared,they were back to watching survivor and worrying about video game violence or whatever else regular people do.

    ReplyDelete
  63. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 8:56 PM

    I thought that was his biggest problem in TNA. Lots of good initial ideas that just flounder over time. He was good at pitching ideas. He was just not great at narrating a story with them.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I can't imagine anyone, Bret Hart or not, being hired just to work on finishes these days. They don't care about the match or how it ends, as long as they guy they want to win wins so he can cement his legacy or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I don't think he's interested in being 'part' of a team. I think he'd want to head a team.

    ReplyDelete
  66. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    Pat Patterson was the best finisher guy ever. The Rumble has deeply suffered since his departure.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I don't think anybody is arguing that wasn't sucessful. But as Fuji - he then flushed it all down the toilet.

    He had one great idea (or rather, some other guys had a great idea on his watch) - and when it eventually dried up he had nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  68. CashRulesEverythingAroundMEJune 9, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    I foresee it as him trying to devalue his success. Bischoff did become burnt-out and simply couldn't continue to compete with how hot WWF had become. He also allowed his ego to get in the way, which made kind of put his guard down for a while. Hence: WCW getting lazy in 1997-98. However, he did something no one ever did before: turned WCW into the most popular company in the world at one time. If it was as easy as Fuj said it was, then why did no one else do it long before?

    ReplyDelete
  69. That was a smart idea though, especially since Lex lost the title 5 days later at Road Wild. The plan was always for Sting/Hogan, Lex was never gonna get an extended title reign. Might as well pop a big rating, especially since the PPV rematch was already booked in advance for Road Wild.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Russo is a lot like Mike D'Antoni. They have a system. They only know of one way to do things. When they have those parts who fit their system, you see great results. When you don't, even if the parts are super talented in other ways, Russo and D'Antoni refuse to adapt and instead try to force a square peg into a round hole.


    2015 WWE does not have the parts that would fit a Vince Russo system.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I might be wrong here, but didnt that 24/7 thing happen AFTER Russo left?

    ReplyDelete
  72. He had a lot of ideas. "Great", not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I get the feeling Russo could write a REALLY GOOD episode of some shitty 90s sitcom, like Step By Step. Or Family Matters. But he sucks at writing for jacked-up dudes and chicks play fighting in their underwear.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I never stopped to think, why didn't the first guy to pin Crash Holly immediately put a stop to the 24/7 title defense? Why was a decision Crash Holly made as legally binding as every decision Mr. McMahon made?

    ReplyDelete
  75. Pop a big rating, pop a big buyrate, the difference is negligible, and wouldn't have changed anything.

    ReplyDelete
  76. A big buyrate brings more money - especially since WCW didn't get much ad revenue.


    But in the long run it wouldn't have made a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  77. MikeTenay, going into business for himself and Goldberg everyweek on commentary had more to do with getting his streak over than Bischoff.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Vince Russo:Pro Wrestling::Rob Liefeld:Comics::Rob Zombie:Films

    All great idea men tons of passion but the need those filters so things dont become a jumbled mess

    ReplyDelete
  79. If Russo has one good idea out of 100, how much confidence do we actually have in WWE these days to pick that good idea and not go for the stupid crap?

    ReplyDelete
  80. Adam "Colorado" CurryJune 9, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    The only OK use of Russo is as a car bumper in a crash test.

    ReplyDelete
  81. consider this stolen!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Adam "Colorado" CurryJune 9, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    Russo is a piece of shit and the worst thing that ever happened to wrestling. Fuck that shithead with a pineapple covered in broken glass and HIV infected needles.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Jonathan MeisnerJune 9, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    That sounds like a CZW match.

    ReplyDelete
  84. It's too bad Russo has sworn off wrestling and hates everyone in the business.


    ...however, if you have a writing position in a wrestling company, Vince could hold it for you, maybe?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Forget Enzo & Cass Raw needs JOE GOMEZ!

    ReplyDelete
  86. That must be the only promotion he hasn't tried to get a job with.

    ReplyDelete
  87. He wasn't hired back as a writer, ever. That says something.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Sounds like something Russo would book

    ReplyDelete
  89. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 9, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    The Rumble is modern WWE contained in one match.

    There are tons of jobbers, the most over guys are treated like jobbers, all the big shocks rely on some old guy randomly returning, the finish has no drama and is poorly built, and the wrong guy wins.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Adam "Colorado" CurryJune 9, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    This is the most profound thing I have ever seen. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Fuck this "Russo was a great Idea man" myth

    I'm as good an idea man as Russo. a fucking shit ton of people are as good an idea man as Russo. The part of storytelling he's good at is exclusively the first 5%. If all you need is a vaguely cool idea with no concern as to execution, planning, or storytelling consistency, then just put 10 wrestling fans in a room--it doesn't take talent.

    ReplyDelete
  92. "Whoever is the lead on points by the PPV gets the title shot."


    I think this is too restrictive for a creative company. I'd prefer a "top contenders list" of 5 or ten guys. Everyone on this list is eligible for a title shot--but only the number one contender retains the right to demand a title shot--rather than being booked in a title match.


    Now you can do fun things like a heel only fighting 10th level contenders until a face number 1 makes him fight outside the fringe, or a baby face vowing to work his way down through the list.

    ReplyDelete
  93. maybe they could just scrap the whole notion of shows or cards and just break in live when wrestlers have random encounters.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Fast Eddie AlbertJune 9, 2015 at 11:03 PM

    They could do a modified version of the 24/7 title defense thing. Make it where either the US or Intercontinental title is on the line every time the champion has a match. If they lose by count out in a singles match, they lose the title. If they're in a tag match and they get pinned, the guy that pinned them wins the title. If they're in the Royal Rumble, whoever eliminates them wins the title. (You could avoid the eventual Royal Rumble winner being the champion by having the champion and another guy eliminate each other at the same time leading to a whose the champion thing or have a guy eliminate the champion and suddenly celebrate and eliminate himself and run out holding up the title like he just won the Rumble.)

    ReplyDelete
  95. Russo had the guts to fight with the yes man brass and politicians backstage and say let's try something different. And he got his way. I respect that. It doesn't happen there today

    ReplyDelete
  96. Indeed. He created the hardcore division though in late 98. He also created Crash Holly. But, the guy that replaced him created 24/7 rules, thus making a complete joke out of stiff hardcore wrestling (airport matches, jungle gym).

    ReplyDelete
  97. It's a damn spot fest now. Awful

    ReplyDelete
  98. He worked with Ed Ferrera for 2 years successfully in WWF

    ReplyDelete
  99. Only if the pineapple was on a pole.

    ReplyDelete
  100. It's over man! Let it go!

    ReplyDelete
  101. Actually, he was hired back, briefly in like 2002-2003.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Joe Gomez will never die! He will live in our hearts forever and ever.

    ReplyDelete
  103. I am sorry but HOW in blue hell is Liefeld a great idea man. All of his characters were improved apon by later writers. I mean his most famous character that he created was turned into a parody.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Bischoff could have shut that shit down in a heartbeat. But, unlike Vince, he allowed his commentators some leeway, and in this case reaped the rewards.

    ReplyDelete
  105. I like this idea a lot. I'm a big proponent of having the US open challenge continuing every week even after Cena loses the belt, so the IC title needs its own fresh spin.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Adam "Colorado" CurryJune 9, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    Thanks for the help at Payback, ya pussy.

    ReplyDelete
  107. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJune 9, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Raw's at it's most enjoyable when they're backstage.

    ReplyDelete
  108. This Russo Gave Everyone Something To Do Trope.... Everyone can't have something to do. If there's 50 people on the roster, that's 50 storylines/motivations at one time. That's too many, that's why every show was a muddled mess that all blurred into one. And most of the stuff he gave people to do was beyond terrible. Chavo sells Amway? Duggan is a janitor? What do you do with this, where does this go? KB has just finished reviewing Russo's Nitro era and it's so wretchedly bad from start to finish that I can't believed people still defend his ideas or think he has any purpose at all. He's entirely discredited.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 10, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    Thank you Mr Colorado Springs

    ReplyDelete
  110. One thing about Russo era Raws/Smackdowns/Nitro's compared to today. Why are Kofi Kingston and Ziggler fighting for the 300th time? etc. I still remember Edge and Val Venis feuding because Edge was banging his sister or Goldberg fighting in handicap matches to bump up his win record despite it making no sense. However batshit crazy or stupid most of the undercard were at least there were(usually tentative) reasons for whatever was happening and not so much going through the motions.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Man, I forgot that they tried to redo the streak angle with Goldberg

    ReplyDelete
  112. ROH had a really good contender's system a few years ago called the Pick Six. I have no idea why they got rid of it, it was a really easy way to create feuds and have stipulation matches without the hardcore junk (like for example, a match pitting the #2 contender against the #5 contender, with each man's spot on the line, that's an intriguing enough stipulation match that you don't need any hardcore matches tacked onto a card).

    ReplyDelete
  113. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Russo the man in charge during some of WWE's most enjoyable years? I'd say he definitely doesn't get the credit he deserves from the looks of things

    ReplyDelete
  114. But as Russo was part of a booking setup that included McMahon, Cornette and probably others as well, it's hard to know how much credit he should get. And given how terrible everything he did on his own was, one has to question whether the quality of WWF television was at times in spite of his input rather than because of it.

    Certainly it's hard to square the excellent character development of that time in the WWF with his later work, and it's easier to see Beaver Cleavage, choppy choppy pee pee, Mark Henry with a transsexual, and Mae Young giving birth to a hand as more indiciative of his run than say, the Austin/McMahon feud was.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Yeah but before Russo showed up we had plumbers, garbage men, hockey players, mummies... were the same people supposedly filtering Russo coming up with those gimmicks? I guess we have no way of knowing which ideas were definitely his. it's all a matter of whether you're cynical of him or want to give him the benefit of a doubt.


    All I know is that when he showed up we got the Nation of Domination,The Rock, DX and Austin/McMahon all in the same time frame. I think he did more than he generally gets credit for

    ReplyDelete
  116. They were never the most popular company in the world. WCW barely had TV in the UK, traditionally the second or third largest market, and they never toured. Same with most other countries. Canada was always WWF territory, I think Scott used to write that Nitro didn't even air there for a lot of the MNW run.

    ReplyDelete
  117. The good ideas from that era were from Vince McMahon. The bad ideas were from Vince Russo. All of the them.

    -IWC

    ReplyDelete
  118. Yawn. You wonder why people bother debating things at all.

    ReplyDelete
  119. I think he gets a decent amount of credit from a lot of people. This is a guy who's been living off his 1997/1998 run his entire life, despite no evidence whatsoever that he has any idea how to recreate it. That he has failed so thoroughly at every attempt since is why many no longer give him the benefit of the doubt, because the question becomes "Why did it ONLY work in the WWF?". And to answer that, you need to start giving more credit to McMahon and others as well, because they're the distinguishing factor.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Battle Kat LitterJune 10, 2015 at 4:23 AM

    "random wacky running storylines with Mick Foley and Edge/Christian/Angle."

    Team ECK was sooooooo awesome. Team RECK was great too, but Team ECK is the gold standard of goofy heel awesomeness

    ReplyDelete
  121. Yeah it's lame how he never managed to recreate any of his WWF successes, but I rate the guy for essentially saving a sinking ship at the time and really giving things an air of unpredictability with every show, which is what's so sorely lacking these days. I guess he was just in his element and everything was just clicking at the time.


    I just think he gets crapped on too often (and rightly so for many things) and generally not given the props he deserves for providing us (or assisting with) probably the best years in wrestling history

    ReplyDelete
  122. Then do it for fucks sake (this isn't a barb -- I'm serious, we need SOMETHING). WWE hasn't come up with a good semi-original idea in like the last 10 years. I think the reason people are attaching the so much to the US Title Open Challenge is because it's the only idea they had in a LONG time that hasn't been derivative or idiotic.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Yep, hence my "block the idiot's number after he pitches the ideas" plan. Russo SUCKS as a booker. SUCKS the SUCKIEST SUCK that ever SUCKED,


    But the original concepts behind things like the MEM were actually pretty fucking brilliant.


    Russo may not be the answer, but WWE needs SOMETHING. Since 3 of their hottest angles in the last few years were blatantly stolen from people better than them, they really need something.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Wasn't the main event mafia just a redo of his Millionaires Club angle from WCW 2000, and that didn't pay off either.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Yes and no.


    They had things in common, for sure, but the MEM basically worked in 2 ways:


    1) Sting was pissed at AJ, Daniels, Joe and the like for "disrespecting" those who came before. Brilliant, because it's the only way to turn Sting heel. He's NEVER going to be a great "I'm an asshole" heel. But a "holier than thou" heel, he could pull off.
    2) Angle, Booker, Nash and company CLAIMED they were with Sting, but were actually using Sting's pull to get titles and "prestige".


    The Millionaires Club (also a great idea for its time) was more "old guys trying to keep their positions at the top" while the "young guns" try to dethrone them. It effectively reflected how everyone felt about WCW at the time.


    In both cases, these were ideas that SHOULD have worked, and started out great. In both cases, Russo kept booking them and fucked them up.

    ReplyDelete
  126. I bow to your detailed knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  127. I thought the Bound for Glory series (the first couple years, anyway) was spectacular. If they could make it a little less convoluted than the TNA version, it would do wonders to keep us interested in the dozen or so people in the tournament.


    Hell, you want to rebuild a title. THAT'S how you rebuild a title. Not a 1 or 2 night tournament. Something epic, where people are fighting tooth and nail for a chance to get the title.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I'd say Garth Ennis would be a better choice, he's written some great stories but the more freedom he hqs, the more rape he puts in.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Well if you say so then thats that...

    ReplyDelete
  130. You take your wrestling entirely too seriously. Calm down there angry boy...

    ReplyDelete
  131. I havent seen many other creators who just continually come up with stuff and have a passion for the business.

    Yes many times someone else takes his original idea and fleshes it out further. Thats backing up my point. He came up with an idea and others ran with it

    Keep in mind im no fan of his artwork or some of his opinions but hes got a creative drive

    (Just like russo on all points IMO)

    ReplyDelete
  132. Finally you say something I, and indeed everyone, can agree with.

    ReplyDelete
  133. I think there's a tipping point when someone's reputation just crumbles past the point of no return. Once I saw TNA in the 00s and how dismal their TV was, and how Russo had learned nothing at all from his failures in WCW, to me it was just... the secret was out. And his steadfast refusal to acknowledge that anything he ever did was wrong makes it just impossible for me to have any sympathy for him.

    And the fucker blocked me on Twitter, so THERE'S THAT TOO.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Everyone can't have something to do, but everyone's not going to be a regular part of your wrestling show, and if you're going to make someone a regular part of your wrestling show, you should at least give them a storyline.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Yeah, because that's what the internet does best: debate things.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Well it's what people on here are trying to do.

    ReplyDelete
  137. The Polish HammerJune 10, 2015 at 6:39 AM

    I presented the question Scott answered, so if that's true then (in the immortal words of R-Truth) "that's on me". The 24/7 thing just seems like such a Russorific idea that I got confused.

    ReplyDelete
  138. I don't think Russo actually liked wrestling. He didn't think that any story told *just* in the ring could be entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Enzo and Cass not being on the main roster right now is just so sad, because of how great and how big they could be. But then again, that's assuming they would let Enzo say what he wants. They'll probably bring them up and then do something dumb like break them up immediately. You know they're not going to be able to just continue their NXT work, that's like Vince acknowledging that the NXT stuff is good and come on... it's good but it's not Vinny Mac's idea so it doesn't count!

    ReplyDelete
  140. His first run in TNA was really good.

    ReplyDelete
  141. They really did. It was for like a week in June 2002. He pitched the idea of bringing Bischoff back. However, his other ideas were so horrible they immediately fired him.

    ReplyDelete
  142. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighJune 10, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Used to love when they were on commentary and call their run ins....

    "We are going to run in now"

    Drop headset

    ReplyDelete
  143. I seem to recall, back in the old days, that people used to complain that Russo didn't know how to finish an angle. He was good at making them but didn't know how to finish them. The only one that comes to mind is a match between Vince and Shane with ownership of the WWF being in a briefcase above the ring and the case kept moving up down out of reach (sorry I can't remember whose reach or who even won that match) and people were screaming RUSSOOOO at the top of their lungs on the internet. Did we ever find out who was moving the case? Were there other angles that didn't have a payoff that people blame on Russo?

    ReplyDelete
  144. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHP2clKypJA

    ReplyDelete
  145. Hey, shut up! You don't know him! Maybe someone killed his father with a gun they found by climbing a pole.

    ReplyDelete
  146. I'm not sold on Rob Zombie. He's made one good movie so far. Granted, Devil's Rejects is a REALLY good movie, almost great, but the track record overall is pretty shit. The next closest to good he's got is Lords of Salem, and that's just because of how batshit weird and dumb it is.

    ReplyDelete
  147. I thought it was Vince vs. Stone Cold, and either Steve Blackman or the Big Boss Man raised the briefcase.

    ReplyDelete
  148. My memory is worse than I thought.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Now that you mention it, I recall them saying he also pitched Austin/Rock/Taker/HHH/Foley forming a stable to battle the young guys, because Russo only has one idea.

    ReplyDelete