What really grinds my gears? Episode 4 - A New Hope, that Russo stays away forever
by, 11-10-2012 at 03:24 PM (2255 Views)
"You know what really grinds my gears? That Vince Russo guy, why doesn't he get with the freaking program? It's called a wrestling show, not a badly written soap opera. Why do we need this guy to turn, and that guy to turn, and this girl to twist and turn like a twisty turny thing? It get's old, it's not big and it's not clever! I'm just sat here with my beer thinking ... Why is this match got a dog on a pole stipulation? What happened to the wrestling matches? Why does every match have to end with interference? Are you trying to brainwash the masses into thinking this is wrestling? Well you succeeded didn't you Mr Russo. You succeeded and made everyone think that The Attitude era was the greatest thing to ever hit pro wrestling, when in reality it was a bastardized quest for ratings, that saw you pitch any and every idea in order to get ahead.
What gets to me more is that people don't actually realize your genius, and only focus on all those bad things I just mentioned. They probably wouldn't even be watching wrestling now if it wasn't for your 'cool' ideas like .... putting Steve Austin on a cross, and the Undertaker vs Kane feud. What about that D-X that people love so much? That was one of your brilliant ideas too wasn't it? Well you sir are a freaking idiotic genius.
There I said it, it doesn't really make much sense but I said it. You helped to build, yet destroy wrestling as we know it. And people will always hate you for that, so you can just sit at home, and love yourself for being the true evil genius of the Attitude era. Not that Paul Heyman guy.. I mean come on, he must suck right? Because he actually appreciates true wrestling matches? You make me sick. This segment is over, this shoot is over, now someone find me a good guy wrestler so I can hit him with a guitar! Oh.. You found Meg.. That will do nicely."
In a land... far, far away, you can hear the chants from the wrestling fans. You can hear as a storyline takes an unexpected twist, and the fans are appalled.. and without thinking, the chant begins.. "FIRE RUSSO!" "FIRE RUSSO!" "FIRE RUSSO!" "FIRE RUSSO!" "FIRE RUSSO!" "FIRE RUSSO!"
Episode 4 - A New Hope, that Russo stays away forever.
Is this the chant you think of whenever something happens, that has Russo's name all over it? Even if you know for a fact he had nothing to do with it, you still have to say... "Has Russo been hired again??"
There are many reasons why this creative writer is one of the most well known workers to ever be involved in wrestling. His ideas stem from being exceptionally excellent, to stupidly ridiculous. For the sake of it, let's begin with some of the worst of Vince Russo, we might get a good laugh out of it.
To fully understand his ideas though, you first have to understand his philosophy on what makes a good wrestling product.
The Russo Philosophy
Wiki: Russo would contribute edgy, controversial storylines involving sexual content, profanity, swerves or unexpected heel turns, and worked shoots in the storylines. Russo's style of writing was known to be as "Crash TV."
"I'm going to tell you something right now that you will absolutely not agree with, but I've been a wrestling fan my whole life and I will live and die by this. It's hard enough, believe me, I write this shit, it is hard enough to get somebody over. You will never ever, ever, ever, ever see the Japanese wrestlers or the Mexican wrestlers over in American mainstream wrestling. I'm an American. If I'm watching wrestling here in America, I don't give a shit about a Japanese guy. I don't give a shit about a Mexican guy. I'm from America, and that's what I want to see."— Vince Russo, WCW booker (1999).
Grey and Gray Morality: Russo believes that wrestling should be like this - that all characters should be shades of gray with no purely heroic faces or purely villainous heels. The problem with this potentially intriguing idea is that he's really not any good at it, and the characters he crafts tend to just seem wildly inconsistent in their behavior rather than morally complex.
Post Modernism: Frequently attempts this by blurring the line between Kayfabe and reality, but rarely succeeds because Professional Wrestling is built on a foundation of Suspension of Disbelief.
Vince Russo does not enjoy "Wrestling" matches. He believes wrestling is purely entertainment, and people only ever care about the storylines, the characters, the good vs evil, celebrities and so on. He doesn't like one-on-one singles matches, and will always choose some kind of gimmick match over them, as singles matches are not better then any other singles match.
The Worst of Russo
Frequent Title changes - Russo has the attention span of a goldfish. He does not like long term planning when it comes to champions, and he would bounce titles around from one wrestler to another, with no real direction. This caused NJPW to not recognize a title change made on WCW when Juventud Guerrera beat Jushin Liger by using a bottle.
Reality TV aka Shooting - Russo wanted to be cool, he wanted WCW to be with the times, so instead of keeping wrestling all nicely wrapped up in its Kayfabe blanket, he let wrestlers, and himself, shoot off all kinds of real life situations. Below are some examples.
Vince Russo interview with Tenay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLrZV...eature=related
Russo shooting on Goldberg, Goldberg not following the script: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuYLV...feature=relmfu
Others shooting on Russo: Many in the industry have ripped into Russo, but one of the best shoots on Russo was done by Roddy Piper. He rips him a new one in this video >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uyr8...feature=fvwrel
David Arquette winning the WCW title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP13y3mdYuc
Vince Russo winning the WCW title: Russo claims it was an accident that he won the title when he got speared to the outside of the cage. Seriously though, why was he even in the match in the first place?
"Shocking" cage match: The electric steel cage match gimmick has been denied by Russo, and the other writer. Neither of them want to take the blame for the fiasco that was Team 3d vs LAX.
Last Rites match: Abyss and Sting has this match in 2007. Russo denied that it was his idea of course. Just watch and make that decision yourself. (Russo chants start at 5:18) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOIeTZf1Ww
For some unknowable reason, Russo loves pole matches. Not only pole matches, but pole matches for the strangest things. A pet rat, a pinata, Viagra, Judy Bagwell (no, really; though this was on a forklift), and the keys to Mick Foley's office are just a few of the things that have been at stake in those matches.
One particularly strange storyline from towards the end of Russo's time with WWE revolved around The Big Bossman kidnapping and cooking Al Snow's pet dog Pepper. This inevitably involved a "Pepper on a Pole" match. Yes.
There are many more examples, but I would be here all day!
Fun with Acronyms!
Does the WWF's Terri Invitational Tournament, WCW's Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title, or TNA's Sports Entertainment Xtreme and Voodoo Kin Mafia* ring a bell to anyone?
He's also credited with creating the name for TNA; he chose the acronym to help differentiate the company from WWE as a more adult-oriented product, since the company originally broadcast shows strictly on pay-per-view.
Russo did good?
Vince Russo helped to turn the tides in the Monday Night Wars. He was promoted up to a position where he could pitch ideas to Vince McMahon, and help to further the product.
Can you imagine what would have happened if Russo didn't come up with the following?
-Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Mr McMahon
-Undertaker vs Kane
-Rise of The Rock
-Mick Foley's characters
-Val Venis, Godfather and Sable
These are just some of what Vince Russo helped to create, and these storylines and characters are still well admired, and emulated today in different ways.
Not only that, but he did some good in TNA as well during his stint. He helped to make S.E.X which is regarded by some as one of the best stables in TNA history. He also formed The Beautiful People, and he helped to push TNA forward, as not just a wrestling company, but a company with good characters and entertainment.
Of course, there were bad times in TNA, and he did make some bad matches, but overall TNA was a lot better off before Hogan and Bischoff came in, and changed everything around. Russo had to compensate for them, and in the end he got frustrated as he was unable to work to his full potential. He left the company this year, and no one knows what has happened to him.
TNA has taken a different road since Russo left, and Bruce Prichard came in. They are making storylines that actually build over time, and are bringing back prestige to championships. This is something that Russo rarely did, as he was all about the shock value.
So you can hate on Russo all you like, you can try and book the WWE, and tell them "WE WANT ATTITUDE!" but at the same time you are praising the work of Vince Russo. The same fans who tell everyone that Russo sucks, are the same fans who want Hell in a Cell barbed wire inferno matches, with half naked divas lined up down the entrance way, who can also get involved if they can cross the river of doom around ringside.
Can you imagine it? If Russo never went to WCW? If people didn't blame Russo for the downfall of WCW, although it had nothing to do with him? WCW was already dieing anyway, and it was AOL Time Warner that killed it. It is true that Russo didn't really help the situation, but he didn't essentially kill WCW, he is only one man and I think fans are giving him way too much credit if they say otherwise.
If Vince Russo had got out of wrestling after his WWE stint, you would either 1) Not know who he is or 2) Praise him like a god and want him back.
The only reason Russo is so hated, is because of the farce that was WCW in the end. Otherwise you would want him back right now, writing WWE Raw, and bringing back the "Atttitude" that fans crave so much.
He is a freaking evil, idiotic genius. And it grinds my gears that people only ever focus on the negatives. I hate on Russo for things he did wrong, while also praising him for the things he did right. Can you fans do the same?
Now he has finally left us. Maybe we can look back, like when a famous singer dies, their legacy becomes much more important... maybe it is time to just let Russo rest in peace?
Let's hope he stays away forever, and we can just appreciate his legacy, as well as have a good laugh at just how wrong he could be in his visions.
Creative writing in wrestling... will never ever... be the same again.