So if Russo needed a filter in the WWF to turn his crappy ideas into become good or passable ideas, that really doesn't say much about his writing ability. If everybody is going to laud Russo for the Attitude era, he has to take some if not most of the blame for sinking WCW.
"Say 'what' again. SAY 'WHAT' AGAIN! I dare you, I double dare you, motherf--ker! Say 'what' one more goddamn time!" -- Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction (1994)
His WWF days weren't that great either. People tuned in because they couldnít believe the weird shit that was going on. After the shock value wore off he tried to do more outrageous stuff to shock people but it just became tired and stupid.
Bubbles? Oh come on Sharon! Iím Ozzy Osbourne the Prince of Fucking Darkness. Evil, evil, more fucking evil not a boatload of fucking bubbles man.
You know, there's no question I didn't analyse Russo's tenure's nearly as much as anyone else here, but all I remember is that even his WCW stuff was great fun.
I think he did have some troubles respecting certain things like putting Ed Ferrara and himself titles was pretty damaging, but at least, and this is just my opinion, both those occasions were fucking hilarious.
I think he also had some trouble booking lengthy storylines without falling into the trap of "it's just wrestling" and screwing with them, for instance Undertaker was awesome until it had to actually go somewhere and then it kind of fucked up.
This is where I like Russo:
Noone is better at creating (or allowing) an edgy, cool character.
Once you've done that, that's half the battle right there.
________________________________________ The Big O is incredibly cool - Ed Ferrara.
eh. I dont know about Russo. To me it seems like WcW just went downhill when he came on board. But what i saw of his work in the WWF was very good. So i just dont know. Maybe it was a few bad ideas of his and a lack of heart among the workers?.... i just dont know.
I am the JOBBER TO THE STARS. You better remember that.
Yeah, but at the very least Vince didn't always win cleanly, and looked like he could at least make it slightly believable ( I still think Shane would have made a half-decent wrestler if his last name was diffirent.)
As for Russo, at least we can thank him for one thing: he gave us a tool for measuring how bad wrestling can get. If McMahon does something stupid, we have something to hold him to as a "standard of suck" as it were. Russo's had his shot; why not let a fresh face take a crack at it?
Hubba, and additional hubba as well. In fact however much hubba you have, it applies.
Originally posted by Tragic1 Put the World Title on David Arquette and himself.
Yeah, that's pretty sad when the head writer/booker gives himself the title. Thank God nothing like that would ever happen in the WWF under the McMahons. 8-)
Here's the difference: When Vince won the WWF Title (and Stpeh was Women's champ; And Shane was Hardcore and Euro Champ), it was played up as a fluke. Never was a show built around "Vince McMahon: World Champion wrestler." When Russo won the WCW Title, he actually used his win as a cliffhanger, and when he had the opportunity to choose between discounting the win or declaring himself world champion, he declared himself World Champion.
In Arquette's case, he actually defended the belt on PPV. McMahon vacated the belt immediately.
Originally posted by SerWolfeeh. I dont know about Russo. To me it seems like WcW just went downhill when he came on board. But what i saw of his work in the WWF was very good. So i just dont know. Maybe it was a few bad ideas of his and a lack of heart among the workers?.... i just dont know.
Okay, just a couple of points on Russo and WCW.
While the WWF was built on Sports Entertainment, WCW was more wrestling orientated. WCW used to do things like have 20 minute C/W matches on monday night that you'd never see on Raw. Given this, Vince Russo wasn't a good match for WCW to begin with.
By bringing in Russo, WCW killed the 3 things it still ahd going for it: * Nostalgia * Wrestling * Family friendly viewing
It outright failed because those 3 nieches had kept WCW alive despite the booking. By bringing in Russo, WCW probably realised they'd loose out in those 3 areas but pick up WWF fans in head to head competition.
The thing is, it didn't happen. WWF fans saw WCW as a bush league while Russo's booking alienated a lot of WCW's core audience.
Russo's 1st reign was probably at the worst possible time to. Hogan had just gone back to red & yellow and was going oer huge. Bischoff was half way through his music & wrestling experiment. Hart was over as a face for the 1st time in his WCW run after sympathy over Owen. And the company was moving towards a dream match - Hogan Vs Hart at Starrcade.
Instead, the boys upstairs pulled the plug anf gave Vince Russo his first shot. This run was generally the better of the 2; the Powers that Be was an innovative angle and one that managed to get even the Harris Boys over! However, *another* nWo reunion was greeted with a collective yawn and Starrcade's Hart Vs Goldberg repeat of the Montreal Screwjob wasn't as memorable as Hogan Vs Hart would have been.
Like I said though, they should have bought in Russo after Starrcade.
Anyway, what does WCW do given that they have pissed away their 3 nieches in an attempt to do sports entertainment head-to-head against the WWF? Pull the plug on Russo and re-hire Kevin Sullivan, duh! And furthermore, they did it just before the 1st PPV after Starrcade!
Yeah, most of the upper card was injured, and Tank Abbott may not've been the best champion. But re-hiring Kevin Sullivan was what killed WCW.
Any fans that WCW had picked up with Russo they lost, and more importantly they were booking to an audience that stopped watching during Russo's run. The booking was terrible - most of the bad stories credited to Nash were written by Sullivan with Nash as an "ideas man". The show ran on Russo's momentum and really started to suck. The highlight was a shoot interview cut by Steiner. The ratings continued to plummet from a 3 the company got when Russo first came in - a point higher than the week before - down to the 2's.
And the wrestlers that were being groomed to step up to the next level in Benoit, Saturn, Guerrero, Konnan, Douglas, and Malenko either left to WWF or were indeffinately suspended.
By the time Bischoff and Russo returned for the 2nd run, the company was dead.
Now as for Russo's ideas, some were good but just poorly executed. Standards & Practices was a predecessor to the RTC, but it was never given a chance to become a monster heel faction.
As for the shoots, well the fact is that WCW backstage was, for about 2 years before then, infinately mroe itneresting than what they put on TV. It had it all - heels, faces, ongoing feuds, etc. In fact, if they taped this stuff and put it on TV agaisnt Raw it probaby would have come close to winning.
The problem is the storylines relied on people to read 1wrestling and its ilk. Which most fans didn't.
If they devoted perhaps half an hour before Nitro and Thunder to the backstage news, or told storylines based on them, the angle would have come off infinately better.
Ineptness and incompetance ran deep in WCW. It would be difficult for even Vinnie Mac or Paul Heyman to ressurect the company at this point. The reboot alienated even more fans. I doubt many of those panning Russo could have done much better themselves in the circumstances.
After Russo, the final booking team showed promise. The Magnificent 7 was portayed as a dangerous heel stable who injured all the faces. When the faces came back you would have a series of mark-out moments and great feuds, but alas it wasn't to be.
Yeesh, just seeing the subject line makes me wonder how long it'll be until we see a "Bring Stephanie Back!" thread.
But there's one point that was mentioned a few posts back; The high ratings for the Rock and Sock connection "This is your life" sketch.
It was the highest-rated quarter hour in the history of modern prime-time wrestling. However, that doesn't mean that it was the most popular. What that means is that on that one night, over ten million people tuned into RAW and saw that segment. About two million of those people NEVER WATCHED PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING ON TELEVISION AGAIN! That's why it was a peak. It may have run off more potential viewers than any other segment in the history of RAW.
Just wanted to point that out. I liked that bit, but it went on about 15 minutes too long. That was probably what got The Rock his gig hosting SNL. Their sketches go on too long, too.
But Russo, the WWF needs him like they need Bret Hart to come back and tag with somebody channeling Owen.
Superb AJ. Completely agree. Replacing Russo was the last straw for a hell of a lot of fans and it's that which Russo himself cited as the main reason for the ratings not improving later in the year.
Personally I agree with anyone who thinks he wrote some bad storylines, but they were about characters you cared about who were cool and had great matches and promo's. So Vince is the higher power, that's absurd, but it didn't matter because it was all in fun.
Now, the WWF seems to have the luxery of thinking of themselves as artists or something as opposed to simply giving the fans what they want. The good guy wins in the end remember. Austin beat Rock clean at Wrestlemania XV.
I give him credit for telling the all time greatest storyline in wrestling history with the most perfect finish.
Austin vs MacMahon is as popular a story as Star Wars or any other modern popular myth and once that clear cut storyline was at an end, the majority of fans slowly faded out without any clear cut storyline to follow.
________________________________________ The Big O is incredibly cool - Ed Ferrara.
Both of these guys strike me as the type that JR referred to in a recent BBQBlog about guys who would rather play video games than learn about the business or do something to improve themselves in the ring.