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Vince Russo: The Scapegoat?


Guest Jamster26

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Guest Jamster26

It seems to me that he isn’t a universally popular figure in wrestling. Been reading a few articles about him and all the hate / blame for wrestling moments in the past and present, seem to all to be directed at him.

 

One article I read, said he was the mastermind behind the attitude era. Yet another said, he was the reason ratings dropped in WCW and that he only appeals to the smarks (?) of wrestling.

 

Even in TNA, people are calling for his head, he’s the reason TNA are rubbish these days etc But can the blame not also be levelled at Hogan and Bichoff? When them two weren’t in TNA, was Russo suddenly good among everyone, as most fans, are of the opinion that TNA pre Hogan / Bischoff was much better?

 

Really here, I just wanted to get some ideas, of why exactly he is so hated? Is he truly as bad as people make out? And possibly, is he being made a scapegoat, while other people who were / are largely to blame, get off easy?

 

I’m not defending him by the way here. Just simply trying to understand the animosity towards him.

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Guest Jimmy Redman

TNA wasnt all that much better before Hogan/Bischoff. It was much better before Russo. The things that are wrong with TNA were wrong with TNA before Hogan and Bischoff. And not all of them originated with Russo, but quite a few of them did, and a lot of them got worse when he came in. He has made TNA worse.

 

Also, he wasnt the mastermind behind the Attitude Era. He was a member of WWF Creative when it begun, and he played a role in it, but he didnt mastermind it.

 

Its become a cliche to hate the guy by now, but that doesnt mean that the hate is unmerited. He's really just terrible, is why people hate him. He's terrible at his job, and the fact that anyone employs him in 2011 when he's proven to be terrible for over a decade is I think well worth the scorn it invites.

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Nah, he's not a scapegoat. Any product Russo gets his hands on makes an immediate bee-line for the toilet, but he absolutely isn't as responsible for this as people like to suggest, because at the end of the day, he's just a writer. The people in charge actively move out of the way to let him ruin their business, so it's not just his fault. Like Jimmy said, anyone employing him (at least in a lead/executive writer role) in 2011 deserves scorn for their idiocy.

 

But the guy books car crash TV, always has, always will, and thinks he's a genius, which is why he's disliked and deserves to be.

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Guest John Hancock

No, he's not a scapegoat, he's actually that bad.

 

The "mastermind of the Attitude Era" thing is complete rubbish made up Russo himself to get a job at WCW. The truth is, he was one of many, many writers during the Attitude Era, and wasn't a particularly important one. Then he went over to WCW and proved how great he was by killing the company stone dead in about two years.

 

As Jimmy said, modern TNA is "f*cking terrible", pre-Bischoff TNA was "terrible", pre-Russo TNA was "pretty good". Russo alone bought it from "pretty good" to "terrible", Bischoff just added the "f*cking". So to speak.

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That's kind of an insult, etz. Car crash TV is at least interesting sometimes.

 

An, but even Russo's booking is sometimes interesting, even if it's only for how horrible it can actually be. Letting a completely out of it Jeff Hardy main event a PPV is a highlight of that kind.

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An, but even Russo's booking is sometimes interesting, even if it's only for how horrible it can actually be. Letting a completely out of it Jeff Hardy main event a PPV is a highlight of that kind.
That's not a booking decision though. It's not like Russo scripted the PPV main-event match to go like that.
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That's not a booking decision though. It's not like Russo scripted the PPV main-event match to go like that.

 

For a start, he put Hardy in the match. But given Jeff's proclivities and that it was known backstage during the show that he wasn't fit, you'd have thought Russo would have escalated it to get Jeff pulled and booked something else instead.

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Guest Jimmy Redman

To be fair though, he wasnt the only one in the room. He didnt come up with anything, but neither did Bischoff, Hogan, Jarrett, etc.

 

If there's one valid point to be made in his defense, its that not 100% of things are all his fault. Its easy to shorthand complaints into "Argh Russo" because its his general direction, but he's not the only one in power in TNA, they have Hogan and Bischoff, before them they always had Jarrett, Dixie, way back when they had Cornette, D'Amore, Taylor, etc. I dont think he's responsible for every single little thing on TV, and I certainly dont think he's any more responsible for a mishap like Jeff Hardy than everyone else in charge in the company.

 

BUT, having said that, he is the guy who writes the TV. You cant get away from that, and he's proven for years and years that he's bad at it, and we continue to see it in action.

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To be fair though, he wasnt the only one in the room. He didnt come up with anything, but neither did Bischoff, Hogan, Jarrett, etc.

 

If there's one valid point to be made in his defense, its that not 100% of things are all his fault. Its easy to shorthand complaints into "Argh Russo" because its his general direction, but he's not the only one in power in TNA, they have Hogan and Bischoff, before them they always had Jarrett, Dixie, way back when they had Cornette, D'Amore, Taylor, etc. I dont think he's responsible for every single little thing on TV, and I certainly dont think he's any more responsible for a mishap like Jeff Hardy than everyone else in charge in the company.

 

BUT, having said that, he is the guy who writes the TV. You cant get away from that, and he's proven for years and years that he's bad at it, and we continue to see it in action.

 

I never said it was all his fault, it's just that this kind of shit only happens in a certain kind of environment, and Russo is a large part of creating that environment in TNA....mainly because the randomness of the booking leads the talent to stop caring.

Does anyone actually believe that, say, Michale Hayes or Dusty Rhodes would have let Jeff compete?

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Guest Jimmy Redman

No, but to be fair, its not that Hayes or Dusty would have stopped him as much as Vince McMahon would have stopped him. Unless Vince wasnt there for some reason, in which case they would have. But its Vince McMahon that is the difference here. TNA dont have strong authority on that level.

 

I'm not sure that its Russo's fault particularly that TNA is a more 'relaxed' environment (for want of a better word) and they seem to have little discipline, certainly as compared to WWE. Russo isnt in charge of the schedule and discipline and stuff like that, people like Dixie would be. It wasnt Russo's decision to hire high-risk guys like the Hardyz or not to fire them when they screwed up, or really make them responsible for their actions in any way, like they were in WWE. He just writes the TV.

 

Having said that, in the sense that he's responsible for TNA making no sense and not being able to draw any money or get anyone over, which in turn makes guys like Booker T or Samoa Joe not care about life anymore, yes fair enough. But him writing bad TV doesnt make Jeff Hardy go and do drugs.

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Actually, you raise a good point. A lot of the problems attributed to Russo come from the fact that there isn't a firm hand on the tiller in that regard. No one to keep him in check, for a start.

 

Old school bookers like Dusty would never have let Jeff out to wrestle, but they'd also never have tolerated not having the power stop him, nor would they have taken any shit for management for stopping him. So that's what I expect from Russo.

 

Stephanie is essentially WWE's version of Russo, and no way she'd let anyone work like that, with or without Vince. But that only comes from being trusted with the power to actually do that and not get shat on from a dizzy height.

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Guest FreeSpirit

I actually think Vince Russo does a good job. He's asked to do the near impossible by scripting around 80/90 minutes of fresh, creative television every single week. How anyone can expect a masterpiece every week is beyond me. There will always be some crap on the show, it's to be expected.

 

Whatever he writes has to gets reviewed and signed off by TNA management before it airs on TV, if they weren't happy with it, then he wouldn't still be in a job after all these years. I wouldn't say he's responsible for WCW's demise either. In any business whoever is to blame for the success or failure of a company is ultimately the owner's responsibility. If Ted Turner felt Russo wasn't up to par, he should have taken action long before it went under.

 

I can't understand why people still bash TNA either (not necessarily on here, but overall). Their flagship show has had around 310 episodes, has a prestigious TWO HOUR primetime slot every week (something that is incredibly hard to do in America as shows get cancelled or moved around all the time), watched by miliions in The US/Canada, and exported to dozens of countries worldwide. They also started from scratch to become the 2nd biggest wrestling promotion in the world. That is absolutely incredible for a company that's only been on the scene for 9 years.

Edited by FreeSpirit
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