Russo was good at the time because he had a lot of entertaining ideas, but there were people who kept him in check. He never was a good booker. Once he was given unlimited creative freedom in WCW we saw him living up to his potential. Judy Bagwell on a Forklift match was his magnum opus.
Producers and higher ups keeping writers in check is nothing new though. Like I said, ignore WCW, judge him on his WWF work. If you have 10 ideas a week and 4 are good enough for primetime TV I'd say that's a good success rate. He must've had more good ideas than bad ideas for McMahon to have paid him a salary for 3 years as head writer.