Don't forget it was the talent that made it work as well, Al Snow to me is still such underrated hidden gem of the Attitude Era
Talent vs Creative?
McMahon’s writing framework today would be unlikely to accentuate Al Snow’s best traits, rather he would shoehorn him into a basic character box.
It seems to me that Russo was the guy who really knew how to collaborate with the workers, understand them as people, and write within a framework that allowed them to “turn it up to 11”.
My theory is extracting talent from D-grade actors requires exceptional EQ, something McMahon has always dismissed in favour of oversimplified, unidimensional character traits.
Wrestlers work and learn an exceptional trade, but by large they’re not overly exceptionally gifted people like in far more competitive industries like acting. I mean that in the best way possible. The process of developing their character is a lost art that has been replaced by simplified formulas designed to be suitable for any high school kid to memorise and act out.
Russo came from a totally different perspective to those in the bubble, and it shows in the end product.