One of the greatest injustices in wrestling history: The Vince Russo story
How did key figures successfully bury Russo's writing legacy? Why?
I've been intrigued by the Russo story for about 3 years now. The reasons for his burial are more intriguing than most storylines from the past 3 years IMO.
I'll keep it short. I'll preface it with a weakness of his that made it easier for him to get buried - he takes things personally and retaliates to criticism with concealed hurt emotions, which comes across as disingenuous rationality, which we're all susceptible to, but Russo is less emotionally regulated than average (he has ADHD). However, I know for a fact he's a sincere, genuine, and an all-around good human being and his character profile is consistent with the classic "flawed creative genius" prototype, which is why I feel quite strongly about the injustice of his story.
Anyway, here are my condensed reasons to explain the story of the Russo hit job performed over the past decade:
1. Power & Natural Selection of Ideas ---> The clash between two different creative frameworks and the biased unnatural selection of the less successful framework.
While the fundamentals of pro wrestling are the same for everyone (after all, Russo was a student of Pritchard, Cornette, Pat Patterson, McMahon, etc), Russo's writing framework is one thing, and everyone else is another thing. We don't need to define them, we just need to know that we're talking about two different frameworks for writing a TV show.
Like a battle of political philosophies, religious beliefs, economic theories, etc., ultimately the best idea eventually wins because the people/market indiscriminately selects it.
However, in the wrestling industry, the Cornettes and Pritchards of the mid-90's drove viewers away, until Russo's very different TV show framework doubled ratings and saved the WWE. If his way becomes accepted, this seriously undermines the power and influence of all these people.
Therefore, burying Russo helps a large group of wrestling people continue doing what they do to maintain power.
Remember, several of these figures have been re-hired on $500,000 contracts to write today's product. They are the best of the best at working wrestling fans.
I believe key figures have made a lot of power and money partly by working wrestling fans into thinking Russo is X, Y, and Z.
2. Vince McMahon's legacy.
Nobody talks about this.
Vince McMahon ate up all the wrestling territories with the ambition to emerge as the sole victor. His final war was against WCW in the Monday Night Wars. If WWE is around in 100 years, this will remain as a pivotal moment in history for the WWE and in turn for Vince McMahon's legacy. How did he do it?
The magic trio --> Russo & Ferraro writing, with McMahon having the final say.
Ferraro wrote the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" movies and Russo was an out-of-the-box magazine writer / ex-video store owner.
McMahon is the same McMahon who has booked everything in the years before and after this period. All the boring, formulaic, illogical, same old wrestling bubble stuff.
Therefore, Vince McMahon's long-term legacy hinges on what this trio actually did.
If Russo & Ferrara get buried... ... ... ...do you see who looks more like a genius? Do you see why key people would be motivated to significantly elevate Vince McMahon to the world while burying Russo & Ferrara?
Which leads me to...
HOW DID THIS GROUP WORK EVERYONE?
3. Using dirtsheet writers to push their agenda.
These dirtsheet writers, or journalists if you prefer, only have limited number of ways to obtain enough information from the inside to sustain their living. Getting on the good side of some prominent insiders is necessary part of their job.
How do you get on the good side of a Jim Cornette? What would happen if you piss him off?
How do you get on the good side of a Bruce Pritchard? What would happen if you piss him off?
How do you get on the good side of a Vince Russo? What would happen if you piss him off?
In sum, the dirtsheet writers / journalists who literally write everything you and I read about the industry are by nature going to please certain groups at the expense of others. Russo is an easy target, he never helped the dirtsheet writers when he was in power, and they have nothing to lose by burying him now to help creative minds of a different writing framework maintain power and money in today's wrestling industry.
Truth with Consequences was a good podcast I'll direct you to if you have your doubts (plus Matt Koon's individual podcast).
It just feels so wrong that such an important contributor to the most pivotal period of success in WWE history can be so heavily buried and have his legacy propagandised. It just doesn't seem right. The numbers clearly spiked significantly after Russo & Ferrara started writing, then nosedived sharply after their stories finished up within 12 months of them leaving. To this day, that's the only period in history that felt significantly different to everything else they've done, and ratings suggest it's what the people want.
Are there many others who see this happening? Or if you disagree, can you still see how all these agendas are playing out for those involved?