What you loved:
- Nothing - Previous evaluations of hated personalities like Dixie Carter, Great Khali, and Curtis Axel at least featured a nice comment or two. Russo is reviled in these parts.
- Helped Initiate the Attitude Era - With his early conceptions of crash TV, Russo's ideas helped lead to a more adult, "anything can happen" style of WWE wrestling. Many of you had an asterisk with this because Vince McMahon served as a filter and that's probably why some of his initial ideas worked out so well.
- Comments Section - Well this is a first: Some of you just wanted to see what was said about Russo in our comments section. I doubt you were disappointed. This was an absolute burial.
What you loathed:
- Terrible at Job - He booked countless bad gimmicks and angles, it's amazing he could keep a job in the wrestling business for so long.
- Eater of Worlds - Or, more accurately, wrestling companies. He's not the only reason WCW died, but he's a big one.
- ...On a Pole - Dude had a thing for poles ... allegedly.
- Booked Owen Hart's Repel - Not to put blame on him for the accident itself, but he booked Owen into this terrible gimmick and, ultimately, the stunt. RIP, Owen.
- Swerve - Even when it didn't make sense.
"Russo has become synonymous with bad ideas. Russo gets mentioned pretty much every time idiotic ideas like pole matches make it on TV. Usually when I say "I could do better than this", I’m joking. I’m just some guy who likes wrestling with zero experience. I would probably do as bad or worse than most of the guy currently running WWE’s creative because I wouldn’t know what I’m doing. However when it comes to Russo, I am almost certain I could do better than him and I’m just some guy who likes wrestling with zero experience. Hell, say what you want about Khali but he took a neutralizer from Cesaro. I doubt I could take a move like that without a lot of training yet Khali can do it. It’s something which says "Hey this guy may be rubbish but he is competent at aspects of his job". Judging Russo purely as a creative and booking guy, I could do better than Russo and I shouldn’t be able to say if he was as good as the people who hire him think."
"I'm willing to vote a 5...If Russo competes in a '5 Vote on a pole' match."
"In any endeavor, across industries and walks of life, it’s not often you stumble upon someone who isn’t simply terrible at anything they do, but is both comically and toxic at it. Russo wasn’t the klutz who got his foot stuck in a bucket and knocked over a lit candle resulting in a fire that destroys the building. He put the bucket and the candle there, purposely stepped into the bucket, and could’ve easily avoided the candle, but instead decided to knock it over onto the patch of gasoline he’d poured onto the carpet because he thought it was a good idea. Then, once the firefighters left the scene, he would stand in the smoking embers of the building and continue to insist that it was the right thing to do while waiting to move onto the next building because his employers inexplicably keep him around even though he’s not going to stop until they run out of buildings."
"Like: He has a brilliant mind, and always comes up with innovative ideas. He epitomizes the business in every way and is great with all talent.
Loathe: Meh, I’m gonna swerve on what I just said, I gave him a 1, incompetent prick."
"Since this is Vince Russo we're talking about. Shouldn’t the POLL above read as POLE?"
"Where do I even begin? It’s often said, in the man’s defense that… well look what he did when he had an editor! What? Be able to successfully book a wrestling promotion for a couple years between when for most of it, you have the two hottest stars and most talented performers in the history of the wrestling business in your promotion at the height of their powers in Austin and Rock, one of the most versatile performers in the history of the business at the height of his powers in Mick Foley/Mankind (and the multiple characters within characters that epitomized Mankind)/Cactus Jack/Dude Love, AND on top of that, the newly on television Vincent K. McMahon, megalomaniac super-villain and greatest heel in the history of the business? A pack of monkeys and typewriters could book a show built around those characters."
"Love: From what I know, Russo was a quality creative. When his ideas were vetted by a more experienced director, like Vince McMahon, his booking could really come together. Essentially, he was the Peggy Olson to Vince McMahon’s Don Draper. Russo brought the raw ideas, which McMahon could vet and shape appropriately (using his decades of experience) and then turn it into something that was pure money. And then Vince could take credit for it. Ultimately, he and Bischoff (with the nWo) truly ushered in the Attitude era, which is one of the golden eras of wrestling history."
"Loathe – He’s hurt the progression of bearded people more than any other person in history. Can’t forgive him for that."
"He inadvertently built about half of the Worst Gimmick bracket, which has been great."
"My biggest loathe is that he keeps getting credit for the Attitude Era and that Doors is going to put it up in the summation post as a Love like he deserves any credit. Crash TV and bathroom humor isn’t what turned WWF’s fortunes around. Having three of the greatest characters/performers of all time and turning them loose is. There’s actually no end to the horrible segments on their TV in this era when Russo’s swerve mentality and VKMs bathroom humor predilection were taking away from the product only to be saved by McMahon’s great character work and SCSA’s general awesomeness. The card was incredibly shallow during Russo’s time booking WWF and the fact that he took all those shallow characters and put them in shitty gimmicks and terrible angles is why WWF really struggled to keep the card interesting beyond Austin/Rock/Foley until HHH’s heel run and the infusion of the midcard from WCW. I mean when the RAWs get to the network everyone will see but the show greatly improved when he was off destroying WCW."
"I used to watch WCW with my grandpa every week, and as the years went on he went from a rabid mark to a person that couldn’t even stand to talk about the product. I didn’t know at the time who was responsible for a lot of the crap that went on. Between Russo/Bischoff….. I have one thing to say...You assholes made me lose one of my favorite things in the world, spending time with my grandpa watching wrestling."
"Loathe – You would need a book the size of Lord of the Rings to list them all."
"Summation: Dude always wanted to be part of the story and be remembered. Inevitably, he will be remembered, but for all of the wrong reasons."
On to the poll! With 237 votes, Vince Russo's average score is 1.7. We finally have a new member of the exclusive Khali Club! Russo, enjoy dancing with Great Khali and Dixie Carter. Update that graphic, TJ_UK!
Thanks, Cagsiders! Tomorrow's pick is a hold ... one of 1,004, actually.