Loathe as I am to give Vince Russo exactly what he wants, the man is good at pushing buttons to get exactly that - attention.
The fact of the matter is that I clicked on his new blog entry at ChairShotReality because I wanted to see what over-the-top, inflammatory thing he had to say about Kevin Owens' segment with John Cena on Raw this past Monday, and many of you probably did the same thing with this post for the same reason. Coming on the heels of his comments about Sami Zayn being someone only internet wrestling fans cared about, we're all going to look - even if we know it'll probably just make us mad.
With that out of the way...does he have a point?
When Sami Zayn first came out to the WWE Universe on a national stage . . . there was no IMPACT—the guy was presented as just "another wrestler". I don't care what anybody says, in a year nobody will remember that debut. Prior to that that was the Ascension—that was so laughable you "almost" have to think it was intentional. That was followed with Adrian Neville . . . WOW . . . that guy can really get height off the top. You forgot it by the next week. Then of course, this week there was Kevin Owens. A guy who looked like he just came from Gleason's Gym, where he was training to be a "rassler". Owens didn't look like a star, he didn't smell like a star, as a matter of fact he looked like a guy that could have possibly jumped the guardrail. Which reminds me—I STILL REMEMBER Hillbilly Jim when he was "presented" as "somebody" the first time we saw him on WWE TV. And, Owens dropping Cena? That did nothing but make the 115th time World Champ look bad.
Eye-catching headline ("As If Sami Zayn Wasn't Enough...Enter Kevin Owens") aside, the former WWE, WCW and TNA Creative head said that his issues aren't with Owens, Zayn or any of the performers, but with the guy writing their lines and brainstorming their stories.
Save your hate mail. This isn't a Kevin Owens thing, just like it wasn't a Sami Zayn thing, just like it wasn't a Adrian Neville thing, just like it wasn't an Ascension thing. Those guys are strictly employees who get paid to do what the boss says to go out and do—that boss is Vince McMahon. Somewhere along the line, shortly after the Attitude Era (what a coincidence), Vince McMahon forgot how to make stars. He forgot how to create them, how to manufacture them, and how to get them over. When you think about it, who has gotten over to SUPER stardom in the last fifteen years? I'm talking household names? In my opinion that list is quite small, as a matter of fact I'd put two people on it—-Kurt Angle and John Cena. OK, I'll even allow you to put the beloved Daniel Bryan on there if you wish—but his success had NOTHING to do with creative, other than being given the platform to perform.
All these guys, Owens, Zayn and Neville have amazing natural ability in their own right. They all can freakin' go—just like Daniel Bryan can go—but when it comes to making that Picasso complete . . . that's where they need the help of WWE Creative and Vince McMahon. Help that they're not getting.
I'd disagree somewhat on Bryan - whether they wanted to or not, they ended up booking him a story that paid off his journey and cemented his legacy (the in-between stuff where he joined the Wyatt Family? Not so much...), but other than that, I'm not sure he's wrong.
It's too early to say whether Zayn or Owens will break out and who should get credit if they do or blame if they don't. But after a positive few weeks, Neville seems stuck in neutral. And none of the non-Shield call-ups (and maybe even that trio) have been greatly aided by WWE Creative.
Is Vince Russo right, Cagesiders?