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CHANGING NAMES, RUSSO’S ROLE IN WRESTLING AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2021-05-04 10:00:00

You can send us questions for the PWInsider.com Q and A at pwinsider@gmail.com.

Who normally decides when a talent in a promotion goes by a different name than what they would in other promotions, the talent or the promoter?

In WWE, it's Vince McMahon and creative.  So far in AEW, it has mostly been the talent being who they are.

Also who normally comes up with the name the talent goes under if they chose to change their ring name?

Most of the time it's the promoter.

You answered my earlier question about Vince Russo saying that he was a one hit wonder and he got me thinking?  Was the attitude era really his hit?  Steve Austin was just beginning his rise to be THE guy, with the the Rock and Triple H  tailing him, Undertaker, Kane, and Mick Foley were all there.  Vince McMahon was ascending to be the biggest heel In wrestling in wrestling.  Jim Ross was in the prime of his announcing career, the WWF’s production was second to none even then.  Any writer should’ve been able to make gold with those kind of tools.

Well I think it’s unfair to say ANY writer could have done it.  While you are right that there was a ton of all time talent there, there have been a lot of bad bookers that could blown writing for them.  I think Russo’s contributions are a bit overrated, as Austin vs. McMahon was a driving force that would have taken off just because of the brilliance of those two men, but Russo did have a role in their success too.

Meanwhile, The undercard and midcard, where you really saw Russo‘s fingerprints” was filled with crash TV style two minute matches.  And all the wrestlers had wacky gimmicks just like the New WWF Generation, just with a late 90s coat of paint.  Is that really what drew the audience? Or was it the star power of Austin/Rock/Etc at the top of the card?

I agree with you there.  There was a LOT of bad stuff that he booked.  But to his credit, he also made sure that we knew who all of the characters were.  Personally, I always looked at it like this: I could deal with the junk because of the good stuff.

Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle didn’t come to the fold until the tail end of and after Russo’s time there.  And the Attitude Era didn’t have a stacked top to bottom roster including Edge and Christian, The Hardy Boys, the Dudley Boys, Eddie, Benoit, Trish, Lita etc until long after Russo was gone.  So while I don’t need a completely very Vince Russo, how much did he actually contribute to the attitude era?

He made contributions for sure but I think we saw what his legacy was when he left WWE.  He couldn’t bring WCW back to prominence and WWE soared without him.  He made a lot of excuses about being held back by WCW, but at the end of the day, a good booked adapts.  I think that tells us what his legacy is.  To me, he was like a good second wide receiver on a Super Bowl Champion team.

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