Vince Russo no longer writing television for any wrestling promotion is something we should all be grateful for. Wrestling’s most controversial writer has achieved success in WWE as one of the biggest supporters of ushering in The Attitude Era. The issue is we have all grown up since 1999 but Russo is still in the exact same mindset. Russo tried to replicate his theories and concepts in WCW and TNA but failed horribly in both occasions. After getting removed from TNA as a consultant and causing Spike TV to finally quit on the company, Russo now works on a personal subscription website discussing the current wrestling product.
Through various podcasts, videos, tweets and blogs, Russo rants about how WWE’s ratings have dropped due to the company losing him and he is the one with the magic formula to fix things. Russo has ranted on many different aspects of today’s product like wrestlers not looking the part, the wrestling style being worse and overall just blaming today’s overall atmosphere along with Triple H’s influence. It has become a bit entertaining to watch the trainwreck take place as Russo serves as the old loon shouting about today’s youth and claiming he can fix all the issues by going back to his outdated ideas.
We just have to be thankful Russo is nowhere near the WWE product and has been gone since 1999. There have been many tremendous stars to come in that time frame that would have suffered under the writing of Russo. Between his desire to introduce silly gimmicks, weakly written storylines and pointless swerves, Russo sunk the careers of many talents by ending any chance of them getting over and moving up the card. The desire of shock television and car crash entertainment would have prevented WWE from growing into a global brand and many wrestlers would have suffered quite a bit. We’re going to look at the better stars from the post-Russo era that would have been ruined by Vince Russo’s writing.
Randy Orton’s character during his best days was very simple. Orton was a badass that you don’t want to mess with unless you’re in the mood to get punted in the skull. It took Orton a long time to get there with a couple of various character changes and experimenting before hitting his groove. Orton isn’t the most outwardly charismatic wrestler in the company and that likely would have been a red flag to Vince Russo. The writing style of Russo would see talented wrestlers with less natural mic skills get put into outlandish gimmicks and Orton would have suffered the same fate.
It may be hard to believe that Kurt Angle would have floundered under the Vince Russo regime considering they worked well together in TNA and Angle has a great personality that shines in any situation. The thing to remember about Angle’s time in TNA is he was already one of the biggest stars in the industry when he came to TNA, so Russo had to book for his established character rather than change it. Angle was quite bland in the first few months of his WWE career and didn’t look like someone that would evolve into one of the best performers in the industry. WWE didn’t saddle him with a weird gimmick and played into his Olympic achievements. Russo believes in gimmicks over legitimacy, so Angle would have never been allowed to be himself.
No one likes Sheamus. We know. He’s the last person you want to enter the main event picture and the idea of him winning championships just makes you want to fall asleep, but you can’t argue that he’s quite talented in the ring. The brawling Irishman was established as a noteworthy main eventer for a few years and had come classics against Daniel Bryan and John Morrison. While Sheamus is not someone you will celebrate, you should respect his efforts at a time when WWE desperately lacked depth. Vince Russo is notoriously known for believing American wrestling fans won’t care enough to financially invest in non-American performers. Sheamus is the perfect example of someone that would have been given a horribly offensive gimmick and made into a comedic act based off his pale skin.
12. Eddie Guerrero
The time Eddie Guerrero spent in WCW under the Vince Russo regime was very short before he made the jump to WWE but it was clear Russo didn’t view Guerrero as a future star. One of Russo’s interviews entering WCW involved a promise that you won’t see the Mexican wrestlers entering the upper card because American fans didn’t care about them. Yes, he somehow got away with saying that. 1999 was a weird time. Guerrero would blossom into a big star and future WWE Champion after leaving WCW. If Russo never left WWE, there’s no chance Guerrero would have been booked with the confidence to ever become a world champion due to his ethnicity and size.