Friday, 4 April 2014

I Told You I was Trouble – You Know That I'm No Good

There's a rumour going around that Vince Russo is back in TNA.

Image © billy c. via Wikimedia Commons.

To be fair, the same rumour has been circulating various websites for about three months now. It could well be one of those self-feeding stories that just goes around and around for no reason.

But people believe it.

I've noticed people on the Sunday Night Twitter crew comment that the booking style is leaning towards Russo at the moment.

Their favourite piece of evidence is the Strait Jacket match between Ken Anderson and Samuel Shaw. It's not advertised as being on a pole, but would that surprise you if it were true?

Now everyone even remotely connected to the world of wrestling knows about Vince Russo. He's an infamous figure.

His TVTropes page even describes him as the Rob Liefeld of professional wrestling. And that is not a title you want to have.

So I understand why people are worried.

But I don't want to ask "Is Russo back?". I don't want to ask, "Is it a bad thing if he is?"

No. My question is this: does it really matter?

I'm sure some of you are yelling "Of course it does!" at the screen right now. But you know what? I disagree.

When all is said and done, wrestling is entertainment. All that matters is that we sit down, watch the show, and have fun.

Vince Russo is not the kiss of death. He is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander with a pen who has grand ideas that he can't pull off.

Image © Andrew Dickman via DeviantArt.

And that's his biggest problem. People say that Russo was most successful in the Attitude era when he had Vince McMahon editing and refining his work.

There are some people who can come up with ideas and execute them. There are some people who can execute ideas but not invent them. And there are some people who can invent, but can't execute.

Russo is in that final category.

Some of his ideas are good in the hands of a competent writer. For example, his love of moral complexity in the heroes and villains can be fascinating.

But Russo needs help. He cannot be the one in charge. He needs somebody to sift through the garbage to find the gold, and somebody else to turn that gold into a product that entertains.

You can be good with Russo. The WWE's Attitude Era proves that.

So does it matter if Vince Russo is back in TNA? Not necessarily.

Russo is the blunt instrument of professional wrestling. A sledgehammer, if you will. And when you've got a wall blocking your creative output, it's logical to use a sledgehammer to knock that wall down.

Image © Shakespeare via Wikimedia Commons.

What TNA have to remember is that you can't use a sledgehammer to carve Michelangelo's David. You need different tools for different tasks.

If you want to use Vince Russo, use him where he's best. Or you'll end up with a pile of rubble where your show used to be.

I'll see you Sunday on Twitter.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't voted in this week's poll yet, why not do it now?

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