YMMV / Vince Russo

  • Acceptable Targets: Vince Russo may very well be the most hated man in wrestling. Not even Dixie Carter, the woman that the vast majority of the fan base holds responsible for TNA's Dork Age and subsequent financial troubles, garners as much hate as Russo does. All of his opinions are immediately dismissed and whenever someone posts some inflammatory thing he said, the fans immediately tell everyone to stop giving him attention.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: One theory about Russo's tenure is that he didn't fail at all. Many fans think he was let go of from WWF so that a floundering WCW would pick him up and he would finish off the company once and for all. Several ex-WCW wrestlers stated this theory in The Rise and Fall of WCW. Arn Anderson refuses to believe anything else.
    Arn Anderson: [speaking in 2007] I believe to this day that Vince (McMahon) was smart enough to send Russo down to that locker room and finish us off. He came in at big money and left scorched earth. Read into that what you will.
  • Badass Decay:
    • A leading cause. For example, he had little use for the most decorated amateur athlete to come out of the United States, proven draw for Ultimate Fighting Championships and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dan Severn. Ken Shamrock was right there, but rather than building towards a pay per view rematch Severn was instead put in a referee shirt.
    • Russo's propensity for sticking his crushes into matches with actual wrestlers caused the latter to take dives like you wouldn't believe. Seeing Daffney and Madusa fail to pin Miss Elizabeth, a retired valet and the wrestling equivalent of Olive Oyl, was bad enough, but to upstage Mona??
    • David Arquette had it even worse, since he had zero established wrestling history. He was nonetheless made champion of the company for the sake of a tie-in movie promotion where he didn't even play a convincing wrestler. Amazingly, we had not yet reached rock bottom as Vince Russo, WCW World Heavyweight Champion (won from Booker T, no less) was soon to follow. Russo did vacate the title, but still its worth mentioning that after Goldberg dropped the belt there were 32 title changes in two years, Jerry Lawler himself would have to shake his head. And at least he traded titles with people who met at least two qualifications (athletic and over)
    • The NWA decided it was better off holding world title defenses in banquet halls and concert theaters than keeping the champions in front of larger crowds in larger buildings on nationally broadcast television if Russo had a hand in their fate. They seemed to have been justified when the newly created TNA replacement world title belt was immediately vacated as soon as it was won and Abyss, one of the weakest booked world heavyweight champions up to that point, made an unannounced return to the silence of fan apathy and wouldn't regain his monster credibility for another nine years.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Russo is either a delusional idiot who never contributed anything good to wrestling, a not-bad writer who struggled when given complete control, or, rarely, an ahead-of-his-time genius visionary.
    • As more time passes, though, and Russo continues to shoot his mouth off on social media, this is becoming less and less YMMV, with more and more people coming down on the side of "delusional idiot".
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Russo, particularly during his time in WCW, has been fond of referencing obscure pieces of wrestling trivia, often as punchlines. Naturally, because Smart Marks are a niche segment of the professional wrestling fanbase, they tend to fall awkwardly flat. For example: during Russo's time as WCW booker, there was a confrontation between Eric Bischoff and Sid Vicious on Nitro. Bischoff was making fun of Sid for being reluctant to hit him and lose his job as a result. Bischoff said "What's the matter Sid, can't find your scissors?" Those in the know would recognize this as a reference to a real-life altercation Sid once had with Arn Anderson, in which Sid stabbed Arn with a pair of scissors. But most of the people watching that show had never heard of the incident, and were wondering why in the hell Eric was talking about scissors all of a sudden. Poor Eric was so clearly stunned that nobody reacted to Russo's comedy gold, he thought that they didn't hear it the first time, so he said it again, also to no reaction.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: A frequent criticism of Russo's booking style is that there are no faces, no stakes, and everyone behaves in a fairly-reprehensible manner. Even Eric Bischoff, who had the idea of nWo Souled Out, was put off by how grimy Nitro had gotten in just five months. In a 2000 interview with Bill Aptner, he observed:
    Eric Bischoff: Right now I would describe WCW as various shades of gray. The stories are hard to follow; the characters are all kind of the same. It just feels dark, gloomy and foggy to me. It doesn’t feel like there’s energy in it.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: TNA's popularity in the UK means when he's not working for TNA that's about the only place with promotions that will still take him as part of creative.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Though by no means the only times, the "Fire Russo" chants are most associated with the garbage wrestling "Last Rites Match" between Sting and Abyss and the electrified steel cage with Team 3D against LAX due to his and Dixie Carter's moving the blame to Dutch Mantel. This was mostly just amusing until the injury and medical bill scandals of TNA came out, of which both Mantel and Russo were repeatedly sourced as key parts of.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Defied. Russo was blocked by Ted Turner himself from running an angle about how fat WCW's women wrestlers were.
  • Internet Backdraft: Go on an internet comment board and say that Vince Russo was a great booker. Or say that he wasn't, we don't care. Just be ready to watch the fireworks.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • "Lucha Libres" would actually be taken up by Rudos in Mexico
    • *Thinks about swerves*
    • [X] on a pole
    • LOL bro I lov da IWC. You guys are da best an I mean dat, tanks fo da support I got da best fans inda world, I sweah tah gawd.
    • From the podcast:
      • Bro, Bro, Bro, I gotta ask you bro.
      • Bro? Take us into your frame a' mind. (why does he sound like one of those evangelist preachers?)
  • Moment of Awesome: After seeing Jeff Jarrett lay down to give Hulk Hogan the victory at Bash at the Beach 2000, fans were understandably upset and confused. This led to one of the rare times they would cheer for Russo, as he explained precisely what happened and made his own frustration abundantly clear in the process.
  • Never Live It Down: His page image and its caption really say enough. Okay maybe not. Russo's work in the ring may not have been easy to watch but he was only champion for one week. If he hadn't given himself the belts so soon after Arquette's reviled run, it might have just been forgotten the way Mr. McMahon winning the WWF Championship is... which was also a Russo angle.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity:
    • A hallmark of his writing. There's a reason Arquette became WCW Champion.
    • Russo's tendency to do this bites him in the ass more often than not, even on his podcast. In June 2016, in a video of his podcast, he admitted to going behind TNA's back and offered his consulting services to the head of Pop, claiming that TNA was selling them a "bill of goods" and that he could do better. He claimed he was trying to help TNA (conveniently ignoring what happened the last time he tried to "help" TNA), but the fans didn't believe him. No matter his the intention of his actions, it was effectively admitting to trying to sabotage them. Even people who hate that company called it a dick move, and Russo quickly removed all mirrors of it from the Internet while trying to do damage control.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The problem with trying to give the fans something new is that you have to know what they have seen before and it is clear Vince Russo does not know his wrestling history. His plan for TNA is perhaps the defining example: Make it an adult oriented show with nudity and sex! Pay per view porn wrestling would be the hot new thing to challenge WWE. Problem was, WEW did almost the same thing two months before TNA got started. Yet as late as 2014 Vince Russo still complains about TNA becoming "just another wrestling show"! This despite the fact much of the WEW roster, Klondyke, Alexis Laree, Valentina, Tracy Brooks, Angel Williams, Talia Madison, Simply Luscious, Lucy Furr, Shelly Martinez, Trenesha Biggers, Mickie Knuckles, ODB, Radiant Rain, Shantelle Taylor and more, later worked for TNA! The company that was already doing Russo's idea was feeding him almost as much talent as WWE or ROH! But if that isn't convincing enough Vince Russo had nothing new, before WEW, XPW in 1999, ran by a man in the porn industry, was even closer to Russo's pitch. Both XPW and WEW went under. While TNA was running with Vince Russo, Carmen Electra would start an "adult" wrestling show and "Full Throttle Wrestling" would open. They both went under too!
      Bryan Alvarez: Let's say we had 100 subscribers. And I brought you onboard, and the next day ten people quit. And then we do another show, and ten more people quit. And the next thing you know, we have 10 subscribers.
      Vince Verhei: Vince Russo, in that situation, would have given me a raise.
      Bryan: He would've given you THE SHOW! He would've taken me off the show and given you the show to run solo, and then been baffled as to why it wasn't working. He'd blame the server company, he'd blame Google, China...
    • One of the few "adult" promotions to have more staying power than "just another wrestling show" TNA, nearly thirty years of it at that point, was Steel Kittens Productions, and it was significantly more tasteful at its most explicit than what Russo got to do in TNA! (unless you find polygamy, trashcan sex, molestation, forced prostitution, rape, crack whores and incest less offensive than the occasional torn shirt or wardrobe malfunction). History already proved that not only do shows that stay relatively tasteful and focus on wrestling outlast those that do not, but that "adult" wrestling had been around before WCW and never been a challenge to WWE.
    • Booking David Arquette's world title win wasn't the first time he booked a non-wrestler winning the world title on a B Show. Shortly before he left the WWF, he booked Vince McMahon winning the WWF Championship on SmackDown. The reason why the former is remembered and bagged on far more than the latter is the execution: Vince won the title from uber-heel Triple H thanks to the aid of uber-face "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and had spent most of the match getting the hell beaten out of him. That made him winning the title much easier to swallow — it helped that Vince was heavily associated with wrestling and had wrestled enough that in the Attitude Era, the idea of him winning the title was not entirely inconceivable. Arquette was a complete outsider who won the title in a tag team match, where the stipulation was that whoever got the pin was the champion. This is relevant because the man Arquette won the title from, Diamond Dallas Page, was Arquette's tag team partner. The sheer stupidity of that fact alone ensured that no one was going to forget that moment for a while. The fact that it was for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship meant it was going to be immortalized for all time.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Once you've been swerved a dozen times, it's hard to believe anything that comes out of Russo's mouth ever again.
  • Scapegoat Creator: A ball-and-chain partly of his own making. If he hadn't written himself into every angle on weekly television, more people would likely have no idea he was even there and would be blaming Eric Bischoff for everything.
    DDT: Jarrett grabs a mic. He talks about when he came to WCW about 6 months ago, he was the chosen one. He said Russo was responsible for turning the WWF around.

    Single handedly, didn't you know that?

    No wrestlers needed, only good old Vince Russo.
  • The Scrappy: Deservedly or not, he managed to become the most hated figure in professional wrestling, and not in a positive way. It is not just fans, bookers, wrestlers and people generally associated with the business in his native country that dislike him, but he has a fair share of detractors in Canada (where he is accused of creatively destroying Bret Hart), Mexico (where he is accused of burying and unmasking wrestlers, though he shares it with Eric Bischoff) and Japan (where he is reviled for killing the drawing power of wrestlers like No Limit and viewed as a racist). Russo does have his friends and defenders in the business, but even many of them are quick to highlight his faults while talking about his strengths.
  • Shocking Swerve: The Trope Namer and God of this trope, well at least until it was decided not to be a trope and placed on this tab instead.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: His entrance theme was clearly an instrumental version with a note tweaked here and there of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man".
  • Tear Jerker: His video talking about the death of his friend Chyna. Right from the beginning you can tell he's absolutely heart broken and in tears.