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Wrestling / Vince Russo

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Vince Russo (right): Former WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

"Do you know how many copies of the book The Death of WCW I've autographed [...] and when the people come up to me with the book, they're scared to death! And I'm like, 'are you kidding me, gimme the book, I'll sign it!'"
Vince Russo, being a good sport (2006).


Vincent James "Vince" Russo (born January 24, 1961) is a former head writer for the WWF, WCW, and TNA, and is one of the most controversial figures in Professional Wrestling history (and one of the few non-wrestlers in the business who generates such controversy).

Russo's biggest success was when he (along with Vince McMahon) was able to turn the WWF around during the Monday Night Wars with its "Attitude" branding, resulting in the company's biggest period of success since the Hulk Hogan era, and a resurgence in popularity for the industry on US television.

He would try to emulate this success when he, along with writing partner Ed Ferrara, jumped ship to WCW in 1999. However, without McMahon's editing and input, his storylines were...variable in their quality. And that's putting it kindly. Not only that, he failed to realize that the WCW audience had different expectations than the WWF audience: instead of catering to them, he attempted to transform WCW into a poor man's WWF, which alienated the existing fanbase and put off any new viewers (who just switched over to Raw). Although the biggest factor in WCW's death was probably AOL-Time Warner executive Jamie Kellner (who made no bones that he hated wrestling) being in charge of their programming, Russo's angles during 1999-2000 didn't help.


His infamy is such that when it was announced that he had been re-hired by the WWE in 2002, the rest of the writing staff threatened a walk-out. As it turned out, Russo was swiftly demoted a few days later after a "big idea" he proposed bombed horribly; rumor has it that it would've been a restart of WWE's own failed WCW "Invasion" angle led by Eric Bischoff. He left for greener pastures at the fledgling TNA shortly afterward. (As a point of interest, Bischoff was hired by WWE a month after Russo's dismissal, though he eventually joined Russo at TNA.) In 2012, Dixie Carter announced that TNA and Russo had mutually parted ways and that he would be replaced by Bruce "Brother Love" Pritchard. However, it was revealed two years later that Russo was still working for the company as an unofficial consultant, most likely because Carter had no one to replace him. note 


Having been a Professional Wrestling fan for so long that he proclaims to have "Seen It All,"note  Vince Russo's booking ethos is to try to shock and surprise the fans with something new. Unfortunately this usually amounts to something that doesn't make sense rather than something that is original, or something that the fans want to see. There's a reason why he's the Trope Namer for Shocking Swerve. Another issue is that he constantly tries to outsmart the Smart Mark fans: the problem here is that the Smarks - due to being Smarks - don't buy it, and regular fans are just confused by things like wrestlers "breaking character" or references to backstage incidents that only hardcore fans would know.

Ultimately, Russo's "creative" output will give an observer the idea that his writing is done from a play book (or trope book, if you prefer) the size of a religious pamphlet, and that he's relied on this limited source of potential ideas for the majority of his career within professional wrestling, rehashing the same concepts and ideas from multiple companies with multiple (and sometimes, the very same) characters.

Nowadays he hosts his own podcast, The Brand, where he shares his thoughts on modern wrestling. You can check it out. Some of his archived interviews are available through paywalls on various sites. Vince himself has posted the highlights on his YouTube page.

Tropes and Signature Styles associated with Vince Russo:

  • Aborted Arc: Near the end of WCW, the Miss Hancock (Stacy Keibler) pregnancy angle was started, and went precisely nowhere. Russo was the one who booked her kayfabe pregnancy, putting a quick end to her wedding to David Flair. Flair went on the warpath, challenging any wrestler he suspected of fathering Keibler's "baby". The plan was, according to rumor, that Vince Russo had booked himself as the daddy[!], but AOL-Time Warner pulled the plug on WCW before it could play out; instead, the angle was abandoned and she was made Shawn Stasiak's valet for a brief feud with Bam Bam Bigelow as the promotion died. This would've been followed by Ric Flair "announcing" that Stacy was the "product" of an "affair" he had some 20 years before, which would've made her and his son David "half-siblings".
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • Nearing the end of his tenure at WCW, he "won" the World Heavyweight Championship belt, pratfalling his way to victory over Booker T in a cage match filmed in Russo's hometown of Long Island.
    • As a downside, Russo — a layperson — suffered post-concussion syndrome as a result of his many matches against the likes of Goldberg (who speared Russo through a cage wall in the aforementioned match), Scott Steiner, and others. Yes, wrestling's most colorful and unpredictable booker suffered brain damage on the job.
  • Alliterative Name: Vic Venom.
  • Answers to the Name of God: Once drove out to the ring in a vehicle that looked like a Popemobile, driven by Jeremy Borash, to stay safe from Goldberg.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Like Paul Heyman, Russo began in journalism, and is one of the few (non-wrestler) bookers that most people can identify by name. Both men were collectively responsible for the Attitude Era. Funny how a pair of New Yorkers had such massive influence on a traditionally southern pastime. The main difference between them is that Heyman is considered an Evil Genius of wrestling booking, while Russo is considered a complete hack.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jim Cornette loathes Russo with such vicious, searing passion that if hate could be weaponised, Russo would have been zipped up in a body bag years ago. Cornette has stated that his biggest ambition in life is to live long enough to piss on Russo's grave, and knowing Cornette, that's probably Not Hyperbole. Cornette's hatred for Russo is so bad that he made amends with Eric Bischoff (someone else Cornette has had a long-standing grudge against) mainly because, as Cornette said, he hates Russo as much as Cornette does so he can't be all bad.
  • Ascended Extra: Perhaps the biggest example in the industry, rivaled only by Bischoff and Paul Heyman. Like Paul E., Russo began in journalism, and is one of the few (non-wrestler) bookers that most people can identify by name. Under McMahon's moderating influence, Russo was a useful sounding board for the company's demographic. Russo got his start by operating and hosting an AM Radio show called Vicious Vincent's World of Wrestling; the program folded within a year after the crank calling from listeners got out of hand. From there he got hired as a writer for WWE Magazine under the pen name "Vic Venom", had his own segment on the show Livewire, and even commentated on a handful of episodes of Shotgun Saturday Night.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Russo loves pole matches. For some reason he thinks that all non-gimmick singles matches are exactly alike, and so he puts objects on poles to make the matches different from each other. This means he doesn't just book pole matches for titles, but for the strangest things - a pet rat, a pinata, Viagra, Judy Bagwell (no, really...though this was on a forklift), and the keys to Mick Foley's office are just a few of the things that have been at stake in those matches. One particularly strange storyline from towards the end of Russo's time with the WWF revolved around the Big Bossman kidnapping and cooking Al Snow's pet dog Pepper. This inevitably culminated in a "Pepper on a Pole" match, with the leftovers in a styrofoam container on top of a pole. Interestingly enough, the "Pink Slip on a Pole" match between Mankind and The Rock was the only well-received match of the kind (not in kayfabe for obvious reasons) and it took place after Russo was shown the door.
    • Even as far back as his early WWF days, Russo's hunger for behind-the-scenes drama was powerful, and it reflected in his angles. This would prove a natural fit for Impact and its faux-reality TV gimmick.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His many Shocking Swerves. While they're definitely memorable whether you like them or you hate them (or you just find them hilarious)... they also tend to be inconsistent as hell, and his chronic overreliance on them risks making too many annoyed fans Rage Quit his respective company (just ask WCW and TNA).
  • Bastardly Speech. Russo finding God and confessing his past sins to the Impact Zone, claiming that he "sold his soul for ratings." (Russo really did become a born-again Christian in real life. One of the billions of reasons militant atheist Jim Cornette hates him.)
  • Bodyguard Babes: Russo's stacked bodyguards, whom he deployed against Scott Hall in an October 1999 episode of Nitro. Yes, they won.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Russo doesn't need a gimmick in the ring; his voice is his gimmick, in the David Patrick Kelly tradition. He's almost never without his trademark NY sports team paraphernalia.
  • Butterfly Effect: The straw that broke the camel's back as far as Russo's time in WWF went, that caused him to jump ship to WCW, which ruined WCW, which caused WWF to win the Monday Night Wars, which lead to the creation of TNA and contributed to the decline of pro wrestling's popularity? Beaver Cleavage. note 
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "I sweah to gawd!", a phrase he is more and more associated with on the internet.
    • "Can I be honest with you for a second...?"
    • "Bro..."
  • Challenging the Chief: In 1999, Vince McMahon got a call from his head writer informing him that not only was he no-showing at Raw that night, he'd just jumped ship to his competitor. Russo had just entered into talks with TNT wherein he claimed responsibility for the WWE's renaissance. He also expressed his frustration with the politics in Connecticut, believing that McMahon had screwed him out of credit. Viewers would soon see for themselves what Russo would do with total financial and artistic freedom.
  • Creator Thumbprint: From its first PPV till its jump to Fox Sports Net, TNA Impact became gradually less Russo-like; by 2003, one could even argue that most of the angles made sense (the occasional Monty Brown in Planet Jarrett aside). Then, in late 2006, well, the prints started to become visible again after Russo was seen in the audience.
  • Crying Wolf: His reputation is such that, in response to a series of (very real) backstage incidents between Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle over the latter's ex-wife, many observers claimed initially that it was all an angle devised by Russo and refused to believe it was real.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: As the Dr. Claw-like booker of 1999 Nitro. At first, they didn't show Russo or mention him by name (although months earlier, WWF's head writer jumping ship to its competition made a fair amount of noise), but you could tell it was him by his accent and constantly peppering his speech with insider terms. For instance, Russo's hand would gesture furiously at his "Mid-caw-dahs" to go "book it!" His heel stable was even named "Creative Control".
  • Discontinuity Nod: When Rey Mysterio Jr. won the 2006 Royal Rumble as the #2 entry, the WWE said it was the first time that someone won the Rumble as the #2 entry. This was a reference to the widely hated 1999 Royal Rumble where Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble. The booker for the 1999 Rumble was Vince Russo.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Russo has defended himself from accusations that he just hates pro wrestling by insisting that he only hates "fake wrestling". So, um, yeah, by his own admission Vince Russo actually does hate Professional Wrestling.
  • Dramatic Unmask: During the November 2002 NWA-TNA pay-per-view, "Mr. Wrestling III" revealed himself to be Russo in disguise.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The infamous Bash at the Beach 2000. After promising the crowd that Hogan would never darken WCW's door again (a promise he kept) and burying him as best he could, he booked Booker T. vs. Jarrett in the main event. See "Worked Shoot", below.
    • Whilst the angle would appear to be his doing, Russo isn't actually to blame for the Immortal angle. In a ReAction interview in 2015, Russo said he knew this storyline would bomb, and was just being pressured by Hulk Hogan and Bischoff to rehash the nWo. When Vince Russo, the campiest booker in existence, is getting cold feet? Chances are you shouldn't do it.
  • Evil Mentor: That goofy bit on Nitro where Russo became David Flair's "father figure", turning him against the fair-weather Naitch. Ric accused him of living vicariously through David (or more accurately, his trust fund) because, as a "skinny kid from the Bronx", he didn't have what it takes Be The Man.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Despite becoming renowned for his unorthodox swerves, most of his angles are reheated versions of memorable WCW/WWE storylines from a year before, such as the New Blood aping the WWF's blood-falling-from-the-ceiling spot (which most fans recognized as being The Brood's gimmick). As covered by DDT at the time, Russo also gave us:
    1. The Filthy Animals as DX using the hidden Kid-cam (G-TV) to catch the Nitro Girls in a compromising position;
    2. Madusa v. Spice as Chyna v. Miss Kitty (and Asya in a similar role to Chyna);
    3. Ed "Oklahoma" Ferrera as a BBQ sauce-shilling Jim Ross;
    4. Shawn Stasiak as Mr. Perfect (okay, so Perfect was late 80's-early 90's, but still let's be original);
    5. Referees going on strike, and the list goes on.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Does the WWF's Terri Invitational Tournament, WCW's Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title, or TNA's Sports Entertainment Xtreme and Voodoo Kin Mafia note  ring a bell to anyone?
    • Just Over Broke. Best of luck, fellas.
    • The "Pretty Mean Sisters" moniker didn't go over with Terri Runnels, who begged McMahon and Russo to change it... to no avail.
    • He's also credited with creating the name for TNA; he chose the acronym to help differentiate the company from WWE as a more adult-oriented product, since the company originally broadcast shows strictly on pay-per-view.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Just three months into Russo's tenure at WCW, Time-Warner accountant Bill Busch had had enough of his car crash TV and offered him a new creative "position" in a committee of non-entities, i.e., he went home and kept collecting checks. The final straw was apparently when Russo suggested putting the belt on serial felon Tank Abbott. But Russo's replacements failed to deliver, and a month later he and Bischoff were flown back to Orlando to "reboot" Nitro.
  • Gimmick Matches: Russo doesn't believe that one regular match can be better than another. Therefore, he uses these with damn-near obsessive regularity, especially "[X] on a Pole" matches, as stated above. Sometimes he'll even make a match with two separate gimmick matches stacked on top of one another, and usually with ridiculous stipulations attached.
    WrestleCrap: After all, this was the man who would go on to create the Reverse Battle Royal and would probably have invented the Upside-Down Battle Royal if he had figured out how to cram cameras and lighting rigs under the ring.
  • Global Ignorance: The infamous worked shoot in which Russo addressed his critics. On the topic of Russo's push of all-American wrestlers, he responded "You you want Lucha Libres [sic]? Go to Japan."
  • Grey and Gray Morality:
    • Russo believes that wrestling should be like this - that all characters should be shades of gray, with no purely heroic faces or purely villainous heels. The problem with this potentially intriguing idea is that he's really not any good at it, and the characters he crafts tend to just seem wildly inconsistent in their behavior rather than morally complex.
    • A related issue is that jobbers need titles to get over, but they're not getting heat with the methods they use to obtain the belt. Heels cheat, yes, but they need to go over cleanly in big matches to gain credibility, something which rarely happens in Russo's world.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Evidently taking notes from fellow heel Andy Kaufman. Ditto for Russo's booking partner, Ed Ferrera, who wrestled Madusa and others as "Oklahoma".
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: A trademark of his booking. It was so bad in TNA that not even Jeff Hardy had been immune to turning eventually, and by the time he did he hadn't played heel for almost a decade.
  • I Reject Your Reality:
    • He still defends giving himself the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt, he defends giving David Arquette the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt, he insists that no American wrestling fan wants to see non-American wrestlers, and he doesn't believe in Face and Heel.
    • He more recently defended his love of pole matches by proclaiming that it's impossible for any one non-gimmick singles match to be better than a gimmick match(!).
      Wrestle! Wrestle!: Of course, whenever weird stuff like this happens in wrestling, I always like to picture the Pope sitting at home or sitting in a strip club, 'cause that's where he usually is when he's not in the Impact Zone. "You know what, daddy? I hate that Abyss guy. You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go buy a casket." So he goes to a rest home and he buys a casket. Now, one wonders, he's shopping for a casket—he's wearing his Pope gear, because wouldn't you be?
    • Tell him you want longer wrestling segments and less of everything else and he'll tell you everything else is what resulted in the high ratings. Yet when Nitro decided to cut back on wrestling segments to test this, Raw slaughtered it by a 2.5 margin.
    • The first week of the "Second Monday Night War", Raw got a 3.6 rating. TNA Impact got a 1.5, leading to Russo including the following in his blog:
      "The bottom line is, TNA WON— period."
  • Irony: For someone who prides himself on the Shocking Swerve and giving fans something they have never seen before, he's amazingly repetitive, with his incessant pole matches and his constant rehashing and playing out of the NWO/WCW feud.
  • Insult Backfire: When viewers voted him as You Shoot's "Most Despised Person In Wrestling" he proudly accepted the title with a smile.
  • Jerk Ass: While Vince Russo isn't a complete asshole, the fact is that he's rude, crude, tasteless, incredibly arrogant, makes enemies like a craftsman, and is quite frankly both racist (he's utterly unrepentant about his naked contempt for both Mexican and Japanese wrestlers) and sexist (his approach to booking women is... frankly contemptible).
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: One thing Russo did which was extremely important was to make the undercard matter. He drafts a large number of parallel angles that involve everybody in the roster in some facet of the story. If Russo's writing the show, everybody will have something to do, even if it's antithetical to their character or just plain silly. (Unless they're Japanese; see "Patriotic Fervor" below.)
    Jay Hunter: Oddly enough, Russo is throwing Liz back into the Millionaries' bus with Luger in the drivers' seat. (What the hell was he doin' there? He's like, "All abooooooooooooard!)"
  • The Men in Black: Creative Control, which was Russo's outfit (no pun intended). Curt Hennig was a member. Then again, so was Virgil...
  • Nepotism: The only reason he had a job in TNA was because of Jeff Jarrett (something Jerry Jarrett greatly regrets). Jeff, to his credit, did a lot of editing of his ideas alongside Dutch Mantell — unfortunately, some of the crap filtered through because Vinny Ru proceeded to endear himself to Dixie Carter, which owed to his rehiring in 2013-2014. For how that turned out, see Open Secret.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: Babyfaces beware - the man knows his wrestling trivia, including your old ring names, past gimmicks, and every embarrassing angle you've ever been involved in. Also, his entrance music? "Iron Man."
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • Likes to use meta phrases. A lot. Something expressively forbidden in other venues. He even had the commentators and wrestlers make mention of the "creative team", or the "two idiots in the back writing this crap".
      Vince Russo: I guess dis is da paht where I'm supposed da play da chickenshit heel, right?
    • The J.O.B. Squad. They are jobbers... who job. GENIUS.
    • invoked The best example of Russo's influence on WCW could be seen with Jeff Jarrett weeks into his debut. Jarrett declared himself the "Chosen One" and renamed his finisher "The Stroke."
    • Buff Bagwell vs. La Parka, Nitro, 1999. (Seen here.) Bagwell, glancing at an invisible watch, stood there like a store mannequin and refused to sell anything, before finally signaling La Parka to hit him and lying down for the pin, complete with a comical shrug take. After the bell rang, Bagwell could be spotted borrowing a headset to query "Russo, did I do a good job for you? Who else do you want to beat me?"
    • Always. Be. Shooting. This is the ultimate tool in Russo's arsenal, as well as the perfect shield: when the smarks start complaining, and all else fails, tear the whole universe down. Russo deployed this tactic to justify some of his more radical decisions, such as placing the Championship Belt (or "prop", as Russo emphasized it) on actor David Arquette. WWE is no stranger to this type of controversy, inducting such luminaries as Drew Carey into the Hall of Fame, yet the company refused to drop the act even for a second.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: He invoked it while defending the David Arquette title reign by arguing that since people are still talking about the angle (and Russo himself) nearly a decade later, it was a success and a "money-maker". Because nobody ever talks about or makes movies about bad things that have happened in history...
  • Open Secret: TNA's "secret" rehiring of him in early 2014. A lot of his tells were there in the booking of Impact! at the time, but because nobody had proof it had mostly been denounced as a rumor at best. Then, in true stupidity, Russo would CC an email with commentary instructions for Tazz and Mike Tenay to a journalist at PWInsider, outing himself. TNA tried to do damage control and make it seem like a work, only to give up when Russo came clean. There was speculation as to why it was kept a secret; the obvious one was, of course, that Wrestle-1 hated him for his perceived racism (not without merit), but Dave Meltzer claimed the main reason was because Spike TV, who was renegotiating a new TV deal for Impact! at the time, hated him too and actually pointedly instructed Dixie not to rehire him. Spike denied this, but seeing that they announced that the deal fell through and they wouldn't be renewing the deal shortly after Russo's rehiring was revealed, it was highly doubtful anyone believed them. John Gaburick (head of TNA creative) firing Russo days later, likely in a vain attempt to save the deal, lends weight to the fact that Russo had a lot to do with the decision. Russo himself believes that the real reason Dixie kept his rehiring a secret was the fact that she feared the Internet Backdraft.
  • Patriotic Fervor: From the fountain pen of Vinnie Ru himself, WCW booker (1999):
    Vince Russo: I'm going to tell you something right now that you will absolutely not agree with, but I've been a wrestling fan my whole life and I will live and die by this. It's hard enough, believe me, I write this shit, it is hard enough to get somebody over. You will never ever, ever, ever, ever see the Japanese wrestlers or the Mexican wrestlers over in American mainstream wrestling. I'm an American. If I'm watching wrestling here in America, I don't give a shit about a Japanese guy. I don't give a shit about a Mexican guy. I'm from America, and that's what I want to see.
  • Poe's Law: A number of wrestlers interviewed in The Rise and Fall of WCW have claimed that, at the time, they suspected Russo was sent in undercover by McMahon as a "poison pill" to sabotage the company. He was so bad at his job, people thought he was trying to fail.
  • Post-Modernism:
    • Frequently attempts this by blurring the line between Kayfabe and reality. The problem is that he's just not that good at it. Other, smaller promotions, like Chikara, have experimented with post-modernism in wrestling with much more critical success.
    • It falls on both sides of the fence. Believing his audience was composed of people who "figured out" pro wrestling, all he has to do is monkey wrench their expectations and do something that leaves people saying "I don't think I've ever seen something like that before!" Detractors like to claim that Russo's reliance on style over substance disguises the fact that booking matches is one of his biggest weaknesses. Hence, "Always Be Shooting." Hence, gimmicks that effectively break the framework of the show we're watching. And that's something no one wants to see.
  • Power Stable: He was the Big Bad in WCW for the Powers That Be and the New Blood. For Sports Entertainment Xtreme in TNA.
  • Random Events Plot: If you're lucky, you may see an explanation for one of Vince Russo's plot twists, but don't count on it. He values stories that are confusing over stories that make sense.
  • Ratings Stunt: The issue with Russo was he relied on this type of thing to make Nitro seem big. Instead of doing it in a traditional way (like having a big match or a big angle), he would always resort to title changes or a massive PPV-style gimmick match week-to-week. At first it was a winning formula, since they had that big reboot angle in 2000 followed by a tournament to find out who would challenge Jarrett at SuperBrawl. But his ideas got crazier and crazier as time went on, proving you can't really book "big TV" week to week. If Russo limited himself to one big blowoff per month and one big PPV a month, his legacy would be a lot better.
  • Red Baron: The Powers That Be, Vic Venom (sometimes pronouned VEE-nom).
  • Refuge in Audacity: He wrote the Big Bossman/Al Snow feud centered on Snow's dog Pepper, which ended with Bossman kidnapping and cooking Pepper.
    Big Bossman: Does it taste like... PEPPER? MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
  • Sex Sells: Thanks to his Fun with Acronyms approach for naming his Power Stable in TNA, this was the name of their entrance theme.
  • Take That!:
    • After Russo left WWE, he's apparently been obsessed with bashing them every chance he gets, both in WCW and TNA.
    • And before that, he was doing the same thing to WCW when he was working for the WWF in 1997-99.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: While WCW's website was rigged to give the match of night votes Billy Kidman might have won to Hogan, Bischoff and Russo did book Kidman to beat Hogan later.
    • Unfortunately, none of the wins were clean, so it really didn't help Kidman.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Upon becoming WCW's booker for the second time, Russo claimed that the misuse of cruiserweights was the biggest problem in the company, without acknowledging that he had put the belt on Oklahoma during his first run as booker. Despite this, cruiserweight wrestlers talked about Russo as if he was on their side, though many of them did so for angles in companies where Russo had the book.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Had Sid Vicious return to WCW seemingly healthy after being ran over by a monster truck by Bret Hart.
  • Unknown Rival: Jim Cornette hates Russo so much, he ceased consumption of his trademark Wendy's triple cheeseburgers and went on a diet. Why? So he can live long enough to outlast Russo and piss on the man's grave.Although the "unknown" part is debatable now if Russo's claim of Cornette pulling a gun on him is anything to go by.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Russo's belief when he was booking WCW...except that he believed they can be easily fooled and swerved.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Russo's booking moves at an extremely fast clip, often cramming weeks' worth of swerves and feuds into a 3-hour block of television, with titles changing hands so fast you'd need a speed camera to count them all (23 title changes in 2000 alone). Almost nobody ever wins cleanly, with constant screwjobs and interferences. For example: Russo's BFF Jeff Jarrett became a four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion in the span of a month and a half: Ric Flair beats Jarrett (2nd reign) to win the title. One week later Russo strips Flair of the title and gives it back to Jarrett (3rd reign) on Nitro. Nash beats Jarrett to win the title on Thunder, the following Monday Nash hands the title to Flair who then turns around and loses it back to Jarrett (4th reign) the same night. The title changed hands five times in fourteen days.
  • Walk and Talk: His WCW promos are conspicuous in how often they involved Russo and his cronies in the back (Read: blank, white corridors). Walking and talking.
    Goldberg is... PACING!
  • Worked Shoot:
    • Especially during his time in WCW, even though few if anyone really believed that what they were seeing was supposed to have been "real".
    • His public firing of Hulk Hogan at the 2000 edition of WCW's Bash at the Beach event in Daytona Beach is his crowning achievement - though it still resulted in Hogan suing WCW. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed in 2002.
    • According to Eric Bischoff's book, Russo firing Hogan was a shoot. In the WrestleCrap book, it is claimed that Daytona was a worked shoot turned real shoot-"Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed." Regardless, almost everything went to plan, but Russo's shoot on Hogan was far more biting than they previously agreed on; it topped with Russo calling Hogan a "big, bald son of a bitch" - and Hogan's notoriously touchy about bald jokes.
    • Also, the ludicrous Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner vs Bill Goldberg match at the New Blood Rising 2000 pay-per-view. Russo promoted this as a "real fight" between the three men. Not a Street Fight, or some other no-disqualification type match; but a shoot involving an actual, 3-way brawl between wrestlers who hated each others' guts (in real life) and refused to job (i.e. willingly lose) to one another in the ring - so they would "just fight", instead. This blew any sort of Suspension of Disbelief for casual fans, because if it was a "real" fight then what about all the other matches on the card between supposed rivals (and for that matter, every other Pro Wrestling match ever) - were they all fake, then? If you've read this far, you know the answer. Then came the match itself, which played out in standard Pro-Wrestling style, with no hint of spontaneity. The only nod towards "reality" was Goldberg, who didn't come out at the start of the match and, when he did arrive, "refused to cooperate" with Kevin Nash, not letting Nash Powerbomb him. He then walked out on the match, which led the commentators to remark that he had "deviated from the script." So just to be clear, this was a real-life fight between three men who hated each other except it was actually a scripted wrestling match which became real when one of them deviated from the script and then became fake again when the other participants finished the match, but it was still more real than any of the countless other fake wrestling matches the company had staged. Apparently this idea was so ingenious he used it again the very next month.
  • The Wonka:
    • Russo was de facto vice-president of WCW for a year after Bischoff's suspension from Turner Broadcasting, answering directly to a Time-Warner figurehead.
    • When he left WWE for greener pastures, he parlayed his experience as an Monday Night Wars veteran to bargain for more creative freedom than ever, and was revived as booker for the EV 2.0 promotion. At one time in the company's history, he was rumored to be TNA's third-in-command, beneath Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett (and also Hulk Hogan, once he became TNA's GM) between 2002-12; possibly beyond even that, judging by in-company correspondence.
      Jerry Jarrett: He obviously has qualities that I don't recognize or understand. How can a person who has a 15-year history of failure still keep a job?
  • Writer on Board: Especially throughout his run in WCW, and his 2002-04 run in TNA. This may have been due to him thinking he could recreate the magic of the Mr. McMahon character. He even awarded himself the WCW Heavyweight Title belt! He only lost one match in his entire career, a TNA tag team match from 2002. He also went over 16-time champion Ric Flair three times in either singles or tag matches.