Vince Russo Rips Vince McMahon on Making New Stars


Vince McMahon has a long history of being an innovator in the world of professional wrestling or sports entertainment. Without his mind and the people that he has hired to help create the entertainment giant that is the WWE. One person who says Mr. McMahon has lost that once magic touch is a former employee and someone Mr. McMahon kept close – that is Vince Russo.

Vince Russo recently posted a blog entry on regarding Vince McMahom forgetting how to make new stars for his company.

Russo essentially said that Mr. McMahon has forgotten how to make any real stars that could make or have made an impact in the professional wrestling/sports entertainment world as recognizable stars. When you say recognizable stars, I think of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena. Reason I say those names is because they have made an impact in the world of wrestling and pop culture.

"Somewhere along the line, shortly after the Attitude Era (what a coincidence), Vince McMahon forgot how to make stars. He forgot how to create them, how to manufacture them, and how to get them over. When you think about it, who has gotten over to SUPER stardom in the last fifteen years? I’m talking household names? In my opinion that list is quite small, as a matter of fact I’d put two people on it—-Kurt Angle and John Cena. – Vince Russo on Vince McMahon."

So when you look at the current crop of stars that professional wrestling/sports entertainment have produced, does any of them stand out to something close to those names above? Probably not, so if Vince Russo correct in saying that McMahon and the WWE haven’t created new stars that mean something to the entertainment world?

My answer to that is yes and no. First why I say yes: He is right that no one other than John Cena, maybe Daniel Bryan, and probably Brock Lesnar would stand out as someone you could recognize if you were not a real wrestling fan or WWE fan.

Brock’s exposure to the brief NFL tryout and his run with the UFC will assist in that recognition, but he also has a real presence about him that garners attention, with or without the WWE.

Daniel Bryan now has been seen in a 5 Hour Energy commercial, but more than that is the “Yes” chant that caught on nationwide at many sports events – you could say that one phrase has made him a part of a pop culture star.

Now here is where I disagree with Mr. Russo, and I do so with all due respect. The world of professional wrestling, like everything else in the world has been changed by the social media aspect. There are no longer unknown stars in any form of entertainment. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and all the pages dedicated to everything pop culture; there is no way that someone doesn’t go unnoticed if the talent is there.

Mr. Russo brings up in his blog post about how he remembers the WWE debut of HillBilly Jim  that was back in the 80’s; I still remember many debuts like that one as well.

The debut of the Undertaker at Survivor Series, Ludvig Borga, Goldust, and Mr. Perfect all had special vignette hyping their debut and to most fans they were unknown and new to the wrestling business. The hardcore fans that read wrestling magazines and traded video tapes with friends probably recognized the Undertaker as Mean Mark from WCW and the Skyscrapers, Mr. Perfect as AWA Curt Hennig, and behind the makeup and wig was The Natural Dustin Rhodes.

If the internet and social media was around at that time, none of these guys would have gone unnoticed (well, maybe Ludvig Borga). So really when stars are created, it is in the independent circuit and the wrestlers are actually creating themselves with their personality and their ability that they are able to display for the few hundred in attendance and the ones that are going to stream the event online.

To me, that is better, it’s more organic and real, it’s not fabricated.

Remember the first season of NXT when Bryan Danielson was being put on the national spotlight and in the big time, the WWE. Even with the name change to Daniel Bryan, it was awesome to see this guy I watched on DVD’s of ROH and on YouTube; I finally got to see him step up to the big show.

For me, that was better than seeing six weeks of vignettes of a made up character that has a 50/50 chance of making any sort of impact.

I see Mr. Russo’s point, but I have to say that while it does have some truth to it, but does it really matter? If the fans are seeing the stars that they admire on the biggest shows against the biggest names that the business has, aren’t we all winning in the end.

Next: Finn Balor talks what made him come to WWE

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