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Gavin Armstrong



Good Wholesome Wrestling Matches? NOT ON MY BLOODY SHOW!!

To start off my first column here at, I would like to quote a passage from the WCW Live! interview with special guest Vince Russo.

"Like I said, if people don't like the sophisticated storyline, if they can't understand the sophisticated storyline, if they don't wanna be challenged, if they don't wanna hop on WCW's back ... then watch Raw and watch the Undertaker and Kane for the hundredth time. You can be a mindless, brainless idiot, you don't gotta think about what they're doing, and just watch good wholesome wrestling matches. If that's what you want, then don't watch our product. I refuse to do that because as a wrestling fan, don't insult my intelligence."

This quote from Vince Russo is most revealing. Many columnists may have said this already, but I think it needs repeating.

Russo does not want wrestling matches, let alone "..good wholesome wrestling matches.", on his show. It is quite obvious that he feels the matches get in the way of his storytelling. He even says that every fan that does want to see wrestling on a wrestling show, (wrestling on a wrestling show?), is a "..mindless, brainless idiot".

There is no doubt that, "..sophisticated storylines..", although I have yet to see him write one, are incredibly important to today's shows. A case in point would be the Triple H/ Stephanie/ Angle storyline in the WWF. This has been built up for months now with the subtle interplay between the three being excellent. The audience has really responded to it and the match that will surely follow is highly anticipated by the fans. And it is the match that will really elevate the storyline. A great match can elevate even those wrestlers who do not have that strong of a storyline in the first place, (e.g. Hardys vs. Edge & Christian Ladder Match). Russo would ideally like to turn WCW into a soap opera about a wrestling show and not write a wrestling show with soap opera storylines.

In his mind he may be writing a ".sophisticated storyline.." but to the casual and many a hardcore fan, those same stoylines are confusing with little, if any, logic or coherence behind them. Rather than write these so called sophisticated storylines with poorly booked matches that hardly anyone can follow or cares about, why not write simpler storylines that the audience understands with well booked matches. I sure the viewing public would appreciate it.

Also it is true that we have seen Undertaker vs. Kane numerous times before and personally I would rather not see it again. However, I think that Russo should be the last one to complain about this, seeing as he would have been responsible for the other ninety-nine times that they fought as he was writing for the WWF at the time.

Here is another quote from the same interview regarding his role on television.

"..I don't wanna be on TV. And if I did wanna be on TV, I'd say it... I wouldn't lie about it. I don't like doing that. That is not fun for me. But when you have a show and it is a soap opera... I happen to be a character like everybody else, it is going to call for me being on TV whether I like it or not."

I have to say that this statement puzzles me. As the head writer/ booker for WCW, he has full control over all the storylines written for the show. He may have difficulties passing some of his more controversial ideas past Standards and Practices but nonetheless, he still has almost total control over all the storylines. Now, if he hates being in front of the camera as much as he claims, then logic dictates that he would not structure all the major angles around himself. He correctly states that he happens to be a character just like everybody else, but this is of his own making. He wrote WCW's current storylines with himself as one of the main characters, which would require him to be in front of the camera.

When he defected to WCW, his first major angle was the Power That Be. He may not have revealed his face to the viewing audience, but he still commanded a significant proportion of television time. In his current role he frequently appears on screen and has again written the major storylines around his character. Here is a list of a few that spring to mind:

  • Russo double crosses Hulk Hogan
  • Russo cuts THE MANS hair
  • Russo offers Goldberg his release

That is not the way to write a show if you do not want to appear in front of the cameras. If he truly does not want to be a character on his own show, then I have the following advice:


In closing we can predict the following about the future of WCW if Vince Russo is left in charge.

  • WCW will become a fully blown soap opera
  • Vince Russo will be the leading star
  • There will be No Wrestling

Wrestling Highlights Of The Week:
Kurt Angle vs. Mat Hardy (WWF Heat)

"..because you've got the test- you've got the ovariological fortitude.." Mick Foley (WWF Smackdown)

"Looked like he was goin' for a sugarthemaki!" Stevie Ray (WCW Thunder)

Non Wrestling Highlights Of The Week:
Photek -Terminus EP
4-player Virtua Tennis (Dreamcast)
Big Brother -UK version (Nicks eviction)

Next Weeks Column: An Interview With The Big Show

Gavin Armstrong
In A Lost Blue Heaven

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