WWE may have one of the most talented rosters in the history of the company right now, but a common fan complaint is that the writing of their weekly televisions shows fails to live up to the roster's potential. Whether or not that's the primary reason, one thing that can't be denied is that WWE's audience is shrinking, with ratings declining for more than a decade. Could an important creative figure from WWE's popular Attitude Era be the answer?
Vince Russo thinks so. The former lead writer for WWE during one of its most successful periods, Russo told website Fightful that he contacted Vince McMahon and offered to help turn things around last week.
I am still a wrestling fan at heart, going back to when I was 10, 11 years old. I hate today's product. To me, it's not professional wrestling. I don't want to be the guy critiquing the problem without saying 'Here's my olive branch, I think I can help you as the numbers go down every week.' I didn't use the word help. You don't tell Vince McMahon he needs help. I said 'if you want me to contribute, I'd love to once again contribute.
Of course, Russo is also famous for his post-WWE stints, which are credited with driving WCW out of business and destroying Impact Wrestling's chances of becoming a viable WWE competitor. When Russo left WWE at the height of their popularity in 1999, a lot of people worried that WWE's success would leave with him. However, it was Russo who floundered without Vince McMahon to filter his ideas, while WWE rode high on the stars created during the Attitude era for several more years before the end of the Monday Night Wars began the long ratings slide.
Widely considered poisonous when given total creative power in a wrestling company, Russo's work with McMahon is some of the most fondly remembered in history. Could the pair recapture that magic if they teamed up again?
Sadly, or fortunately, depending on your perspective, we may never find out. Though he's not completely ruling it out, Russo described McMahon's response as less than enthusiastic:
Vince never seems receptive. His response is always a couple of words. He's not that guy. He's the same guy that told me I could get a nanny (to raise) your kids,
So he's saying there's a chance?