How does THAT sell a ticket? How does THAT sell a PPV? How does THAT sell merchandise? How does THAT further a storyline? How does THAT keep someone watching?
It doesnâ<80><99>t, it doesnâ<80><99>t, it doesnâ<80><99>t, it doesnâ<80><99>t and it doesnâ<80><99>t.
Itâ<80><99>s tough to write this, because I like him and he treated me OK when I worked for him at WCW. But Vince Russoâ<80><99>s booking sucks out loud. Talk all you want about his alleged influence on the WWF â<80><9c>Attitudeâ<80> era. But the fact is that very little done then can be directly traced to Russo. Itâ<80><99>s a further fact that 95 percent of the booking that can be traced to Russo stinks.
Tell me the last thing Russo booked that drew money, or even legitimately increased his productâ<80><99>s visibility. Tell me the last thing he booked â<80>” as TNA heads toward a rehash of New Blood vs. Millionairesâ<80><99> Club â<80>” that wasnâ<80><99>t self-plagiarism John Fogerty would be proud of. Tell me why heâ<80><99>s still employed, tell me why he gets chance after chance, and tell me how many times he has to fail before heâ<80><99>s voted off the sorry island that is wrestlingâ<80><99>s â<80><9c>creativeâ<80> arm, because believe me, heâ<80><99>ll reach it.
You can tell Russo has zero respect for wrestling fans â<80>” hey, join the club, but no oneâ<80><99>s wasting MILLIONS on my acumen â<80>” because heâ<80><99>s a smart man who books lowest common denominator bathroom humor. Subtlety and logic are verboten. You wonâ<80><99>t get it. Just laugh when somebody breaks wind.
I chortle when Dixie Carter is called an astute businesswoman. Her support of the Jeff Jarrett regime â<80>” which supports the Russo sub-regime â<80>” shows sheâ<80><99>s just another mark with cash, an airheaded ditz, someone who wastes gobs of dough for the â<80><9c>privilegeâ<80> of hanging out with wrestlers.
They say a fool and his/her money are soon parted. Iâ<80><99>m amazed Dixie and her money ever got together in the first place. What a dope.
Jarrettâ<80><99>s attachment to Russo is at least understandable. Russo booked WWF when Jarrett actually meant something â<80>” though not much â<80>” and pushed him like crazy in WCW (to no great effect). Jarrett clinging to Russo equates to Jarrett hanging on to the shattered remains of his fading career.
History shows us that wrestling really hasnâ<80><99>t had many good bookers, but the very worst seem to get chance after chance. Case in point: Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes tried to ruin Ric Flair by way of furthering his own cause, but he couldnâ<80><99>t. Flair was just too good. Maybe thatâ<80><99>s the lesson to be learned: Good booking doesnâ<80><99>t matter half as much as star power.
Of course, TNA doesnâ<80><99>t have much of that, either.
Jim Cornette should book TNA. Cornette and I are hardly friends, and heâ<80><99>s a bit old-fashioned. But he books with an eye toward logic and sequence. He knows which parts of wrestling history are worth recycling. And he cares â<80>” and cares deeply â<80>” when given reason. Cornette knows that nothing succeeds like success. Conning yourself into thinking youâ<80><99>re the only hip guy in the room doesnâ<80><99>t count.
Wrestling is about telling stories. Russo has proven, over the longest of long hauls, that he simply doesnâ<80><99>t have even the vaguest idea how to do that. History will show he failed a heck of a lot more than he succeeded. History will show he contributed almost nothing positive,
Russo defenders point out that heâ<80><99>s part of a booking committee. How convenient. The traditional function of booking committees is to provide a smokescreen that shields any of its members from individual blame. Donâ<80><99>t do your job. Keep your job. Itâ<80><99>s the TNA mantra.
TNAâ<80><99>s â<80><9c>No Surrenderâ<80> PPV was ironically titled. It may have been the promotionâ<80><99>s low ebb, which says plenty. â<80><9c>Fire Russoâ<80> chants got on the air. Jarrett came back under the guise of TNAâ<80><99>s savior and was received with mass indifference. On some cable systems, a snippet of soft-core lesbian porn actually aired during â<80><9c>No Surrender.â<80> It was the PPVâ<80><99>s unabashed highlight.
Why? Because Vince Russo didnâ<80><99>t book it, thatâ<80><99>s why.
A SAD FAREWELL
The news that Shelly â<80><9c>Salinasâ<80> Martinez has left TNA to film a movie in Italy leaves me hopeful that she might accidentally wind up naked and kissing another girl on a TNA PPV someday.
But otherwise I am deeply saddened by the departure of a woman that some fancied as multi-talented, an actress who effortlessly careened back and forth between playing a vampire, a duct-taped bondage queen and a hip-shaking hoochie mama from the barrio. But I will not remember Shelly for her versatility, or for the way she contributed almost nothing to LAX, or even for her fine video work with Jewel DeNyle, another noted thespian.
No, I will remember Shelly for taking fake breasts right up to the precipice, to the very limit. Right up to the point of being too big without quite crossing the line. As a TNA personality once said, â<80><9c>When you see her in a cut-up T-shirt with no bra, itâ<80><99>s like being hit in the head with a left hook. POW!â<80>
I wish Shelly well in her future endeavors, and if things donâ<80><99>t work out in film, perhaps weâ<80><99>ll be able to follow her further exploits at theeroticreview.com. Again, hereâ<80><99>s hoping.