Vince Russo, depending with whom you’re speaking, either had a lot to do with the WWE Attitude Era’s success or very little.
Jim Cornette has a well-documented hatred for the former head writer of Raw, while people like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Jim Ross have anywhere from jovial to respectful relationships with the man.
If you ask Vince Russo, he takes credit for quite a bit of the success; but one wrestling legend has gone on record saying that credit for that era is often misplaced.
When asked if Vince Russo deserved more credit than he gets for the cultural phenomenon that wrestling was throughout the 1990s and early 2000s on a recent episode of the MSL & Sullivan podcast, Kevin Sullivan had this to say.
“No, I don’t think so. First of all, they had great talent. The second thing. Pat Patterson is one of the most brilliant guys — if not the most brilliant — that’s ever been in our business, and he doesn’t get the credit that he deserves because he’s always taken a backseat to Vince. He’s known his place.”
Sullivan went on to say that “everywhere he went, it wasn’t by accident, the territories caught on fire.”
Patterson spent time in the San Francisco territory “when it was good,” Sullivan said.
“He went to AWA, was the first Intercontinental Champion, Florida, Texas, Boston — it isn’t by chance. This guy knows wrestling. He knows what draws. And he had the characters at the time and the wherewithal to go with it, and he did,” he added.
That said, the guys didn’t cut Vince Russo out of the mix altogether. MSL called him a “piece of the puzzle” and said that he was good at doing things to generate ratings. However, his weakness was that he “didn’t understand how to build big pay-per-view matches month to month.”
This last criticism coming from MSL was borne out when Vince Russo left the WWE and was given the full reins at WCW.
Under his authority, WCW went from being a national competitor of WWE to being run into the ground and sold in a firesale to Vince McMahon shortly thereafter.
All that said, Vince Russo does continue to carve out a niche with his wrestling background in the podcast community.
— Aries II (@XBOX_ARIES_II) August 12, 2016
That is, however, one of the big criticisms that his arch nemesis, Jim Cornette, has had for him over the years — that he sucked professional wrestling dry and helped expedite its downfall into the “sports entertainment” realms.
Cornette also accuses Vince Russo of living too much in the past, which is, if you listen to Russo’s recent content, a valid criticism.
— Vince Russo (@THEVinceRusso) August 10, 2016
As for the man himself, he has not yet had a chance to respond to Kevin Sullivan’s assessment of the situation, but many in the wrestling world would (and have) agreed that Pat Patterson has long been one of the architects of Vince McMahon’s success.
Working side-by-side with McMahon, who is more business and entertainment than wrestling, he helped lend authenticity to the product and continues to be a beloved liaison between corporate and talent in the locker room.
But what do you think of what Sullivan spoke to here?
Does Vince Russo deserve more credit than he gets for the Attitude Era or none at all? Or do you think that the truth, as is often the case, is somewhere in between? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via WWE]