TOP 10 EASIEST TALENTS TO PRODUCE (1995-2012) PART II

5.  KURT ANGLE

My experience over the years has proven that the “truest”, or “purist” wrestlers have the tendency to do whatever is written. It seems that their theory,  “we’ll tell the story in the ring—you tell it on the paper”. Bret Hart was also very much this way, as was Jeff Jarrett in his earlier years when he was dealing with much less stress and responsibility.

Kurt is just a pro. If I was to start a wrestling promotion, and I had to start with one guy to build around, it would no doubt be Kurt—he is the most dependable and reliable wrestler I have ever worked with. He’s that cornerstone that every company needs. When people call him a CYBORG—they’re not kidding—he is! Another guy who just never raises his voice, never knows more than you do, and just allows you to concentrate on doing your job.

When we did the Main Event Mafia a few years ago, do you know how difficult it was to wrangle Kevin, Booker, Sting, Steiner and Kurt to do pre-tapes? At times—it just wasn’t possible. There were so many occasions where the pre-tape called for the whole group—but at the end—I had to rely solely on Kurt to do it. Even though as a side note I’d like to add that there were also many occasions where BIG POPPA PUMP was there first—ok—maybe he couldn’t find his knee brace for 15 minutes—but, he was there first!!!

I’m the biggest Kurt Angle fan on this planet.

4. ANY FEMALE WRESTLER

Do you know how easy my job would have been had I worked with all WOMEN!!! The female wrestlers will do whatever you ask them to do (of course, within reason) no questions asked—PERIOD. The mindset is real simple: they’re living in a “man’s world”, they are happy to be there, and they will do whatever deemed necessary to STAY there. That’s their mindset—NOT MINE!

In my view, and I could care less who gets hot at me—women have just as much right as men to make a career for themselves in the professional wrestling industry. Some of the biggest stars I worked with in the industry were women. I can remember VIVIDLY that Rena Mero got the push she did, because when she came out to a live audience she was getting the second biggest crowd reaction of that night—only behind Steve Austin. Sadly, and pathetically, this caused some of the TOP male performers to get in Vince’s ear at the time, and put a halt on Rena’s skyrocketing career. Disgustingly enough, one male wrestler went as far as to defecate in Rena’s bag at a house show. What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

I loved working with the females in the business—loved it!!! Why—because they actually appreciated the fact that you were trying to HELP THEM. They got that—and they listened. From Chyna, to the Beautiful People, to Medusa, to Mickie James to Gail Kim, to Luna Vachon for cryin’ out loud—they all welcomed you with open kindness. The only one encounter on the negative side I ever had with a female performer was when Sunny wasn’t happy with the shot we chose of her for the cover of the “Raw” Magazine—that was it.

No doubt in my mind that an all KO/DIVA wrestling show would draw HUGE numbers with today’s audience.

3. DUSTIN RHODES

Far and away, Goldust was the most intricate character I’ve ever had to write/produce for in my career. No two promos were ever the same, or was the same movie ever quoted twice. So much research and reading went into the process of writing for Dustin—-and my kids will tell you—I HATE READING ANYTHING!!! I can’t even imagine the train wreck we would have had on our hands had Dustin not been cooperative, and gone with the written word. 100% trust on his part—100%, and at one time that character was more over than any other heel I had ever worked with.

And what a great, great natural actor Dustin was/is. No doubt—you know who his daddy is!!! Thanks to Dustin, I was given two fond memories that have stayed with me throughout my two decades. 1. Along with Dustin and Marlena—Terri Runnels who was also TREMENDOUS—I had the experience of walking the red carpet the day prior to the Academy Awards, and #2. Having the once in a lifetime opportunity to produce both Goldust and Conan O’Brien on the set of Conan’s late night show. And yes—even Conan followed my script.

2.  PAUL BEARER

OLD SCHOOL RULZ!!! The old school guys just get it—what can I say? I loved working with the late William Moody, every chance I got. He was just such a pro, and so freakin’ good. See—the New Yawk just came out of me there. I don’t know how else to say it—to bring life and believability to such an over the top character is a true, true testimony to the man. Just one of those guys that you take for granted because you know that every week he’s going to deliver no matter what you put in front of him.

And, what a southern gentlemen he was. I think he respected “Vinny Ru” as he would refer to me, just as much as I respected him. Man, he is so sorely missed.

1. MR. BACKLUND

When you look back now, how ridiculous is it to think that Bob Backlund needed Arnold Skaaland as his mouth piece when he was WWWF Champion. Well, I guess it’s not ridiculous at all—having gone back and looked at many of those Backlund interviews with a young Vince McMahon. Timid, soft spoken, kind, polite, Backlund just did not have the traits necessary to cut that strong baby face promo to sell tickets.

Fast forward a little over a decade later when MR. BACKLUND hit the scene. Are you FREAKIN’ kidding me?!!! (there I go again). Who is this guy, and where did he come from?!!! I remember in the mid-90s when I was writing for the WWE Magazine–when I was on the road, and Mr. Backlund was in a pre-tape room, I would stop whatever I was doing to just go watch—-and listen. I swear to you all, this was the best thing I had ever seen since the BIG THREE—-and I’m talking Albano, Blassie and Wiz!!!

Like Warrior, when I would later be producing Mr. Backlund—you couldn’t write for him. There was NOTHING—NOTHING I was going to write that was going to be better than what was just coming off the top of his head. This was entertainment at its finest form—nobody better—nobody.

My TOP memory of ALL-TIME in the wrestling business is when I got to go to spring break in Daytona Beach with Mr. Backlund sometime in the mid-90s. As a shoot—Backlund—sorry—MR. Backlund wore a grey wool suit, red bow tie and white preventive sunburn cream on his nose, being that the temperature was in the triple digit range. There was even a scene where he rolled up his pants and waded in the pool with some of the unruly students. Again—as a shoot because I was there—Mr. Backlund started preaching to these kids and within FIVE FREAKIN’ MINUTES—these teens were sitting on his every word. It was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen.

So there you have it—my top ten list of the easiest talents to produce. The hardest? Stay tuned—but, only if I dare.

  • Mike

    I’m glad to see that you are offering your views on different subjects as well as things you have been involved in.

  • Mark Moore

    Just so happy that Vince Russo has an official website. The attitude era was so creative and exciting that you literally didn’t know what was going to happen from one week to the next.
    Now please get back into wrestling in a more hands on way.

  • Peter Kurek

    If this is “Part 1″, does that mean these are actually numbers 10-6? or was the top half revealed first? Is this all part of a swerve?

  • Vince Russo

    I wish. Just took me a while to upload correctly.

  • Vince Russo

    I wish. Just took me a while to upload correctly.

    • http://www.tnasylum.com/ Talon

      Vince, when you were raising your kids, did you ever swerve them? Dad, can I go to _______ house? Yes!

      Hours later, your son gets grounded for disobeying you.

    • Michael Rubin

      vince how difficult was it t o work with kurt and jeff during the love triangle worked shoot?

  • Mike_Killam

    Vince, I have so much more respect for you after reading both THIS and your Arcade of Achievement pieces. I’ve been working on doing a podcast series with a few ladies in the business for Wrestlezone that focuses on one topic – “Sexism in Wrestling”. I’m a big women’s wrestling advocate, and it frustrates me to no end that it’s one of the last major industries that really doesn’t offer “equal opportunity”.

    That your FIRST Hall of Fame inductee was a woman, and perhaps THE woman of wrestling shows how much respect you have for all the great ladies that have worked just as hard, if not harder, than the boys over the years. Thanks!

  • Mike_Killam

    Vince, I have so much more respect for you after reading both THIS and your Arcade of Achievement pieces. I’ve been working on doing a podcast series with a few ladies in the business for Wrestlezone that focuses on one topic – “Sexism in Wrestling”. I’m a big women’s wrestling advocate, and it frustrates me to no end that it’s one of the last major industries that really doesn’t offer “equal opportunity”.

    That your FIRST Hall of Fame inductee was a woman, and perhaps THE woman of wrestling shows how much respect you have for all the great ladies that have worked just as hard, if not harder, than the boys over the years. Thanks!

    • Christopher Garcia

      “perhaps THE woman of wrestling shows how much respect you have for all the great ladies that have worked just as hard…”

      You cannot be serious, Mike?

      This is the same Vince Russo that was responsible for bra and panties matches, bikini contests on Nitro and Raw, Lacey Von Erich running around in her underwear on Impact.

      So, before you want to give Russo the Susan B. Anthony award for Women’s rights, do a little research and open your eyes a little bit.

    • Christopher Garcia

      “perhaps THE woman of wrestling shows how much respect you have for all the great ladies that have worked just as hard…”

      You cannot be serious, Mike?

      This is the same Vince Russo that was responsible for bra and panties matches, bikini contests on Nitro and Raw, Lacey Von Erich running around in her underwear on Impact.

      So, before you want to give Russo the Susan B. Anthony award for Women’s rights, do a little research and open your eyes a little bit.

      • Burt Price

        Women already wear revealing clothing when they’re wrestling. Does it really make a difference if they’re in a bra and panties and/or bikinis.

        How is that different than a movie director/writer having a nude scene? Would that be disrespectful?

        • Vince Russo

          Go get em’, Burt!!! I had all the respect in the world for every female wrestler I ever worked with!!! If they had beautiful bodies, there was nothing wrong with them presenting them in a “tasteful” manner. Heck—if I was ripped you don’t think I wouldn’t be walking around without a shirt?

        • Vince Russo

          Go get em’, Burt!!! I had all the respect in the world for every female wrestler I ever worked with!!! If they had beautiful bodies, there was nothing wrong with them presenting them in a “tasteful” manner. Heck—if I was ripped you don’t think I wouldn’t be walking around without a shirt?

          • Nicholas Erickson

            Thanks Vince I just had a vision of Hogan and Flair on Monday Impact shirtless. It was like a fight in an Elk’s Club locker room, no one wanted to see that. But you make a great point, how can people say it is degrading for a women to be in a bikini but fine for the guys to be in a bikini bottom?

          • Nicholas Erickson

            Thanks Vince I just had a vision of Hogan and Flair on Monday Impact shirtless. It was like a fight in an Elk’s Club locker room, no one wanted to see that. But you make a great point, how can people say it is degrading for a women to be in a bikini but fine for the guys to be in a bikini bottom?

          • Guest

            You can’t be serious.

          • Guest

            You can’t be serious.

          • Nicholas Erickson

            How is it any different?

          • Nicholas Erickson

            How is it any different?

          • Nicholas Erickson

            How is it any different?

          • Nicholas Erickson

            How is it any different?

          • Guest

            You can’t be serious.

        • Darius B.

          sadly stupid people like christopher garcia are allowed to type on the internet, WWF had miss elizabeth take her skirt off at Summerslam ’88 in the Tag-Team main-event, way before russo got there.

        • Upgrayedd

          Yeah, you can’t really blame Russo for writing that. It’s not like the women were forced to do it. It was their choice. That’s like being upset at a porn director for directing women in porn. It’s their choice.

        • Upgrayedd

          Yeah, you can’t really blame Russo for writing that. It’s not like the women were forced to do it. It was their choice. That’s like being upset at a porn director for directing women in porn. It’s their choice.

    • Christopher Garcia

      “perhaps THE woman of wrestling shows how much respect you have for all the great ladies that have worked just as hard…”

      You cannot be serious, Mike?

      This is the same Vince Russo that was responsible for bra and panties matches, bikini contests on Nitro and Raw, Lacey Von Erich running around in her underwear on Impact.

      So, before you want to give Russo the Susan B. Anthony award for Women’s rights, do a little research and open your eyes a little bit.

  • Mike_Killam

    Vince, I have so much more respect for you after reading both THIS and your Arcade of Achievement pieces. I’ve been working on doing a podcast series with a few ladies in the business for Wrestlezone that focuses on one topic – “Sexism in Wrestling”. I’m a big women’s wrestling advocate, and it frustrates me to no end that it’s one of the last major industries that really doesn’t offer “equal opportunity”.

    That your FIRST Hall of Fame inductee was a woman, and perhaps THE woman of wrestling shows how much respect you have for all the great ladies that have worked just as hard, if not harder, than the boys over the years. Thanks!

  • James

    Kurt Angle: Intense. Legit. Funny. Entertaining. The Terminator of Professional Wrestler. I’m speaking as a fan only: He needs to take about one year off from wrestling. Go back to the WWE for one year. Lose his last match at WrestleMania. Retire from in-ring competition. Be an ambassador for the WWE. Hall of Fame. Fantasy booking I guess.
    Trish Stratus: The greatest woman wrestler of all time.
    Amazing Kong: She has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time. I don’t know where she is in her life. But if she wants to be back in the WWE, I would hope WWE would give her the opportunity. I would love to see her in Ring of Honor. Amazing Kong vs. Beth Phoenix is a dream match.
    Dustin Rhodes: Dustin Rhodes/Goldust is on my very short list of the greatest wrestlers to never be a World Champions. Amazing talent! And he is still going strong.
    Paul Bearer: The character was a perfect fit for one of the best characters in Professional Wrestling history, The Undertaker.
    Bob Backlund: Legend.

  • James

    Kurt Angle: Intense. Legit. Funny. Entertaining. The Terminator of Professional Wrestler. I’m speaking as a fan only: He needs to take about one year off from wrestling. Go back to the WWE for one year. Lose his last match at WrestleMania. Retire from in-ring competition. Be an ambassador for the WWE. Hall of Fame. Fantasy booking I guess.
    Trish Stratus: The greatest woman wrestler of all time.
    Amazing Kong: She has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time. I don’t know where she is in her life. But if she wants to be back in the WWE, I would hope WWE would give her the opportunity. I would love to see her in Ring of Honor. Amazing Kong vs. Beth Phoenix is a dream match.
    Dustin Rhodes: Dustin Rhodes/Goldust is on my very short list of the greatest wrestlers to never be a World Champions. Amazing talent! And he is still going strong.
    Paul Bearer: The character was a perfect fit for one of the best characters in Professional Wrestling history, The Undertaker.
    Bob Backlund: Legend.

  • The French Angel

    Mr. Backlund was a hilarious character.

    What is it with male wrestlers wanting to defecate on property?

    From what happened to Rena Mero to Randy Orton being accused of pooping on Amy Weber’s bag from several years ago. Why? What is this suppose to accomplish other than a good laugh?

    • The_Stig

      Basically? Pooping in gym bags is typical pro wrestling locker room douchebaggery. Gym bags are nothing….pretty much everyone used to steal Jerry Lawler’s crown and take a dump in it. Sometimes they’d fill it right up to the rim. You’d think The King was single-handedly keeping the disinfectant industry afloat.

    • The_Stig

      Basically? Pooping in gym bags is typical pro wrestling locker room douchebaggery. Gym bags are nothing….pretty much everyone used to steal Jerry Lawler’s crown and take a dump in it. Sometimes they’d fill it right up to the rim. You’d think The King was single-handedly keeping the disinfectant industry afloat.

      • The French Angel

        Poor King, LOL.

  • http://russsays.wordpress.com/ Russ Ray

    Vince, did you know that it was Sean Waltman who put feces in Sable’s bag? He’s admitted it on a couple of other podcasts. Just wondering if that changes your opinion of his “legend” status from the first post that he’s a “pathetic excuse for a human being”.

    • Paul

      To be fair, X-Pac wasn’t the one defecating, he only put the crap in the bag, it was someone else who gave it to him.

      • sullyman

        idk man,he told rfvideo that he did it

  • Michael Rubin

    backlund is legit half nuts its not a character read foleys book Foley is good

  • Gazz

    Vince – what about doing a top 10 favourite storylines you created? Maybe abit egotistical but I’d be very excited to read about how you came up with them. Keep it up!

  • Gazz

    Vince – what about doing a top 10 favourite storylines you created? Maybe abit egotistical but I’d be very excited to read about how you came up with them. Keep it up!

  • sullyman

    X-PAC!!!

  • sullyman

    took the duece in her bag lol. Now i dont know for sure but ive heard from multiple guys that mero/ sable was a pre madonna b**ch, but aren’t alot of wrestlers in the business,Vince??

  • sullyman

    funny story was JR saying Brian Pillman took a HUGE dump and was so amazed by the length lol he had someone watch over the bathroom to show everybody who went in there to take a look& admire. Dont know why i went here but it came straight from JR