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WRESTLING 101: THE MYTH BEHIND “THE TURN”

by / 05.17.2014

Building a website like “Pyro and Ballyhoo“, is something that I’ve wanted to do for some time. Even though writing gets extremely painful at times–-a writer HAS TO write. From late 1995 to 2012, I was involved in writing wrestling shows for three different companies. Throughout that experience, my love for writing really just turned into a “job” for various reasons.

First off, the load of content that you had to churn out was absolutely ridiculous. There is no television show on the face of this planet–-or, any other for that matter–-that writes AND produces at least ONE two-hour show—52 weeks out of the year. That schedule is ridiculous, and should have changed a long time ago. So with that–-a couple of things come into play–-I don’t care who you are–-you are NEVER writing your best material–-NEVER. There just is no time to craft, tweak, re-think, etc. It just becomes a race against the clock–-where the show has to get done. No other show in Hollywood is written with such great constraints and demands–NONE.

violetAdd to that, you VERY rarely have the opportunity to write 100% the show you want to write. There is ALWAYS somebody else to answer to. So, you spend hours trying to write the best show you can, already under horrific conditions, than, when you finally get it done–-you usually have to get approval from “others” (and I’m NOT talking Vince McMahon OR Dixie Carter), regardless if whether from a creative standpoint–-they actually “deserve and have the experience” to have that input. So, at that point the red marker comes out–-and you have one of two choices–argue until you look like Violet Beauregarde-or, just make the changes. Nine times out of ten–-I just made the changes. Why? Somewhere along the line I just lost my fighting spirit. And, in tune with that–-the clock was ticking so there was just ZERO time for argument.

So, as you could see–-the process wasn’t as much fum as one might think it would be. When you’re forced to work in that manner, under those circumstances, your love for something just becomes a “job” over the years–-and you just do the best you can do. But, deep down in the heart of a writer, there is always that longing to have the freedom to write about what you “really” want to write about, and most importantly–-your passions. THAT’S why there was always a desire for a “Pyro and Ballyhoo“. But, there was also yet another motive to my madness. For those that would elect to come to this website, I really wanted to take the opportunity to teach them as much as I possibly could as it pertains to the wrestling business. There is just so much that goes into what I did, and unless you were there and did it . . . you would just never really understand. Having my vantage point, I think that there are very few more qualified than me, who can now take a stab at . . . .REALLY . . . making you understand.

So, at this point, I will trow on my sports coat, and become Professor Russo. This will be our first class in “Wrestling 101″, and it will be called, “The Myth of the Turn”.

cheerleader-melissa-090213

If you follow me at all, than you know that I recently opened a twitter account @pyroballyhoo. For years I have been scared to death of this “twitter” gimmick. I can remember YEARS AGO, and I mean YEARS AGO when “Cheerleader Melissa”, a great talent and human being, first told me about this “twitta thing”. At that time nobody was doing it, only a handful of people. I can remember Melissa really going into detail, and me just blurting out, “Why would anybody care what anybody is else doing 24 hours a day?!” I thought the concept was ridiculous! So here I am years later–-being as ridiculous as the next guy. Any way, as I was watching “Impact” this week, the discussion of the MVP “turn” came up. Many people felt that the “turn” came too soon, and that TNA should have held off on the “turn”. One guy even wrote me that MVP himself thought the “turn” was a bit premature. So, I listened, and I thought, and I soon realized:

“THROUGHOUT MY ENTIRE WRESTLING CAREER I HAD ACTUALLY NEVER “TURNED” A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER.”

Yeah, you got that right–-that’s why I put it in bold type. Here–-I will say it again:

“I HAVE NEVER “TURNED A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER”.

Not to be disrespectful to any one reading this, because that’s not my purpose at all–remember, I’m a Professor now, so I have to lead by example–but, I don’t think that the wrestling fan truly understands that a “turn” is not a “turn” at all, but rather a character “reacting” when faced with a certain set of circumstances, a certain situation–-or–a certain conflict. It’s that character –staying true to himself–at that point in time–under the cirmcumstances/situation given. In other words–-there is NO TURN at all–-the character is just reacting to what’s now been handed to him.

Let me explain–-and I’ll do it with MVP.

mvp!!Upon his arrival in TNA as the “Director of Business Operations”, MVP clearly told us the story of his checkered past: life on the streets, his gang affiliation, doing time in jail for breaking the law, etc. MVP then went on to explain that he was given a “second chance in life”, and that he was very grateful for this opportunity in TNA.”

OK–-so from a storytelling POV (point of view) MVP has just explained to us his background-his past–who he was at another time in his life.

So from there, MVP goes on and conducts himself in a professional manner as the Director of Wrestling Operations at TNA. He’s all about truth, justice and the AMERICAN WAY!!! All right–-now I have to play this following clip:

Getting back to MVP. So, MVP represents his job to the best of his capability–-until-some how, some way, Eric Young becomes the TNA World Heavyweight Champion!  The circumstances/situation is now changed. Now, at this point, one would have to think that MVP may be starting to get a little “frustrated” with his job. I mean, there’s been headache, after headache with Samoa Joe, then you throw Austin Aries into that picture–-you get the idea. MVP has to be asking himself—”is this what I really signed up for? I’M A WRESTLER!” Now–-add to that— “he’s a wrestler” with a CHECKERED PAST!!!

MVP1All of the above is called character development. Once a character is established–-the fun comes when you can really start thinking about–-what they’re thinking about. What would–so and so–do if put in that situation. And, you can put any name in there if you want–-take John Cena for instance.

Now, the way Cena has been booked over the years, one would think that he would do the RIGHT THING no matter what the situation–that’s how he’s been built for well over a decade. NOW–-if Cena were put in this position, and he would have taken the  advantage of this situation–-which would have been totally out of his character–-THAT WOULD BE A TURN! It would NOT BE in John Cena’s make-up to do the “wrong thing”. But here–-we’re not talking about John Cena, we’re talking about MVP, a guy who grew up in a gang, went to jail, became a successful wrestler, took a job as more an authority figure, started getting frustrated in his job, saw an opportunity–-AND TOOK IT!!!

CENATHERE IS NO TURN HERE, FOLKS!!! Wait–-let me put that in bold so that it stands out more:

THERE IS NO TURN HERE, FOLKS!!!

MVP did EXACTLY what that “character” would have done based on his BACKGROUND and the PRESENT SITUATION that he’s in. THERE WAS NO TURN!!! Did “Rock” turn when he joined “The Corporation”? Of course he didn’t, Rock was wearing $500 shirts at the time, didn’t care about anybody else but himself, thought HE was the star of the Nation of Domination, finally broke away, was given an opportunity by Vince McMahon which involved POWER and MONEY–-so that “character” took it based on the “present situation”. He didn’t TURN–-he stayed TRUE TO HIS CHARACTER!!!

And that is what’s being lost in translation here–-STAYING TRUE TO YOUR CHARACTER IS NOT  TURNING. It’s what you would do if put in a certain situation.

Would it be a Vince Russo TURN if all of a sudden I decided to blow up against Jim Cornette after years of him burying me? No, it would be years of built up anger, and finally having taken enough, that would LEAD TO THAT! That’s the groundwork that’s been laid for the past decade. Now, if tomorrow I went out and denounced Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior–-that would be a TURN!!! NOT in my character–-therefore-NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!

So, I hope all that clarifies for you the “Myth Behind the Turn”. I look forward to our next class, where perhaps we discuss—”Are Referees REALLY Stupid . . . or . . . .Are We Just Making Them Look That Way?”

Until next time–-class is adjourned!!!

 

 

 

 

  • Ryan Patrick

    Great column. And let me be the first to say if, by chance, you ever DO blow up on Jim Cornette I’ll be first in line blowin’ up at him right with ya. He’s such a negative, envious little yambag. Sorry, but I can’t deal with him. I’ll always have your back.

    • Darius B.

      Yea, I feel you, sure Russo’s made some mistakes here and there, but Cornette had made just as many if not more, which might explain why Cornette has been fired from nearly every job he’s ever had..

      • Shane Mead

        Dude, Russo worked under Vince with massive stars and a big time production team behind him. He got WCW gig, then every other wrestling job came from being Jarretts friend and from working that money mark Dixie Carter.

        • Darius B.

          Ummm no son, Jim Cornette worked under Mcmahon and had those exact same “stars” in the WWF, and Cornette had the same production team and yet he failed miserably, as for Russo’s work in WCW, he drew the same ratings in late-99 WCW that WWE draws today, as for TNA, dutch mantell, scott d’amore, jarrett, borash etc. never drew a 1.0 rating from 2002- up until now, so why would i criticize Russo for the same thing that all those writers failed to do? BTW, is Mcmahon the one greenlighting the bullshit you see in WWE now? Which is why their numbers are falling faster than the stock-market in 2008, fuck outta here with those dave meltzer talking points.

        • Darius B.

          Ummm no son, Jim Cornette worked under Mcmahon and had those exact same “stars” in the WWF, and Cornette had the same production team and yet he failed miserably, as for Russo’s work in WCW, he drew the same ratings in late-99 WCW that WWE draws today, as for TNA, dutch mantell, scott d’amore, jarrett, borash etc. never drew a 1.0 rating from 2002- up until now, so why would i criticize Russo for the same thing that all those writers failed to do? BTW, is Mcmahon the one greenlighting the bullshit you see in WWE now? Which is why their numbers are falling faster than the stock-market in 2008, fuck outta here with those dave meltzer talking points.

          • TheDisqusInferno

            HAhahahahahhahahahahaha I can’t stop laughing at your ignorant post.

          • Darius B.

            If the truth makes you laugh, then so be it.

          • The French Angel

            Pot meets kettle?

          • Jake Richard

            You must be joking. TNA is hemorrhaging talent faster then a hemophiliac with a scrapped knee bleeds. TNA consistently and repeatedly year after year gets “Worst (take your pick)” category in WON. The inferiority of the TNA product has finally caught up enough where they’re barely able to pay their production staff, and you have the nerve to compare TNA’s product favorably to WWE?

            You must be one of those idiots who think that if the talent is killing themselves with chair-shots and blood every week, it MUST be a good product. Please. You’re an insult to the word “mark”

          • Darius B.

            you must smoke the hard stuff like Lohan, DMX, and the late Whitney Houston, where did i compare TNA to WWE, my point was that no other writer brought ratings or revenue to TNA, but people only criticize Russo, if they criticize him, they should criticize Scott D’Amore Jeff Jarrett Dutch Mantell Jim Cornette and Jeremy Borash because they failed at drawing ratings for TNA.
            I really am concerned for your mental condition, because you went way off into an irrelevant rant that had nothing to do with what i said.

          • ajstylesjoelowki

            I cant believe how people that usually criticize everything about TNA , they don’t think about inequality between european audience and US.There’s a lot of brainwashing in US about this product named wrestling.In europe 90% of wrestling fans watch both US mainstream companies.Shame on US wrestling audience

          • Jake Richard

            TNA gets criticism because TNA sucks. It only has an audience because there’s a segment of the wrestling fandom that thinks that the only way to have a good product is by having talent destroy themselves with thumbtacks like the good old Attitude Era, and gee how awful it is that McMahon won the Monday Night War. TNA cannot, repeat, cannot get it’s head out of it’s ass, and it’s ass is stuck in 1998.

          • Vince Russo

            Bro, why so freakin’ negative. Relax. If you don’t like TNA—just don’t watch it. You have an entire company working extremely hard to improve. How can you call yourself a wrestling fan—and bury a wrestling company with such venom? A true wrestling fan would be pulling for TNA to succeed. I’m sorry—but I just hate negativism—no need for it. You can state your opionion in a positive way.

          • Jake Richard

            With all due respect, I cannot pull for TNA. Too many of it’s fans, (in my experience, in any case) tell me they watch it because WWE is “watered down” and “lame.” Essentially, what they want is more chairshots, blood, thumbtacks, et. al. I can’t stand that, because it completely disregards the health and safety of the talent this business fucking depends on. There is a reason, a damn good reason, why we’ve moved past the Attitude Era. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it as much as any 17 year old of that time. But a unique set of circumstances (the Monday Night War) conspired to make the Attitude Era style of wrestling necessary. Those circumstances are dead and gone.

            TNA succeeding would only raise the possibility of wrestler’s risking brain damage (and worse….remember Benoit?) and all sorts of health risks as WWE would be forced to be more edgy to compete, to say nothing of TNA’s insistence on being an edgier product then WWE. It’s very hard for me not to be negative after all the wrestlers who’ve become broken wrecks to satisfy the ignorant markish bloodlust that still lurks around out there.

            Could I have stated my opinion more positively? Sure. Would it have made a difference to these people? Absolutely not. There’s always going to be a segment of marks who despise McMahon and the WWE product. I can’t be expected to “play nice” when it’s obvious that a mark is putting out his own selfish desires for what the product should be.

            Incidentally, I don’t see you calling down Darius B. for his negativeity. Perhaps it’s because his outlook is more to your liking then my opinion.

          • Mr. Hyatte

            The “brainwashing” is what happened when WCW was going against WWF in the 90′s. People stuck by either one or the other. Because of the popularity of wrestling during the Monday Night Wars there was an explosion of wrestling related websites. To try to get the most “hits” these sites bought into the war and fed into it. What happened when WCW folded is a lot of these sites ended. So you had the IWC now only having so many places to go and everyone trying to get themselves “over” like their favorite wrestlers and writers on the sites and when TNA came out a lot of people tried to keep then competition from WCW & WWE going so you had the TNA is great crowd and the WWE is great crowd. Now you just have people that don’t realize you can like all wrestling so they try to continue the feuding that happened in the late 90′s.
            Just a bunch of morons mimicking what happened 18 years ago. I was a fan before the Monday Night Wars and I’m still a fan. There is good and bad in all wrestling companies. You just have to enjoy what you do and the rest just let it go.

          • ajstylesjoelowki

            It’s a great explanation but i still dont get it why so much people dont think their own mind.I started watching wrestling in 80′s with some puroresu tapes and hulk in tv ,then i started watching both wcw and wwf and some ECW vhs but in tv i had only the chance to watch only wwf for a period of time then only wcw (some of my friends was subscribed to uk cable tv living in another country so i watched wwf even when it wasnt on national tv here where i live ) my point is probably staying in another continent makes us less mark of a federation or another, but i think every wrestling fans want deep inside of themself to watch every federations if they got time necessary during the week to watch it .I dont watch wwe since 2009 but it’s not because of a hate it’s because i have no such time and i always preferred TNA and ROH in term of wrestling and TNA even for their storylines

          • Jake Richard

            You’re the one who mentioned “McMahon’s bullshit” and “numbers dropping faster then the stock market in 2008.” You are correct in that D’amore, Jarret, Mantel, Borash, and Cornette deserve criticism for their booking of TNA, but if you’re going to tell me that Vince is somehow better then any of them, you can blow it out of your ass.

          • Darius B.

            my statement about “mcmahon’s bullshit” was in a completely different context from TNA, and Yes mcmahon’s numbers are dropping faster than the 2008 market crash, look it up. Finally, Russo is a hell of alot better than any of those guys, look up WWF’S numbers in 1998 and 1999 and compare that to anything Cornette, Borash, mantell, and D’amore ever did, and i certainly don’t “have to tell you” anything, who the fuck are you? Why are you on Russo’s website if you don’t like him? Please fuck off you silly-ass iwc mark.

    • AwesomeAllstar

      Jim Cornette has always been an ass with an entitlement complex and an over-inflated sense of self-worth. He also, if you notice, will never take blame on himself. #CornetteFTL

    • AwesomeAllstar

      Jim Cornette has always been an ass with an entitlement complex and an over-inflated sense of self-worth. He also, if you notice, will never take blame on himself. #CornetteFTL

  • Nicholas Erickson

    Very valid points and to be clear I thought the “turn” of MVP was to quick at first. Not because I didn’t see this evolution (put a quarter in the WWE jar) but that I saw it playing off better at the PPV. But I was WRONG, I love how the next week it played out. Sometimes as fans we are used to poor story lines and think the worst, so I didn’t think it would work. But I was 100 percent wrong, my bad.

  • Jordan

    Love the piece Vince. One thing I love is you always putting the character first, and writing in the sense of “how would this person react, if this happened”. Too many fans don’t understand that many of these characters all would act differently. There is no single guideline for wrestlers to react and to “turn” so to speak. Also was happy to see you mention The Rock and the Corporation, IMO the single best stable and storyline ever!!

  • Darius B.

    Vince Russo is quickly becoming a fixture in my daily internet activities, right up there with Youtube and Facebook….keep up the good work Mr. Russo

  • sharvey62

    Glad you mentioned Corporate Rock. That run was my favorite part of his career. Listen to the heat in that promo – unreal. That promo and the one when he staged a funeral for Austin were hilarious.

    • sharvey62

      And contrast that with Austin’s heel turn in ’01. What a debacle that was.

    • Will1225

      The promo Rock cut in late 1998 where he decided to wrestle HHH in a match where he ended the promo trying to find what his catchphrase was and ended up doing the catchphrase of a number of stars in WCW was hilarious. HBK lost his shit when Rock mocked Bret Hart’s catchphrase in that promo.

  • Dixie Carter

    Loved it Vince. Great work as always. Don’t listen to the haters. Listen to Dixie

  • chien_clean

    Sorry but No. MVP came in portraying something and he wasn’t that.

  • https://twitter.com/TNA_is_Best Christopher Bell

    Wow. Going back and explaining how MVP told us about his checkered past with gangs and jail and how he has always been a wrestler- being frustrated with his job with many people after him- you made it all make sense. Leave it to Russo.

    Now, if only I can hear Russo explain why Bobby Lashley suddenly joined MVP.

    • Vince Russo

      I’m sure that will be explained in weeks to come.

      • Nicholas Erickson

        If you do write for TNA or have an in let them know the MVP story line is genius.

  • oppyu

    So… the implication being that people with a ‘CHECKERED PAST’ are of course going to do something violent and evil against our beloved babyfaces? Because at no point did MVP convey that his ‘CHECKERED PAST’ resulted in personality flaws that would result in him becoming an evil authoritarian heel who for whatever reason is strongly opposed to Eric Young being a champion.

    • I’ve Lost My Smile

      … and you are right there is nothing that shows why MVP would have a problem with EY that has been implied prior to his sneak attack.

      • Vince Russo

        I believe on the last Impact MVP implied to EY as just the “patsy”. the guy he knew he could defeat for world title. Had nothing personal against EY. You have to listen, a lot is said that we sometimes miss.

        • I’ve Lost My Smile

          Gotcha may re-watch on DVR tomorrow as I wasn’t totally sold on the change in MVP’s character.

        • I’ve Lost My Smile

          Gotcha may re-watch on DVR tomorrow as I wasn’t totally sold on the change in MVP’s character.

          • Vince Russo

            Do. In these shows there is so much going on in the two hours—sometimes we miss things. I know I do.

          • Vince Russo

            Do. In these shows there is so much going on in the two hours—sometimes we miss things. I know I do.

  • I’ve Lost My Smile

    When you bring Cena in the discussion you cut off your nose to spite your face. As you mention MVP’s checkered past well that brings up Cena’s past as the Dr. of Thuganomics which explored more of his aggressive side. Keeping in mind that John recently touched on that side in him with his recent feuds with The Rock. Him having been a “Thug” in his past he should be equally upset with Bray Wyatt and be able to turn on his aggressive side to get Bray out of his life right or wrong? But according to your line of reasoning that would be out of his character and considered a heel turn. … If MVP is still one with a checkered past that he can pull out at will, shouldn’t John be able to do the same? I recall him attacking guys with his lock and chain why can’t he do that in his current feud? If he did is that out of his character or just adjusting to his circumstances?

    • Vince Russo

      Depends on the circumstances.

      • Vince Russo

        It also comes down to—does John “the character” have it in his heart to take Thuganomics ALL the way, regardless of who his adversary is. At this point, the way they have built him—NO. However, if he does take his actions out on a baby face—say Daniel Bryan–than THAT would be a HEEL turn on Cena’s part. Doing something that has been out of his character since day 1.

      • Vince Russo

        It also comes down to—does John “the character” have it in his heart to take Thuganomics ALL the way, regardless of who his adversary is. At this point, the way they have built him—NO. However, if he does take his actions out on a baby face—say Daniel Bryan–than THAT would be a HEEL turn on Cena’s part. Doing something that has been out of his character since day 1.

        • I’ve Lost My Smile

          I appreciating you responding, but if I can ask for a bit of clarity, as it seems you are kind of making it a situation like in The Dark Knight. Basically the place his character is in he can never do anything other than being a boy scout, Sorry for simplifying just trying to understand.

          • Vince Russo

            No—not at all. I think you’re missing the point. In Cena’s case—since he’s been such a clear-cut baby for so long, if he DID turn on a baby face that would be a HEEL move based on the history of his “character” and the way he has been built for over a decade. They can turn him heel tomorrow if they’d like–that’s up to the writers.

          • I’ve Lost My Smile

            No I understand what you are saying, his character would have to do something dastardly to have a heel turn such as attacking a good guy. My point was more referring to changes in his character to the point where his character could be aggressive without necessarily turning heel, but more of doing what had to be done for the greater good.

          • KevinGillman

            What if John cheats to win, say at Payback against Bray Wyatt? Let’s say it was simply an accident, but yet he wins. Could that be a slow form of a heel turn? And then when he does make a turn, it’s against a Daniel Bryan? Bray has certainly gotten in his head lately, especially with the kids turning on John now too….ALA The Dark Knight.

  • Shane Mead

    Haha, and you’re not getting a TNA pay check lol.

  • Shane Mead

    Haha, and you’re not getting a TNA pay check lol.

    • Vince Russo

      You don’t really think that last comment came from Dixie Carter . . . do you?

  • AwesomeAllstar

    I appreciate this article. I, like many others, was baffled by the MVP change of heart too. I questioned it, and even criticized it (which is a rarity from me as I’m a diehard supporter of iMPACT!) but this article has helped understand that underlying layer, and for that, I thank you, Vince.

  • ajstylesjoelowki

    Some points in your article should be put in a video for TNA on youtube.It should be presented by a narrator talking about it like a movie trailer.or maybe presented by some sort of journalist talking about it like he is presuming why Mvp has done those things .

    Vince did you enjoy your time in TNA Reaction? how much of it was yours? i think it should be on the web every week, not single clips .like nowdays with impact360

  • TheDisqusInferno

    Speaking of Ballyhoo there is a lot of ballyhoo in this article defending TNA’s awful booking. Are you sure you’re not consulting for them?

    This makes no sense. Where is the character development? You are stating that since MVP is a wrestler and ex-con that he can do shitty things for the shit of it.

    YOU are personally stating this. Why wasn’t this played on the screen? Why couldn’t the fans follow along with MVP and his headaches and trying to remain clam and not let his con ways get the better of him. Then do this?

    Also what does MVP gain from this? Like why now? He has been in TNA for a while. He didn’t like Magnus why not show him what a thug is like?

    I can appreciate your thesis that characters develop but jesus christ make it flow logically.

    • I’ve Lost My Smile

      That’s still the problem I have with it is the whole movie axiom – Show instead of tell. They told us MVP was a ex-con but didn’t show him perform any dirty deeds until he attacked EY, which for me is why I have a hard time seeing it as not a turn.

      • KevinGillman

        Was he ever a heel in WWE? I think that is an example of what he can do. I do feel that this motive was a bit early, but I can see what Vince is saying.

        • I’ve Lost My Smile

          Well that is what I said to VinceR, Cena hasn’t always been a good guy so he can do heelish things at one point he was hitting people in the face with his lock and chain. So him doing something dastardly to Bray would be because he can go back to Thuganomics Cena when needed right?

          • KevinGillman

            I sure hope so, but we will see. Cena needs a change. He needs to “adapt” through the times, or he will “perish” as just another boring character. See what I did there?

    • KevinGillman

      What does MVP gain from this? How about the World Heavyweight Title?

    • The French Angel

      Hahahahahaha. I can’t stop laughing at YOUR ignorant post.

    • HeyNowHank82

      Having a great time reading these blogs. Totally agree with Vince that character development is one of the most important aspects to serial television. Any Breaking Bad fan would agree that watching Walt’s progression/regression over the course of five seasons was the greatest rollercoaster ride a television show has likely ever produced. I agree with DisqusInferno on this: if character development is the gold standard, then execution is key.

      Rock’s ‘turn’ is the perfect example, as Vince explained. For months, Rock gained fan support by staying true to the heel character that the fans eventually took a shine to. Brash, cocky, well-dressed and charismatic. When he joined The Corporation, the character explained that he was rejecting the fans in the same way they rejected him with their “Rocky Sucks!” and “Die, Rocky, Die!” chants (he would do this again in Toronto after the fans booed him out of the Rogers Centre). Same with JR when he introduced Fake Razor and Diesel. I still remember Gorilla Monsoon stating that Hall and Nash would not be there the next week while JR questioned “Are you calling me a liar, Gorilla?” Then, the big reveal the next week is that JR is messing with everyone because of his horrible treatment by Vince McMahon.

      I don’t watch TNA often enough to comment on the execution of this MVP turn. I wonder how often his past was referenced on TV prior to the turn though. Were there vignettes chronicling his frustration with taking on a director’s role, ones where he maybe lashes out at someone serving under him or where face wrestlers hotshotted over his decisions, causing him frustration? Maybe with a month of EY battling a heel of little significance currently (Bobby Roode, James Storm if they’re heels) while sewing the seeds of frustration would have been a more effective way to turn MVP. Maybe if more of the shady characters from MVP’s past would have shown up right off the bat, people would be able to connect the dots a little better.

      What the above poster is trying to say, I think, is that it’s one thing for a writer to be able to explain a character’s intent outside of the body of work, but the onus is on the writer to present that in the body of work to the audience. No idea how this kind of thing works in practice, but from the sounds of things, with 50 weeks of shows per year, there’s more than enough time to execute these character intricacies gradually.

  • TheDJISSUES .

    I like this new website I have to say .. Ive agreed with vince here on a lot of what he has to say and to come from him who has been around for a while in the business its kind of fresh take for me at least.

  • MarkC201

    Great column. You’re like a breath of fresh air compared to all the other columns around.

  • Jake Richard

    Crap. This is all part of Vince’s inane desire to remove the concept of good guys and bad guys from kayfabe. Total garbage.

  • Stardog Champion

    Interesting article Vince. I agree that the seed was already for MVP “turn”. In my opinion I think TNA should have waited a little longer before giving MVP the green light to attack E.Y despite his backstory. The guy is still fresh in TNA and is quite over with the fans. A lot of people I come across really like him. I think TNA should have play safe and have E.Y vs Roode or Aries in my opinion. Slammiversary is one of TNA’s big ppv and E.Y vs MVP isn’t something I put booked on a big ppv blow off match. Now if it were Sacrifice or Victory Road then yes I wouldn’t mind having those two in a main event match.

  • http://thenewyawker.darkbb.com/ Congslop

    Wow, that honestly never occurred to me. Nice!

  • MoKopstick

    Attitude Era Turns by Vince Russo:
    Austin – Was a bad guy beating up everyone, became babyface and RESCUED Stephanie McMahon from the Undertaker. Hero?
    Ahmed Johnson not figuring out if he’s with the N.O.D. one week or against them.
    Vader becoming a sweetheart of a man babyface after facing Bret Hart.
    Kane tricks Undertaker before Royal Rumble that they’re going to be besties but then burns ‘taker’s casket at the Rumble.