Wrestling history is often put into distinct eras. Attitude, PG, Golden Age, etc., etc. A non-standard term within one of those eras is simply called “the Vince Russo era.” Many of those silly, or stupid, WCW moments we often look back upon with a heavy sigh or chuckle come from the mind of Russo. Somehow his influence never stopped there either, he went on to have stints in the WWE and TNA, and continues on today and a creative consultant and podcaster. As time has gone on Russo to become an infamous party of the old guard of 90s wrestler that hangs over modernity. And for Russo, I think it’s time we said his time is up.
All In isn’t until September but is already a major success. Selling out a 10,000 seat arena in minutes, the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes have set themselves apart. In conjunction with All In there will be a side convention for the immense number of wrestling fans who’ll descend onto Chicago. As you might expect this convention will be attended by several recognizable and legendary names whom fans can meet, mingle, and everything else you might expect from a convention. Vince Russo, despite continually carrying an infamous air about him, won’t be attending. This isn’t due to lack of trying. Cody Rhodes has chosen to not allow Russo to attend at all.
Russo wants to be apart of All In and Starrcast like any major name in the business would. He’s repeatedly tweeted Cody and the Bucks about attending and gotten silence. Until recently. Cody Rhodes finally decided to make the decision public, Russo isn’t welcome at Starrcast. Explaining in a YouTube interview, Cody attempted to remain civil saying that Starrcast and the Bucks all had a say in the choice. However Cody continued to point out Russo’s inability to tell any wrestling stories that don’t contain “shock value” and essentially calling Russo out for non-inclusive writing.
It’s a major change for typical wrestling behavior. Most companies shy away from punishing wrestlers or employees unless their behavior is truly egregious. Mike Elgin, for example, has had students accused of sexual assault. Some of Elgin’s communications with accusers were leaked online and it’s clear Elgin is attempting to remove any blame from himself while calling into question the validity of the claims. Despite this Elgin continues to be booked in matches and few companies have stepped up to say he isn’t welcome.
Russo and Elgin are great examples of the type of people who shouldn’t be let into modern wrestling. Wrestling always bases its decisions on “what’s best for business.” However it’s 2018. Reality has to set in for companies, especially those like ROH, NJPW, and the WWE, who have ample chances to set a wider standard. If WWE can allow bad behavior, then why not the smaller companies? At some point companies need to stop pretending to be faceless entities who are bound by a different book of ethics.