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Who is the worst booker ever?


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#21 Bix

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:41 PM

Has anyone ever explained why Russo seemingly got a lot more control than he had before around the end of '98? Just Vince being deluged with IPO stuff? Patterson was still around and had the power to serve as a filter, didn't he?

#22 Johnny Sorrow

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:10 AM

I can't imagine Nash volunteering to lose the world belt so quickly after he won it.



According to every shoot I've seen with Nash, he was all for it. Unless my memory fails me. I believe he's gone on record saying that the idea was to reform the NWO with Hogan as Champ and have Goldberg do the big chase back to get the belt and revenge, but then Goldberg got hurt. I recall there being some logistical timeline issues with this, but I know that's his story.

#23 Jingus

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:16 AM

According to every shoot I've seen with Nash

Uh, that's already strike one and two. Nash is only second to Billy Jack Haynes in the competition for "shoot interview filled with the largest amount of total bullshit".

I believe he's gone on record saying that the idea was to reform the NWO with Hogan as Champ and have Goldberg do the big chase back to get the belt and revenge, but then Goldberg got hurt. I recall there being some logistical timeline issues with this, but I know that's his story.

Yep, total bullshit. Goldberg got hurt an entire year later than Nash is claiming here. He was there, healthy, and wrestling for the entire time that Nash was booking. But he never came anywhere near Hogan or the belt.

#24 Johnny Sorrow

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:25 AM

According to every shoot I've seen with Nash

Uh, that's already strike one and two. Nash is only second to Billy Jack Haynes in the competition for "shoot interview filled with the largest amount of total bullshit".



Right, but why would Nash say he was all for it if he wasn't and it was Hogan's call? Typical Nash bs would be that he was against it but Hogan said it had to happen.

#25 Victator

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:32 AM

He also took WCW back a step by trying to push the oldest guys in the company as the top stars,

What young guys were left to push? He put the belt on Benoit before him and the other three took off. Rey was injured and Russo ran off most of the luchadores. He did a lot to push Vampiro and the Wall up the card, he repackaged Silver King and El Dandy. He did what he could with what was left. I don't think anyone could of done anything with WCW in that state.

#26 Victator

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:34 AM

Also the nWo reunion was a perfectly solid idea. They had a pretty good long term plan, before the scrapped it to make Hogan a face and Flair a heel.

#27 El-P

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:52 AM

As for Sullivan, he's the guy that thought it was a cool idea to book Bill Dannenhauer as his dyslexic brother "Evad Sullivan", he's also the guy that rubbed so many people the wrong way that four of WCW's most talented stars quit following his promotion to head booker in 2000. Think about Sullivan's creations as a booker - the Dungeon of Doom was a colossal failure, given that none of it's members were particularly over and that the main angle revolved around a terrible feud that Sullivan had begun with Hulk Hogan.

He was also booking during 96 and 97.


Word. It's funny Sullivan still gets shit for 2000 while everyone still tend to forget Sullivan booked the best Nitro years ever. I guess it's a syndrome of "oh, the Radicalz left because of Sullivan", which is something I never got anyway. Who pushed Dean and Eddie with titles reigns galore in 96-97 ? Who made Chris Benoit look like a star while he was having an affair with his own wife ? I mean, when did Sullivan tried to bury Benoit, Eddie or Dean at any point ? He's the one who pushed them and made strong undercard figure, and even a little more than this with Benoit. The Radz freakout out when Sullivan got the book back because of Benoit & Nancy, but in reality I don't believe Sulli would have buried any of them, he's too smart for that. Then when they left he found a depleted company robbed of its two best workers and the rest of it was turned into a freak show by months of Russo booking. Not easy to follow through when you're burned out anyway.
Yes, Sullivan also did book some shitty stuff, but he also had to deal with Bischoff getting ear-fucked by Nash & co and Hogan being a bitch with his creative control power. With WCW in 96/97, Sullivan can be credited for booking the hottest period ever in the company and the basis of one of the hottest period in wrestling. Everyone gets burned out after a while, by 1998 Sullivan wasn't so good anymore and the inmates run the asylum at this point.

#28 El-P

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:58 AM

He also took WCW back a step by trying to push the oldest guys in the company as the top stars,

What young guys were left to push? He put the belt on Benoit before him and the other three took off. Rey was injured and Russo ran off most of the luchadores. He did a lot to push Vampiro and the Wall up the card, he repackaged Silver King and El Dandy. He did what he could with what was left. I don't think anyone could of done anything with WCW in that state.


Agreed. The company looked like a toxic waste after three months of Russo.

#29 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:53 AM

That Russo and Hogan segement on Nitro is one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Do you know then one? How much do people blame Hogan for what happened in WCW? Does he deserve some blame or is he just the victim of terrible management?

#30 Jingus

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:58 AM

Exactly how far up the totem pole was Sullivan in WCW during the peak years? By all accounts, that place was a madhouse, with far too many chiefs and not enough indians. Seems like there were always a dozen different people making storyline decisions at any given time.

Also the nWo reunion was a perfectly solid idea. They had a pretty good long term plan, before the scrapped it to make Hogan a face and Flair a heel.

Considering how quickly the ratings and especially the buyrates fell into the toilet, it's safe to say that the fans hated that idea. The nWo were beyond played out, and the crowds were largely sick of the whole thing. And why should we have had any faith that WCW could actually book an nWo storyline to full completion, with the black-and-white actually losing the blowoff? Hell, the company had a proven track record of doing the exact opposite.

It's funny Sullivan still gets shit for 2000 while everyone still tend to forget Sullivan booked the best Nitro years ever. I guess it's a syndrome of "oh, the Radicalz left because of Sullivan", which is something I never got anyway.

No, it's genuinely because the Sullivan 2000 era sucked that hard.

Who pushed Dean and Eddie with titles reigns galore in 96-97 ? Who made Chris Benoit look like a star while he was having an affair with his own wife ?

All of which was treated like a meaningless sideshow compared to the old guys on top. I understand why the Rads and others were frustrated, when they looked over at the competition and saw guys like Shawn and Bret getting pushed to the top. Benoit & Co. knew damn well that WCW in its current state was never going to do the same thing. Almost all of the top stars were guys who'd already been top stars for years if not decades, and WCW showed zero interest in elevating anyone younger (except Giant, but that's different).

As for thinking Sullivan was gonna bury them especially hard in 2000? Well, no, that probably wasn't gonna happen. (Not like Russo was doing a hell of a lot with any of them besides Benoit at that point anyway.) From what I've seen, I think they were just so sick of WCW in general that they were all ready to leave no matter what. Having the new boss being replaced by the same old boss was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Agreed. The company looked like a toxic waste after three months of Russo.

Except, Russo actually did a better job of booking that same crew of guys in the first month after he and Bischoff returned than Sullivan did during the entire time he was in charge. I'm not kidding, I genuinely think that Sullivan's 2000 run was worse than most of the crap that Russo did before or after. (Most, not all; in terms of lowest of lows, Arquette and Russo holding the belt probably beat any of the crap that Sullivan booked.) Kevin's ideas were so stale, it seemed like he had no idea how to put together a show anymore. Like it wasn't even the same guy who was lead booker in '96.

How much do people blame Hogan for what happened in WCW? Does he deserve some blame or is he just the victim of terrible management?

Hogan takes a lot of the blame, because he was basically one of the bookers for his entire run. The most terrible thing management ever did to him was agree to give him that Creative Control clause in his contract. Shit like the awful Ultimate Warrior feud was entirely his baby.

#31 El-P

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:59 AM

How much do people blame Hogan for what happened in WCW? Does he deserve some blame or is he just the victim of terrible management?


Come on now. Hogan fucked over WCW as much as anyone. He helped them oin the short run, especially when he turned heel, but in the long run Hogan surey contributed to kill the company. Starrcade 97 + the Evil Promo after Souled Out killed Sting dead. The Fingerpoke of Doom reset the company two years back. Not to mention his ridiculous merchandise contract. Hogan fucked WCW really bad and the balance of positive/negative he brought to the company is way on the negative side.

#32 El-P

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:12 AM

Who pushed Dean and Eddie with titles reigns galore in 96-97 ? Who made Chris Benoit look like a star while he was having an affair with his own wife ?

All of which was treated like a meaningless sideshow compared to the old guys on top.


Not true. They were a very important part of the undercard. Of course, after a while the nWo took too much space, and things were never gonna change, but let's be realistic for a moment, does anyone think Perry Saturn or Dean Malenko deserved to be main eventers *anywhere* ? Even Benoit, I never really thought he was a guy that should be put on top except for some transitionnal stuff, he just didn't had the charisma or promo ability to do it. Eddie was the only one who had the star potential (like it was showed in WWE eventually). Of course WCW didn't make any new main event stars, but they did make a lot of upper-mid card names. If they were just a meaningless sideshow, I don't think they would have been seen as any big deal coming to WWF. Same thing for Rey. Yes, he was never pushed to the top by WCW, which was stupid, but he didn't became a star in WWF from nowhere, he was already a "star" in WCW.

I understand why the Rads and others were frustrated, when they looked over at the competition and saw guys like Shawn and Bret getting pushed to the top. Benoit & Co. knew damn well that WCW in its current state was never going to do the same thing. Almost all of the top stars were guys who'd already been top stars for years if not decades, and WCW showed zero interest in elevating anyone younger (except Giant, but that's different).


Well, they made Goldberg. Nash & Hogan had to kill him off.
Of course their frustration was understandable, but in hindsight, did Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn had their best years in WCW or WWF ? The answer is pretty clear.
I'm not defending Sullivan's booking in 2000, I'm just saying the idea that the Radz left because they were afraid they would get buried was a bit ridiculous.
I'll have to check Sullivan's 2000 at one point, because my memorie is very fuzzy. I'm not sure I was watching very much at that time, Russo drove me out of town 6 months after driving me out of WWF.

#33 Loss

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:15 AM

Kevin Sullivan is similar to Dusty Rhodes in that both have had really good and really bad booking runs. In both cases, the problem was that they needed a break at the end of their most successful run that never came. 3+ years is a really long time to handle the stress associated with being a booker.

#34 El-P

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:17 AM

Agreed. Giant Baba was a great booker. Then he lost it. Everyone gets burned out eventually. The issue with modern WWE is that it's a revolving door of a bunch of writers, so it's hard to pinpoint who's really responsible for what.

#35 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:41 AM

But my point was that was that it wasn't Hogan's fault that management gave him way way way too much power? I mean Vince in 93 didn't put up with that BS for long and he was out the door. Sure he massively pandered to Hogan's ego in the 84-91 run -- specifically total and utter bullshit like winning the 1990 Rumble when he was already champ rather than let someone like Perfect get the rub. But some of the crap in WCW reached absurd levels. Pre-NWO even, what the hell was that 8 vs 2 match against the Dungeon of Doom? I don't see why they gave ANYone "creative control". If both WCW and WWF say "no, you can have money, but the final decision is ours" then it's a choice between working or not. I'll never understand how that nonsense came about. Of course no one wants to job and look bad. Of course Hogan is going to think that it's best for his character if he never gets pinned. It's like giving a contract to a footballer which says "you can pick and choose which matches you're going to play in", that's never going to work. This is what I was talking about terrible management. Who do you blame there? The footballer for exercising his contracted "right" or the person who gave him the contract? Hogan is only ever going to have Hogan's interests at heart, he's an employee, not a booker, not an excutive. If your employer tells you you can take 3 hours for lunch and you do it every day and it's written into your contract and you take 3 hour lunches every day, is it your fault? I don't want to defend Hogan in 97-99 here, but I'm just saying you can see why he was like he was. I mean they gave Lanny Poffo a $150,000 contract AND inducted Angelo Poffo into their Hall of Fame, because Savage insisted on it in the terms of his contract. Who gives an employee that sort of power? What if they don't give Savage that sort of deal? Is WWF going to take Savage back when Vince thought he was done and they are making fun of him in skits? Probably Savage doesn't get a job in New York, so if WCW played a bit more hardball they didn't need to bend over and take it from every star. Certainly not from Savage and not to the same extent they did with Hogan.

#36 Jingus

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:45 AM

Not true. They were a very important part of the undercard. Of course, after a while the nWo took too much space, and things were never gonna change, but let's be realistic for a moment, does anyone think Perry Saturn or Dean Malenko deserved to be main eventers *anywhere* ?

If they were given the right push at the right time and the right place? Sure, they could've taken that shot, at least once. The WWF was taking random dudes like Shamrock or Kane or or the Outlaws or Test or the Brood or the Hardys and turning them into shockingly popular stars, at least temporarily. They were willing to roll the dice on talent that looked like it might not have much potential, and sometimes able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. WCW was both unwilling and unable to do that.

Even Benoit, I never really thought he was a guy that should be put on top except for some transitionnal stuff, he just didn't had the charisma or promo ability to do it.

Considering he did just fine when they put the belt on him in the WWE, I'd say he had all the ability he needed.

Eddie was the only one who had the star potential (like it was showed in WWE eventually). Of course WCW didn't make any new main event stars, but they did make a lot of upper-mid card names. If they were just a meaningless sideshow, I don't think they would have been seen as any big deal coming to WWF. Same thing for Rey. Yes, he was never pushed to the top by WCW, which was stupid, but he didn't became a star in WWF from nowhere, he was already a "star" in WCW.

The point is that their level of talent didn't even matter. WCW had Stone Cold, Undertaker, Mankind, and Triple H; and mostly sat on them and didn't give any of them the chance they needed. Practically every one of the biggest stars in the industry went through WCW at some point or another, only to be ignored while Hogan spent twenty minutes on every Nitro bragging about how great he was. Whether you had the talent of Eddie Guerrero or the talent of Van Hammer, it would still be frustrating to know you were in an environment where you knew that you'd never be given a true chance to go all the way.

I'll have to check Sullivan's 2000 at one point, because my memorie is very fuzzy. I'm not sure I was watching very much at that time, Russo drove me out of town 6 months after driving me out of WWF.

The biggest ongoing feud was Sid versus the Harris brothers. Sullivan 2000 sucked.


EDIT: and Jerry, even if someone lets you break all the rules and be a selfish prick, you still know damn well that you're breaking all the rules and being a selfish prick. Hogan knew he was hurting WCW as a whole when he booked his storylines to make Hogan look good and bury all the others. He just didn't care. He would gladly make other people starve just so he could eat one more bite.

#37 goc

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:16 AM

But some of the crap in WCW reached absurd levels. Pre-NWO even, what the hell was that 8 vs 2 match against the Dungeon of Doom? I don't see why they gave ANYone "creative control". If both WCW and WWF say "no, you can have money, but the final decision is ours" then it's a choice between working or not. I'll never understand how that nonsense came about. Of course no one wants to job and look bad. Of course Hogan is going to think that it's best for his character if he never gets pinned.

This is true for just about every other wrestler ever. But Hogan already had plenty of money, and was happy doing bad TV at the time. WCW had to give him creative control or he would have never come in 1994.

Why they didn't try to eliminate that clause in his SECOND contract, I don't know. Bischoff already knew what kind of pain he was to deal with, and had to know when they were doing negotiations (according to Bischoff's book around August/September of 97) that WCW had all the leverage because Hogan wasn't going to want to go back to WWF, and couldn't get them to pony up the same guaranteed money. I suppose he could have just been worried about Hogan deciding to go home without creative control, thus losing the Hogan vs Sting match he'd been building for a year at that point.

#38 cm funk

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:47 AM

The sense I've gotten from Sullivan's shoot interviews is that he was more or less allowed to book the undercard how he see fit, but when it came to most of the top stuff he was just one voice of many and tended to be overruled or have his ideas changed by Hogan, Bischoff, Nash etc. Don't know how much of that is him trying to prop up his legacy and how much credit or blame he really deserves for things, but it jives with what other people have said about that time period. 96-98 WCW had a really hot undercard with good booking of the titles, so he probably should get some of the credit for that.

And yeah, I don't think you can really blame Sullivan for the Radicalz leaving. Those guys just wanted out and Sullivan became the excuse. Sullivan didn't want to lose them. Blame Bill Busch for just letting them walk right into the WWF.

Honestly, the last couple of years of WCW are kind of a blur to me and I haven't watched any of that stuff since it aired. I don't remember a lot about the Sullivan period, but I remember it being a nice change of pace after those first 3-4 months of Russo. Anything would have been better than that though. nWo 2000 seemed like a good idea and they were getting Goldberg back on track, then had their legs cut out from under them when Jarrett, Bret and Goldberg got hurt. Between all the injuries and defections and what Russo had left in place it really was a decimated roster.

#39 El-P

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:50 AM

What are we arguing about ? That WCW never pulled the trigger when they should and that Hogan ruined any chance of mid-carder being elevated ? Of course. I think they were close to pull the trigger on Austin in 1994 though. He was getting closer and closer to the top of the cards. I believe eventually there would have been a Flair vs Austin passing the torch deal. I mean, they had Vader, who still ruled, Sting in his prime, Flair was past his prime, Steamboat was done, Rude was done, they didn't had many other options but to elevate younger workers at the time. Of course Hogan coming in killed it. But really, to go back to Sulivan, a few awful months in 2000 can't erase two great money making years as far as WCW goes. There's no way he should be on a "worst booker ever" list.

#40 Strummer

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:25 AM

Has anyone ever explained why Russo seemingly got a lot more control than he had before around the end of '98? Just Vince being deluged with IPO stuff? Patterson was still around and had the power to serve as a filter, didn't he?



yeah always wanted to know this. The in ring time on RAW just plummets around September




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