I'll argue that Shawn losing his smile didn't cause them to hotshot. They could have just put the belt on Sid at the PPV and started Austin/Bret up again some other way (and they had already made the decision to put the belt back on Sid before Shawn lost his smile, as that was the impetus for Shawn losing his smile, so Shawn losing his smile didn't add a title change).NWK2000 wrote: ↑May 5th, '19, 14:10Big Red Machine wrote: ↑May 5th, '19, 13:30Russo doesn't get brought in on Creative until after the 2/26/1997 Raw (the one in Germany that Vince apparently hated because he thought the crowd was dead, and blamed Cornette/Pritchard/Ross for convincing him to do Raw from German when he wasn't sure about it), and doesn't become a major force getting ideas on TV until late 97.NWK2000 wrote: ↑May 5th, '19, 12:05
In watching 1997 Raws, that kind of "anything can happen" booking does have its merits. But the thing about February/March 1997, it built to one of the best double turns in history and Bret's subsequent best heel run. A relatively milquetoast C-PPV doesn't need that kind of build, it just grates.
I know, but there's a lot of similarities there. Because of Shawn losing his smile, they hot shot the title into Mania, which Russo would do for most of 1999 (see the Hardcore and Intercontinental builds of WMXV) . And the reason why it worked in 1997 is because it set up something that built to the next six months of TV, building up Bret as a heel, and Austin as a babyface. That's why it worked. Swerves that are undone months later are just...nothing
But as for your main point, while you might be correct in that that sort of thing is what Russo was trying to recreate, his versions of it were horribly inferior because he never had the patience to actually build things up/never understood the importance of building things up over time, and never had the attention to detail to pull things off intelligently. That's the big failing of Vince Russo. He might come up with a vaguely good idea, but he has pretty much no idea how to execute it in an effective and intelligent manner (especially if said idea is for an actual story rather than a cool thing to do in one segment, a la Austin and the beer truck).