The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Vince Russo
The 411mania Douchebag of the Week
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.
Am I the only one who liked Kong: Skull Island but didn’t particularly care for the performance of star Tom Hiddleston? Hiddleston is a good actor, yes, but outside of the “gas mask and sword” scene in Skull Island, he didn’t really have any other major badass scenes in the movie, and that’s a huge problem when his character, James Conrad, is supposed to be a major badass.
Former British Special Forces guy, professional tracker, living in Southeast Asia, hanging out in bars and shit, playing pool, beating the shit out of people who try to mess with him. On paper, you don’t get much more badass than that. And yet, Conrad doesn’t come across as a guy who has been damaged by his war experiences, the stuff that he’s seen and been forced to do in a war zone or the jungle (he fought in Vietnam), or a guy who has spent any real time in a forest or jungle. James Conrad is just some guy in a bar we’re supposed to believe is a badass.
Am I missing something?
Samuel L. Jackson did a great job as the pissed off, vengeance filled, terrified to be outside of a warzone Preston Packard. And John C. Reilly’s MIA soldier Hank Marlow was a hoot. John Goodman deserved a better death, but it was funny (“Oh shit” indeed). And Brie Larson’s hip and edgy anti-war photographer Mason Weaver was a little too hippy for my tastes, but she did a good job (I believed every scene she was in except the bit where she fires the flare gun. That was ridiculous). But Tom Hiddleston… something is missing there.
And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.
This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to former sports entertainment writer Vince Russo, for his recent commentary on the fans of NXT and “dirt sheet” writers. In the commentary, which was part of his latest excruciating podcast, Russo referred to “dirt sheet writers” and fans of NXT as “losers,” “marks,” and “gay.” In Russo’s mind, you’re a loser and or a mark if you like NXT and cheer for certain wrestlers seen there, and you’re gay because of the same thing (he specifically called out people who are fans/chant “This is awesome” when Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, or Finn Balor appear). “Normal” men don’t react that way (this, after explaining that he doesn’t have a problem with gay people).
Now, sure, Russo enjoys saying things to upset people/get people talking because that’s been his whole persona. He “invented” the “crash TV” concept during the Attitude Era in the WWE, he “created” the Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, he’s the man “responsible” for all of the edgy crapola that existed in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Russo isn’t involved in the wrestling business, at least as far as we know, with any major company at the moment. Impact wrestling doesn’t want anything to do with him, and the WWE clearly isn’t interested in him. Thankfully, Ring of Honor hasn’t asked him to “help out” with its show. So Russo is, basically, just some guy on the internets. But then he is Vince Russo, he has a fan base and needs people to talk about him to try to grow that audience/get more people reading and listening and watching and whatever else. So why not demean a certain segment of the wrestling audience, the one that knows who he is, and call them gay?
I will say, though, that it’s a little weird for Russo to complain about wrestling fans talking about the physique of wrestlers/being interested in wrestler physiques and referring to those fans as gay when Russo attempted to explain that the reason the wrestling audience isn’t as big as it used to be is because of wrestler bodies. Wrestlers used to be big guys, jacked up, guys chock full of muscles. They were “physically impressive.” And now? Most wrestlers don’t have that physical presence, the muscles, the size that they used to. Wrestlers now look like “regular” guys.
So what the hell is going on here? Wrestling fans aren’t interested in wrestling the way they used to be because the wrestlers aren’t huge anymore? But the fans who have stuck around to watch stuff like NXT are gay because they cheer certain wrestlers and are interested in their physiques (someone apparently sent Russo an image of Finn Balor without his shirt on for some reason and, in Russo’s mind, it’s proof of rampant homosexuality)?
And what’s with the whole “I don’t have a problem with gay people but it isn’t normal for men to cheer other men” thing? Since when? And why was it okay for men to cheer jacked up wrestlers, back when wrestling was wrestling, but now it’s different if the same basic thing happens? I’m confused by the logic of this argument. And how can you claim that it’s no big deal if someone is gay and then disparage people because “they’re gay?”
But then, ha, this is Vince Russo we’re talking about here. Logic, things making sense, being able to follow what the fuck is going on, since when has he ever done that?
I think it’s pretty clear what needs to happen here. Vince Russo needs to stop being Vince Russo. He needs to stop trying to “work” the fans and upset people. I’m sure he has interesting stories to tell and worthwhile commentary to give since, at one time, he was in the belly of the beast of pro wrestling. He can’t do any of that, though, if all he wants to do is piss people off/get himself over/make himself feel more important than he actually is. The whole thing is ridiculous.
Come on, bro, Stop being a douchebag. It makes you look ridiculous.
And now for this week’s honorable mentions…
–Pepsi, for apologizing to Kendall Jenner for the reaction the company’s “protest” commercial received. Yeah, because that’s what people were really upset about. Kendall, just an innocent bystander, caught up in a major controversy over a “tone deaf” commercial that’s about social justice but is really about selling soda and making it look like soda can fix the world’s problems.
I will say, though, that the overall reaction to the commercial was overblown and people were taking the commercial’s “message” way too seriously. Soda companies have been doing “soda will fix all of your problems/make the world a better place” messaging for years. Think of all of those Coke commercials that have played before movies in theatres for the last several years. Yes, those commercials didn’t “borrow” scenes from protest culture, but they all had the same general message: drinking soda will fix somehow everything. The world didn’t lose its shit then. So, I think it would be best for everyone if we just let this commercial disappear into the ether of bad commercials and move on.
I’m shocked more people didn’t complain about the apparent reason Jenner gets involved in the protest in the first place. Some attractive guy smiles at her. Why weren’t we all complaining about that?
–Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, for being a tax cheat. For the second time. Sorrentino and his brother Marc have been charged with tax evasion, along with other charges like falsifying records and making false deductions. How hard is it to pay your taxes? I need someone to explain to me how this could happen multiple times.
–Shia LaBeouf, for his recent “you’re a racist” tirade inside a bowling alley. No one seems to know why, precisely, the actor lost his mind inside the restaurant that’s attached to the bowling alley. The suspicion is LaBeouf was inebriated and just lost it because, you know, that’s what happens when you’re drunk sometimes. Regardless of why it happened, hasn’t LaBeouf figured out by now that freaking out in public isn’t a good thing?
-Douchebag Hall of Famer and professional celebrity Kim Kardashian, for her Kim Kardashian butt pool floater. Why is this a thing? Why would anyone buy it? And why isn’t this just some weird April Fool’s joke and not an actual thing a human being can order?
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