Following Russo and Your Letters

Kevin Kelly

One of the most enjoyable experiences in my life. No other way to describe my time here at and that’s because of you. From the message board debates and questions to the article feedback and discussion, you have made this a great experience so let’s keep it going!

Now that Joe Torre is out as the manager of the New York Yankees, one popular question is “Should the Yanks bring in a different type of manager? One with a little more fire…”

As great as Joe was, a firebrand he was not. No “Lou Pinella” moments of base-throwing, dirt-kicking rage. That’s not a knock, it just wasn’t Joe and you can’t argue with the success… 12 playoff appearances in 12 years with Torre at the helm.

But, is it time to shake the tree? I firmly believe that every administration change should come with a adjustment to the emotional thermostat. Girardi over Mattingly makes sense in that regard.

So, how does this baseball lead turn into a wrestling story? Simple… a change in booker should always be a change in style because just like with the Yankees, athletes tune out after a while, whether yelled at or coddled.

Now to the letter. One of the most turbulent times in WWE history was back in 1999 when Vince Russo suddenly left. I got this email last week…

“Hello Kevin, my name is Cliff. First off thank you for taking the time to read this email.

I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was 7 years old. I still remember being afraid of the Undertakers during their match at SummerSlam 1994. During the wrestling boom of the 1990’s it was especially great for me because it seems as I became older and into a teenager, the product was growing with me and appealed to my interests. I understand Vince Russo was one of the main figures around the WWF during this period, and he gets alot of attention amongst internet fans, but someone who I barely hear about is a man named Chris Kreski. I understand he was the man who took a more prominent role in the creative department after Russo and Ferrera left. While looking at his Wikipedia page I saw that he had a different style for presenting storylines (use storyboards, etc.) and that sparked my interest about him. My questions to you about Kreski is what role did he play in the WWF while Russo and Ferrara were still there? Was he a well liked individual amongst the people he worked with? How was it in the locker room transitioning from one creative figure to another back in October of 1999?”

It’s tough to follow a legend and what Russo did for the WWE made him a huge figure in the industry. Chosen to pick up the pencil was Chris Kreski, who had no background in wrestling before his WWE days.

Blessed with a deep roster, Kreski fed Vince McMahon good ideas and the WWE continued to churn out terrific shows. But, seeing him up close each week, I thought Chris’ strongest asset was his personality and demeanor. His best skill was being 180 degrees removed from the brash, New York-style of Vince Russo.

Kreski was laid back, easy to talk to. Russo?… not so much. Most of the roster, mainly Stone Cold and the Undertaker, grew to hate Vince Russo so the ball cap-wearing Kreski was a breath of fresh air.

One reason I bring this up is to once again implore TNA to change bookers. Get someone in there who can get the veterans hired for name recognition to step in time and help the new guys get over.

Junior Fatu burying Robert Roode on the mic? Total BS. Whose idea was it to have Team 3D get heat by attacking internet favorites? I have a feeling that the inmates run the asylum in TNA (yes, another WCW comparison…)

Remove the current booking team and hire Jim Cornette to right the ship. “The TNA Country Club” will be closed quickly with the Louisville, KY native at the helm and we can enjoy some “Lou Pinella” moments of stack-blowing and ear-splitting tirades.

In fact, I think Pinella may have learned some of his antics from Jim Cornette.

Change is good. It worked for Chris Kreski, we’ll see if it works for the Yankees. Can it work for TNA?

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