Lana's More Over Than Rusev, Seth Rollins Knee Update, WWE Brass Approachable, Discrimination

Do you think Lana has the potential to become the next great Diva in WWE? I think she is great on the mic and she has a very bright future in the company.

Lana is dynamite on the mic, proving week in and week out she's more over than Rusev. I'm not sure it's completely Rusev's fault but Lana is what keeps that gimmick relevant. Her segment with Zeb Colter was excellent on this week's Raw. In addition to her voice and heel-like tendencies, she has great facial expressions. I don't know if we can call her "the next great Diva" until we see how she does in the ring but her mic skills are very good.

Was Seth Rollins legitimately injured on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw?

One of the first things I mentioned on Tuesday morning was the status of Seth Rollins. As I reported here on, Rollins was fine after Raw. I know it looked bad but the word is, no serious injury occurred and he was more or less selling. I am awaiting to hear more but he's good for the pay-per-view as of this writing.

How approachable are Vince, Stephanie and Triple H as bosses in the WWE? Can superstars work with them on matches, pitch ideas, and/or just BS with them, or would they be separated by numerous channels within the management structure of WWE?

This will surprise some people but Vince McMahon is approachable. Unlike a lot of people in his position, he's still very hands on with the product. Vince micromanages a number of things and is involved far more than some realize. Triple H is also approachable and that's understandable as he was "one of the boys" for years. From what I understand, Stephanie isn't as approachable but it depends on who you talk to. Some people like her; others would rather deal with Vince or Hunter.

Don't you think it's a little absurd to accuse WWE of discrimination? I mean, it's not like every world champ has been white. There have been plenty of Mexican champions, a few Samoan champions, and like you said there have actually been two black champs. And the fact that WWE has less black wrestlers than any other race is stupid to me. There's always going to be a minority.

Discriminatory issues such as racism or homophobia can't be ignored in any company or organization. While I believe most of us would like to see these issues eradicated for good, we can't be so naive to pretend they don't exist either. For as long as I've been doing this, I truly do not believe Vince McMahon is a racist or a homophobe. I believe Vince wants what is best for business and he's intent on pushing talent that have the best chance to succeed, regardless of any other factor. However, there are issues that are far too often swept under the rug and I believe this article by The Atlantic did a good job in examining them. There's a middle ground here and I believe that's where I stand. I do not believe WWE nor its brass is inherently racist but I do believe there are issues. Read some of the comments in this post, you can get opinions from all sides.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2012: When are we going to see Dean Ambrose called up to the main WWE roster? - Dean Ambrose’s debut on the main WWE roster seems imminent, as he has been working pre-show dark matches. He, along with Bo Rotundo and Bray Wyatt (formerly Husky Harris), are on the short list for a call-up to the main roster.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to [email protected].

Want more Ask WNW? Check out the Ask WNW vault & Premium Mailbag!

  • Kevin

    I’m starting to see a lot of similarities between Rusev and Umaga. Both had mouthpieces and both we’re booked strong during their undefeated periods. It will be interesting to see how serious he is taken once he is finally pinned.

    • Ken

      I’ve been noticing the same thing regarding the similarities between the two. There’s only the one difference that I instantly considered Umaga a favorite. Rusev has a lot of talent for such a big guy, just like Umaga, but he doesn’t provide the same interest that Umaga did. Or maybe it’s because I always seem to gravitate toward the Samoan wrestles like the Rock, Rikishi or the Usos or Tamina. I don’t know.
      That said, I’ve honestly got hope for Rusev so long as he doesn’t become another Kozlov comedy act. R.I.P. Umaga!

      • J Vomkrieg

        I’m the opposite, but i’m from New Zealand, so a pacifika gimmick like Umaga just seems really hokey to me. In New Zealand, the single biggest sports team is our Rugby team, the All Blacks (named for the uniform) who were captained by a guy called Tana Umaga (who was still playing when Umaga had his WWE run). Tana Umaga was a rugby legend, if we had a hall of fame he would be in there.

        So, it would be like an American seeing a foreign wrestling show with an American stereotype character called “Brady Tom” or “Montana Joe”

        • Bob’s Diner

          Montana Joe would be hilarious. You should pitch that to one of the NZ wrestling promotions. And he could just speak in the most old cliched American sayings.

          I’m sold!

  • jdl

    Saying Lana is more over than Rusez isn’t really saying much, as Rusev is not over. At all. The crowd doesn’t jeer when he comes out, they don’t boo, there is little reaction to his moves and no heat for his wins. Rusev is a mediocre worker with a boring look and move set. Lana may get some reaction, but only because she’s attractive. If she wasn’t so “beautiful” then Rusev would have fizzled away by now.

    As for racism in the WWE and why we haven’t seen many black champions. When was the last time we saw a man of African descent who was actually charismatic in the WWE? Certainly not Kofi, Big E. There are fewer blacks performing in wrestling, and there is a much stronger history of wrestling among whites, latinos and Samoans. That’s why there are fewer black champions. I’d love to see some diversity in title holders and those getting pushed, but what black man are they going to push for the title? Kofi is flashy, but that’s about it. Big E should be champ someday, but not today. R Truth should have received a major push as a heel, but, well, bad booking. Do we really want an oily putz like Otunga on our screens holding a major title? I don’t even want him on my TV. Vince is not racist, but it couldn’t hurt for the company to actively work for a more racially diverse roster.

    Also, if Rollins didn’t at least tweak his knee during that sequence of moves then he’s the second best seller currently working in the WWE as the way he landed was way too realistic.

    • MadDawg

      How can you say Kofi isn’t charismatic!?!? In my opinion, he’s one of the best workers in the company. In fact, he’s the sole reason I tune into the Royal Rumble. He was on track for a push, but got derailed by Orton. That greatly upsets me. He could hold his own w/ a main event spot.

      • Xavier

        We have to stop blaming Orton at this point, that was over 4 years ago. Kofi has had plenty of time between 09 and now to get to the top. It’s not like Orton has been going out of his way everyday for the past 4 1/2 years to hold Kofi down. From everything I’ve heard about Kofi from other wrestlers accounts his very reckless in the ring, that by it’s self is enough to ever keep him from being a top guy. I agree he is charismatic but I don’t think he’s close to one of the top workers in the company. He’s striking is below average and his offense is all over the place most matches. He provides great highlight reels I’ll give you that though.

        • James Larochelle

          Kofi has the responsibility to do his best to prove to the head office that there’s money in him. The problem is that it’s likely harder to do that since his reputation has been tarnished by someone else (Orton). He has to work harder than somebody else who doesn’t have that anchor around his neck.

          I mean, there’s a definite double standard here if Kofi was/is
          getting held back for being reckless in the ring but Jack Swagger and
          Alberto Del Rio continue to get BIG pushes after they were partly if not
          wholly responsible for putting other guys on the shelf.

          The thing we don’t know is if Kofi has failed to receive other opportunities because Vince (or whoever) is still basing himself on the perception of Kofi that was formed when Orton blasted him. If that’s indeed the case, then yes, Orton would still deserve PART of the blame for Kofi’s lack of success because HE was directly responsible for that opinion being formed. Part of it would also also be on Vince (or whoever) for not being able to let go of that perception and judge Kofi for what he can bring to the table.

          If it turns out that Vince doesn’t care about what happened in the past and just doesn’t see money in Kofi today, then it’s all on Kofi to prove him wrong.

          • Mike McCarthy

            In this case both sides are really correct, Orton is the prime reason Kofi’s only major push was halted when he showed huge potential. However, it has been four years and if Kofi really was talented he would’ve made Vince notice him by now. Daniel Bryan overcame from actually being fired from the company, but the cream always rises to the top. If Kofi was good enough he would’ve survived burial that really only lasted 6 months.

          • Xavier

            Well I agree, Swagger and Del Rio shouldn’t be getting the pushes they are currently getting. Swagger shouldn’t even even be on a WWE roster after what he did last year. However, like I said before, Kofi has had four years to repair his rep and he still hasn’t been able too. Orton isn’t the only wrestler to accuse Kofi of being reckless in the ring, he may have been the 1st too point it out but he certainly wasn’t the last

      • jdl

        That’s not charisma, that’s work rate. He’s an impressive stuntsman, sure, but that’s about it. His promo skills are mediocre and his gimmick is stale. The fact that you tune in to see his typical “Oh, will Kofi pull out some ridiculous, gimmicky move to keep in the Rumble?” shtick is not an example of charisma, it’s an example of creativity and strong physical ability, however it is not charisma.

        You also can’t really blame Orton at this point, that was three years ago and if Kofi hasn’t been able to recover by now, then it’s his own fault.

        • flex brown


        • Bob’s Diner

          So much this!

        • J Vomkrieg

          Agreed, he is entertaining and a great worker, but just a bit short of the full package.

          But there have been WWE/WCW champs that have been worse though.

      • supercilious1

        The biggest problem with Kofi is the off/on booking. He will get on a roll like last year when he defeated Cesaro twice. Then WWE will job him out for the title like they ended up doing. If WWE booked him to be credible for an extended period of time I’m sure the audience would buy it.

      • Bob’s Diner

        Kofi has absolutely no charisma whatsoever. He does some fun spots in the ring but shows almost no character. It isn’t a knock on his skills it is just that not everyone has that ‘it’ factor.

  • Xavier

    I’m in the same boat as you Richard. As a African American and as a life long wrestling fan I do not feel that McMahon is a racist or a homophob, however I do feel that Vince doesn’t really see money in black wrestlers. There may be reasons for why he feels that way (conditioned by society, lack of any major African American wrestling demographic, or maybe he feels that most fans wouldn’t except the face of the company being black) who really knows honestly. I’d love to see blacks get more opportunities to excel inside the squared circle if their talent warrant it (I feel that McMahon missed the boat big time with Lashley & MVP). I really wish they would do more with Big E and Naomi because I really do feel that they have so much more to offer.

    I think we should all admit that we all misjudged this Lana/Rusev gimmick. This gimmick is over in a huge way right now and it really goes to show that sometimes the most basic of gimmicks can still be very effective. Lana & Zeb have were both gold on the mic last night and are completely carrying Swagger & Rusev right now. This might be the over feud in the WWE right now in all honesty (it’s very simple but very effective), the reactions last night for the segment were just incredible. Let’s just hope that Rusev/Swagger deliver something decent in the ring this Sunday.

    • opie

      You want to know how over Rusev is right now? People are cheering for Jack Swagger.

    • Michael

      Naomi should have been champion a long time ago. I believe McMahon dropped the ball on R Truths main event push. When he fought his program with Cena I was excited.

    • Mario

      Indeed , TNA sure took care of that WWE’s blatant mistake .

    • Duh

      You’re black? That explains everything

      • Mysterion

        That’s actually a disgusting comment. You racist douche.

    • Guest

      Yeah, I totally agree. They are getting this fued with Swagger and Rusev over. Definitely exceeded my expectations…in what I thought was a filler fued for Rusev.

  • Rourke

    I honestly don’t understand why people do not like Rusev. I actually enjoy his in ring work and he seems very passionate. I popped for Rusev pretty hard when it came down to him and Reigns in that battle royal match on raw a few weeks ago. The man seems to put a lot of emotion into his work and enjoy his work so far.

    • Xavier

      People don’t like Rusev for the same reasons they don’t like like Sheamus, Batista, Cena, Orton etc etc and for the same reason they’ll eventually try and hijack Reigns’ push. It’s because Rusev isn’t a Indy guy.

      • Scottyo614

        No it’s because of two things.
        1. The Russian hear character had been beat to death. (Not Rusevs fault, but creative.
        2. The way he’s been pushed is basically Umaga 2.0 and fans remember that. (Also not Rusevs fault)

        I don’t think people actually don’t like Rusev as much as they don’t like the direction they’ve sent him in.

        • Xavier

          Beat to death? When’s the last time the WWE has done the whole Russian evil foreigner gimmick? The 80s? It’s not like this has been done recently at all. And the Umaga comparisons are fair but let’s be honest with ourselves her, pretty much everything in wrestling is recycled

          • Scottyo614

            Kolzlov was the last. And I don’t think people are that mad about the recycling just that both have been done recently.

            It would be nice to get a “foreigner” and actually not put him with a gimmick that plays on his country

          • Xavier

            Oh man, I forgot all about Kozlov. Good looking out.

          • Michael

            Haha apparently youre not the only one to forget about Kozlov.

      • Bob’s Diner

        Come on, Xavier. That is really unfair to those fans… they turn on everyone! Including indy and Japanese guys – as soon as wrestlers get success, those same fans that wanted them to succeed find something to complain about 😉

        • Xavier

          Good point lol.

      • BIG M

        I like indy guys and New Japan guys but I like Rusev and Reigns as well.
        Basically I like great in-ring talent whatever their career origins.
        As for Rusev not getting over as much as people would like thats easy he’s not From North America.
        Im sure I’m going to cop a lot of flack for saying this but it seems like the only way an international Worker can get over in WWE is to play up stupid cultural stereotypes e.g. Sheamus and his entire run as a face.
        I mean surely American fans aren’t that ignorant and Xenophobic are they.

    • Lebron James

      Nice try, Rusev…

    • Guest

      Um…maybe its because hes a heel. We dont dislike him…we just boo his character. Big difference.

  • supercilious1

    Lana and Zeb are showing the power that managers can have. Without Lana I don’t think much of Rusev. I feel the same way about Zeb and Swagger.

    • David F

      it doesnt hurt that Lana is one smoking babe. She kind of reminds me of Sable. Lana is the real star and Rusev is just an afterthought. Its also good Lana is working with Zeb she can learn a lot from Zeb on how to be a manager

  • meh

    WWE has less black wrestlers than any other race? There is far more black wrestlers than Asian and Hispanic ones last time I checked.

    • Mike McCarthy

      Asia is a continent, not a race.

      • meh

        if Black and White are races, then so are Asians.

        • Mike McCarthy

          Black and white are colors. Asia is a location. The word you’re looking for is Oriental.

          • meh

            that would only really mean there is two races then. I respectfully disagree.

          • Mike McCarthy

            There are plenty of races named after countries, Asia is a continent. A continent contains various countries. India is a country, Indian is a race. China is a country, Chinese is a race. If you don’t mind, I didn’t plan on spending my day teaching 3rd Grade Geography.

          • J Vomkrieg

            “Race” is a very contriversal term and one that is the source of debate for antropologists the world over. According to an old and usualy taught theorey there are four races. Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, Australoid. (it’s based a lot on skull shape and other minor features)

            This theorey has plenty of detractors though.

            Culture and race are not the same thing. Race is far broader. A white german and a very dark Sri-lankan are both caucasoids.

          • Mike McCarthy

            That’s irrelevant to this conversation, race has evolved way beyond the theory you’re mentioning, and is not at all relevant to a wrestling website. Thank you for wasting my time.

          • J Vomkrieg

            Wrestling related reply

          • Bob’s Diner

            Mike is pretty darn grumpy today…

          • Bob’s Diarrhea

            That’s because he’s never seen a girl naked

          • Lagoona

            Then go away and stop wasting it.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Aah actually that is not at all the word to use now. Not at all.
            Asian is actually the correct term

          • Mike McCarthy

            Even though it isn’t, the stereotype “Asian” assumes that Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Russian, Afghan among many more are all the same race. Which is not only incorrect, but racist.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Oriental is actually the racist term. I’m yet to meet anyone that enjoys being called that

          • Mike McCarthy

            Oriental is a shortened term for “Oriental Chinese” and I have a friend who goes to an all Oriental church. They take offense to being called anything other than “Oriental” or “Chinese”. And even has the word “Oriental” in the name of the church.

          • Mike McCarthy

            I really don’t have the time for an argument this stupid, as I already know what the correct term is.

          • Mysterion

            Here’s a definition of oriental:

            “Politically incorrect term used in place of “Asian.” Correct usage should be an adjective for things like inanimate objects, not humans.”

            So no, you are incorrect and, albeit inadvertently, pretty damn racist.

          • Mike McCarthy

            You’re real good at making up definitions, I applaud you at that (not really). The official definition is “often capitalized : of, relating to, or situated in Asia” Which is exactly how I’ve been trying to explain it this entire time. Don’t know whether you made it up or you don’t realize that Urban Dictionary is a fake dictionary.

          • Fishcakes

            He has not made up a definition. Oriental is fine when applied to object [Oriental Church, Oriental rug], but you do not use it for people. It is offensive.



            “Oriental” is BANNED in State documents. It is offensive. That is a fact.

          • Bob’s Diner

            That’s interesting… I know Japanese find it offensive. Perhaps that is why – because it is actually a Chinese term? Very interesting…

          • Lagoona

            Yes, Asia is a continent, and Asian is an adjective referring to people or objects from Asia. People come from continents too not just countries. There is nothing wrong
            with saying Asian. It is a broad term as is Oriental. Both include
            numerous cultures from a large region. Orient or oriental also refers to Asia, the Far East and the Middle East. Basically the eastern region of the world in respect to Europe. Have you even traveled the world. I have and people all over use both terms the same way. So drop overly politically correct attitude and lighten up.

  • Brandon van Reenen

    Was Lana not amazing! Man, I’m enjoying this feud… and I’m not even American or Russian. 😛

  • Charles

    Anyone that has ever made a name for themselves in the wrestling business did so because someone believed in them, gave him the ball and let him run.
    Had Jericho, Steve Austin, Terra Ryzing, Mean Mark or Eddie Guerrero stayed in WCW we never would have seen just how talented they were.
    Now that there is only one wrestling promotion that really matters guys like Kofi Kingston or Big E seem to have no choice but to accept that for whatever the reason Vince doesn’t believe they can be more than role players similar to the NFL and black quarterbacks years ago.
    You never know sometimes who can be great if you’re not even willing to give them a shot.

  • Scott Davies

    I think its stupid to accuse WWE of being racist or homophobic. The Rock, half black or not is the First Black WWE Champion. Anybody who denies The Rock of that is just being an idiot. As for homophobic. Pat Patterson has been open to the fact that he was gay for 40 years. Guess who was the first I.C Champion? & to make that even more interesting. He is French-Canadian. I also Believe Pat Patterson is or was Vince McMahon’s right hand man for decades. WWE being racist or homophobic? Where?

    • Fishcakes

      …one example for both? That’s like saying “I’m not racist, I have a black friend”.

  • Jay El Bee

    I see the Rusev-Lana partnership as just them being perfect pairing at the moment. Lets face it without Rusev Lana wouldn’t be over at all, and without Lana Rusev wouldn’t be over either.