Legitimate Controversy To Alter Lana/Rusev Pro-Putin Gimmick?

WWE has used the political controversies of Russian President Vladimir Putin to generate cheap heat for Lana and Rusev and by all accounts, it's working. Lana is getting over with the gimmick and company officials realize this and have already started to feature her more prominently. However, WWE is running into a problem where real-life tensions and controversies are leaving some wondering if it will cause them to alter the gimmick.

One of my friends -- alluding to Putin’s defiance after the Malaysia Airlines crash on Thursday -- asked on Twitter what the plans were for the gimmick going forward. I checked with a WWE contact but was unable to gain insight but I can confirm there was no change to Lana/Rusev at Friday night's WWE live event in Pensacola, FL.

According to eyewitnesses, Lana cut her normal pro-Putin promo before Rusev's match with Jack Swagger. The match itself received positive reviews and Lana received plenty of heat before it.  The same match will take place at Sunday's Battleground pay-per-view in Tampa, FL.

  • Bryan N.

    It will be interesting to see how creative handles the Rusev/Lana angle post-Battleground. They were able to utilize the Pro-Putin gimmick very well throughout the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

    However, I feel they going to be toeing a very fine line going forward due to the tragedy with the Malaysian Airline shoot down.

    We’ll have to wait to see how it plays out, buy my take on it is they’ll start backing away from the pro-putin propaganda a bit because of the the airline disaster.

  • ldb

    I was thinking this may end up going like muhammed hussien. The tragedy of Malaysian air will surely have an effect on the Russians moving forward

    • Snap

      Well, the Muhammed Hassan thing was the result of an unfortunate timing of a terrorist event taking place in proximity to a similar event on WWE TV. So, unless Rusev did something involving an air related tragedy, I think they are pretty safe.

  • supercilious1

    it’s hard to tell what WWE will do if the pressure gets high from the media. Sometimes WWE doesn’t care what the media thinks but other times they will change their plans because of media pressure.

  • W0NK042

    I’d imagine WWE will wait until the investigation is concluded, to see if it is found who shot it down, before they decide.

  • Rus

    Just like Saddam and Bin Laden now the shadow government is framing Vladimir Putin and then it will be china and then we will nobody to stop them so we will be next exterminating all the people on this planet only leaving 500,000 to inhabit this unsustainable planet and your war monger government is the leaders of all of this. The New World Order is closer than you think and unfortunately its not the 1 that Hulk Hogan was apart of

    • Rus

      Wake up America!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!

      • Fishcakes

        In communist Russia, the people are you.

    • J Vomkrieg

      “Unsure if work or shoot”

  • opie

    Hey does anybody remember that time Vince McMahon asked Sgt. Slaughter to burn an American flag as part of his Iraq-sympathizer gimmick during Desert Storm? No? Just me?

    • ldb

      I remember sarge saying he got plenty of death threats during that time.

    • miz

      Ya but he refused..burned a Hogan shirt instead

      • opie

        You’re missing the point. Vince doesn’t really shy away from controversy. Legitimate conflict just gives the angle some teeth.

        • Snap

          However, Vince didn’t have a whole bunch of shareholders he had to keep happy, so he could do whatever he wanted. Now he essentially has to walk on eggshells, lest some of those shareholders have a knee jerk reaction and throws the WWE stock into turmoil.

          But it really does illustrate how times have changed, when Vince was willing to have gimmicks supporting the enemy during a war, yet any unfortunate event in the world could potentially derail a gimmick. I’m not making light of the Malaysia air tragedy, but with practically everybody realizing pro wrestling is sports drama, people would be able to separate fantasy from reality, otherwise we’re all screwed where movies are concerned.

  • Jaryd

    I don’t think they’ll change anything about the gimmick. I don’t imagine they’ll mention the plane crash, no matter what it turns out actually happened, but just the general, rah rah rah, Pro-Putin/Russia promos shouldn’t be a problem, they’re heels, heelin’ be what they do!