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.