We wondered over the weekend if WWE would back off Lana's storyline support for Russian President Vladimir Putin in light of recent current events. We noted there was no change at Friday night's live event in Pensacola, FL (nor was there Saturday in Tallahassee).
Lana cut her normal anti-USA/pro-Russia promo prior to Rusev's match against Jack Swagger at WWE's Battleground pay-per-view on Sunday night, calling the American president a "sissy" and praising Putin.
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— Richard Gray (@wnwdotcom) July 21, 2014
Some observers noted that not only did WWE not "tone it down" but they "turned it up," in an effort to continue to get heat on Rusev/Lana, while also turning Swagger and Zeb Colter as patriotic babyfaces. The recent crowd acceptance of Swagger changed the initial plan for Rusev to make "quick work" of Swagger, something we mentioned in our Backstage Raw News.
Rusev ended up going over at Battleground but via count out, leaving the door open for the program. After the match, Rusev issued a post-match beat down.