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Fall of Rusev and Lana


Hi Scott,

Great article on creative's destruction of the great Lana and Rusev act.


All the best,

Oh yeah, I HATE what this feud is doing to everyone involved.  Poor Rusev has to travel on the road with a broken foot, too, in support of this abomination.  For a while there might have been an interesting dynamic if Lana had used her boob powers to make Ziggler into a Russian sympathizer or something different like that, but having to buy these two as an onscreen couple is even stretching the bounds of believability for a show where Nikki Bella is supposed to be a dominant champion.  Does any human being who actually watches the show buy that DOLPH ZIGGLER, who even in storyline has always been portrayed as a shameless poonhound, would suddenly be a virtuous white knight for Lana?  It's completely ridiculous and out of character for everyone involved.  And yeah, it's killing Lana as a character, like, completely.  They had the moment to turn her and make a big star, and they blew it, and now it's gone, probably forever.   

Comments

  1. Vince always ruins something like this.

    Lana should be more heelish right now IMO and told Rusev no sexy times unless he goes on a rampage through the WWE and gets his belt back.

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  2. It shows and further proves that anything successful WWE does is a fluke.

    Lana got herself over and the moment the writers and storytellers do their thing she is crushed in the passing wind.

    There is no good booking or writing just after thoughts and it shows that WWE doesn't know why Lana and people like Brock were over, it continues to show that they are just so out of touch.

    WWE will survive, they always will. The cockroaches always survive.

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  3. Vince has a raging boner for Lana, so that means everyone will, and only if she's a face. It doesn't matter that it makes zero sense, or that she has zero chemistry with someone like Ziggler, or that it killed a great heel dynamic with Rusev. She's beautiful, and her beauty can only be acknowledged if she isn't a skeevy heel.

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  4. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJuly 3, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    Dolph should start going by "The Poonhound"

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  5. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJuly 3, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    Trish was at her hottest as the evil heel diva......so turn Lana face!

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  6. If you wrote about 2013-2015 WWE and replaced every instance of the word WWE with WCW people would believe it.

    Yet the shows still draw as people are buying tickets for shows, it's not as if all the shit booking is harming the product too much. I ain't seeing 5000 people in a 16,000 arena. It's mind boggling.

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  7. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 3, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    SD on Tuseday only drew 4,000. Raw in DC on Monday was only 8k.

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  8. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJuly 3, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    Ziggler used all his stats on Bumping and left nothing for Mic Work.

    Also known as the John Morrison strat.

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  9. http://whatculture.com/wwe/lana-hits-back-at-criticism-of-wwes-booking.php

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  10. Morrison also has offense that doesn't look terrible.

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  11. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJuly 3, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    At least Ziggler's offense hits.

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  12. But the Trish turn was organic and awesome.

    - She sleeps with Vince.
    - This angers Stephanie, they feud.
    - Trish thinks the power of poon is stronger than the bond between father and daughter.
    - She is wrong, pays dearly for it.
    - She is forced to being McMahon's whore and Steph's bitch.
    - Trish can't takes it no more, conspires with Foley and Linda to turn the tide in McMahon v McMahon at Wrestlemania.


    Lana turned face "just cuz."

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  13. Perhaps Ziggler has had more success than John Morrison.


    But there's this Johnny Mundo guy...

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  14. Starship Pain says otherwise.

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  15. Vince in general doesn't get the concept of "the total is greater than the sum of its parts". Lana AND Rusev were over, breaking them up doesn't equal two acts with the same value, as individuals they basically have to start over as something different.

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  17. Emma is a recent example of this. Dammmmn.

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  18. I saw that Iron Man match on Wednesday and, man, do I sure wish WWE had that Johhny Mundo guy right about now.

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  19. Yup. Smaller buildings. The ring/stage/lighting setup makes it difficult to notice.

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  20. No shit? Chick that has caught Vince's eye likes the booking? It the news still at 11?

    (not lashing out at you, but at the ditzy blonde)

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  21. She barked like a dog somewhere in there too!

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  22. Hey, Starship Pain hurts plenty.


    It busted up Tyson Kidd several times, if I remember correctly.


    And maybe Starship Pain sucks, but El Fin de Mundo...

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  23. Obvious Gooker award winner. This angle hurt all 3 people. They have now entered Big Show Fast Forward territory.

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  24. Alas I just can't see him in a WWE ring.


    I honestly think that WWE should sign guys from other companies to like...4 month contracts. Bring them in, have them go over some people, job to the champ, and leave.

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  25. His punches stink. I still like Mundo tho

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  26. Juan Cena?

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  27. For all we know CJ may not like the booking of the Lana character but it is her job to justify and defend the booking.

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  28. The only way they could redeem this is if Lana reveals in the end that she has been playing Dolph all along and that she did this to remind Rusev to know his place.

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  29. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 3, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    The fact that they're running TV shows in smaller buildings tells you everything.

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  30. As stupid as this is for the careers of all involved I will give WWE some credit here for one thing. It's a completely believable storyline, but Dolph doesn't fit. Maybe if Zak Ryder were in this spot people would like it a lot better.

    1) Rusev comes in as dominant foreigner and takes people out
    2) He wins US championship and challenges the great white hope
    3) Loses to great white hope twice
    4) Valet becomes more popular as his career flounders
    5) Women bails on man cause he can't do anything for her anymore
    6) Both man and woman make fools of themselves on tv in an attempt to make fools of their ex.
    7) They will end up back together sooner rather than later.

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  31. and it's something they have to react to now because once people leave it is going to be hard to get them back with so many other options available.

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  32. They handwaved Dolph's involvement by having him say, "I know what you are trying to do," then he just jumped into it anyway. The whole thing just makes Dolph look like a big dope.

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  33. The look on his face during their Raw segment said it all. He's completely stopped caring. Now I'm wondering why he's thinking of resigning

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  34. Because of the relative security the WWE offers compared to his other available options. Trust me, I could relate to Dolph's dilemma regarding resigning.

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  35. I can also. Regardless of how much you make it's difficult to keep showing up to a job you hate, but I can understand if he decides to go back

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  36. At least Mundo's superkick isn't him doing the jerk.


    Ziggler looks like he's high-stepping.

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  37. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJuly 3, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    See, this is why I'm always suspicious when years down the line, wrestlers claim that an idea that was universally trashed and hated was THEIRS and not WWE's (read: Vince). I mean, it's a smart move politically and it shows he's trained his stars well, but it happens too often for me to buy into. Sure, the ultimate control freak just let you go out and do whatever you wanted on live TV with no input, right,

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  38. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJuly 3, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    In every Rusev/Ziggler/Lana segment I've seen thus far (which, admitted, isn't a lot), Rusev comes across as a jilted, sympathetic babyface. Summer Rae was right.

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  39. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJuly 3, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    And he has a better finisher.

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  40. Rusev should have been kept strong. Lana should have stayed with Rusev. And she could currently be his mouthpiece while he's out on injury. If they could have played there cards right, he could have been a very credible challenger to a babyface Lesnar. Boy did they fuck that up.

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  41. I mean...Rusev did everything short of slapping Lana to play up that he's EVIL and ABUSIVE, but switching to a tool like Ziggler makes her look bad.

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  43. Robinson TilapiaJuly 3, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    Even if they wanted to tease dissection, fine, have them get the upper hand, in the end, even if it involves a hobbled Rusev destroying Ziggler somehow in order to remind everyone he's still around.

    Perhaps it's never too late, but it's getting pretty damn late.

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  44. The Zig-Zag would be fine as the setup move for like an aerial finisher or a submission, but as a solid finisher it just looks terrible.


    And if they're going to not expand Dolph's moveset at all, it should be something that he counters other peoples moves with, and then finishes with the superkick (people seem dead set on giving it to him, even though when you have Rollins and Rusev right there making Dolph's kick look like crap).


    El Fin de Mundo may be sloppy, but at least I get how it could hurt, dude's flipping and spinning and sending 220 pounds of pure muscle directly into your sternum. Ziggler's making you take a back bump. It's got as much impact as a STO.

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  45. The WWE's ability to destroy Lana's stardom potential so quickly just shows how far WWE has advanced, taking mere weeks to destroy what used to take many months to destroy with such talent as Sunny, Chyna, Sable, Trish, Lita, and AJ. Who says WWE doesn't learn from the past?

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  46. Lance Storm made a great point on why Ziggler/Lana is failing. Fans don't like when hot babyface girls have boyfriends. He used examples of how when the girls are single, they get more of a reaction, like Lita when she used to hang out with the Hardys opposed to be Matt Hardy's girlfriend.

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  47. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJuly 3, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Rude Awakening would be good for him. It's along the same line as the Zig Zag but looks better.

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  48. Morrison is killing it in Lucha Underground.

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  49. Yeah and amazingly this is only the SECOND worst blown storyline of the year.

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  50. Same logic applies to why Vince is so eager to break up hot tag team acts and push one guy (50-50 on whether it's actually the more talented or over one) as a singles star.

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  51. I dunno if a straight neckbreaker is still believable anymore as a finisher.

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  52. There's still time to save this storyline. Take Rusev off TV completely and let him heal up his injury, and forget this Summer Rae thing ever happened. Over the next several weeks, have Dolph start mistreating Lana as well, perhaps openly flirting with other divas (to make his mistreatment different than Rusev blaming her for his losses). Eventually you do have Dolph lose a big match and afterwards he blames Lana, even though she did nothing throughout the entire match. She slaps him, Dolph gets up in her face, and cue Rusev's music for a big return and what I'm sure would actually be a big pop.

    Rusev chases Dolph away but he and Lana just share some uneasy looks. Build to a PPV a few weeks later, Rusev beats Ziggler and then you get the full Rusev/Lana reunion for their Savage/Liz moment.

    There's money in Rusev and Lana as a face tandem, essentially just if you turn CJ Perry's Instagram feed into a storyline. You get the two of them traveling around America and gradually coming to respect and appreciate it...to drive home point, Rusev's next feud can be against another foreign heel like Barrett or something who snarks on the USA.

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  53. I've always been a super Mundo fan, so seeing him validate all my praise is pretty fun.


    I enjoy the popped monocles from reviewers who are like "But Morrison doesn't have charisma!"

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  54. Why, so they can not push him again?

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  55. ThebrazilianpsychoJuly 3, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    I still dream of one day the DDT returning as a believable finisher.

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  56. ThebrazilianpsychoJuly 3, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    Excellent idea, Shelton.

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  57. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJuly 3, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    If they get Cole and the announcers to get it over and the opponents sell it like death he'll be alright.

    Besides, they got over the Zig Zag.

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  58. What in God's name is the worst then?

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  59. ThebrazilianpsychoJuly 3, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Reigns super push.

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