So it turns out that, despite getting some of the mainstream press he so desperately covets thanks to the Lana/Rusev engagement breaking on TMZ, WWE CEO Vince McMahon is actually quite furious that one of his main storylines has essentially been ruined.
A quick recap: Lana (Catherine Joy Perry) and Rusev (Miroslav Barnyashev) have been dating virtually since they were put together on WWE TV, as Rusev was billed as the "Bulgarian Brute", and Lana was front-and-center as his manager and valet. However, the duo broke up in storylines following Rusev's repeated defeats at the hands of John Cena over the course of this spring. Rusev would go on to replace Lana with Summer Rae, while Lana would shack up with Dolph Ziggler in response. And, all the while, Perry and Barnyashev continued to see one another behind the scenes. Granted, the relationship wasn't exactly a secret, since the couple actually bought a house together, after all. But there was the hope that mainstream audiences would mostly be able to ignore the relationship and buy into the story that these were two people that hated each other. Although Lana is out with a wrist injury sustained during training for the inevitable match with Summer Rae, the story has been progressing regardless. The story culminated last week in Summer Rae proposing to Rusev on Raw, just seven days before the TMZ story broke announcing their engagement.
Fast-forward to now: Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Vince McMahon is absolutely furious about the TMZ news breaking, since it completely undermined the story they were telling. Worse, his own stars ended up being the cause of the leak, as Lana posted her engagement ring photo to social media. Being a bit of an old school promoter, from a time in which good guys and bad guys couldn't even hang out together in the same bar for fear that fans would discover the truth about pro wrestling, this makes sense. Hell, he had Lana and Rusev playing up their feud on social media, and this is an era in which no one actually buys that the two people feuding onscreen actually hate each other. The genie is out of the bottle on pro wrestling, in a lot of ways. Which isn't to say that you can't still make money with a heated rivalry. But it feels as though the days of shielding the audience from the truth are over.Credit: Instagram
Of course, Meltzer states that the Lana/Rusev/Summer/Dolph angle isn't over yet, so Vince just might be taking the story in a different direction. Still, this entire story is a hot mess, and there are far better things each of these performers could be doing than beating around the horn on a story that was aimless when it started five months ago, much less now.
But what do you think of the Lana/Rusev situation? Is Vince McMahon right to be mad? Or is this a massive overreaction? Sound off in the comments!