Are WWE Superstars Rusev, Lana Being Forced to Change Their Gimmick?

By Shaun Lowe

As most of you know — unless you live under a rock — there was a civilian plane that was shot down in the Ukraine this past week and there has been a lot of speculation as to who’s responsible. This has caused even more concern among the world leaders, in regards to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Because of this, there’s a chance that WWE is going to distance itself greatly from the image and mere mentioning of the Russian leader.

This leaves Rusev and his manager Lana in a very tough spot because they’ve really taken off while using this Russia is better than the rest of the world because of Putin, gimmick. What’s the next direction for the duo if they’re not slandering the rest of the world’s nations? They can’t just become another Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar type group, because there’s already one of those … Not to mention they’re the most successful duo with that kind of partnership that the WWE has ever seen.

Luckily for fans like me, this hopefully means an abrupt end to the featuring of Jack Swagger, someone who I still think needs to be buried into oblivion or straight up fired for his recklessness and ineptitude. I know there are a lot of people who like him or have started to like him recently, but his causing of severe injuries to Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Barrett as they were coming up on reaching their full potential in the industry really sealed my distaste for the “Real American.” Having Rusev and Lana be forced to find a new gimmick causes this America vs. Russia story to end, and it should mean the end of the feud between the two groups. And as I said above: it should result in Swagger’s removal from TV.

Initially, I wanted Swagger to walk away with the W, be it from actually winning the match or by DQ, because at this point in Rusev’s career, he needs to finally take a loss. Fans are beginning to grow weary of the Bulgarian Brute, because the results of all his matches have been the same, with the last match against Big E being the anomaly. Big E was able to push Rusev to his limits, resulting in a spectacular match that none of us expected. The problem is that Rusev still ended up winning and his first true competitor had been defeated and pushed aside rather than built up to be a legitimate and entertaining rivalry.

The other aspect of all of this that should have made for great TV — and who was once the only redeeming quality of the Real Americans — is Zeb Colter going toe-to-toe verbally with Lana, solidifying her as a legitimate manager. The issue that I have with things as they are is that he’s helped make Lana look incredible, because she’s put his promo skills to shame recently. Colter has stumbled on his words practically non-stop ever since this rivalry began, pausing every couple of moments to remember what he’s supposed to say or wants to say. This has taken his credibility down to practically nothing for me, which helps in wanting to see him and Swagger just leave, because it’s the last attachment I had in the slightest to this group.

After I heard this may be their course of action, I want to see Rusev demolish Swagger into dust, leaving nothing of the All-American boy to fight back with. Once Rusev’s hand is raised, Lana can declare Rusev the greatest Russian “leader” and toss Putin aside. You want a way to move on from the use of the controversial Russian President? I just gift wrapped it for you, WWE; you’re welcome.

Shaun Lowe is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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