Induction: The Rusev-Lana-Dolph-Summer Love Trapezoid – The 2015 Gooker Award Winner

61 Submitted by on Thu, 11 February 2016, 20:00

love trapezoid

Probably the best thing to come out of the renewed tensions between Russia and the United States* has been the duo of Lana and Rusev.

*I can’t think of a second-best thing

For a whole year, Rusev and Lana were WWE’s Boris and Natasha, with Rusev as an undefeated, undefeatable, self-styled Hero of the Russian Federation…

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(…er, Entertainment)

…and Lana as a hard, stern, Soviet-era throwback in a skirt smaller than The Big Show’s elbow pad.

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As Lana gained popularity, Vince McMahon decided that she needed to be the next Sable and the female face of the company, which meant she had to turn babyface and lose the hairy, ugly guy she happened to be dating and living with in real life.

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Rusev and Lana, seen here attending an exhibition of decadent, capitalist American-style football.

Storyline tensions started to arise in the build-up to Wrestlemania 31, when John Cena used enhanced interrogation techniques on Rusev until Lana agreed to give him a U.S. title match. lrds04 
 lrds05 Rusev didn’t appreciate Lana showing compassion and overstepping her authority, so he sent her home to shoot a WWE Film and replaced her with this Russian lawyer (whose accent was so transparently phony that the announcers were given an audible and told to bury him live on the air).
At Wrestlemania itself, Rusev was pushed into Lana, whose fall from the apron distracted the Bulgarian Brute and allowed him to fall prey to the Attitude Adjustment. The end of his undefeated streak led Rusev to ditch the injured Lana after the match.
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At least she had a smile on her face.

lrds98 Over the following weeks, Lana started to acknowledge her growing popularity and chants of “We Want Lana,” which Rusev resented.
The last straw for Rusev was when Lana begged the referee to stop his I Quit match to Cena after he submitted in Bulgarian. lrds07
lrds08 On Raw, Rusev browbeat Lana for costing him his match and dumped her…
…so later on, Lana walked into the ring and, without saying a word, kissed Dolph Ziggler. Then she kissed him a second time because the fans wanted to watch them kiss again. Footage of the uncomfortable encounter became one of WWE’s most watched Youtube videos of all time… lrds09
lrds10 …beating out all of those other videos of people kissing.
The next week, her apparent ex came to the ring wearing the colors of Bulgaria and made a plea to his woman. Rusev appeared to have mended his relationship with Lana until he asked her to admit she was wrong to have cost him the I Quit match, proving that he hadn’t changed at all: he was still pigheaded, domineering, and, frankly, pretty damn funny. lrds11 
lrds12 Lana responded by telling it like it was and slapping Rusev, proving at last that she was a strong Russian woman who didn’t need no man.
She immediately made out with Dolph Ziggler some more. lrds13

 
       

Rusev, Crushed

The storyline hit its first bump when Rusev broke his ankle at an ever-important WWE Main Event taping. Days later, a nearly catatonic Rusev told Byron Saxton that he was a broken man. Could it have been a sign of a babyface turn for the Bulgarian Brute, who had been cheered over Roman Reigns at that year’s Royal Rumble? It was hard not to feel sorry for him… unless you were JBL, who must say “Wah-wah!” at least once every Raw about a babyface with a legitimate grievance. lrds14 
lrds15 But then Rusev caused Lana to fall off the ramp and injure her ankle and laughed about…
…interrupted her painful (to the viewer) sit-down interview in her fake Russian accent with Michael Cole…
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“Excuse me, Mr. American.”

lrds16 …then called her a stupid woman-cow, and suddenly JBL couldn’t help but feel for Sad Rusev.
After one Ziggler victory, Dolph (who was totally cool with Lana using him) exposed Lana’s bun and made out with her again for a really, really long time. lrds17 
lrds18 What, you didn’t believe me?
So incensed was Rusev that he threw his crutches down and stumbled to the floor. lrds19 
lrds20 Enter Summer Rae. Rusev sure wanted to.
The next week, Dolph and Lana decided to “go public” with their relationship, as if their extended make-out sessions on Raw hadn’t been a dead give-away. It was truly one of those romances that made one feel like a kid again. At least Dolph acted like a kid again, using the phrase, “smoking hot babe” in 2015. lrds21 
lrds21  Lana explained that Rusev had controlled every aspect of her life, from how she dressed to how she felt about America. (I’m guessing he also commanded her to address him only by his last name)
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Rusev who moved to Lana’s country, waved her flag, put her country’s name on his tights, and pledged allegiance to her president, Vladimir Putin? lrds23
lrds24  She and Dolph delivered a long, boring promo that got the “What” treatment about half-way through, with the pair declaring themselves, “very good friends,” “more than just friends,” “passionate,” and whatever other euphemisms they could think of to explain that they were having regular sex.
Rusev interrupted the PG sex talk to call Lana a “cold fish,” while Dolph challenged the one-legged man to an ass-kicking contest, kinda really sounding like a douchebag and garnering noticeable boos. Summer Rae then stood up for Rusev and slapped Lana, leading to a cat fight that finally got a pop from the audience. lrds25
lrds26 Unfortunately, this segment would set the tone for the entire feud: un-likable, immature characters bickering, punctuated by girl-on-girl fan service brawls that WWE accidentally called, “finger-lickin’ good.”
The following week, Rusev said he was sorry for wasting a whole year on, and I quote, “that snake, blonde-headed witch of a Lana that calls herself woman.” If Rusev regretted his time with just that particular Lana, it made you wonder just how many Lanas were out there.
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lrds28 Douchebag Dolph arrived with Lana in tow to take some more pot-shots at the injured Rusev and make out with his ex right in front of him, knowing there was nothing he could do about it.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Rusev wasn’t injured anymore, beating up his smug tormentor. Boo? lrds29
lrds30  Summer then kicked Lana to the sound of more boos, followed by cheers for some odd reason when she threw her out of the ring. Any guesses?
Just to make sure the fans knew who the bad guy was here, Rusev  jammed Dolph’s throat into his crutch. It seemed that Rusev wanted to end not only their dispute over Lana, but Ziggler’s career and possibly life. While Dolph struggled to eat and speak for the next six weeks, he shot a WWE Film. lrds31

 
     

A Fish Called Lana

With Ziggler out of the picture, there was no one to undo Lana’s bun, which might explain how she ended up on TV like this: lrds32
lrds33 Summer Rae then showed up dressed exactly like Lana, much to the delight of Rusev, who proved that he didn’t hate all Lanas, just the snake blonde-headed Lana who calls herself woman.
Slap! lrds34
lrds35 Rusev later rewarded Summer’s “obedience” with gifts in the form of this dog named, “Dog Ziggler”…
…and, in honor of the “cold fish” Lana, a dead fish with its head chopped off. “It’s a fish,” explained Rusev. “Take it. Take the fish.” See, what did I tell you about Rusev? lrds36
lrds37  Lana came out to confront her replacement, which of course meant one thing:
Fish fight! I mean, cat fight! lrds38
lrds39  Rusev chucked Lana the fish (that’s Lana #3, for those keeping count) clear out of the ring…
…while Summer Rae was devastated in a way only a woman who had just had her face rubbed into a dead fish could be devastated. lrds40
lrds41 This would lead to another cat fight the next week, except with Summer Rae as the aggressor and The Accolade replacing a dead fish.
Lana and Summer took their shoes off for yet another cat fight the next week, with Summer Rae going down after a single slap. In unrelated news, the “Divas Revolution” was in full swing on Raw, with the announcers begging the audience to take women’s wrestling seriously. lrds42 
lrds43 Before Rusev could do any harm to Lana, Dolph Ziggler made his denim-filled return with an ugly studded jacket to clean house…
…and suck face with this bodacious babe-a-rino. lrds44
lrds45  At Summerslam, Lana showed off her new outfit. “No more business suits for Lana!” said Cole, perhaps celebrating Lana’s newfound independence. “She’s in Ziggler-wear tonight!” Okay, no. I guess she figured that if Summer Rae was going to dress just like her, she was going to dress just like Dolph. All this feud needed now was for Dolph to dress like Rusev and Rusev to dress like Summer Rae.
The match itself between Rusev and Ziggler ended in a double-countout, but it also gave fans a chance to see two things they might never have seen before if they hadn’t watched Raw for two months, namely a slap… lrds46
lrds47 …and a pull-apart cat fight. You’d think that Lana would have caught on by now that she was going to get into a fight every night, so maybe she shouldn’t wear impractical high heels to ringside.
Not even these high-heeled faux-sneakers. lrds48
lrds49 Dolph and Rusev’s rematch the next week ended in a DQ, but instead of Lana and Summer Rae slapping each other and getting into a pull-apart cat fight, they got into a pull-apart cat fight with no slaps.

 
    

XYZ: eXamine Your Ziggler

To keep the feud from growing stale, WWE injected some good old-fashioned nudity into the drama, with Summer Rae walking into Dolph’s locker room while he showered and running out screaming moments later. lrds50 
lrds51 Dolph assured Lana that Summer only saw him naked for two seconds when he caught her in his locker room…
…but as Summer told it, Dolph had invited her into his locker room, started undressing in front of her, then took a shower and asked if she wanted to join in. Afterwards, he gave Summer “the look,” and only then did she realize that Ziggy was trying to seduce her. Even Mark from The Room was quicker on the uptake than Summer. lrds52 
lrds53 Summer Rae’s accusations mounted on Smackdown on Miz TV, leading to yet another catfight and Lana walking out on Dolph.
Cracks were beginning to appear, in a manner of speaking. lrds54
lrds55 WWE recapped the recent penis-sighting with one of those reprehensible TMZ-style tabloid voiceovers.
Summer gave her Ru-Ru a very emotional but very detailed apology about kissing Dolph and seeing his tight, glistening naked body. Rusev graciously forgave her, even if she had “betrayed-ed” him. lrds56 
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She really should have been wearing a denim cast. Someone in Wardrobe ought to be fired.

But missing from the insanity was Lana, who had broken her hand while training for what could only be assumed to be a mixed tag match between the two pairs of adjacent corners in this love trapezoid.

 
  

Dolph Offers His Piece

Ziggy himself attempted to either apologize to Summer or stir stuff up with Rusev by coming down to ringside and giving her this gift. Perhaps it was a sardine. lrds58 
lrds59 Immediately after costing Rusev the match by making an apparent pass at this girlfriend, Dolph Ziggler blindsided the Bulgarian with a superkick, eliciting boos from the crowd. Ziggler was still the babyface, by the way.
After following an irate Rusev backstage, Summer Rae secretly (minus the millions of viewers watching at home) opened Dolph’s gift, which turned out to be diamond earrings. “You see, Dolph is just a bad person,” said JBL. lrds60
lrds61  At this point, the overbearing chauvinist Rusev was dating the subservient Summer Rae, who made accusations of infidelity and invaded the privacy of the cocky Dolph Ziggler, who was now giving her inappropriate gifts and flirting with her on TV in full view of his injured girlfriend Lana, who was constantly making out with him to get back at Rusev.
At Night of Champions, a mishap with Summer Rae’s shoe cost Rusev his match against Ziggler… lrds62
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Naturally, Rusev pinned Dolph the next night in a tag match.

…who now wore Lana’s face on his crotch much like Rick Rude wore Cheryl Roberts’s face on his crotch when feuding with Jake the Snake. Except, like, in a nice way.
Adding to the intrigue/utter confusion, Ziggler kissed Summer’s hand on the way out. lrds64

 
   

A Shocking Swerve…

In yet another left-field twist, Summer proposed to Rusev the following week on Raw. Rusev reluctantly accepted under the condition that she would have to help him win a title first. At last, this angle looked like it would pay off for Rusev, if for no one else.   lrds65

…Right off a Cliff

Instead, the angle was dropped like a sack of dirt the following week when WWE announced that, per an article on TMZ the day before, Lana and Rusev had secretly been engaged for a month. lrds66
lrds97 After Rusev, who had not lost a match in his first year, was beaten clean in three minutes by Ryback, Summer Rae publicly berated him for stringing her along while he got back together with Lana. The fans roundly booed Summer during her tirade except when she slapped Rusev, possibly because that was usually the prelude to a catfight. Particularly harsh was when she called him a bath turd.
What was the meaning behind this final swerve? Was it part of a larger plan to turn Rusev into a sympathetic babyface? No. lrds67
lrds68 See, Lana had posted some photos on Instagram with a ring on her finger. In response, WWE first created yet another shocking twist to the storyline just to parody the backstage drama by having Summer propose to Rusev.
Then, management got word that TMZ was going to break the Rusev-Lana engagement story with some exclusive photos (because WWE itself had almost certainly leaked the story to the gossip site in the first place) and decided to put the kibosh on the whole angle. lrds69
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And can you really say she broke character when she was clearly wearing denim in both pictures?

And all this because of a few photos posted on Instagram. Apparently, Vince thought that the people subscribed to Lana’s Instagram account didn’t realize wrestling angles weren’t real, or else that TMZ readers, who already knew that Lana and Rusev had bought a house together, didn’t realize they were a real-life item.
Perhaps Lana didn’t realize that the McMahons were enforcing kayfabe anymore, seeing as how Stephanie McMahon went to the ESPY Awards that summer and threw away boatloads of money from a potential Wrestlemania program just so she could mug for the camera with her good friend Ronda Rousey. You know, the woman who famously roughed up and humiliated her and her husband at Wrestlemania 31 a few months earlier? lrds71

   

Welcome to the Reality Era, folks:

Where half the Divas division’s angles are booked around the goings-on of a cable TV reality show that openly portrays those angles as a work.

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Where WWE itself produces at least a dozen programs for its Network that break kayfabe, including WWE 24, Ride Along, Unfiltered, Legends, Table for 3, and Breaking Ground, then promotes them in their fictional TV universe.

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Where Triple H can be brutally beaten and sidelined for a month according to one WWE-produced wrestling show, but take an overseas flight three days later to cut a live promo for another WWE-produced wrestling show.

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Where one minute, Raw viewers can see heels and faces mingling freely for publicity-driven charity events, and the next minute see them feuding in front of the live audience.

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Where the bosses break character all the time on social media accounts that WWE publicizes every night, but when a lower-card talent’s photos subtly break kayfabe and are picked up by dirt sheets and/or a gossip site, suddenly the jig is up.

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This was the moment that Lana, Rusev, and the entire “WWE Universe” found out that TMZ was more canonical than 90% of the official programming WWE puts out every week.

So who benefited from this angle?

Not Dolph Ziggler, the chump who learned that the woman who was just using him to get back at her ex was, in fact, just using him to get back at her ex. He apparently had nothing more to say to Rusev, the guy who secretly stole his girl. lrds78
lrds79 Not Summer Rae, who was immediately moved from being joined at the hip to one man to being joined at the hip to another, Tyler Breeze. At least she still had the dog.
Not Rusev, who was moved into a stable of foreign mid-card heels, the League of Nations, named for the most disastrously ineffectual and impotent alliance of the 20th century. He appeared yet again to be on the verge of a face turn when he cost himself a match with Ryback to tend to an injured Lana, but WWE shifted gears as always the next week, putting his character in reverse, and then neutral. lrds80
lrds81 And not Lana, who is back to being a heel, albeit one who is only on TV every few weeks, is rarely seen at ringside, and gets mic time only to explain that she is saving herself for marriage. So what exactly did Dolph Ziggler do with her that was so “passionate”? Read books together and talk about them?
    

Gee, who would have thought that creating another Sable would have worked out so poorly for WWE in the end?

 

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the “How Much Does This Guy Weigh?” blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell.

Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com

61 Responses to "Induction: The Rusev-Lana-Dolph-Summer Love Trapezoid – The 2015 Gooker Award Winner"
  1. Sean O says:

    Tyler Breeze didn’t even benefit from this, in a matter of weeks after his debut he became a jobber….sad…

    • Autrach Sejanoz says:

      Not to mention he & Summer Rae aren’t even a thing anymore, and she seems to have vanished into thin air.

    • Philip says:

      No kidding – I had such high hopes for Breeze when he got called up, but getting slotted into the tail-end of this putrid mess killed his potential from the start – even more than the idiot main-roster crowds who kept calling him a John Morrison rip-off (because of his boots, of all things). I mean I never expected him to be anything more than a mid-card talent with the male-model gimmick, but for him to be consigned so soon to the same oblivion as The Ascension was criminal.

    • Guest says:

      He’s just going thru what the Ascension, Emma, Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt, Rusev, Neville went through.

  2. Mister Forth says:

    Bad attorney actor and Dressing Lana like Jennifer Parker are the only good things from this big debacle.

  3. Rebel Coyote says:

    This was so horrible. It killed any reason to cheer and/or boo any of them or better yet give a damn of any of them as it benefited no one.

  4. ChrisV says:

    Discovering that the WWE has edited the word “federation” from the entire world, replacing the word with “entertainment”, also made all this worth it.

    Yeah, what was the deal with breaking up Breeze and Summer? It benefitted both of them so well. I’m sure Breeze would make as good of a jobber with Summer.

  5. Andy PG says:

    Actually, RD, the whole parody and so on wasn’t because WWE leaked news of the engagement. It’s been reported since that Lana herself leaked the engagement news to TMZ and asked them to make it public, thinking that it would allow her to stop working alongside Ziggler and return to working with her Rusev. In other words, Lana torpedoed the angle, which is why she’s on TV the least of the bunch.

  6. Doc75 says:

    too bad we cant blame Vince Russo for any of this

    • TayJK says:

      You can blame Russo for anything, as long as you don’t care about being wrong.

    • Adam says:

      For all we know, Russo e-mails ideas to one of the faceless writers who then slips them into the writer’s room pile. He was doing much the same thing last go-round in TNA, until Spike found out, after all.

    • Fred says:

      Actually Doc you can… as it was his self-admitted infatuation with Sable that originated all of this…

  7. Casey says:

    I didn’t vote for this because I thought it was bad but that there was stuff that was much much worse.

    Then I read the induction. This is the rightful winner. I have been won over!

  8. Babatunde says:

    All that denim needed was a logo for Limozeen on the back.

  9. Doc 902714 says:

    An angle that didn’t have a payoff or ended unceremoniously like this one is certainly worthy of a Gooker. It ran on too long from May to at least October and benefited no one. Not a single star was made after this angle had peaked. And someone mentioned that Tyler Breeze suffered as well as a result of being aligned with Summer Rae. It took 2 talented workers and 2 gorgeous divas and made them lose any momentum they had beforehand i.e. Rusev’s unbeaten streak from 2014 to WrestleMania 31.

    On a further note, the Diva’s Revolution may have taken time to climax but it is now FINALLY seeing the light of day with the dissolution of three diva team factions i.e. Team Bad, PCB or Bella and the spotlight has shifted on the rightful Divas (Becky, Charlotte & Sasha Banks). though it was considered tedious in getting there. But I don’t feel it was worthy of a Gooker runner up, then again, time will tell.

  10. Skinnyfatass says:

    A worthy winner, and top notch introduction. There were rumours floating around that this angle was odained by Vince, due to his belief that “guys like Rusev don’t get girls like Lana” and this whole dumpster fire of an angle was an attempt to break up CJ Perry and Miroslav Barnyashev in real life. I would not put that past Vince, and it was somewhat convenient that Dolph Ziggler was chosen for this angle (and Nick Nemeth is not only one of the best looking guys on the roster, he was also single when this angle took place).

  11. Gotchism For Life says:

    Good induction on Diva’s Revolution.

    Good induction here.

    What loads of drizzling crap.

    I am waiting for the “WWE bends Sting over” induction.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The ending alone secures this angle as having an eternal place in the history of bad angles. Possibly THE worst ending to an angle in wrestling history.

  13. Daniel H. says:

    “Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Rusev who moved to Lana’s country, waved her flag, put her country’s name on his tights, and pledged allegiance to her president, Vladimir Putin?”

    Not only that, but the overall dynamic between Lana and Rusev during their prime was that Lana was the one giving orders to Rusev, not the other way around. Remember when Rusev would have dudes in the Accolade and didn’t listen to the ref, but only when Lana waltzed into the ring and did her little hand gesture did he release the hold? Remember when Rusev only went in for the kill when Lana would clench her fist and yell, “Rusev…CRUUUUUUSH!!!”? Apparently WWE didn’t, because somewhere in the middle of the Cena/Rusev fiasco, they flipped the script and put Rusev in the driver’s seat, and made Lana look submissive to Rusev’s whim. It’s a shame, really.

  14. Gerard says:

    So learn a lesson all you nxt wrestlers and divas who dream of being on the main roster.. You have dreams of being the main event at wrestlemania but its never gonna happen!! You will instead be put into idiotic storylines that will make you embarrassed to be see in public!!!

  15. Hulk6785 says:

    “Rusev didn’t appreciate Lana showing compassion and overstepping her authority, so he sent her home to shoot a WWE Film and replaced her with this Russian lawyer (whose accent was so transparently phony that the announcers were given an audible and told to bury him live on the air).”

    So, instead of hearing this guy’s Russian accent before he went on TV and have him use his regular voice, they just sent him out there and then buried him. Classy, WWE.

    Also, I laughed for 5 minutes at that finger lickin’ good joke.

  16. Kurt says:

    Lana is EASILY the most socially awkward person to talk to in public. I met her at the WrestleMania Pre-Party this week and any question you ask her, you have to wait 2 or 3 seconds for her to process what she’s going to say and then remember to say it in “Russian”. It was BRUTAL.

  17. Gabe Benson says:

    This was awful. There was more drama and suspense from the terrible George the Animal Steele, Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth triangle than this mess. Even reading it, I was confused and irritated the entire time. Now they have Dolph beating KO for no reason, Breeze is only on Youtube. Lana is used as a humiliation set up for Rocky, who is NOT EVEN on the roster and destroys full time talent in his wake at each appearance. I really hope AJ has some say in his contract in WWE and can stay far away from any women in need angles as possible.

    • #OPC says:

      Yea, lest we forget his “indiscretions” with one Dixie Carter. All we need is for Claire Lynch to suddenly show back up, after AJ starts dating her “sister”, Becky.

      • Adam says:

        No, it’ll be the WWE version of Claire Lynch, from the Brie/Steph feud… Bryan’s therapist, or whatever she was.

        • Si says:

          Megan MIller! I think that got included in the Bellas At War Gooker nomination, which is unfortunate as that one week’s revelation – the go-home for Summerslam, too – was even openly criticized by Bryan. And the wrestler who played her is now in TNA.

  18. Justin says:

    God I hate Vince…..

  19. Geoff says:

    The WWE storyline seemed to affect your mind when writing this article. I followed it for a few paragraphs then lost track then had to reread what I just wrote in order to understand what I read and who was in the angle. Read some more, wash rinse repeat. I read all of it, understood half of it, and hated all of it (the WWE storyline, not the article, well maybe the article a little bit as well but it was better written then the WWE storyline, kudos?) and I don’t even watch WWE anymore. Where did (the) Breeze come from? In the next year she (or he or it) should be a tag team with Summer and the team name should be… wait for it…. (drum roll)

    SummerBreeze (cymbal clap)

    Ah pure Wrestlecrap at it’s best.

    In other news, in the Lana/Rusev/Ziggler/Summer love trapezoid two more people were included making it a love octatagon. The addition of the Cena/Bella duo would finally make up for the last 6 months of this feud and cap it off with a Cena and Bella win thus putting over their ego’s at the behest of Hunter and Steph and burying the other four to the bottom of the roster.

  20. Adam says:

    Calling it right now. Titus O’Neil’s suspension for the 2016 Gooker.

  21. I'm Not Using My Real Name says:

    I voted for this to win and after reading the write up, I voted right.

    I never took it that WWE ended the story because they were upset that the Rusev/Lana engagement became public. More that this went way longer than planned and they saw a chance, after Rusev’s injury, after Dolph’s time off, after Lana’s injury, to just end the damn thing with some sort of resolution. Rusev and Lana’s love prevailed….yay.

    Breeze and Summer Rae split up and only now, after reading this, did it occur to me, what’s happened to Summer? I forgot she was even gone.

    • Si says:

      It was said by Meltzer straight after this angle ended that because Summer had been the one to lose out by the angle being holed through no fault of her own after having done some actually great character/mike work they were going to give her something good – and that turned out to be someone relevant for about three weeks who she was split from with no story, alignment shift or reason. Weirdly she actually had Divas title matches on the recent India tour, her first in-ring action in six months (and apparently was surprisingly good for that), but she’s doing absolutely nothing right now, which is actually a shame.

  22. Alexandru says:

    Yeah this was dumb while I was never a fan of Rusev he desrved better than this as he was being booked properly (before hitting the brick wall known as Cena), it killed any momentum Lana had going for her, and Dolph clearly wanted out of the company by this time so he was willing too look like a tool for a pretty nice paycheck. The reality era is garbage, where too much blurring between Kayfabe and real life. I can’t really suspend my disbelief at all. There’s a right way to use social media in WWE Owens does it the right way, whereas WWE does it the wrong way.

  23. John C says:

    Not only was this the worst feud of the year but it should go down as one of the worst feuds of all time. Beyond merely pointless it created a whole new realm of unremarkable sheer awfulness. However if “Take the fish” could become Ru Ru’s catchphrase that could have begun to help with the healing of this Trainwreck (Dolph-Amy joke).

  24. King of 9x says:

    This might be the worst angle of all time. I know that’s saying a lot, but it wasn’t stupid and over in five seconds like The Shockmaster. It wasn’t a pointless nostalgia trip in PG DX. It lasted an entire summer and basically ruined every promising career in its Tasmanian Devil vortex of suck.

  25. #OPC says:

    That fish alone was enough for this angle to win the Gooker. WrestleCARP, indeed.

  26. Scrooge McSuck says:

    I remembered bits and pieces of this and always labeled them as boring and awkward segments, but as a whole, wow… this was easily the worst angle of 2015. The Divas Revolution crap was a dumb catchphrase that didn’t know what it was supposed to be, and seems to be on the verge of righting the ship, but damn, this love angle was beyond putrid.

  27. Guest says:

    This introduction was savage.

  28. RobVanDamIsABallerina says:

    This is definitely Crap, but still more entertaining than Roman Reigns.

  29. John says:

    Seeing the I quit match between Cena and Rusev mentioned made me remember how annoyed I was that Rusev has Cena unconscious and the ref clearly states that Cena has to actually say ‘I quit’ for the match to end. Minutes later Cena has Rusev in the STF with the rope and the match ends because Lana quits on his behalf. They kind of hand waved it on Raw the next night with Lana saying Rusev quit in Bulgarian. But for all the ref knew, Rusev could have been saying ‘cheeseburger’. IMO WWE contradicted themselves with the rules of the match in record time to save Super Cena from possibly looking weak. The ref only rang the bell when Lana spoke on Rusev’s behalf, contradicting himself within a 5 minute period. I’m not a rabid Cena hater and I know it’s probably not a big deal to most people but I just found this super annoying. I just think they could have finished the match in a better and especially less contradicting fashion.

  30. Mike says:

    Reading all this… I still can’t tell if WWE have committed to Rusev being Russian or Bulgarian. I’ll assume it depends on whether they’re trying for cheap heat.

  31. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    And that’s why I voted for this angle. No one benefited, not a single person, not even Vince, not even Vince’s pocketbook.

    Building on the rumors stated above, I remember reading reason McMahon wanted to split Russo from Lana was because Lana was getting legit face heat for her promos, so he decided to turn her into his next Sable. They wanted to bill her under her real name as this all-American girl and it got derailed by the wrist injury. No one knows what the next move for Lana would’ve been had she not torpedoed everything, but I assume it would’ve been pretty awful.

  32. Saint Stryfe says:

    Wait, you guys honestly thought a TMZ mess was worse than how Sting was treated?

    Wow, some people here are not very well versed in wrestling.

    • Thun says:

      Did you legitimately, at 2015, expect Sting to be used well by the guys that are still masturbating to them beating WCW up?

  33. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    No matter what people may say about this angle, it must be said that Rusev was the MVP of this angle and did the absolute best he could with the absolute worst.

    I think the biggest problem the WWE has had in the past few years has been their tendency to stretch things out rather than just pulling the trigger at the right moment. Lana had the momentum, but rather than just going with it and giving her a singles run and seeing how far it could go they stuck her with Ziggler.

    A few other examples: Orton returns from injury, crowd desperately wants him to turn face and run roughshod over authority. Instead they do a really stupid angle about his loyalty, killing his momentum.

    They did it with Paige a few times, delaying giving her allies, then delaying her heel turn (which made her allies look really stupid).

    Charlotte starts to build some momentum, but doesn’t get a title shot until months after her debut, which gave us a lot of crowd apathy in the interim.

    And so on and so forth. Yup, they need new writers… Or at least people behind the scenes who have a clue.

  34. Cray-Z says:

    Really, thank you for pointing out the confusing kayfabe flux modern WWE exists in.

    I get it: society has accepted wrestling as fictional and scripted so WWE is adapting to that but knowingly blurring the line ruins the atmosphere. You need to have it one way or the other. The way it is now (like with Triple H being out cold on the main show then doing NXT promos days later overseas and WWE publicizing that) gives off a very “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” vibe except everyone already sees that it’s 100% intentional (WWE KNOWS that they’re sending mixed messages and just doesn’t care).

    I think the age we live in may have finally ruined pro wrestling’s illusion altogether. Kayfabe really can’t exist when it is possible to visibly and distinctly separate the character from the person who plays them. The Internet and social media has tanked what goes on in the ring from what happens in the players’ lives. I guess it was bound to happen someday, I just wish WWE didn’t jump at the opportunity to promote itself in a way that undermines what it’s trying to convince the audience of.

  35. That Lucha Guy says:

    Is there anybody still watching raw every week?

  36. That Lucha Guy says:

    Two Gooker winners from raw. Is there anybody still watching every week?

  37. JoeLouis says:

    Dog s*it like this (and everything else mentioned on this website) is the reason I stopped watching WWE 7 years ago and have not regretted it. I watch only smaller promotions and Japanese wrestling. All the in-ring action with none of the skits that make you hate promoters…

  38. Buzz Line says:

    At first I just thought this was standard WWE corn. Then I read more and thought this was dying days of ECW bad. Then I kept reading and I could really see why this was gooker stuff.

    I’d hate it if pro wrestling died by 2020, I think it can survive at least four more years. But it might be out of the US in three, it’s so far off course.

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