In the summer of 2019, after a decade of TV-PG programming, Vince McMahon promised edgier content in WWE. Many fans rejoiced, anticipating the second coming of the Attitude Era. Others groaned, anticipating the second coming of the Attitude Era.
In practice, “edgier content” was code for, “cuckolding storylines”. Two, to be exact.
First, a pregnant Maria Kanellis taunted her pathetic husband by denying his paternity. Taking credit was Rusev, ending a three-month hiatus to return to WWE (as a babyface).
It turned out, it was all a prank. However, in a case of instant karma, Rusev’s own wife Lana was being unfaithful to him. What ensued was a storyline that made the Kanellis angle look nuanced and thought-provoking by comparison.
It took Lana only hours to confirm the rumors, making out with Bobby Lashley on stage and setting the blunt tone for this whole storyline. All the other times WWE had teased her infidelity, it had been a misunderstanding.
Lana cheating with Enzo Amore? No, it was a set-up.
Lana cheating with Aiden English? No, it was an editing trick.
Lana cheating with Bobby Lashley? Yes! In fact, they were naked in bed right now, with sexy sax music playing.
Not only that, but she had cleaned out their joint bank account. Why? Because Rusev was sending money to his family in Bulgaria instead of spending it on her.
“Rusev, it looks like you’re not having fun”, Lana laughed. “But I am!” (because she was f**king Bobby Lashley).
Next week came another naked promo, this time on a massage table.
“This is so much fun”, Lashley noted as he massaged Lana. “Maybe not as much fun for Rusev”, he added, making a valid point. Bobby then lifted Lana’s towel and gave a look that said: Yep, she sure is naked under there!
The commentators were all on Rusev’s side. “Vic,” said Dio Maddin,
“We truly live in a society where a woman like Lana can go out on a guy who’s a great guy, he’s caring, he’s got, he’s got a great mustache, he’s strong on the plow, and she still goes around ‘cause she needs more than that?”
Jerry Lawler hosted Rusev on the King’s Court, which Lana and Bobby interrupted. Speaking from a restaurant, Lashley apologized for his absence but explained that Lana “has needs”. I don’t need to spell out what those “needs” were, but I’ll give you a hint: It wasn’t food.
I’ll give you another hint: It was sex.
Rusev showed up at the restaurant, shocking the customers who weren’t expecting Bohemian Rhapsody 2 to start filming so soon.
He then tackled Lashley, while Lana screamed and waved her shoe at her husband. As the most horrible woman on the planet, Lana couldn’t believe it. Consequences?! To her actions?!
Fortunately, four armed cops were on the scene within seconds.
The next week, The King hosted Divorce Court, where Lana explained that all Rusev wanted was sex, 24/7. This got a big pop from the crowd. Oh, so when Rusev has sex with Lana it’s okay, but when Lashley has sex with Lana, it’s wrong?
Rusev was a sex addict, said Lana. And the only reason he wanted sex was so he could impregnate her.
In fact, he became an expert on her ovulation. So which was it: was Rusev a sex-crazed maniac, or did only have sex at certain times of the month for procreative purposes?
Rusev naturally denied all of this because he is the good guy. Of course he’d like a family, but he’d never force her to have a child. Because he loves her. (Rusev is a good guy)
But Lana feared a baby would make her less than “the most ravishing woman in the world”.
“Wait a minute”, pleaded Lawler, trying to grasp the complexity of the conflict unfolding. “Are you telling us that the only reason that this happened… is because Rusev wanted you to have a baby?”
No, said Lana, there was more. “Rusev cheated on me.”
“What!???” replied Rusev.
“Bobby Lashley told me.” (Probably in bed)
The spouses bickered until Lashley himself came to the ring. There, Rusev took off his wedding band and made Lashley eat it. After Lana whacked him with a kendo stick to no avail, Rusev pleaded with her. “Why are you doing this? I love you.”
This allowed Lashley to uppercut him right in his WWE Crown Jewels. Lana then slapped Rusev, while Bobby hit him in the groin again.
Finally, the two adulterers made out right over Rusev.
I’m starting to think they were the bad guys.
The following Raw, Rusev announced that he was finished with Lana, but not with Lashley.
Bobby, though, could not accept the challenge due to injury. See, that weekend he’d torn his groin (having sex) (with Lana).
On the November 11th Raw, Lana commemorated the end of World War I with a promo that was long, brutal, and ultimately pointless.
How rambling was this promo? Even after being taped in England, edited for air in the US…
…then edited down even more for Youtube, it was still one of the worst promos of the decade!
Lana was there to make a confession: she had been cheating on Rusev with Bobby Lashley. That would certainly explain all the times she and Bobby Lashley had made out on camera…
…talked about having sex…
…and had sex on camera.
There were still some inconsistencies with her story, though. Like, if she and Bobby Lashley were so intimate, how come she always referred to him as, “Bobby Lashley”? I’m sure Bobby would call her just, “Lana” even if she had a last name.
And while we’re at it, if Lana really had no respect for Rusev, why did she insist on pronouncing his name correctly while speaking in her American accent?
But amid her monologue for the ages, Lana dropped a bombshell: she was pregnant. Nine weeks pregnant, to be exact. And that was a problem, because it was only seven weeks ago that she had sex with Bobby Lashley for the first time. And she was certain it had been exactly seven weeks because “tonight, actually, seven weeks ago was the first time I had sex with Bobby Lashley.” Case closed.
That meant that it was Rusev’s child, a “15-pound machka baby”, that was growing inside her. Jerry Lawler was the first to congratulate Rusev on causing the unwanted pregnancy.
To try to make sense of the situation, Rusev came to the ring, where Lana screeched at him and slapped him over and over.
Lashley arrived and laid out Rusev, as usual, but as he exited with Lana, she revealed her ruse(v): There was no baby.
“I cannot belieeeve he believed I was pregnant!”
“You mean you’re not pregnant?” remarked a pleasantly surprised Lashley. Jeez, if you’re going to trick your estranged husband into thinking he impregnated you, at least let your lover in on it. She really was evil!
For those keeping score, this was now the second Rusev paternity allegation of 2019. The first came on September 16th, when, just for kicks, he pretended to be Maria Kanellis’s baby daddy. That was nine weeks earlier, which was also the last time he and Lana had sex. Was it worth it, Rusev?
Despite Lana having all the succinctness of Mojo Jojo, WWE kept letting her cut promos.
Thus, on Raw the next week, Lana announced that she had filed for divorce. Not only that, but she’d also slapped her soon-to-be-ex-husband with a restraining order. Rusev now had to stay 90 miles away from Lana at all times.
Or 90 days.
Or 90 feet. Yeah, that was the one.
To prove it, Lana showed a document purporting to be the restraining order (actually just the divorce papers).
Lana and Lashley then kissed long, deep, and low.
Obviously, Rusev couldn’t interrupt, having to stay 90 feet away. But at least he didn’t have to stay 90 days away.
Although expressly forbidden to come within 90 feet, Rusev ended up unloading on Lashley the next week.
Police arrived a pathetic minute and a half later to handcuff Rusev. “You broke the laaaw!” whined Lana before her husband, still cuffed, knocked Lashley off the stage…
…then kicked some girding onto him. Undeterred by the charges he faced, Rusev was all smiles.
When asked about Bobby Lashley’s condition, Lana assured everyone she would be fine. Get it? Because she’s self-centered?
Rusev struck again a week later. This time, though, the police did absolutely nothing as he beat up Lashley. “This is the state of Tennessee”, one cop told Lashley, “and we do things differently”. I’ve heard.
Fed up, Lashley started up the ramp, bumping into the cop’s shoulder on his way.
Although Rusev had just gotten away with assault and violating a restraining order — while wearing a shirt with his own mug shot — Lashley’s incidental contact was enough to get himself arrested on the spot.
Furious at the obviously trumped-up charges, Lana slapped a detective. By the segment’s end, the cops were hauling both the Black man and his white girlfriend to the slammer. In the South. Jumpin’ Jim Crow, this was bad!
At least someone had the good sense to cast a Black actor as one of the officers.
Next came the divorce proceedings, presided over by expert Jerry Lawler.
…Rusev was cool as a cucumber in his Donald Duck shirt. He’d sign the divorce papers alright, but under one condition.
Lana lashed out, setting a world record for most uses of the phrase, “sex again” in a single sentence (six) and lambasting Rusev for his alleged addiction.
But Rusev didn’t want sex (again). No, he wanted a match with Lashley…
…who arrived to take the obligatory table bump.
Lashley beat Rusev in a tables match (with help from Lana)…
…so the following night, Lana made her hot, hot boyfriend propose to her. She even bought herself a ring.
The couple would tie the knot in just two weeks’ time, which is typical for wrestling weddings. Wait any longer, and it’s probably never going to happen.
In the meantime, the newly-single Rusev lived the life of a rockstar. They say Axl Rose named himself an anagram for “oral sex”…
…so I guess being Lana’s Ex wasn’t too bad.
The Lana-Lashley wedding main-evented the last Raw of 2019. There, the minister introduced the groom as “The All Mighty Bobby Lashley”. Didn’t that seem just a bit blasphemous?
Jerry Lawler was amazed at Lashley’s awesome physique. “Look at this specimen, would you?”
The minister then introduced Lana as, “The Ravishing Russian”, even though she hadn’t been “Russian” for years (regardless of how she pronounced Русев).
Credit where credit is due: The rows of empty chairs were actually a nice touch, implying that none of the guests showed up. The ring crew couldn’t have been too fond of Lana & Bobby, either, considering they left the ring ropes up.
The ceremony hit a snag when the minister implied the couple would have children. Lana, being the worst woman in the world, filibustered on babies and the fat, stretch-marked women in the audience.
Bu then, someone grabbed the mic and delivered this unflattering caricature of Lana: “This is my day, and it’s all about me! L-A-N-A. Lana, Lana, Lana, Lana!”
Lana jumped on Lashley…
…who was wearing a lot of makeup, it turned out. I guess Bobby didn’t want to shine in the segment (and believe me, he didn’t).
Next came the time for objections.
The first came from Lana’s first husband, who questioned her loyalty. Lashley disposed of him.
The second came from Bobby’s first wife, played by Elektra Lopez. Lana disposed of her.
The wedding had now devolved into yet another “This Is Your Life” segment with Vince McMahon’s fingerprints all over it.
The third and final objection came from Liv Morgan, who had last appeared on Raw eight months earlier.
In that time, she had been:
- drafted to Smackdown
- split off from the Riott Squad
- taken off TV for re-packaging
- turned babyface to tap out to Charlotte
- taken off TV again
- drafted back to Raw
- filmed in the bathtub for some cryptic vignettes
…all while WWE cameras followed her for a Network special.
And if all that didn’t seem enough like an elaborate and cruel rib on Liv, Creative decided that day to hitch her star to this black hole of a storyline.
And so, Morgan came out crying that the love of her life had abandoned her.
Lashley denied everything, but Liv clarified: she was talking about Lana!
Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
So Lana was bisexual and Liv was apparently a lesbian…
Crying, Lana slapped her jilted lesbian lover, leading to a clothes-tearing, pull-apart catfight. Scratch what I said earlier — this had Paul Heyman’s fingerprints all over it.
The minister rushed to wrap up the ceremony, but before he could make it official…
…Rusev emerged from the cake and attacked the groom. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life!” said Lawler.
Liv then returned to shove Lana into the cake as the show mercifully went off the air.
Yet Lashley and Lana hadn’t successfully wed, necessitating another wedding segment the following week, which no one looked forward to. That is, except for the minister…
…who was so eager, he ran into the ring early and got tackled by security.
After the break, he quickly declared Bobby and Lana man and wife.
Rusev then showed up on the Titantron. Live via satellite from a tropical green screen, he gave the couple a special “wedding album”…
…which was just embarrassing photos from their wedding night.
Lashley challenged Rusev to a match the next week, and Rusev accepted, vowing to “brutalize every portion” of Lashley’s body.
Instead, he got distracted by a Lana-Liv scuffle and lost to a Lashley spear.
When Lana challenged Liv & Rusev to a mixed tag the following week…
…Lashley was none too pleased. He had just beaten Rusev, and now he had to beat him again?
A month later, Rusev was gone from WWE.
Liv continued to battle her ex-flame Lana, but with the shock lesbian angle quickly erased. Instead, they feuded solely over the wedding cake spot.
Liv was never again a lesbian…
…but she did beat Lana in a couple sub-three-minute matches.
She then feuded and reconciled with her former teammate Ruby Riott.
After a year of “re-packaging”, Morgan ended up exactly where she’d started.
Lashley would eventually divorce Lana in favor of MVP (as a manager)….
…and Lana, after playing the most horrid woman on Earth for the past year, became a sympathetic underdog babyface.
Lana & Rusev’s 2015 love trapezoid may have won a Gooker Award…
…but their 2019 love tetrahedron was just as deserving.