WWE | Pro Wrestling

Why Rusev and Lana’s Shtick Seems Destined to Fail

By now, everyone is familiar with Alexander Rusev and his associate, the “Ravishing Russian” Lana. Over the past few weeks, we have seen the Bulgarian Brute come out and basically squash his opponents. We also have been exposed to Lana’s pre-match incessant ranting about how the United States and President Barack Obama are inferior to “Mother Russia” and its leader, Vladimir Putin.

Why is WWE trotting out this old shtick again? We heard it many years ago with the likes of Ivan Koloff, Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik, and we heard it as recently as last year with the development of Antonio Cesaro and his anti-American sentiment.

It worked for the likes of Koloff and Sheik because they had such strong pro-American adversaries as Sgt. Slaughter, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Hulk Hogan. It will not work for Rusev and Lana because there are no such characters the likes of Slaughter, Duggan or Hogan for him to feud with.

Go down the face roster, especially at the mid-card level where Rusev is now. Do you see any tried and true, red-white-and-blue flag wavers…someone who can step up to defend America’s honor against these Russian menaces?

I don’t, either.

The closest thing to a true American character is Jack Swagger, the former “All-American American” turned “Real American.” But he is on the heel side. Plus, anyone who steps up against Rusev will have to have a whole lot of personality, and we just do not see that in Swagger as a face. Matter of fact, we are not seeing any personality in Swagger as a heel. So scratch him from the list

The ideal feud for Rusev would be with whoever is holding the United States Championship title. What would be more humiliating and depressing to true Americans than to see this latest Russian nightmare wearing the title named for the country that Lana loves to browbeat so much?

That would work…if the title was being held by a native American. Right now, Sheamus wears that belt. And while a Sheamus-Rusev feud would be pretty good action to watch, that is not going to happen, either. Sheamus is an uppercard performer and, if you believe Internet reports, apparently headed for a heel turn.

Scratch Sheamus, too.

Perhaps we will see one more purported “last run” by someone like The Big Show or Mark Henry in an attempt to shut Lana up and Rusev down. Both are kind of floating along in storyline suspension right now. But Henry has once again started to show some heel tendencies, so it is possible WWE will put those two behemoths against each other one more time.

Regardless, WWE is going to have to come up with something extremely new in order to sell the package of Rusev and Lana. Otherwise, they will spend their entire WWE career muddled in a Moscow mess.

Bill Atkinson is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and the owner of WrestleWatch, a family-friendly wrestling web site. Follow Bill on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963 and visit WrestleWatch at www.wrestlewatch.com.

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