WARNING: We have detected your browser is out of date. For both performance, security and a better web experience you should keep up to date to avoid viruses, malware, hijacking and stay on top of compatibility features.
 
RSS Feed

 

 

WNS Column: My Thoughts On Rusev & Lana So Far

Posted By: Caylon Knox on May 09, 2014

WNS Column: My Thoughts On Rusev & Lana So Far

Back in 2008, I was very intrigued by a new Superstar that had emerged on WWE's Friday Night SmackDown program. Vladimir Kozlov, nicknamed "The Moscow Mauler", was an absolutely unstoppable wrecking machine on SmackDown for a number of months and quickly became a main event Superstar. At one point, "The Ruthless Russian" was involved in the WWE Championship title scene and was competing against the likes of Triple H, Jeff Hardy, and The Undertaker.
 
For his first few months, Kozlov seemed to be doing an excellent job. Between his vicious onslaught of Martial Arts maneuvers and his cold, merciless demeanor, I honestly thought that WWE had finally found their next Brock Lesnar/Bill Goldberg/Bobby Lashley/Dave Batista type of star. However, in late 2008, the news broke out through the wrestling dirt sheets that WWE officials, including WWE Chairman Vince McMahon himself, had decided that the Kozlov experiment was a failure. Kozlov was then moved to WWE's ECW brand for a short time until that brand was discontinued in February of 2010. From then on, Kozlov spent time on WWE's Monday Night Raw roster doing a comedy storyline with Santino Marella. Kozlov was released from his WWE contract in August of 2011.
 
Ever since Kozlov's release, whenever I see or hear anything about him or when I go back and watch some of his work from 2008, I often wonder what went wrong with Kozlov and how far he could have gotten if WWE officials didn't decide to pull the plug on him so quickly.
 
Fast forward to 2013, I started to hear things about a character in WWE's NXT developmental territory. I heard about some developmental talent named Alexander Rusev. The first thought that immediately popped into my head was that he probably had a Russian shootfighter gimmick similar to Vladimir Kozlov. As it turns out, I wasn't too far off. However, I soon found out that Rusev was actually from Bulgaria and not Russia. I felt silly for stereotyping Rusev just by his name and his physical appearance.
 
So I started to take a slight interest in this Bulgarian NXT talent by the name of Alexander Rusev. I was intrigued by his physical appearance and I started to read more about him on WWE's website. If nothing else, I figured that maybe this guy could be another impressive big man that might be entertaining to watch. I did watch a match or two that he had in NXT and I thought he looked decent but I hadn't heard too much about WWE officials being extremely eager to call him up so I didn't pay too much attention to him.
 
Much to my surprise, NXT's Alexander Rusev made an appearance in the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble Match and had a fairly impressive showing. I immediately became a fan and I was looking forward to seeing when he would debut on Raw and SmackDown. After the Royal Rumble, WWE started to show vignettes of Rusev and his manager Lana, who I had barely even seen or heard of. But again, I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the idea that Rusev and Lana were a little bit like the characters Ivan Drago and his wife Ludmilla Drago from the movie Rocky IV. I also liked the fact that Lana seemed to have decent microphone skills.
 
Ever since Rusev officially started competing on Raw and SmackDown, he has shown flashes of excellence. As is typical, he started out winning some easy squash matches to help introduce him and his style to the WWE fans. He has also found himself in a feud against former WWE United States Champion R-Truth and Truth's tag team partner, Xavier Woods. However, WWE recently made some alterations to Rusev's character.
 
At the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Lana revealed that "The Bulgarian Brute" has now relocated to Russia and is loyal to Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin. WWE also made the decision to make Alexander Rusev yet another WWE Superstar with only one name, much like Batista, Christian, Sheamus, Cesaro, Big E., etc. Alexander Rusev is now officially known as simply Rusev and is officially billed as being from Russia...even though he is from Bulgaria.
 
His gimmick itself and his in-ring style have not changed, but it seems to me that WWE has, if I can make up a word, "overgimmicked" Rusev. To sum it up, it's cheap heat. It's easy to stereotype him and label him as being from Russia in an attempt to somehow make him seem like more of a villain to the WWE Universe. Much like how wrestlers from the Middle East are usually presented as heels, wrestlers from Russia are usually made out to be villains as well. It's a classic and time-tested pro wrestling trick to get a reaction from the fans, but I personally felt that it was unnecessary and a bit over-the-top.
 
WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H recently proclaimed that WWE is in a "Reality Era". Why then would a  Bulgarian be labeled as being from Russia in order to get cheap heat from the WWE fans? This is 2014, not 1984. Another issue I have is that Lana is being presented as being not just the brains of their operation, but Rusev quite literally seems to obey her every command, as though he is in the military and Lana is his commanding officer. It almost makes me wonder who WWE is trying to get over with the fans: Rusev or Lana.
 
But be that as it may, I am still intrigued by both Rusev and Lana and I'm curious to see how far WWE might allow them to go. Could Rusev end up being a main eventer some day? Will Rusev one day capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and headline WrestleMania with Lana at his side? Or will WWE do what they ALWAYS seem to do with their monster characters, and that is to water them down and eventually turn them into dancing comedy characters. In this case, I hope not.
 
I personally have been impressed with Rusev's in-ring performances, even though they have been very limited. He seems to possess some exceptional athletic ability and I like his stiff, hard-hitting offense. But then again, I thought the same thing about Vladimir Kozlov in 2008, but towards the end of his tenure with WWE, I was no longer a fan of his. I hope that this will not be the case with Rusev.
 
Wrestling fans, much like horror movie fans, love their dominant and destructive monsters. I can't say that I know for sure that Rusev will become a huge star in WWE, but I would like to think that there is definitely some potential in him. And one major advantage that Rusev does have over other monster characters, including Vladimir Kozlov, is that Rusev has "The Ravishing Russian" Lana in his corner. Lana seems to be getting over with the WWE Universe, perhaps even more so than Rusev right now. I'd like to see Rusev show more of what he's capable of. I would hate to think that Rusev might end up becoming another Vladimir Kozlov or another Ezekiel Jackson or Mason Ryan. I would like to see Rusev succeed.
 
Can Rusev and Lana go on to become WWE's next power couple? Only time will tell.
 

Tags: #wwe #rusev #lana #columns
https://wrestlr.me/34390/  
Adding comments is disabled due to age of article.
 

» More News From This Feed

Aug 07
Rhea Ripley Says She Wants to Stay in NXT "For a Long Time"
Former WWE NXT Women's Champion and the first-ever NXT U.K. Women's Champion Rhea Ripley recently spoke to Newsweek.com. When discussing the possibility of being called up to WWE's Raw and&n[...]
Aug 07 - Former WWE NXT Women's Champion and the first-ever NXT U.K. Women's Champion Rhea Ripley recently spoke to Newsweek.com. When discussing the possibility of being called up to WWE's Raw and&n[...]
Aug 07
NJPW Issues an Official Statement Regarding Hiroshi Tanahashi/COVID-19 Testing
New Japan Pro Wrestling issued the following statement on NJPW1972.com: On August 1, Hiroshi Tanahashi made a television appearance with another cast member who has since tested positive for COVID-[...]
Aug 07 - New Japan Pro Wrestling issued the following statement on NJPW1972.com: On August 1, Hiroshi Tanahashi made a television appearance with another cast member who has since tested positive for COVID-[...]
Aug 07
Kofi Kingston Gives His Thoughts on People Who Do Not Acknowledge The Rock as Being a Black WWE Champion
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Superstar and former WWE Champion Kofi Kingston of The New Day was recently a guest on WWE Hall of Famer D-Von Dudley's Table Talk podcast. One of the to[...]
Aug 07 - WWE Friday Night SmackDown Superstar and former WWE Champion Kofi Kingston of The New Day was recently a guest on WWE Hall of Famer D-Von Dudley's Table Talk podcast. One of the to[...]
Aug 07
AEW's Joey Janela Gives Up Social Media Due to Negativity
All Elite Wrestling star Joey Janela posted the following on Twitter: Hey, I’ve decided to give up social media. I never botched in my career, & I didn’t on AEW Dark. At one point t[...]
Aug 07 - All Elite Wrestling star Joey Janela posted the following on Twitter: Hey, I’ve decided to give up social media. I never botched in my career, & I didn’t on AEW Dark. At one point t[...]
Aug 07
Viewership for This Week's WWE NXT & AEW Dynamite (08/05/2020)
This week's episode of WWE NXT drew an average of 753,000 viewers on the USA Network, which is an increase from last week’s 707,000 viewers. NXT drew a 0.20 rating in the 18-[...]
Aug 07 - This week's episode of WWE NXT drew an average of 753,000 viewers on the USA Network, which is an increase from last week’s 707,000 viewers. NXT drew a 0.20 rating in the 18-[...]
Aug 07
Bayley Gets Permission to Use a Special Theme Song at WrestleMania Next Year
Current WWE SmackDown Women's Champion and one-half of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Bayley may be entering the arena to a special entrance theme at WrestleMania 37 in March of 2021. T[...]
Aug 07 - Current WWE SmackDown Women's Champion and one-half of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Bayley may be entering the arena to a special entrance theme at WrestleMania 37 in March of 2021. T[...]
Aug 07
Official Preview for WWE Friday Night SmackDown (08/07/2020)
The following matches and segments are confirmed for this week's episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown, according to WWE.com: Bray Wyatt heads back to The Firefly Fun House after attack on Ale[...]
Aug 07 - The following matches and segments are confirmed for this week's episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown, according to WWE.com: Bray Wyatt heads back to The Firefly Fun House after attack on Ale[...]
Aug 06
AJ Styles on Impact Return: "Never say never."
AJ Styles wasn't happy when Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were released from WWE earlier this year. The Good Brothers recently signed with Impact Wrestling, and made it known that they wish AJ Styles[...]
Aug 06 - AJ Styles wasn't happy when Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were released from WWE earlier this year. The Good Brothers recently signed with Impact Wrestling, and made it known that they wish AJ Styles[...]
Aug 05
Eric Bischoff Appears on AEW Dynamite
AEW Dynamite held the special debate between Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy, and the special moderator for this debate was announced to be former WCW Executive Vice-President and WWE RAW General Man[...]
Aug 05 - AEW Dynamite held the special debate between Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy, and the special moderator for this debate was announced to be former WCW Executive Vice-President and WWE RAW General Man[...]
Aug 05
AEW Dynamite Quick Results (8/5/2020)
The Dark Order defeated FTR and The Elite Best Friends defeated Santana and Ortiz Cardona and Cody defeated The Dark Order Cassidy defeated Jericho Swole defeated Rebel Moxley defeated Alli [...]
Aug 05 - The Dark Order defeated FTR and The Elite Best Friends defeated Santana and Ortiz Cardona and Cody defeated The Dark Order Cassidy defeated Jericho Swole defeated Rebel Moxley defeated Alli [...]
Aug 05
WWE NXT Quick Results (8/5)
Dakota Kai defeated Rhea Ripley to become #1 contender for the NXT Women's Championship. Bronson Reed defeated Shane Thorne Damian Priest defeated Oney Lorcan and Ridge Holland in NXT North Americ[...]
Aug 05 - Dakota Kai defeated Rhea Ripley to become #1 contender for the NXT Women's Championship. Bronson Reed defeated Shane Thorne Damian Priest defeated Oney Lorcan and Ridge Holland in NXT North Americ[...]
Aug 05
Marty Jannetty Confesses To Murder, Police Investigation Begins
On Facebook, Marty Jannetty posted a surprising entry detailing a time where he said he made a man "disappear." "I never told no one this, even my brother Geno.. cause Geno would’ve killed [...]
Aug 05 - On Facebook, Marty Jannetty posted a surprising entry detailing a time where he said he made a man "disappear." "I never told no one this, even my brother Geno.. cause Geno would’ve killed [...]
Aug 05
WWE Hires Nick Khan as President & Chief Officer
WWE announced today that Nick Khan, former co-head of the Television at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has been named President & Chief Revenue Officer. He is replacing George Barrios and Michelle[...]
Aug 05 - WWE announced today that Nick Khan, former co-head of the Television at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has been named President & Chief Revenue Officer. He is replacing George Barrios and Michelle[...]
Aug 05
WWE Reveals the Name of the Mysterious New Faction That Debuted on Raw
WWE has revealed that the mysterious new faction that debuted on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw will be known as "Retribution." https://t.co/wNpELtByip has learned that the facti[...]
Aug 05 - WWE has revealed that the mysterious new faction that debuted on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw will be known as "Retribution." https://t.co/wNpELtByip has learned that the facti[...]
Aug 05
Viewership for This Week's Episode of WWE Monday Night Raw (08/03/2020)
The August 3rd, 2020 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw drew an average of 1,715,000 viewers, which is an increase from last week’s 1,617,000 viewers. The first hour drew 1,710,000 viewe[...]
Aug 05 - The August 3rd, 2020 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw drew an average of 1,715,000 viewers, which is an increase from last week’s 1,617,000 viewers. The first hour drew 1,710,000 viewe[...]
Aug 04
Matt Cardona: "I don't want to live in bitterness."
Matt Cardona, formerly Zack Ryder, sat down with Busted Open on SiriusXM to discuss his upcoming run in AEW. “Yes, and of course, there are times where (being in professional wrestling) has s[...]
Aug 04 - Matt Cardona, formerly Zack Ryder, sat down with Busted Open on SiriusXM to discuss his upcoming run in AEW. “Yes, and of course, there are times where (being in professional wrestling) has s[...]
Aug 04
Ariane Andrew Is "Still a Free Agent", And Wants To Reunite the Funkadactyls in WWE
Despite the fact that Ariane Andrew just wrestled in the AEW Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament, she has confirmed on her YouTube show "Sippin' the Tea" that she is still a free agent and not signed to a[...]
Aug 04 - Despite the fact that Ariane Andrew just wrestled in the AEW Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament, she has confirmed on her YouTube show "Sippin' the Tea" that she is still a free agent and not signed to a[...]
Aug 04
AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament (Night 1) Results (8/3/20)
All Elite Wrestling officially kicked off the first night of the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament on the promotion’s official YouTube channel on Monday night, the results of which[...]
Aug 04 - All Elite Wrestling officially kicked off the first night of the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament on the promotion’s official YouTube channel on Monday night, the results of which[...]
Aug 03
WWE's New Faction Debuts, Causes Technical Difficulties During RAW
As reported earlier, WWE announced that a "new faction" would be debuting on RAW. There was even a possible leak as to what the stable is going to be called. Tonight on RAW, several technical difficu[...]
Aug 03 - As reported earlier, WWE announced that a "new faction" would be debuting on RAW. There was even a possible leak as to what the stable is going to be called. Tonight on RAW, several technical difficu[...]
Aug 03
WWE Monday Night Raw Results (08/03/2020)
The following are the results of the August 3rd, 2020 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw: 1. Apollo Crews defeated Montel Vontavious Porter (w/Bobby Lashley & Shelton Benjamin) to successfull[...]
Aug 03 - The following are the results of the August 3rd, 2020 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw: 1. Apollo Crews defeated Montel Vontavious Porter (w/Bobby Lashley & Shelton Benjamin) to successfull[...]
Aug 03
WWE Raw Results: Shane McMahon Introduces "Raw Underground"
On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, former SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon introduced a new concept called "Raw Underground." This new concept appears to be based on no-hold[...]
Aug 03 - On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, former SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon introduced a new concept called "Raw Underground." This new concept appears to be based on no-hold[...]
Aug 03
WWE Raw Results: 24/7 Championship Triple Threat Match
On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, 24/7 Champion Shelton Benjamin defended his title against former champions R-Truth (who had stolen the belt) and Akira Tozawa in a Triple Threat Match. [...]
Aug 03 - On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, 24/7 Champion Shelton Benjamin defended his title against former champions R-Truth (who had stolen the belt) and Akira Tozawa in a Triple Threat Match. [...]
Aug 03
WWE Raw Results: Former Raw Women's Champion "Indefinitely Suspended Without Pay"
On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, former Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax was "indefinitely suspended" for assaulting WWE official Pat Buck on last week's Raw. Jax went out to the ring [...]
Aug 03 - On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, former Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax was "indefinitely suspended" for assaulting WWE official Pat Buck on last week's Raw. Jax went out to the ring [...]
Aug 03
WWE Raw Results: Former Tag Team Partners Reunite
On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, former Riott Squad members Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan were brought together on "The Kevin Owens Show." After being interrupted by The IIconics, Morgan and[...]
Aug 03 - On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, former Riott Squad members Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan were brought together on "The Kevin Owens Show." After being interrupted by The IIconics, Morgan and[...]

© 2006-2020 wrestlingnewssource.com

All rights reserved. All other trademarks, logos, video, likeness and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Terms of Service · Privacy Policy · Π