Padraic and Brian Damage
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Rusev and Lana.
Brian: It has been weeks since we have seen both Rusev and Lana appear on WWE television.The official excuse that the WWE is giving is that they requested some much needed time off. That is all fine and well, but is it the truth? There have been reports that Rusev has been a bit disgruntled with his lack of push. He has made a few not so cryptic tweets to that point.
Lana has also come out in interviews and stated that she believes her husband deserves better and more opportunities than what he has been getting. Do you agree? Are Rusev and Lana being wasted or can they still salvage a career in WWE?
Padraic: We’ve seen this one a lot, where WWE likes to hit the reset button on wrestlers after WWE has fucked up their characters. I’ll be the first to say I never liked Lana. I don’t like her character, and I don’t like how she is out of character either. But I can’t deny that she was over with the crowd.
I do think she was great as Rusev’s mouthpiece when he first came to the main roster, but since then, the most that WWE has done with her was the “Milwaukee” angle. I also could not stand Rusev Day because crowds started using it to be assholes, but once again, it was over. I think that Rusev could be a solid championship contender as a face and a WWE Champion as a heel, but he’s been up and down so much and also used as a comedy character. I feel like Lana has been his downfall with how outspoken she is, and I think there’s been a black mark on them ever since they announced their engagement publicly when they were broken up on screen. As long as Lana is in the picture, I don’t think they have much of a career in WWE. Cook ’em.
Brian: Seeing Rusev out of character I discovered one thing…he is a character. He is very funny and witty and when focused, can be a tremendous athlete. Whether we like it or not, “Rusev Day” was over with the crowd. Why WWE didn’t fully capitalize on that momentum, I will never know. He could have been a bigger star if the company fully got behind him. It’s kinda weird, but ever since Rusev lost to John Cena at Wrestlemania 31, he has had a hard time getting his footing back. It wasn’t until the whole Rusev day thing came along that got him back on track. When Aiden English turned on him…it was the beginning of the end for that whole thing.
While Lana is certainly “ravishing,” she just didn’t fit in as a wrestler with the whole Women’s Evolution and her mouth has gotten the two of them in touble with management on more than one occasion. On one hand, I respect that she has the guts to speak up for herself and Rusev…on the other at what cost? Rusev is a talent and I think I read somewhere that WWE tried to sign them to an extension and they rejected it. Thus…this little hiatus they are on. They both might benefit with going some place else like Ring of Honor, Impact or even New Japan. I have to agree with Padraic and say COOK them as well.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.