For weeks and weeks on end, a woman we would come to know as Lana (let's assume you don't watch NXT) would suddenly and without warning shout "VNIMANIE", which, WWE tells us, is Russian for "ATTENTION". Essentially, she was doing Vickie Guerrero's gimmick in another language.
Then, she would speak in said language, saying things no one understood. She's easy on the eyes, sure, but is this all there is to this schtick?
Then, Alexander Rusev would make his way out after Lana introduced him as the "Bulgarian Brute". He would stand elevated above everyone and stoically look on at nothing with an odd 1,000 yard stare. Sometimes he would speak but, again, in a language most Americans do not understand.
Strike three. They're out.
Finally, WWE pulled the trigger on putting Rusev in the ring with Lana at ringside on the episode of Raw the night after WrestleMania 30, squashing Zack Ryder.
The next night on Main Event, he ran through Sin Cara.
Now it makes sense.
Rusev is a mammoth of a man who moves incredibly well for his size. You'll hear him referred to as "athletic" countless times in the months to come. He's also powerful as all get out.
But Lana is what makes this work.
Rusev is essentially a machine and Lana is at the controls. In each match, she stalks around outside the ring, looking on approvingly at the destruction she has unleashed. When she decides the opponent Rusev is destroying has had enough, she shouts to Rusev to get his attention, balls her hand, and tells him to "CRUSH".
He obliges by locking on his submission -- a camel clutch that WWE calls The Accolade -- and applying it with great force, all while he leaves that stoic expression on his face. Here, unlike during his earlier intros, it works. Here, it's an interesting wrinkle.
Even better, he does not release the hold after his opponent taps out. He does not release the hold when the referee prompts him to. No, he only releases the hold when Lana comes in and commands it.
This is good. This has potential.