At Extreme Rules this past Sunday night, Rusev scolded Lana for basking in the adoration of the Chicago crowd before outright screaming at her to get him another match with John Cena at Payback after he was defeated in their Russian Chain match. Lana took the berating and did as she was told.
The next evening on Monday Night Raw in Green Bay, John Cena had this to say about it:
"Last night I didn't even have time to catch my breath when I saw Rusev backstage barking orders at Lana, forcing her to walk into The Authority's office with some sort of crazy plan. And then 10 minutes later she walks out of The Authority's office with another rematch. Kind of makes you think what that plan was about don't it? Fleshy allegations aside, I gotta give old big stinky Rusev the respect he deserves. Folks, the man keeps his pimp hand strong. I kid, I kid; he gets my respect because Rusev refuses to quit."
Are you serious with this? Cena is quite literally accusing Lana of having gone to The Authority to perform some sort of sexual favor in return for another match for Rusev, who, in this story, is the abuser who forced her into it. Cena actually acknowledges that fact and goes right on with the implication, making a joke of it before professing his respect for Rusev once more.
What's amazing here is that Rusev has had babyface characteristics for almost the entirety of this feud, right up until the moment he started verbally abusing Lana. If there was ever a time for Cena to act like a babyface himself by simply being a decent human, it's now. But instead of calling attention to Rusev's abusive behavior and proclaiming a want to put a stop to it, Cena doubled down on his sexism, made a joke about it, and then actually put Rusev over.
Also incredible? This story writes itself. It was begging to be told. I cannot comprehend how it's a better story to have Cena, who is supposed to be the good guy you look up to, acknowledge that Lana was the victim of abuse then claim that abuse was truly horrific in nature and then immediately make a joke about that before actually complimenting her abuser.
This is a garbage story, horribly written, disrespectful to an entire gender, and telling of the attitude those in charge at WWE actually have towards women.
It's really not that difficult to write women well in these stories and a pleasant bonus will be that one of your top babyface characters, who kids are actively looking up to as their hero, will actually look like a decent person for once.