I’m awfully confused about just what the hell WWE is doing with Lana.
A while back, she suddenly became something of a babyface when Natalya kicked her out of their tag team for being, well, bad at wrestling and losing them matches. Then, because she’s a bully who saw an easy target, Nia Jax started picking on her, making it a point to put her through the announcer’s desk on every show.
The idea seems simple enough: seeing anyone treated poorly will result in feeling sympathetic to that person. As a human being, you have empathy. You can’t help but feel for someone going through a struggle like that.
Where WWE has faltered is in how she’s been booked in actual matches.
After Nattie did away with her, Lana won a battle royal by doing the old “hiding out on the outside and coming back in at the last second to push out the person who thought they just won” bit, and her celebration was cut off by Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre brawling all around the ring. She was immediately secondary.
For that win, she earned a title match against Asuka, which saw her beaten up and submitted in roughly two minutes. It was hardly a competitive match and Lana tapped almost immediately.
Later, she was put on Team Raw at Survivor Series and was bullied into standing on the ring steps, away from all the action. It was there she stood while Nia Jax and Bianca Belair were both counted out, resulting in Lana “winning” the match for her team as the sole survivor.
She was given a title match on Raw the next night for it, and that match ended in a disqualification when Asuka was more concerned with Jax and Shayna Baszler at ringside. A tag team match was booked immediately after where all Lana did was avoid Jax trying to put her through a table again and get choked out by Baszler long enough to allow Asuka to roll her up from behind to get the pin for their team.
Lana reacted to Asuka scoring that pin by running up the entrance ramp and celebrating at the top of it like she was finally triumphant in the face of those who have been putting her down. Which is true only in the sense that the team she was on was victorious but she had next to nothing to do with that result.
All this has left me wondering if the idea here is to actually get Lana over as a babyface or just to make her look bad while pretending they want to get her over as a babyface. Eventually, the babyface has to, you know, actually overcome the obstacles put in front of them. They have to do that for themselves, not celebrate like they did when it was done for them.
Am I wrong here?