Remember when all we had the mental bandwidth to worry about sleazy and/or offensive WWE angles? December 2019 - January 2020 really were the salad days.
Yes, back around New Year’s, a lot of people watched and talked about the Lana/Bobby Lashley/Rusev storyline playing out on Raw every week. It was a horribly constructed program that added and dropped salacious details left and right. Rusev was a sex addict, then he wasn’t. Lana was pregnant, or she was lying? Liv Morgan turned herself from a Riott grrrl into a sexpot because she was in love with Lana, even though that love was only mentioned on television once.
As a means to pop ratings and grab YouTube views, it succeeded. Its proponents, including many of the performers involved in it, pointed to the attention the monthslong angle received as proof.
Critics questioned whether the story was leading anywhere, and if it would make any of the players bigger stars or more useful storytelling pieces when it inevitably ended.
Well... it looks like we’re coming up on the end.
That scene played out on Raw last night (April 6) after Lana’s bad in-match advice cost Bobby Lashley his match against Aleister Black at WrestleMania 36. Issues between the kayfabe Mr. & Mrs. were even showing up during their mixed tag feud with Morgan & Rusev, but that went on hold even before the coronavirus pandemic put a lot of things on hold.
Rusev is sidelined, allegedly due to a contract dispute with WWE. Morgan is getting television time in the mid-card, which is no small accomplishment, but also probably could have happened without her professing her love for the Ravishing Russian.
Lana’s just back from filming a movie, and hopes to do more and more of that under the new WWE deal she signed last year. And Lashley’s... pretty much where he’s been throughout his second stint with Vince McMahon’s company. He was off television for a while on a promotional trip to Africa which mandated a pre-Mania quarantine period, which proves they view him as a marketable talent. But he doesn’t seem any closer to the Brock Lesnar match he’s been lobbying for for years.
In some ways, there never has to be a point to anything that happens in pro wrestling’s non-stop storyline. Things happen because WWE has a lot of time to fill, every week of the year. But they filled a lot of time with this nonsensical story, and aside from a few weeks worth of numbers - made up of viewers who don’t seem to have stuck around after the wedding caught their eye on the cable guide, or something Liv/Lana related showed up in their search results - there’s nothing to show for it.
But there is one guy who sees an opportunity here...