Every day hundreds of people write on Sportskeeda's Twitter or our Facebook account saying just how much they despise the angle between Lana, Rusev, and Bobby Lashley. WWE's fanbase has been extremely vocal about how they're not a fan of this kind of content in their wrestling.
At a time when WWE has arguably the most talented roster in the history of the business, why does Vince McMahon continue to push an angle of this nature, with the booking genius Paul Heyman? I've managed to identify five points and I hope that you can chime in with your comments too, in the section below.
As we head into RAW and the official divorce segment featuring Lana and Rusev, one wonders what positives have emerged from the segment, since this angle began. Hopefully, in this article, I can illustrate some of the benefits that have come out of this storyline.
Without wasting any more of your time on this prelude, let me begin my analysis.
#5 It's getting Rusev over as a beloved babyface
There was a time when Rusev was the hottest thing in WWE, back when Rusev Day was going strong and everyone was on the bandwagon. And then, the storyline just ended and Rusev Day was canceled. It was a lost opportunity to build Rusev into a strong and believable babyface.
I mean, this is a guy that can replace Seth Rollins as the face of RAW if the man does decide to break bad in the coming days. And now, thanks to this storyline, where he's being wrong by his wife, Rusev has the support of fans! They're fervently on his side and they like his unhinged nature, which has made him appear as strong as a beast, at long last!
Rusev is someone who can believably take on Brock Lesnar, if he is booked right!
#4 Fans have been clamoring for the Attitude Era
The common narrative among the WWE Universe is that the old days were so much better, with Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson would push the envelope and raise the temperature on WWE television.
Fans have been clamoring for the Attitude Era, but when they bring a watered-down version of what used to happen in the glory days, the fans rebel! Whether or not you enjoy this kind of content, the stuff that used to happen during the Attitude Era was far more risque than the ongoing storyline.
And so, in the minds of the WWE Creative brass, including Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman, I'm guessing that they're delivering to fans exactly what fans have been asking for all along, a return to its roots. I will touch upon this later, but in my opinion, a lot of the audience that is offended by the storyline consists of a vocal minority that does not necessarily represent the bulk of the crowd that enjoys sports entertainment.
#3 Strong social media numbers
It is often said that the people who complain about the WWE product online are a very vocal minority, not representing the general population at all. And this seems to be true, especially if you look at social media numbers as a guideline with regard to what works and what does not.
For example, the footage of Lana and Bobby Lashley getting arrested from this past week's episode of RAW has done over 3.3 million views in just 6 days, which is a really big number, all things considered. To put things in perspective, the amazing match between The Kabuki Warriors and Charlotte Flair has not crossed a million views yet, as I write this article.
And whether you like it or not, WWE is a business at the end of the day, so results dictate what the audience is eventually served. There is clearly an audience for the Jerry Springer style of entertainment that WWE is dishing up, and they seem to be lapping up the storyline and how!
Not everyone likes in-ring action at a hundred miles an hour, I guess. And the audience that does like it, has NXT to watch and enjoy every single week.
#2 Allows Lana to replace Lio Rush as Lashley's manager
I've had the honor of interviewing Bobby Lashley in the past, and I've personally always felt like he was a well-spoken and articulate man. However, he obviously does not thrive in an environment where he has to deliver scripted promos, which is why Lio Rush was such a natural fit with him. However, Lio Rush is the WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion at the moment and to have him paired with Lashley would just confuse fans.
This is why the whole idea of Lana having an affair with Bobby Lashley solves a very basic problem that WWE was facing, of someone speaking for Lashley! All said and done, CJ Perry is an established actress and she can control the crowd with her microphone skills. Also, she has no issue playing the heel and appearing embarrassed when the segment does not go her way!
So, now Lio Rush is doing his own thing and Lana's doing what she's really good at. We're pretty certain by now that she's not exactly Daniel Bryan in the ring, judging from her previous stint.
#1 The success of love triangle storylines in WWE
This is certainly not the first time that a love triangle storyline is happening in WWE and it certainly won't be the last time either, to be extremely honest. In fact, on SmackDown, at the moment, a love quadrangle of sorts is currently underway between Elias, Dana Booke, Drake Maverick, and (if you throw him into the equation too) Batista!
And the fact of the matter is that it isn't the first time that such a storyline has happened, as Abhilash Mendhe notes in his article tracing the evolution of the love triangle. There have been similar storylines, most notably between Edge, Lita and Matt Hardy, as well as Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and also, Kurt Angle.
All of these storylines are still recalled many years after they happened, and the reason is that a love triangle is an easy enough concept to associate with, for everyone. Even if an individual has not experienced it first-hand, he/she has certainly come across the theme in a film or a TV show!
So, don't expect this storyline to leave your TV set anytime soon, folks!