Over the past couple of months in WWE, there has been a polarizing segment involving Bobby Lashley, Rusev, and Lana.
Lana, the real-life wife of Rusev, has been having an affair - in kayfabe - with Bobby Lashley in segments that have been rather... controversial. By all appearances, the segments have put the WWE Universe against the company. There have been widespread complaints on social media... but in truth, how has the WWE Universe actually received the segments?
On a recent episode of Dropkick DiSKussions, Tom Colohue and Gary Cassidy talked about the Rusev situation on WWE RAW.
Tom revealed that the fact of the matter was that WWE had achieved exactly what they wanted through the segments. Lana was a credible heel with proper heat from the WWE audience. The audience was also tuning in to watch Lashley, who's persona most have not cared about since making his return to WWE last year.
"She's getting credible negativity. She said a line on RAW, that she's getting tired of people booing her, and then all of the audience booed and it was fantastic. It was the most basic cheap heat you can get."
Tom pointed out that Lashley had been put against Roman Reigns last year, but even that had not made the audience care.
"Lashley as well. He struggled when he came back to really get much behind him. They put him against Roman Reigns at the height of Roman's matches being hijacked. He still was not getting cheered. That's a difficult situation. Now people are really starting to care."
Finally, when it comes to Rusev, it appears that there is a lot happening with the star. He has gained quite the following once again, something that he has been missing since the 'Rusev Day' craze.
"You look at Rusev — a lot of positivity behind him from this. Not since Rusev Day has he had this much behind him."
With all of this and more, is it worth the negativity that they are drawing on social media?
When it comes to the segments on social media, the ones involving Rusev, Lana, and Bobby Lashley have received the most views. If we take a look at the videos of the latest episode on RAW involving Rusev, Bobby Lashley, and Lana, their segment had 1.95 million views on YouTube - more than all other segments. The only one that came close was the 1.8 million views for the main event of the night, where AJ Styles faced Rey Mysterio in a United States title match. None of the other segments have yet garnered more than a million views.
If we go back further to the last episode of RAW, Bobby Lashley and Lana being arrested has 3.4 million views. The closest, again, is another segment involving Randy Orton which had 2.1 million views.
Even the week before that, Rusev's segments had 2.7 million views, where he was arrested, and Bobby Lashley being stretchered away had over a million views.
The figures speak for themselves. Whether you personally love the Rusev vs Bobby Lashley & Lana feud or not, there is a large portion of the WWE Universe that is regularly tuning in to see how this feud turns out.
If for nothing else, all three of these Superstars, who had been pushed to a corner in WWE in the recent past, now find themselves in the limelight as the most-watched part of each WWE RAW. As far as their segments go, the effect that they have had on WWE is they have managed to gain and retain audience interest in their segments.
You can listen to more discussion about the upcoming TLC pay-per-view and even the Royal Rumble event right below on this episode of the Dropkick DiSKussions.