Sunday, June 23, 2024

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WWE Issues Statement on Lana’s Controversial Battleground Promo

Last night at Battleground, Lana delivered a controversial promo before Rusev‘s match against Jack Swagger.

In the promo, she made reference to the recent downing of flight MH17, a tragedy believed to be performed by pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine. She said:

Since then, social media and various news outlets have expressed their disappointment in the WWE, the Washington Post writing:

The first time the WWE used a giant photograph of Russian President Vladimir Putin to elicit boos for its heels Lana and Rusev, a pair of Eastern Europeans who hate the United States, it was largely looked at as a success. A cheap one, sure, but this is pro wrestling we’re talking about and there was almost a certain throwback charm about setting up a classic USA vs. Russia feud.

But on Sunday night’s “Battleground” pay-per-view, the shtick became less amusing and more cringeworthy when CJ Parker Perry, the bilingual American who plays Lana, the acerbic Russian manager of Rusev (who both in real life and in the ring hails from Bulgaria), decided to allude to “recent current events” while ranting on the microphone about how Russia is better than the United States.

This morning, the WWE issued a statement on the controversy, claiming that they did not intend to reference the tragedy:

Last night’s segment during WWE’s Battleground event was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy. The storyline with characters Rusev and Lana has been a part of WWE programming for more than 3 months. WWE apologizes to anyone who misunderstood last night’s segment and was offended.

Tonight’s Raw should indicate how far the WWE will attempt to distance themselves – as well as the characters of Lana and Rusev – from the controversy.

Do you think the WWE went too far at Battleground?

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