There have been many bad love triangle storylines in WWE over the years. There are many reasons why storylines like this hardly ever work. You do get the odd little gem from time to time, like Stephanie McMahon, Kurt Angle and Triple H from 2000. However, most of the the time, they are incredibly hard to get into. It’s not necessarily down to the people involved but it’s for one simple reason. Bryan Alvarez said it best. If the casual fan base wants to watch actual soap opera storylines and scripted television, they are not going to watch RAW. They’ll watch the likes of Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones. If you want to watch soap operas in England, you’d watch Coronation Street or Eastenders. These fans would not watch wrestling for a cheap imitation of a soap opera. That’s usually the jists of why these storylines usually fail. Guess what… that’s exactly the issue with this current storyline between Lana, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev and Summer Rae.
Let me just say that I feel bad for everyone involved in this storyline. I especially feel sorry for them after watching this week’s RAW. This storyline is one of the worst aspects of WWE television nowadays… and it was more prominently featured than anything else on the show. The other thing is the timing of every angle from this storyline on Monday seemed all messed up. Firstly, they had the match between Dolph Ziggler and Rusev FIRST. This was a rematch from Summerslam that was announced two days before RAW. Fans would normally be getting excited about the prospect of seeing a clear winner after their Summerslam match solved nothing. However, they just shot this match on first like it meant nothing. It was basically there to act as a prelude for the rest of the night with regards to this storyline. The only PROBLEM with that is, the ending of the match didn’t do anything that would lead into the storyline later on in the show. It was essentially the same finish from Summerslam! That’s why this infuriates me. With everything that happened later on, surely those would be the sort of things that would hype up a match for later on?
Why not have Lana and Dolph Ziggler cut the promo about the match at the start of the show? They can talk about their relationship and making out in Disneyland, etc. Whatever. Then, Summer Rae goes into Dolph Ziggler’s locker room. After that, Summer comes out and Ziggler is seen with his towel on in his locker room. We then hear from Summer Rae as she does her interview about the incident with Ziggler. To be fair, Summer’s actually playing her role really well and she’s actually a pretty good talker on the mic. I’ll give her credit for that. Lana is asked about this interview by Renee Young but she walks off. Ziggler then tries to explain what happened to Lana but she leaves the building sad and upset. This would leave Ziggler all alone to go up against Rusev. Rusev would be pissed because Ziggler was apparently “fooling around” with Summer Rae while Ziggler would be mad at Summer and would take his frustrations out on Rusev in the match. Without Lana at ringside, Rusev beats him in the middle. Or if you still want the DQ finish, Summer attacks Ziggler to cause a DQ. That’s it. It’s simple booking that would lead to people POTENTIALLY getting more anticipated for the match between Rusev and Dolph Ziggler later on in the show!
I’m not going to lie. Even IF they tweaked the timing of the angles, I still probably would have hated it! However, I am not a casual wrestling fan. If you want to get a soap opera storyline over with the casual fan base, you have to at least have it make SENSE. When you’re watching something like Game of Thrones or the Walking Dead, they usually don’t have a big fight scene or the most important part of the storyline be shown at the start of an episode. The writers build up to that point. These writers in WWE didn’t build up to the big advertised match of Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev. Why would anyone care if you’re just going to shot the match on first with the same finish that you delivered on pay-per-view?
Then there’s the character’s involved in the storyline. Unless you are legitimate actors, it is very hard to convince someone that you’re in a relationship with somebody when you’re not ACTUALLY with them. Dolph Ziggler and Lana have the hardest jobs in the world to try and convince everyone that they ARE in fact in a relationship. How do you convince the WWE Universe that you are in love with this girl when her kayfabe ex-boyfriend Rusev IS her real life boyfriend? I give Lana and Dolph Ziggler all the credit in the world. They’re trying so hard for this stupid storyline to work. WWE have to constantly try to force this relationship upon you in the most cheesiest of ways. The Instagram photos of Ziggler and Lana kissing in Disneyland was mentioned so much during this show! However, you’re putting two characters that are polar opposites together. It’s like when you start off in school or college. It’s the typical relationship that all your friends are trying to put together, but since you’re not that invested, it falls apart. If Ziggler and Lana don’t seem romantically involved then how is this POSSIBLY going to work?
However, I feel that the person that gets the most sympathy from me… is Rusev. This lad was a cold-hearted destructive Russian power house. He went ONE YEAR undefeated and beat the likes of Sheamus, Mark Henry, Big Show and even JOHN CENA on television and PPV. That’s one hell of a bragging right. However, what this storyline has reduced Rusev to is a heart-broken, sensitive ex-boyfriend. If you’re seeing your ex with somebody else for the first time, of course you’re going to feel emotionally wound up. It’s an extreme reaction which has lead to Rusev doing crazy things like dressing Summer Rae as Lana. He’s the VICTIM of this entire storyline! How do you not feel sympathetic for him in this situation?
Rusev did break up with Lana and was apparently “cruel” to Lana during their relationship. However, Lana was over his relationship with Rusev… in an hour. An hour after Rusev broke up with her, she kissed Dolph Ziggler! Furthermore, with Rusev’s leg injury, he was reduced to crutches having to watch Lana and Ziggler make out every week in the first few months of this storyline! How does Rusev get credibility back as this dominating monster? Considering that WWE has now exposed Rusev as a man with exploitable weaknesses and emotional feelings, it has taken away the fear of the mighty Rusev that made him such a force to be reckoned with in 2015!
This is why I hate how monsters are used in WWE. As soon as you reveal an emotional aspect of these big, bad monsters, it complete ruins the fear factor that they hold. How do you expect Rusev to be taken seriously when he’s going into fits over his ex and having comedy angles involving fish and puppies? This storyline… sucks.
I really wished this wrapped up at Summerslam. I really did. All they did on Summerslam itself was just waste everybody’s time. In their match on RAW, they wasted everybody’s time. In the segments following that match, they made things even worse. I’m still amazed that Ziggler and Lana are still getting massive reactions after being put through all this. All I’m hoping for at this moment is that they pull the plug on this storyline. Rusev doesn’t deserve this. Dolph Ziggler doesn’t deserve this. Who benefits from seeing this storyline? Why do we need to see this storyline? How badly do you need to cripple the careers of these two great workers until we see this tedious storyline meet its end?