Chris King shares his insight on Monday night’s Raw Premiere while breaking down two topics that completely stood out among the rest: Brock Lesnar, and Lana & Rusev.
The historic show opened with a brand-new logo and feel to the flagship show of WWE. The intro video marched to a different beat as Skillet’s Legendary blared meshed perfectly with the new and improved video. For the first time in what seemed like forever the show opened up with Freaking pyro and it was awesome! Not to say that for the time prior Raw hasn’t felt special but, when the explosions hit throughout the arena it made the moment feel like a big deal.
— Cenation – WWE Guy (@CenationMarian) October 1, 2019
A fresh new commentary team welcomed us to Tampa, FL consisting of 205 Live’s Vic Joseph, Dio Madden, and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler. These three weren’t the absolute best but it sure beats having arguments during high-profile matches that Corey Graves orchestrated almost weekly. I never thought in a million years I would say this but when Sasha Banks came out I somewhat missed Michael Cole’s “It’s Boss Time” saying.
The Beast Incarnate Is Torn
While it’s not a shock that The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar interrupted Rey Mysterio sharing a feel-good moment with his son Dominic, what was surprising was watching Lesnar appear to be at war within himself. After Mysterio was eviscerated with three THUNDEROUS F5’s,
The Beast turned his attention to Dominic in the WWE Universe. He tossed him over the barricade like a sack of potatoes then flung him in the ring to deliver a massive German Suplex. The former Universal Champion was enraged yet also in complete bewilderment at the carnage he just caused.
Of course, the remorse was short-lived as Lesnar returned to deliver another painful message to the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston ahead of their WWE Championship match on Friday’s debut episode on FOX. It’s been more than fifteen years since we’ve seen The Beast Incarnate showed any amount of remorse towards any opponent.
In 2012, Lesnar was defending his WWE Championship against The Big Show at Survivor Series when his advocate Paul Heyman turned on him which allowed Big Show to win the title. This promoted The Beast Incarnate to turn face for the first time in his career. Lesnar has not had the best 2019 after losing the Universal Championship back-to-back to The Beastslayer Seth Rollins.
Everything feels like Lesnar is about to make history once again on Friday by ending Kofi’s Cinderella story and becoming the WWE Champion for the first time in over a decade.
Let Rusev Be Rusev
This point doesn’t just go back weeks ago when The Bulgarian Brute made his return in the Maria & Mike Kanellis Pregnancy drama, it goes way further than that. In 2015 following Rusev’s heartbreaking loss John Cena at WrestleMania 31, which also happened to The Bulgarian Brute’s first-ever loss on the main roster.
Rusev received his rematch at Extreme Rules in a Russian Chain Match where he suffered another loss. His manager and real-life girlfriend Lana garnered a positive response from the WWE Universe which made Rusev irate so he banished her from ringside. Lana then made another match on her client’s behalf at Payback where The Bulgarian Brute suffered his third straight loss killing all of his momentum. The two then split up on-screen.
Shortly after, Lana began an on-screen relationship with Dolph Ziggler and Rusev had a new manager Summer Rae. During this time Rusev was attempting to reconcile their relationship but to no avail.
This was by far one of the most ridiculous storylines I’ve seen in a long time. On October 11, 2015, TMZ revealed that Rusev and Lana were officially engaged so the next night on Raw WWE squashed the entire storyline.
Fast forward to the 2016 Extreme Rules pay-per-view, where Rusev became a two-time United States Champion by defeating Kalisto via The Accolade. The Bulgarian Brute would successfully retain his championship over the next few months defeating Titus O’Neill at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view and Zack Ryder at the Battleground pay-per-view. Afterward, Rusev and Lana would both be drafted back to Monday Night Raw via the 2016 WWE Draft.
On August 1, 2016, episode of Raw, Rusev would defend his United States Title against Mark Henry in a Clash of Titans hard-hitting match. The monstrous Henry refused to let his country down at the hands of the Bulgarian. Henry got some good shots into the US champ and even powered out of The Accolade. After it was all said and done though, The American finally had no choice but to accept defeat at the hands of Rusev.
In a post-match promo, The Bulgarian Brute trashed the United States of America and its Olympic Games. The Big Dog Roman Reigns had heard enough and marched down to the ring to confront the US champion. Rusev utilized some stiff right hands and then avoided a Superman Punch. Reigns then met him with a THUNDEROUS Superman Punch off the steel steps.
The following week Reigns interrupted Rusev and his new bride Lana’s Wedding Ceremony. Reigns just pushing the United States Champions’ buttons with his verbal shots at The Bulgarian Brute’s manhood stating ” I expected more from you Rusev, just like Lana expected more from you on your wedding night!” Later that night, Rusev and Lana ran into the General Manager Mick Foley who informed them that Rusev would defend his United States Championship against Reigns at SummerSlam.
At SummerSlam, the match never officially started as the two powerhouses engaged in a brawl at ringside. A month later, Rusev would cost his rival a number-one contenders match for the Universal Championship. The Bulgarian Brute would put his championship on the line at the Clash of Champions pay-per-view where he lost. Rusev would invoke his rematch at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view but the two never really gelled in the ring with barely any in-ring chemistry.
If that wasn’t awful enough The Bulgarian Brute was once again dragged into a distasteful storyline this time with WWE’s loudmouth Enzo Amore. If you thought the Dolph Ziggler storyline was horrendous you ain’t seen nothing yet. The storyline consisted of Enzo getting locked out of the men’s locker room and running into Lana presumably naked.
On December 5, 2016, episode of Raw, Rusev and his wife set a trap for Enzo with Lana flirting and inviting him to her hotel room alone. Right, when Enzo was about to make his move Rusev jumps him and beats the holy hell out of him inside the room.
Fast forward to 2018, where Rusev found a tag team partner in the unlikeliest of people Aiden English. English was a drama actor and with the voice of an opera singer. The two were dubbed Rusev Day after nailing their partnership out of the park. English began Introducing The Bulgarian Brute to the ring in song form that the WWE Universe latched onto so tightly. The two while being booked as heels were cheered as one of the top acts on SmackDown Live.
After there was some dissension between Lana, Rusev, and English, Rusev began working back as a singles competitor after their run as a tag team. On a number of occasions, English would inadvertently cause his friend to lose matches. After weeks of frustrations, Rusev cut ties with English.
On September 18, 2018, episode of SmackDown Live, their animosity grew exponentially as English bashed his friend with a microphone and revealed video footage dubbed “One night in Milwaukee” which heavily hinted that English and Lana had an affair as she said, “I want you.”
On the October 9, 2016, episode of SmackDown Live, the rest of the footage would be shown as there was never really an affair English did try to make an advance on Lana but she denied immediately. The two former friends and tag team partners then competed in a match where Rusev won ending the ridiculous story.
Now we finally get to the main point of my topic when on September 16, 2019, episode of Raw, The Bulgarian Brute returned as part of another ridiculous storyline over the Mike & Maria Kanellis pregnancy drama. He then obliterated Mike Kanellis in a squash match. On last night’s episode of Raw, Rusev came to the aid of the Universal Champion Seth Rollins after he was attacked by Randy Orton and King Corbin.
Moments later Sarah Schrieber ran into The Bulgarian Brute and asked where is Lana which he had no intentions of discussing his home life. What he did disclose was challenging Rollins for his Universal Title later that night. So here I thought wow okay so Rusev is finally moving up the ladder in his career, this will be a great match.
The match gets underway and Rusev and Rollins were going at it, delivering a hard-hitting affair. Rollins was looking to be in trouble when Rusev blasted the champ with a thunderous Matchka Kick to the head. What followed next was downright horrible and humiliating to not only Rusev and Lana’s marriage but to the WWE itself.
Bobby Lashley’s music blared through the arena making his return and then he pointed to someone else. Lana’s music hit and Lashley offered his hand, then the two proceeded to have a hardcore makeout scene on live TV. THANK GOD The Fiend made his presence felt by viciously attacking his opponent this Sunday but there was absolutely no way that WWE could have salvaged the ending at that point.
— A.🦋 (@Sashasmurf) October 1, 2019
My argument is this: Why can’t WWE allow Rusev to be the ass-kicking juggernaut that he initially started his career as? Why did they have to kill all his momentum years ago, and last but certainly not least why does WWE feel the need to include some relationship soap opera drama with every single storyline he’s involved in?
It makes as much sense as Mike and Maria Kanellis resigning with WWE only for Mike to be belittled and humiliated consistently on TV. Not only did they kill his chance at becoming one of the top babyfaces on SmackDown Live but they’ve also ruined his character to the point that nobody is even excited for his return. There I’m sorry guys my rant is over but I had to go back and point out how ridiculous WWE has been booking him ever since losing the United States Championship.
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