If WWE really wants this Lana angle to pay off, they need to start doing her some favors when it comes to booking her matches.
First off, a quick disclaimer. This is not an anti-Lana article. Stop the Lana hate. If you’re one of these people who love to dump on this poor woman at every twist and turn, and were hoping this article would do the same, re-evaluate your life. Also, get off Twitter.
With that out of the way, onto the main point of the article which is this – WWE has a Lana problem.
Lana herself is not the problem. The problem is that it seems WWE does not know what they want her to be moving forward. In her seven years with the company, Lana has primarily been used in a managerial role. She’s been paired up (obviously) with her real-life husband Miro, aka Rusev, as well as Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Lashley. This is a role we know she can do incredibly well.
You may not be a fan of the material, but The Ravishing Russian always does her best with what WWE hands her. She cuts a solid promo, has some solid acting chops, and could continue being a manager for years to come.
However, it appears WWE has written her out of that role. At least for the time being. Her longtime client is no longer with the company and she was made to look so inept at her job with Bobby Lashley that he fired her and divorced her in one fell swoop. She had a brief partnership with Natalya and that quickly fizzled out. So after everything that’s happened with Lana creatively in 2020, who would hire her at this point?
If this was done so that Lana can stand on her own two feet and prove herself as a competitor, that’s great! When are we going to get there though? Her first match ever was at WrestleMania 32 over four years ago and her booking as a wrestler has remained relatively the same ever since. She’s an up and comer who is working extremely hard to get better and prove herself.
That is something that I truly believe is going on behind the scenes as well. Based on her WWE Chronicle alone, you can tell Lana really loves this business and is working incredibly hard to get better. That said, I’d like to see if that hard work has paid off. I’m ready to see if that hard work has paid off. Can Lana go out there and put on a 15-minute match with, literally, anyone? I don’t genuinely don’t know, because I haven’t seen it.
To WWE’s credit, I believe this current storyline is working. When you look at how she’s treated in both real life on social media and by the rest of the women in the locker room in kayfabe, you can’t help but feel sorry for her. You can’t help but root for her, but sympathy only goes so far in trying to get someone over with the audience.
I really wanted to see Lana overcome the odds and prove everyone, especially Nia Jax, wrong at Survivor Series and win the match for her team. She did, but in a way that did absolutely nothing to prove anything to anyone.
After being relegated to standing on the ring steps by her teammates for most of the match, Nia Jax and Bianca Belair were both counted out, allowing Lana to become the sole survivor by default. She lucked into the biggest win of her career. Not by stealing someone else’s finisher and getting the pinfall. Not with a surprise roll-up for the three count. Not with anything remotely resembling a wrestling move. She literally won by standing there and doing nothing, and then was happy about it. I don’t know about you, but if I’m out there trying to prove myself I’d be pissed off if I won that way.
The victory felt very hollow and meaningless. Yes, she won the match but nothing was accomplished in ways of moving her character forward. Then the next night on RAW, she was given a title shot as a “reward” and it was cut short within minutes. Where’s the story arc here? When is Lana going to get to stand on her own two feet and fight? For you Walking Dead fans, this feels like the equivalent of Carol remaining the same helpless housewife for 11 seasons instead of morphing into the badass she is now at the end of the show’s run.
I don’t know if Lana has the in-ring ability to be a believable competitor for the likes of Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Charlotte, or any other woman on the roster. I just don’t. What I do know is I’m ready to find out. Sooner or later she has to start earning the respect of her colleagues by proving her merit in the ring.
Now, there’s always the possibility that Lana isn’t being booked into long matches because she just isn’t there yet when it comes to her in-ring work. If that’s the case, as I said earlier, WWE has a Lana problem.
Superstars like Peyton Royce, Lacey Evans, Naomi, and others are not on TV every week like Lana. WWE has chosen to make her a focal point of the Women’s Division on RAW. If it’s not to eventually elevate her to the ranks of being a serious competitor and potential Women’s Champion, then what is the point? What is the end game?
Lana signed a 5-year extension with WWE just this past fall, so she’s not going anywhere any time soon. The company though needs to decide what they want her to be for these next five years. She is a very talented individual, there is no denying that. If she still has the potential to be a wrestler but isn’t there yet, maybe a move to NXT would be the best thing for her. If they don’t view her as a wrestler for the long haul, she can still be valuable to the company in some other capacity.
It’d be difficult, but not impossible to get her back into the managerial game. I personally think she’d make a fun authority figure. After the way the other women have treated her over the last few, well years, it would be really fun to see Lana be in charge of them all of a sudden. It opens up a number of storyline possibilities.
Whatever she ends up doing in WWE long term, I hope she’s successful. I am genuinely rooting for Lana. Now please WWE, give her the chance to actually go out there and prove some people wrong.