For months, the Russian monster Rusev and his valet Lana have taunted American fans with pro-Russian sentiment while openly taking cheap shots at the this country and WWE fans. Many WWE superstars have attempted to muffle the barefooted beast — most notably pro-American grapplers Jack Swagger and former Olympian Mark Henry — and all have fallen short.
Rusev and Lana continued the anti-American vitriol after Rusev’s victory over Henry at Night of Champions. The Big Show, Henry’s current tag team partner, stepped up to represent the good old US of A. On Monday’ episode of Raw, the Big Show stood center ring, stared up at the massive Russian flag draped high above, and ripped it down around the cheers of a raucous Chicago crowd.
The fans in attendance spoke for those watching at home who had Big Show, and America’s, back in the latest cold war against a long time enemy country.
Too bad the rest of the WWE doesn’t support the Big Show. After Monday’s “desecration” of the Russian flag, WWE issued an apology to Russia and any fans offended by the 7’4 wrestler’s actions.
Former WWE writer Kevin Marshall confirmed insider information that most hardcore fans already assumed — Vince McMahon is still the commanding officer in all matters WWE, and especially its flagship broadcast, Raw.
Marshall spoke with Wrestling Observer Live about his time in the WWE creative room. Marshall described a scenario in which each writer isn’t penning scripts with talent in mind, though the want to, but more to please Vince. Marshall and staff are “micromanaged to death” and script changes often happen mid-show.
“The job became very quickly trying to figure out what Vince is thinking and then having him tell you he’s changed his mind. So when we talk about the show being rewritten as it’s happening, what I need people to know is that that show was likely written well in advance and there was an attempt at it, but either nothing was approved or everything got scrapped and rewritten by the man himself.”
Taking Marshall’s insider views into consideration, let’s analyze the Russian flag segment. If this were written to appease Vince, it worked, because it made it into the show. If this were a last minute script change, it worked, because Vince gave it the green light to include it in the show. As a weekly viewer of Raw, the Big Show’s flag moment was probably one of the highlights of the show. It made sense to the story, it made sense to advance a feud and it made sense because “hey, there’s a giant damn Russian flag hanging above the ring, watch me piss off the guy I want to fight by ripping it from the rafters.”
If the apology is meant to advance the storyline, fine, but if this is a serious apology for the actions of an athlete/actor on a scripted program, the WWE needs to shut the hell up.
Do you remember that statement the producers of Breaking Bad released apologizing for the portrayal of meth makers and dealers? It was right after the writers of The Walking Dead said “our bad” for making zombies look like ravenous killers. Raw is a fictional show and therefore all acts committed in the three sometimes very long hours of broadcasting should be see as such — acts.
If anything, shouldn’t the WWE apologize to American fans for slamming their own country for the last half year?