If you interpreted Lana’s promo at Sunday’s WWE Battleground as a reference to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy, you were incorrect.
So says WWE, which issued a statement denying its character was using the tragedy as a means of drawing storyline heat.
“Last night’s segment during WWE’s Battleground event was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy,” said WWE in an official statement. “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.”
Originally introduced as the “Bulgarian Brute,” Rusev–and his spokesperson/valet Lana–soon began endorsing Russia and its president Vladimir Putin as superior to America and its leadership. The storyline most recently brought them into opposition with Jack Swagger and manager Zeb Colter, who identify themselves as “Real Americans.”
Sunday’s promo, which was notable for its failure to elicit the same level of crowd heat as last Monday’s “Detente” segment, did not specifically mention the Malaysia Airlines flight but did reference “current events.”