In a recent appearance on the "Insight with Chris Vliet" podcast, former WWE standout Summer Rae delved into her past within the company, unearthing details about a tumultuous storyline that involved herself, Dolph Ziggler, and the former power couple Rusev and Lana.
The storyline in question, which transpired in 2015, saw Lana purportedly falling for Dolph Ziggler while Summer Rae aligned herself with Rusev. However, the drama took an unforeseen turn when TMZ leaked news of Rusev and Lana's real-life engagement, causing ripples that reached even the higher echelons of WWE management.
According to Rae, the revelation irked none other than WWE's mastermind, Vince McMahon himself, effectively dousing the burgeoning saga. The narrative ended abruptly during a memorable segment on the October 12, 2015, episode of "WWE Raw," as Rae publicly confronted Rusev for purportedly using her while engaged to Lana.
Vince McMahon's Baffling Reaction
Rae recounted, "The TMZ storyline leak, it just... no offense, but we weren't exactly A-list celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Yet, that hit a nerve with Vince, and I can't quite fathom why.
Strangely enough, we seemed to be Vince's pet storyline then. It's wild – while Cena's storylines usually went on for about four months, ours was nearing that mark, which was a rarity back then. The current storytelling landscape in WWE has evolved significantly.
But it's fascinating how we occupied those cross-over spots and had prominent positions. When I approached Vince about it, he was distraught." Rae elucidated that the storyline's derailment became evident due to the absence of a conclusive "payoff match" between her and Lana, in stark contrast to Ziggler and Rusev, who squared off and even clashed at SummerSlam 2015, a match that ended inconclusively with both competitors being counted out.
The evident disappointment in the narrative's direction was palpable within the WWE creative team and with the head writers, who invested considerable effort into its development. The absence of a final confrontation between Lana and Summer Rae hinted at a narrative gone awry.
While Summer Rae's WWE journey concluded with her participation in the 2022 Women's Royal Rumble match, this recollection offers a glimpse into the intricacies of WWE storytelling, where real-life developments can unexpectedly alter the course of scripted drama.
The release of Summer Rae in 2017 and Lana's departure in 2021 marked new chapters for both women, while Rusev's transformation into Miro within the realm of All Elite Wrestling in 2020 showcased the ever-evolving landscape of professional wrestling."