When it comes to WWE, people forget that the “E” in the name stands for entertainment. Most know by now that WWE is scripted entertainment and always has been. There is no shock to most, whereas some still don’t get that WWE is doing this. Everything you see may not be completely planned out, but all the winners and storylines are predetermined by a creative team and writing staff.
With this being known, you would expect WWE wouldn’t see a ton of complaints unless they really crossed a line. Back in the Attitude Era, one could imagine WWE crossed several lines on television. Today, while in PG, they are as tame as ever. Don’t tell that to one fan however, as he decided to file a major complaint to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regarding a particular WWE storyline.
Reporter David Bixenspan was able to get his hands on some FCC complaints over the last few years, and found one interesting nugget from 2014 where a moronic fan filed a complaint over the Rusev and Lana storyline at the time. As we know, Rusev and Lana were playing heels who would come out weekly and verbally attack the United States of America. They were bad guys claiming that Russia was the best country and Vladimir Putin was the greatest leader on Earth. As you can see below, the fan had issues separating storyline from real life.
As you can tell, the WWE fan at the time did not spell Rusev’s name right once and mentioned that WWE needed to change their story. So, it seems the fan realized that WWE had storylines but had an issue with how the story was going because of the fact that they were playing bad guys? The fan hated that Rusev was playing such a bad guy who would continuously rip the United States. However, isn’t that the point of a good heel, to make you angry?
Most fans tend to voice displeasure with WWE online by going to random Facebook fan pages, Reddit, or message boards. However, this fan felt that a report needed to be filed to the FCC because it was hurting their feelings. Let us dive into the terrorism claim here. The fan claims that ripping down the American flag on television was automatically proof of terrorism. This is highly incorrect, as terrorism is far from this.
WWE is an entertainment company. That means what they do on television is no different than what you would see on any other television show or movie. Many times our American flag has been used in a story to get the point across that a person was a bad guy, as it is easy to feel hate for a person who attacks your nation’s flag. That was clearly what WWE wanted here, as they hoped fans would automatically begin to hate the Rusev and Lana characters more after this.
The fan mentioned that Rusev attacked a member of the Armed Forces, which was their reasoning for terrorism, as well. However, this person was “a plant.” A plant, in wrestling terms, refers to a person that the company puts in a spot for a storyline. They are put among the members of a crowd so that the fans assume that they were one of them. Then when a character goes after them, the plant does what was previously discussed. In this case, the plant was supposed to try and stop Rusev from going after the American flag and then take a superkick from from him. This man was most likely a local wrestler dressed up to look like an Armed Forces member.
On top of this, the fan claimed WWE taped all of their shows. While they do record them all, WWE RAW is usually a live program. WWE SmackDown has usually been taped each week but it is also live now, giving WWE two live shows per week where anything can happen.
All of this with Rusev led him to winning the WWE United States Championship, which would then add to his running down of the country. All of this would end at WrestleMania 31 where John Cena, the face of WWE, would beat Rusev for the championship and give fans what they wanted to see. Rusev, the bad guy, was finally beaten by the good guy after a huge heel set-up. While this fan did get angry, at least WWE can feel like they did something right as people were really upset and the company always enjoys blurring lines where they can. WWE never faced any penalties for this complaint, most likely.
[Image via WWE]