Last night on SmackDown Live, it was revealed that The Ravishing Russian would be heading to the brand as an active competitor, but some people needed clarification about her upcoming role. There were many surprises during this week’s “Superstar Shakeup,” which included revealing that Lana will be expanding her role as Rusev’s valet and will become a full-time in-ring performer for SmackDown sooner rather than later.
The Bulgarian Brute was also announced to be moving to SmackDown sooner rather than later, but a lot of people are confused because WWE announced both their moves to Tuesday nights separately. Rusev is out with an injury at the moment. According to Lana, he’ll be on the shelf for a few months, but she is still able to perform, so WWE officials are looking to bring her into the women’s division as an active competitor.
A lot of people are also curious what WWE officials have planned for her gimmick because the vignette that aired on SmackDown last night has given fans the impression that Lana will be undergoing some kind of “Emmalina” character on WWE television. That could make her a babyface or a heel in the division after she debuts for SmackDown. Overall, some WWE fans just need some clarification about her upcoming role.
The Raving Russian has taken some bumps in the ring in the past and took part in a women’s match during the Wrestlemania 32 preshow. More recently, she’s been training heavily at the WWE Performance Center and has been working NXT live events to participate in some matches and gain experience in the ring. Most people thought she would cut her teeth in NXT for awhile, but WWE believes she is ready for SmackDown.
Lana has been vocal on social media about coming to SmackDown Live and being a legitimate competitor in the women’s division. By all appearances are indicating that she will be wrestling and won’t be Rusev’s valet on a regular basis, but their relationship will still be featured on WWE television and Total Divas. It’s likely she will get a push once she debuts, so the pressure will be on her to make an impact in the division quickly.
The WWE Universe has been watching her on Raw and SmackDown for a few years now, so they know her well. On paper, WWE officials could book her as a face or a heel during her singles run. Her vignette from last night showed that her character would be flashy like “Emmalina” was meant to be, but there isn’t much to go on right now as far as her gimmick is concerned. More than likely, there’ll be another vignette next week.
In the past, Lana has been inspired by Game of Thrones in her role as Rusev’s valet. She has experience as a dancer and an actress, so WWE is likely thinking that she will be able to fill the void left by Eva Marie on SmackDown now that she’s leaving the company for Hollywood.
Not only that, but the WWE Universe has shown great support for Lana in the past, so there is potential for her to have a run as a babyface. However, she’s classically played a heel on WWE television. As of right now, Lana doesn’t have a specific timetable for her debut. It’s likely she will debut before Rusev returns to WWE television, which means it will be interesting to see how WWE features their relationship on SmackDown.
Unless WWE officials are pulling another “Emmalina” angle that will result in some kind of swerve, Lana is expected to make her debut as a wrestler sooner rather than later. WWE will make the fans speculate for some time before she returns to WWE television, which means Lana could be in a good spot in a few weeks.
[Featured Image by WWE]