As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, Arn Anderson took to his ARN podcast with Conrad Thompson and opened up about the backstage reaction to WWE superstars Lana and Rusev announcing their engagement on social media in 2015.
The duo was involved in a love triangle storyline with Dolph Ziggler at the time. In the angle, Lana left “The Bulgarian Brute” for Ziggler, which is why officials were reportedly mad at the real-life couple breaking kayfabe to celebrate their engagement. The storyline was dropped shortly after, and the lovers subsequently tied the knot in 2016.
According to Anderson — who worked for the company at the time — the reaction from management was “pretty tense.” The Hall of Famer went on to say that the officials may have been right to act that way, though he hasn’t made up his mind entirely.
“It was one of those things where they are trying to pitch a storyline on TV and it gets exposed. It’s hard for me to actually have an opinion because the minute I go old school and say they shouldn’t have done that, entire companies or groups of people are exposing the business on the other side of the tracks, so I don’t know what to think to be honest with you.”
Anderson’s words contradict a previous account of the situation from Lana. As documented by Sportskeeda, the superstar recalled how Vince McMahon wanted to go a different route with the angle and bring the couple back together on WWE television.
She went on to reveal that neither she nor her husband had to bear any consequences for sharing their big news in a public forum. However, Anderson’s words suggest otherwise, though he didn’t confirm if the incident led to the pair receiving backstage heat in the long-run.
WWE featured the couple in another love triangle angle last year. The feud saw “The Ravishing Russian” leave her husband for Bobby Lashley and engage in some risque segments on Monday Night Raw. Some fans and pundits speculated that officials may have been trying to bury the performers by humiliating them on television. The feud was so controversial that it led to the participants involved receiving death threats.
Rusev was released from his contract earlier this year. His wife is still a member of the promotion and is currently aligned with Natalya on Monday Night Raw. She signed a new long-term deal last year, which indicated that the management team sees her as an asset to their brand.