Two WWE Superstars are taking some serious heat for seemingly referencing the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash in their controversial, Russian-themed act on July 20. Were they out of line or have they been unfairly accused?
During the WWE Battleground show on July 20, two Russian-themed WWE characters allegedly made light of the July 17 Malaysia Airlines crash, in which 298 people were tragically killed — and they didn’t exactly get a standing ovation for it. Actress C.J. Perry, 29, who plays the role of the evil Lana, totally rattled fans by saying that Russia was not to blame for “recent current events!” Was she talking about the crash?
CJ Perry On Malaysia Airlines Crash: WWE Actress Slammed For Rant
During the show, characters Lana and Alexander Rusev (played by Bulgarian wrestler Miroslav Barnyashev) launched into their usual anti-American rant before a match with Jack Swagger, even going so far as to possibly reference the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down by a Russian missile on July 17.
“You blame Russia for the recent current events?” C.J. asked the audience in a fake Russian accent, after praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and dedicating the match to him. She never once mentioned the words Malaysia Airlines but some have assumed that she was directly referencing the tragedy.
“Tonight we dedicate this match to the most powerful man in the world. Tonight we dedicate this match the man that makes fools out of all of you Americans,” C.J. said. “He is my role model. He is my idol. The president of Russia.”
The angry crowd responded by booing and yelling anti-Russian slogans at the pair, according to the UK’s Daily Mail. But according to our WWE insider, this is exactly the kind of response the WWE wants the characters to receive!
C.J. Perry’s Act Is Not The First Controversial WWE Moment
The WWE introduced Lana and Alexander Rusev to the wrestling world in January, when tensions were already heightened between the U.S. and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. However, this is not the first time the WWE has received harsh criticism for its controversial characters and storylines.
In 2005, the WWE introduced the character Muhammad Hassan (Mark Copani), a Middle Eastern Muslim wrestler who prayed in the ring and spoke prejudices against Arab Americans.
When the character’s loosely based “terrorist” storyline coincided with the July 7, 2005 London bombings, TV networks urged the WWE to remove the character.
HollywoodLifers, do YOU think that C.J. went too far with her pro-Russian rant or was it just a part of the show? Let us know!
— Stephanie Bray