As the dancing vignettes on Smackdown over the past few weeks have shown us, Lana is coming to the SmackDown women's division as an actual competitor. The new presentation of Lana as a dancing showgirl has been an odd transition from her role as the Ravishing Russian who walks her real-life husband, Rusev down to the ring. It's been reported that Lana is essentially picking up the Emmalina gimmick that was abandoned when WWE officials felt Emma couldn't quite pull off the character after months of teasing her arrival. WWE has long been wanting to incorporate Lana's dance background into her on-screen character and yesterday we got a possible spoiler view of Lana's new wrestling gear
According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Lana has been trying out her new dancing gimmick on the NXT Florida shows. The new gimmick is one that will eventually be a babyface role as WWE sees Lana as a potential mega-star for the Women's division.The feeling is that with the Emmanlina gimmick never starting and Eva Marie gone, that they need someone with the super hot girl gimmick to add some diversity to the mix of good wrestlers and athletic types they already feature. However, one of the biggest questions that have remained in Lana's makeover is what will come of her on-screen relationship with Rusev.
Despite the couple being on the same brand, it appears as if WWE is planning on breaking the two up as an on-screen duo. WWE attempted to turn Lana into a singles star when they broke her away from Rusev in 2015 to join Dolph Ziggler. Sadly, the two had the romantic on-screen chemistry of two cousins forced to stand for a family photo and despite Lana switch from power suits to denim skirts, the angle fizzled out in months.
Could the separation actually work well for both Rusev and Lana? Rusev's career has taken a bit of a backslide since losing the United States Championship to Roman Reigns last fall and he has been booked more in a comedy role than as the unstoppable monster that ran up a lengthy undefeated streak upon his main roster debut.
Rusev has been booked as the doting foreigner for too long. He has the charisma to be a monster heel and the comedic chops to be a huge babyface. If WWE is willing to go a different route with Lana, hopefully they will do the same with Rusev once he returns from his shoulder injury.