Why Vince McMahon Destroyed a WWE Storyline Over a TMZ Report

The 2015 WWE storyline was blown up over an engagement announcement.

WWE had a lovers' quarrel storyline back in 2015 involving Rusev, Summer Rae, Dolph Ziggler and Lana. On TV, Rusev and Lana made it seem like they had split up and found new partners in Rae and Ziggler. But in reality, the pair were still very much romantically involved. TMZ broke the news in October 2015 that the two had announced their engagement (they'd get married the following year and are still together), which caused WWE to suddenly scrap the storyline the following night on an episode of Monday Night Raw. It was widely reported that WWE (particularly Vince McMahon) was upset that the two went public with their relationship and punished them as a result. Rusev now wrestles as Miro in AEW, Lana hasn't wrestled since WWE released her in 2021, Rae hasn't worked full-time for WWE since 2017 and Ziggler hasn't wrestled on WWE TV since May. 

"When the TMZ storyline got mysteriously leaked to TMZ, no one cared," Rae said (h/t WrestlingNews.co) in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet when asked about what happened. "We aren't Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, you know. That really set Vince (McMahon) off and like everyone, because, I don't know why, but we were like the favorite storyline of him. It was crazy. I think at the time, Cena had a storyline for four months and we were going on three, so it just wasn't something you were seeing like how they do nowadays, like amazing, long storylines. The storytelling in WWE right now is just really coming around so differently. It was interesting that we were getting crossover position, like great, you know, positions. 

"So when I went there, he was really upset," she continued. "I think the head writers at the time were really upset too because they had just been so invested in it. I think the fans aren't dumb like to know that there was never a payoff, like we never had a payoff match. Lana and I never went back and forth. We never had the doubles match, so clearly something went wrong in the storyline."

Why Vince McMahon Suddenly Scrapped the 2015 Storyline

"We found out that day. I think they called me into the office," Rae said while recalling WWE's reaction. "I don't even think it was Vince. I think the head writers called me and they were like, 'Hey, it's on TMZ. No one's bigger than WWE.' That's a big thing for Vince and Cena would always talk about that, like, no one's bigger than WWE and they don't want you to think that either. So like, 'Oh, you want to go to TMZ and say you guys are married, and that kind of ruins our storyline', which in my opinion, I don't think it did ruin it. It's kayfabe. But, 'You want to do that? Well, watch this. It's over. You're breaking up with him today. Do you want to write your own promo?' I'm like, 'What? They're like, 'Okay, great. We're gonna put you together with a writer. You guys can go out and write it.'"

"I was pissed, like, I was so mad," she continued. "I was like, God, we just did all this. There's no payoff. Like, what do I do? I'm on the European tour with them. Like, now am I kicked off the European tour? That's $15-20,000. Like, I'm just not going on tour. So the whole thing, I was like so mad."

Did WWE and McMahon overreact? Where does this rank on WWE's weakest storylines since it never really had an ending? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!