The WWEis many things. Often ridiculous, sometimes compelling and regularly insensitive but it crossed the line this time when it made reference to the MH17 disaster, just to generate some bad heat for a caricature villain.
For those who might not have watched it since they were ten years old, WWE is currently pitting the Bulgarian brute Rusev against Jack Swagger in a game of flag-waving and sometimes grappling. The wrestling corporation are famous for bringing out the nationalist side in their fans by pitting their heroes against the foreign enemy – Hulk Hogan vs The Iron Sheikh being one example of this.
In the lead-up to the match between Swagger and Rusev, the latter’s manager Lana would come out with the most unwelcome allusion and accusation concerning MH17 when she said: “You blame Russia for the recent current events, when in fact you Americans should be scolded for your war mongoling [sic] in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Really? There’s picking fun at President Obama and the waistline of the common American but heartlessly referring to a tragedy for a cheap boo is something else. Considering the controversies WWE are seemingly always embroiled in, most notably for widespread drug abuse by its wrestlers, you might have thought showrunners might be treading on eggshells.
As a fan, I thought the whole charade was cheap, lacking class and a tarnish on what was otherwise a great PPV. I wasn’t the only one who thought so, as you can see from these Twitter reactions below.