On a recent episode of the Arn podcast, Arn Anderson talked about the 2015 Extreme Rules PPV and underutilized talents like Dolph Ziggler and Rusev. When discussing Rusev, Anderson gave his thoughts on Rusev and Lana breaking up on screen and what he thinks is the right move when dealing with a real life relationships being split up in storyline.
"Why waste the time?" Anderson said. "If it's crystal clear every time they're on social media and talking about where they are and what they're doing together and you're trying to devote T.V. time to say it's something else, aren't you just beating your head against the wall? In the days of kayfabe, if you would've shot this angle they would've had their breakup and it would've happened a lot sooner than later. The thing that was so hot about Lana was that she was the hot Russian, she was the Russian female in Rocky and Rusev was the killer."
At Extreme Rules 2015, Rusev would lose to John Cena for the second consecutive time coming off a year long winning streak. Anderson talked about the booking of Rusev losing in these matches.
"I was in on the conversation to go a year without beating Rusev," he said. "I had experience with Umaga prior to that, he went about that long without getting beat and he was an incredible character and performer and I knew Rusev could pull it off. If we just chose not to beat him, that doesn't mean he's beating somebody half to death every week on T.V., it just means you just don't beat him. And there's no reason to beat him and it worked and he was hot going into their Mania match."
Anderson also mentioned how highly he thinks of Dolph Ziggler. Anderson noted that Ziggler's mindset always clashes with Vince McMahon's and prevents him from taking that next step as a superstar.
"Dolph's got a set," Anderson stated. "He doesn't mind saying what he thinks. Even though he's right most of the time, that's the wrong thing to do when you walk up into gorilla. The reality is the company wants blind devotion and Dolph had an opinion. For the longest time, 10 years ago, it was the fact that Dolph who throws one hell of a superkick, but the office did not want him using the superkick because that was Shawn's finish but Shawn was retired. Shawn was gone. You can't retire moves, how many superkicks do you see today for God sakes? Probably one in every single match in every company. That was a heated issue years ago.
"Dolph had an opinion and he would voice it. The guy worked his ass off and once we got to gorilla, no matter if he agreed to what was going on or what, he would go out and give you 100%. I'm a big fan of Dolph Ziggler's. I think he's one of those guys, you may b---h about him when he's on the card and I'm sure a lot of guys, the higher ups and certainly the boss got tired of dealing with him but the fact of the matter is he's right a lot of the time. He's been one of those performers over years that made everybody better than what they were. The question as to why he wasn't one of the top top guys, I don't have the answer. It certainly wouldn't have bothered me at all."
Anderson talked about Dolph and how one day he might just be tired of working for Vince McMahon and walk out of the company.
"Dolph is a wealthy man who's made a lot of money for a long time while not being in the top spot, but I got a feeling Dolph's frugal," Anderson said. "He's made some investments, he's smart and one day he's going to say 'You want to give me some more s--t about something else? You know what, see ya' and he'll thump down the steps, take off his boots and you'll never hear from him again. And he will have accomplished what he wanted to in the business and left on his own terms."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.