The WWE has issued an apology Tuesday following an incident on Raw which saw Superstar The Big Show tear down a giant Russia flag as part of a piece with the Russian heel character Rusev.
The ill-conceived stunt saw the veteran wrestler, following a heated debate with the established heel Rusev, drag down a huge Russia flag which had been draped in the center of the ring.
The act of defiance was clearly meant to rile the crowd against Rusev - whose unbeaten status has been used to stir up national hatred for months, and whilst the Raw crowd reacted as the WWE likely hoped others have been quick to condemn the organization for its blatant inflammatory content.
WWE released the following statement on Tuesday morning:
"We at WWE would like to apologize to the Russian people for the incident on Monday Night Raw that could have been construed as disrespect for their nation's flag."
The Big Show himself is also believed to have spoken of his remorse over the situation during taping for Smackdown. You can read just what he said here but be warned of SPOILERS.
The whole thing however is yet another sign that the WWE writing team continues to miss the point when it comes to major storylines.
Their continued desire to stir up draconian anti-Russia cold-war style feeling through the character of Rusev continues to balance awkwardly between the unacceptable and the downright clumsy.
And for the WWE to come out and claim not to have thought of the possiblity that someone pulling down a giant flag of your country could be seen as a sign of disrespect is just plain stupid.
Only a few months back the WWE drew the wrath of onlookers after writing in a piece for Rusev's sidekick Lana in which the female wrestler seemed to reference the recent MH17 plane disaster as a method to rile the crowd.
Both this and the more recent flag incident do little to promote the WWE outside of its hardcore fan base, and what is more the WWE have actively targeted Russia as a market to exploit in the near future.
Vince McMahon and co might want to tell his writing staff that the next time they try and pull an out of date, cringeworthy stunt.
Stick to the good stuff
The WWE has a history of using basic love-hate relationships in order to build feuds and when done right they create legendary match ups.
But in the 21st century there really is no excuse for lazy writing which encourages national hatred.
With talented superstars such as Roman Reigns, John Cena and Brock Lesnar at the forefront of the WWE surely there is enough to work.
As for Rusev, it is beginning to feel like it is time to put that character on the shelf and move on.
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