WWE wrestlers' outrageous comments are usually taken as tongue-in-cheek but a speech made by female star Lana hit home on Sunday.
Playing the role of an anti-American Russian with her sidekick??Alexander Rusev, she??amped up the audience by asking "you blame Russia for current events?" The aggressive statement has been taken by many as a reference to last week's Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash, which killed 298 passengers and crew, and sparked outcry from fans and critics.
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"In fact, you Americans should be scolded for your warmongering in Afghanistan and Iraq. You Americans should be insulted and afraid," she screamed into the microphone to the booing crowd.
"Tonight we dedicate this match to the most powerful man in the world. Tonight we dedicate this match to the man that makes fools out of all of you Americans," Lana &mdash who's real name is??C.J. Perry, an actress from Gainesville, Fla. &mdash went on to say in an over-the-top Russian accent.
"He is my role model. He is my idol, the president of Russia," she vowed, pledging her support for president??Vladimir Putin.
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However, a spokesperson for the WWE claims that the comments were not directed at the tragedy that happened in Ukraine when the plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, but are instead part of Lana's regular act.
"Last night&rsquos segment during WWE&rsquos Battleground event was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy. The storyline with characters Rusev and Lana has been a part of WWE programming for more than 3 months," the rep said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
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"WWE apologizes to anyone who misunderstood last night&rsquos segment and was offended."??
Some sports commentators still assumed her comments were about the doomed flight, with British journalist Simon Clark??tweeting his disgust.
Can't believe WWE used Flight MH17 - 'current events' - as cheap heat in the Rusev v Swagger match. That's not cool. #WWEBattleground
&mdashSimon Clark (@SimonClark8) July 21, 2014
Watch Lana's passionate speech with Rusev, played by bodybuilder Miroslav Barnyashev, below.