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WWE Terminate Partnership With Russian Broadcast Partner, WWE Network Shut Down After Ukraine Invasion

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WWE Terminate Partnership With Russian Broadcast Partner, WWE Network Shut Down After Ukraine Invasion

WWE have terminated their partnership with a Russian broadcaster in the wake of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

WWE, a global sports entertainment juggernaut, had been shown weekly in the Eastern European country on Match.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But in a statement today, the company announced a complete conclusion to the agreement - as well as the WWE network no longer being available in Russia.

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"WWE has terminated its partnership with Russian broadcaster Match and shut down WWE Network in Russia effective immediately," WWE said today.

"The move eliminates access in Russia to any WWE programming, including the company's weekly Raw, Smackdown and NXT shows, its on-demand library, and all of its premium live events, including WrestleMania 38."

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It means no-one in Russia will access to WWE shows and content going forward. The news comes ahead of WWE's biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, which is taking place over two nights in Dallas in April.

Many other companies and sporting organisations across have distanced themselves from Russia due to situation engineered by president Putin.

Controversially, a few years back former WWE superstar Rusev, despite being from Bulgaria, adopted a Russian hero character where his manager Lana regularly referenced Putin.

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The bad guy gimmick was dropped in 2016 and Rusev, real name Miroslav Barnyashev says it was because of the goings on in the world.

“It’s true, we keep up and Vince [McMahon] keeps up with what’s going on globally,” Rusev told Video DIRBG.

“He noticed that tension between Russia and America at the time and that’s when it was decided that I’ll go represent Russia and Putin and whatnot. But things changed, [Donald] Trump was elected as US President and he is a WWE Hall Of Famer etc.”

Featured Image Credit: Image: WWE

Topics: WWE, Russia

Josh Lawless
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