Was Rusev Day Really “Duly Noted?”

Was Rusev Day Really “Duly Noted?”

Listen, I’m going to need you to bear with me here. I know that Rusev has been treated like pure dirt for months now despite very clearly being the most ‘over’ talent in the entire company… but what if it is all one giant ‘work’? What if WWE is actively trying to recreate a new ‘Yes! Movement’ with the ‘Bulgarian Brute’ by keeping him down on purpose to draw out a reaction from the audience.

I threw this idea out to my colleagues and was told repeatedly that I have put too much stock in WWE Creative – which I might have – but I can’t help but think that they know what they’re doing. With Daniel Bryan, they grit their teeth and finally pushed him into megastardom, making him the first genuine ‘top guy’ babyface they have produced in years, especially with CM Punk out the door.

They know they have a star on their hands as Rusev’s merchandise sales have proved, which supposedly saw him inserted into the WWE United States Championship fatal four-way at WrestleMania in the first place. Surely, it’s not too difficult to believe that they’ve caught on by now, right?

With an enormous lack of true babyfaces on the main roster – Johnny Gargano will have his moment soon enough – WWE should be grasping at any opportunity to build one because we all know the Roman Reigns experiment has categorically not worked. Rusev could be “the guy.”

Let’s look at this from the beginning.

Rusev made his mark on the main roster by building an undefeated streak in singles competition, taking out the likes of Zack Ryder, Xavier Woods, R Truth, Big E, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and the Big Show. All well and good. He’s a big guy and foreign – so obviously a heel in Vince McMahon’s eyes.

The Bulgarian then went on to beat Sheamus for the WWE United States Championship and successfully retained it against Jack Swagger and the big man himself, John Cena. Life is good for Ru-Ru.

At WrestleMania 31, however, he gets jobbed-out ‘Big Match John’ for the title in what was his first main roster loss… oh no, what if this is Asuka’s future? I can’t think like that – keep it together.


Anyway, things have not been so smooth ever since, but it looked like we were going to see a strong push for Rusev during Jinder Mahal’s 2017 WWE Championship reign where he appeared via Titantron while on hiatus to demand a shot at the title, threatening not to return otherwise. But this is WWE after all and, funnily enough, that never happened. He returned soon after with no excuse or reference to his challenge and we begrudgingly moved on.

For months now, Rusev has been pairing with Aiden English, another soul lost in the abyss that is WWE‘s mid-card, and something truly wonderful has happened. The pair has gotten themselves ‘over’ with the crowd organically. Admittedly, it’s pretty much all about the ‘Lion of Bulgaria’ but I have loved English since his days in NXT so I choose to believe it is both.


Unfortunately for them, there is an unwritten law in WWE that talent can only get ‘over’ if management says they can get ‘over’ – sound business logic there, guys… good job. Just take a look at Damien Sandow as Damien Mizdow or Breezango’s Fashion Files if you need further proof.

There is one big difference with Rusev Day, however, unlike the others mentioned, they are not a comedy act and therefore have a legitimate claim to be main-eventers. Who else does this remind you of? (There’s probably a load of guys and girls but for the purpose of this article) That’s right! Daniel Bryan. The indie-darling who was held down by “the man” before finally being crowned champ at the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’.

WWE claim this was all a plan from the beginning but we all know full well that it wasn’t. With that in mind, however, what is happening to Rusev actually might be. It’s easy enough, just do what you did before, but on purpose. Need him jobbed-out in seconds? A swift RKO saw to that at last year’s SummerSlam. Need him to fight for a title but lose when he should so obviously win? Did you happen to watch WrestleMania 34 last Sunday?

Now, la pièce de réstistance; finally getting a win over a legend. Bryan put down Triple H, and who does Rusev have opposing him at the Greatest Royal Rumble? None other than the legend above all others legends, the Undertaker… oh wait, that was changed to Chris Jericho vs. the Undertaker, wasn’t it.

Then Rusev removed all mention of WWE from his Twitter account and replaced his profile picture and banner with posters for his upcoming movie, Other Versions Of You. In the past, this has signified the departure of a wrestler from the company. Maybe this is the end for Rusev Day after all.

But what if it isn’t? What if the “Rusev Day!” chants really were “duly noted?” What if this is the start of the beginning for Rusev’s rise? After all, Daniel Bryan was let go, twice in fact. I know that was at the start of his journey to megastardom but that was all an accident.

If WWE is indeed ‘working’ us, surely the last stop before the being pushed to the highest of heights is getting fired and dropping to the lowest of lows. ‘No one’ to ‘the one’. How could you do any more? “The night is darkest just before the dawn” and all that – I know it isn’t but the quote is very poetic all the same.

I genuinely believe that the completely mishandled treatment of Rusev isn’t mishandled at all but is simply a set up for the next momentous redemption in WWE. It may not have started out that way but I’m damn sure it is now. Okay, maybe I’m just positively hopeful but imagine the ‘pop’ he would receive if he disappeared for a while, only to be a surprise run-in during this year’s SummerSlam main event.

Mark my words, Rusev will be – or at least have been – a WWE World Champion by the finish of WrestleMania 35 in 2019… now we just need to sort out Cesaro.


What are your thoughts on the ‘Bulgarian Brute’? Does WWE actually know what they’re doing or are they simply clueless? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter here.

5 years ago by Wrestle Talk


JOIN THE WrestleTalk logo mailing list

Get the latest wrestling news straight to your inbox

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from WrestleTalk