WWE superstar Rusev recently sat down with the Bulgarian news outlet Video DIRBG to discuss a variety of topics, including the origins of ‘Rusev Day’ and how the direction of his character within WWE was changed as a result of the 2016 US Presidential Election.
The Smackdown superstar explained during the interview that plans to have him portray a representative of Russia were scrapped following the 2016 Election.
“It’s true, we keep up and Vince [McMahon] keeps up with what’s going on globally. 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.”
Rusev also went on to explain how ‘Rusev Day’ came to fruition:
“‘Also people saw more [of me] from Total Divas and we started trying different stuff and we struck gold with ‘Rusev Day’ two years ago. It started kind of as a joke. After Randy Orton beat me in 10 seconds and I beat him back the following week it was decided that we’ll throw a celebration and we got the Mayor of Plovdiv to give the key me to the city. Aiden English who is a great singer and actor learned the Bulgarian anthem in a day and sung it and we just started adding ‘Rusev Day’ to everything. That’s when things took off, the [Rusev Day] shirt was the top seller.”
The former United States Champion stated that despite his rise in popularity, he has not changed his real-life character:
“It never affected me much. I don’t think I’m very different from most people. My job involves many people seeing me more but that’s just about it. I’m the same guy from Plovdiv that departed from here in 2005. Fame gets in some people’s heads, I’m not like that.”
Rusev has been outspoken on social media in recent weeks, criticising WWE for their use of Shane McMahon. ‘The Bulgarian Brute’ noted how he runs his own social media account, while others like his wife Lana employ people to manage it for them:
Well social media has become huge in the last years and that can have both its advantages and drawbacks. I try using it to advertise myself more. I manage them myself and that’s why they look the way they do. My wife has help and that’s why she has 4 million followers more than me.”
This interview comes after it was reported that Rusev’s current WWE deal is set to expire in the near future, and there is no word on if he is intending on re-signing with the company.
Thanks to WrestlingInc. for the transcription.
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