Rusev has had a roller coaster ride this year with his WWE booking. Crowds everywhere used to chant ‘Rusev Day’ from start to finish of each broadcast whether he was on the show or not. That didn’t help matters much as it only led into a tag implosion storyline with Aiden English and a pay-per-view loss to WWE Champion AJ Styles.
The ‘Bulgarian Brute’ did manage to reclaim the WWE United States Championship recently on an episode of SmackDown Live. The win was short-lived, however, as he has already lost it back to Shinsuke Nakamura… who then lost it to R-Truth.
As I’m writing this, Rusev and Nakamura are in some sort of new tag team. Cool. No matter how ‘over’ he gets with the crowd, WWE Creative has a habit of flattening everyone’s favorite Bulgarian to the point where he has openly voiced his frustrations on record.
Today, Rusev and Lana were guests on the Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia podcast where they saw fit to make their grievances known.
Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone.com.
Rusev’s thoughts on his recent US title run and the legacy of the championship itself:
It meant a lot because it was the first championship I ever won. One thing, it kind of hurts me, because nobody cares about it. It feels like I’m the only one that cares about the title. I wanted to make it bigger. I wanted to make it what it was when we wrestled John Cena for it, but it seems like anytime anybody else has it, nothing happens. Now that I’ve lost it, the title is probably gonna get lost again and I’m probably gonna get lost too.
Rusev on not wanting to be forgotten:
I always want to see myself on the card and I picture myself there, but again [laughter]. It’s not like I like it. Don’t get me wrong. I hate seeing that because we came so strong and we were so featured, but the more you hang around, you’re forgotten. It doesn’t matter how good you are. I think I’m good. I always thought I was good. It doesn’t matter what I do. It kind of ends up with the same thing…..I am doing everything I can.
Rusev on not knowing what is holding him back:
I do want to look my best. I do want to be at my best. I want to be WWE Champion. I want to be on top. I don’t want to be forgotten, but that’s what irks me. I do all these things and nothing changes and that’s where the frustration comes, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ I cut my hair, I did that. That wasn’t a good decision [laughter]. I got a few phone calls about it. No, [they did not like it]. I’m just trying something to catch Vince’s eye. We go to pitch, to talk. It never comes to anything….it was last year before WrestleMania when the whole Rusev Day thing started. I thought it was my time and I keep pushing for it to be my time. I keep talking to everybody, but nobody wants to do anything. It’s very frustrating, but still, as frustrating as it is, ‘Let’s go to the gym. Let’s get better. Let’s do whatever we can. Let’s get this meal plan or let’s get a trainer. Let’s try freaking cross fit.’ Holy crap cross fit! It’s terrible, but I’m doing that now. Anything so that I can look better. I don’t know what’s holding me back, to be honest. I really don’t.
Rusev on not understanding why he and Aiden English were split up:
Who’s to say? They had different visions. Management had different visions and we fought and fought. If it ain’t broke, there’s nothing to fix. I keep going back to last WrestleMania because I just watched WWE 24 and the whole weekend, the whole month, was all about Rusev Day, and people singing. Top selling merch and everything.
Rusev on whether he would reconnect with Aiden English:
We’re way past that now. He’s an announcer at 205 Live now. I am whatever we are and we’ve got to move on. I told her a few months ago that nobody cares about it. We need to do something else. She said, ‘No, no, no,’ but we need to move on.
Lana on Vince McMahon’s vision for Rusev:
Our chairman prefers him as a bad guy and I think that’s really what it comes down to.
Rusev on returning to his heelish ways:
I love being a heel. I’ve never been a babyface in my life until these past two months.