'WHO'sev - Where The Hell is Rusev? | The Rob Report #6
Updated: Apr 11
If there is one thing that irritates you as a fan of the WWE product; more than 'Beachball Mania' or completely nonesenscial 'What?' responses from select members of the crowd, it is nonesenscial booking decisions and the under-utilisation of outstanding talent!
WWE is blessed currently as the modern-day roster is that jam-packed with talent that they genuinley find it difficult to fit everyone into shows, and to some extent you can understand it, but with some superstars, it is baffling to the point of it seeming as though the company are doing it to spite fans!
Bray Wyatt, Tye Dillinger and Bo Dallas are a few names that can count themselves as unlucky to have been treated this way, but not one person seems to have been as badly, and as almost offensively treated recently as the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev.
With rumours in abundance on the internet that Rusev is currently negotiating his release from the WWE, the company must be thinking, can we really blame him?
Looking at the facts, this is a literal brute of a man who is both charismatic and good in the ring as well as being built like a Sherman tank, which in theory is the trifecta in the WWE. Yet, over and over again, he is booked in awful angles with no seeming pay off for him.
In just over a year, he has been part of the dull League of Nations stable (a stable in which he was the sole shining light) and the abysmal love triangle angle with Ziggler, Lana and Summer Rae, in which, despite being the heel, the crowd ended up becoming so sympathetic toward him that the angle fizzled out. He was then given a dominant US Title reign which started to rebuild his strength only to drop the title to a Roman Reigns who was being 'punished' for his 1st violation of the Wellness Policy...
Since that, he has been paired as a jobber Tag Team with serial jobber Jinder Mahal, lost in a short amount of time to The Big Show (who clearly needed the momentum...) before taking time to heel a shoulder injury.
A seeming reset was on the cards when he was shuffled over to SmackDown Live. His promos before coming back seemed to allude to a championship program or even an angle with commissioner Shane McMahon, rumours were even widespread that he was to be the winner of the 2017 Money In The Bank contract, things were certainly looking up!
This is a man who could be THE dominant force on SmackDown Live, yet he was surpassed as resident beast on the show by Baron Corbin, who consequently also took the Money In The Bank contract, which of course went so well, and was instead inserted into a car crash of a flag match with John Cena before being buried in 9 seconds by Randy Orton at Summerslam. Look at the top of the card on SmackDown, the WWE Championship picture is tracing paper thin, why not have Rusev there?
All of this while Rusev's jobber tag partner Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion...let that sink in for a moment!
As a fan, obviously my moanings will change nothing, but venting frustration certainly helps.
Looking at it objectively though, what has Rusev done to deserve this treatment? Obviously there has to be issues backstage, as this can'tstillbe about the engagement photo!? Or his bloody haircut!?
For those who don't know, Lana and Rusev were a couple in real life during the previously mentioned love triangle angle. In the midst of this angle, the couple posted a picture on their private social media account announcing their engagement and impending marriage. WWE were clearly livid, dropped the angle entirely, scrapped Lana's proposed singles run and both competitors were placed firmly in the doghouse. Now, if this is about the kayfabe element, I understand, yet when Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman, in the midst of their feud of the year, are posting pictures of themselves together touring Italy with no repercussions, where is the consistency?
But even this can't really be the reason as Lana's singles push is firmly back on, in fact recieving 3 consecutive title shots against then SmackDown Live Women's champion Naomi. So why is Rusev being punished?
Look at it from his persepective: Dave Meltzer has reported that he was in line for an angle with Shane but this nixed in light of Kevin Owens going forward with it. Was intended to fight Randy Orton at Backlash but WWE bafflingly went with Jinder Mahal, who in my opinion has done nothing to vindicate this decision, and was then to win the Money In The Bank contract, only for that to be given to Baron Corbin. It really is no wonder he's looking to be released!
If Rusev does leave the company, it would be a huge loss to the company but a huge gain to any other company, presumably NJPW or GFW as he really is under-utilised and giving him a chance to stretch his wings would be the best thing for him! He's not asking for the world WWE, he's asking for a legitimate opportunity; one that is not there simply to put someone else over. Pull your finger out WWE!