Rusev won the United States Championship back on Christmas Day, or on the televised Christmas Day episode that was pre-recorded the week before. The Bulgarian Brute was able to get the better of Shinsuke Nakamura and celebrated his Birthday in style but The Artist hasn’t allowed Rusev to enjoy his time as Champion.
It was known that Nakamura would want to cash in his rematch clause at some point in the near future and Royal Rumble is the perfect place, since it was announced as part of last night’s SmackDown tapings that the former NXT Champion would be cashing in his rematch clause at Chase Field on January 27th.
Both men have also already been added to the Royal Rumble match which means that much like many other stars on the night, they are expected to pull double duty.
If Nakamura is unable to reclaim his title then he will instead have the chance to win back to back Rumble matches and go on to fight for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.
Rusev and Lana have been on an interesting run on SmackDown Live over the past few weeks, but Shinsuke Nakamura started to climb in the division when he was given the Championship.
The Artist was overlooked for a number of pay-per-views and was then unable to defend his title for a number of months, but he will still be looking to regain the momentum he once had.
Rusev has gone from being one of WWE’s best heels, to one of the most popular faces. Royal Rumble will be taking place on Rusev Day and The Bulgarian Brute will be hoping that this is enough to see him to victory once again over the former Champion.