Rusev was last seen on WWE TV back at Super ShowDown but interestingly the former United States Champion hadn’t been seen before this since April. The Bulgarian Brute was one of the most popular stars in the company this time last year when Rusev Day became a thing, but WWE failed to capitalize on this and Rusev and Lana have now become two of the most underutilized talents on the current SmackDown roster.
Rusev reportedly asked for some time off WWE a few months ago, which is why he’s currently on hiatus but according to a report by Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer, Rusev’s contract comes to an end “relatively soon” and it’s unknown as to whether or not the former Champion wants to re-sign with the company.
Both Rusev and Lana have had very little to do on WWE television since the tag team that also included Aiden English was split up.
Ever since WWE dropped the ball with the team when they were at their most popular, Rusev has been quite outspoken about his frustrations with the company in interviews and on Social Media since he stated the following on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory Podcast last year.
“Who’s to say? Management had different visions. We fought, we fought. If it ain’t broke, there’s nothing to fix, I think last year around WrestleMania and before that, the whole Rusev Day started and everything. I thought it was my time. I keep pushing and I keep talking to everybody and nobody wants to do anything.”
“I fight for everything … I do want to look my best, I do wanna be at my best because I wanna be WWE Champion,” he added. “I want to be on top. I don’t want to be forgotten, but that’s what irks me is I do all these things but nothing changes, and that is where the frustration comes. What am I supposed to do? I cut my hair, I did that. It was not a good decision,” he said via ComicBook.
It is unknown what the future holds for Rusev currently on SmackDown Live, but it will be interesting to see if Lana or The Bulgarian Brute are given any ring time in the coming months before his contract reaches its expiry date.