Sometimes, things just work organically, without much intention for it to be as successful. For instance, when Zack Ryder started his “Z! True Long Island Story” on YouTube, it became so popular that it gained support and funding from WWE, as well as became instrumental to Ryder’s 2.25 million followers currently on Twitter. Moreover, this self-promoted push led to not only greater exposure on television, but also a reign as the United States Champion after defeating Dolph Ziggler in the opening match of the 2011 TLC pay-per-view.
Another example of this was the intensity of Bill Goldberg, who used his football background to execute a ferocious spear signature move, en route to the devastating Jackhammer finisher. After winning a series of matches, WCW noticed that fans would give him a thunderous ovation, especially after the spear and Jackhammer sequence. Rapidly, Goldberg would become one of the most electrifying babyfaces on the roster, and defeat Hollywood Hogan inside the Georgia Dome on the July 6, 1998, episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
Now, there seems to be another craze occurring in WWE. Initially, when the pairing of Rusev and Aiden English happened, it felt like both did not have any direction so WWE just threw them together. The fans were heavily jeering English and did not have a huge reaction towards Rusev. Until, Rusev Day.
Since the advent of Rusev Day, the former two-time United States Champion has been one of the most popular names on the SmackDown Live roster. Crowds everywhere chant “Rusev Day,” and he plays right into it, which adds an even greater level of support. Even as someone who is playing the role of a heel, his villainous antics are not enough to elicit jeers from the crowd.
All across social media, people show their support by showing the purchase of the Rusev Day shirt, which is quickly moving him up as one of the top merchandise sellers. As a result of this organic boost of popularity, it is being reported that he could be in line for a major push in 2018.
Seemingly, a WWE Championship push will not start until after WrestleMania 34, as he is currently not in any plans to win the Royal Rumble or compete for the title in New Orleans. However, a babyface push seems inevitable based on his current reactions from the WWE Universe.