The past few weeks have been encouraging for fans who have gotten behind Rusev and his “Rusev Day” gimmick. Aside from cleanly defeating the returning Daniel Bryan in a major upset almost two weeks ago on SmackDown Live to qualify for the men’s Money in the Bank match at next month’s pay-per-view of the same name, it would seem that WWE has reunited him on air with real-life wife Lana. All signs are pointing to the fan support finally paying off for the “Bulgarian Brute,” but newer reports are still conflicted as to whether WWE is getting rid of the popular Rusev Day gimmick or not.
In a report published on Wednesday, WrestlingNews.co noted how WWE fans have been treating Rusev as a babyface, despite the fact that he is officially booked as a villainous character on television. However, that might soon change, the publication added, as rumors are still pointing to Rusev returning to being a “ruthless” foreign heel and dropping the comedy aspects of his gimmick. This might culminate at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, where Rusev is expected to turn on tag team partner Aiden English, effectively ending the Rusev Day gimmick and all references to it.
Although Lana is scheduled to face main roster newcomer Billie Kay in a women’s Money in the Bank qualifying match on next Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live, WrestlingNews.co wrote that she is still expected to return to being a full-time valet, as she focuses on managing Rusev going forward.
Rumors of WWE getting rid of the Rusev Day gimmick in order to rebuild Rusev as a main event-level talent have been swirling since earlier this month, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. But even with those rumors, including the new report from WrestlingNews.co in mind, Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer believes that fans have nothing to worry about, at least for the meantime. On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio (quotes via Ringside News), Meltzer said that WWE appears inclined to keep the Rusev and Aiden English partnership intact, with Lana’s addition turning the tag team into a three-person faction.
“So it looked in the Rusev and Lana and Aiden English [backstage segment], it looked more like they were going to be together as a trio than Lana stealing Rusev away from him the way they did the thing this week.”
Despite Meltzer’s assurances, Ringside News agreed with WrestlingNews.co, speculating that it’s still more likely that fans will no longer have a “happy Rusev Day” after Money in the Bank, with Rusev possibly turning on English at the event and ending both their partnership and his current gimmick.