For months now, fans have not had the privilege of seeing Rusev on WWE television of any kind. He has only been involved in one match since mid-April and that was the 50-man battle royal at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia. Fans have been wondering where he is and when he’s coming back, but they may not need to ponder much longer. Rumors are flying and if things don’t change, he may not be back in WWE at all.
Rusev hasn’t really had much of a prominent role on SmackDown Live in quite some time. He was partnering with Shinsuke Nakamura in a tag team for a while, but that was abruptly dropped as well and he has since disappeared from television entirely.
Aside from being in the battle royal at WWE Super ShowDown, his last match was on April 16, 2019. He teamed with Nakamura and Cesaro in a loss to the team of The New Day and Kevin Owens in a six-man tag match.
The Inquisitr reported that Rusev actually requested to be off of television, as he told WWE he needed to take a leave of absence for a while. He’s still been active on social media and has interacted with fans to show that he’s attended a baseball game with Lana and gone other places. However, none of his posts had to do with wrestling.
While rumors have been flying that he would be returning to WWE “soon,” there is also speculation going around that he could be leaving.
Upon taking his leave of absence, there was said to be no bad blood or animosity between him and WWE. Wrestling Observer Radio, by way of Ringside News, is reporting that Rusev’s contract is up “relatively soon” and that other promotions would be very interested in signing him.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer said he hasn’t heard anything confirmed, but “obviously, he’s not happy.”
Meltzer stated that he wouldn’t have asked for a leave of absence if he was happy, but it’s possible WWE freezes his time if his contract expires and he chooses to leave.
While Rusev could simply be trolling the fans, he did post a random pic on Twitter with a description of “Google” as a company. In the pic, it talks about how working for a company that cares about its employees more than it cares about itself. That has led to a lot of fans speculating different things.
— Here comes THE PUSH (@RusevBUL) June 24, 2019
Meltzer went on to say that Rusev wouldn’t be a “difference-maker” like Jon Moxley or Chris Jericho, but “he’s a good wrestler and he could do well there [AEW].”
It’s also not out of the question for New Japan Pro Wrestling to give him a look or two if he were to become a free agent.