Although he remains absent from Monday Night Raw due to what has been reported as a contract dispute, Rusev is scheduled to appear at WWE‘s Super ShowDown pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia on February 27, where he will take part in a gauntlet match for the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy. However, a new report suggests that the Bulgarian wrestler’s inclusion in the upcoming show does not mean that his purported contract issues with WWE have been sorted out.
Citing the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Wrestling Inc. wrote that Rusev’s dispute with WWE officials regarding his contract is “still ongoing,” even if he is confirmed to be flying to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown. The aforementioned gauntlet match features two other returning wrestlers — AJ Styles and reigning United States Champion Andrade — as well as R-Truth, Erick Rowan, and Rusev’s longtime onscreen rival, Bobby Lashley.
Regarding the expiration date of Rusev’s contract, which rumors have long suggested might be coming up soon, the Wrestling Observer wrote that he still has “plenty of time” to work out a new deal with WWE. While the report did not mention any specific expiration date nor did it explain how the supposed dispute started, Wrestling Inc. noted that the grappler’s wife, Lana, signed a new five-year deal with the company in November.
I just beat the devil out of Bob Lashley! pic.twitter.com/xO1AFGYDwK
— Miro (@RusevBUL) December 2, 2019
As further explained by the publication, Rusev was last seen on Monday Night Raw during the January 20 episode, where he and Liv Morgan lost a mixed tag team match to Lana and Lashley. While he and Lashley were written out of the men’s Royal Rumble match through a backstage brawl that took place the following Sunday on the pay-per-view of the same name, the “Bulgarian Brute” didn’t return to the red brand’s programming the day after and hasn’t been seen since. As such, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer wrote last week that Rusev may “never get his revenge” on Lashley and Lana unless his contract issues are resolved.
Given his perceived status in the WWE Universe as a fan-favorite wrestler who hasn’t been booked as a top-tier talent in quite some time, Rusev has also been vocal at times about his dissatisfaction with his place on the card. According to Forbes, the 34-year-old wrestler made his feelings known multiple times, including on a February 2019 episode of Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast, where he said his attempts to catch WWE boss Vince McMahon’s attention “never [come] to anything.” He also changed his Twitter biography last month to read “soon to be free agent,” though as The Inquisitr reported, this was quickly removed and replaced with a more generic bio.