Many WWE fans and pundits believe that Rusev — who was released along with many other employees back in April — deserved a bigger push in the company. John Cena never putting him also rubbed some people the wrong way. During his WWE run, Rusev had a notable feud with Cena, but the 16-time World Champion came out on top in the end. However, while some of WWE’s critics were unhappy with this booking decision, Rusev only has good things to say about Cena.
As quoted by Sportskeeda, Rusev opened up about working with Cena on the latest episode of his YouTube show. According to the former United States Champion, he had a lot of fun working with Cena and praised the legendary superstar’s ability as a performer.
“Cena’s mentality, Cena’s psychology is so freaking good because he knows what the deal is and he just knows and he gets it… Cena knows so much, Cena knows more than anyone in the current business and in the past few years. He just knows. I was just so blessed to be with him for so many years. We worked so many matches in so many live events and everything. That’s where I think I excelled the most.”
Cena and Rusev feuded for the United States Championship, which culminated in a title match at WrestleMania 31. At the time, Rusev had been running roughshod over the WWE roster for over a year, gaining an undefeated streak in the process. Cena was the first superstar to defeat “The Bulgarian Brute” on the main roster — picking up a victory in a Flag Match at the Battleground pay-per-view before WrestleMania — and some fans believe that the defeat derailed Rusev’s progress.
In an interview with The Wrap, Cena addressed criticisms that he buried superstars such as Rusev and Bray Wyatt. According to the multiple-time World Champion, he gives his opponents opportunities to rise to the occasion, and it’s up to them to succeed. Much of the criticism stemmed from the fact that he beat Rusev and Wyatt at consecutive WrestleMania shows when each superstar’s momentum was at its peak, suggesting that he wasn’t willing to help younger talent.
Rusev doesn’t appear to agree with this sentiment, however, and it’s clear from his words that he appreciates getting to work closely with Cena. It now remains to be seen where Rusev will wrestle next, as his 90-day noncompete clause expires in July, making him free to compete for other promotions.