Gleed's Blog: WWE is losing out on a ton of money with Rusev
By Haydn Gleed
Rusev is a funny guy. Anyone who can be a heel in a love triangle/square feud and still make the audience laugh is an entertaining guy. It's not just on the mic the guy is funny, if you see some of his tweets, the man cracks me up. Amongst the highlights are "Little broken foot..... big deal. Stupid American doctors won't let me compete. In my country I put dug tape n fight. and the tweet that made me giggle for days and still makes me giggle today as I'm writing this "My mother can't stop talking about @JohnCena broken nose and the fact that he kept going . So I decided to stop talking to her."
But I don't want to be laughing at Rusev's antics, I want to believe that he is a beast, somebody to fear and putting all the fans favorites in jeopardy. WWE is leaving not only money on the table, but a bank vault on the table by portraying him the way they are at the moment. It's not just the current feud that has weakened Rusev, but it all started about five seconds after the greatest WrestleMania entrance of all time.
Going back to January 2014, when Rusev debuted, there was understandably concern that another talentless big man had been called up from developmental over more talented smaller guys. Over the course of 2014, it became obvious that he was far from just an impressive looking specimen but was a good wrestler, and despite Lana doing the bulk of the mic work, when he was given the opportunity he was also shining in that medium also.
Heading into 2015, Rusev was still undefeated, an incredible feat of patience in the modern day, let's pop a rating, WWE. Through the start of the year, it became obvious that he was being lined up as John Cena's WrestleMania opponent, and the fear started growing amongst fans that yet again Cena would beat another younger guy at the biggest show of the year (see Bray Wyatt). Despite being given tanks and soliders, and the pomp and a great amount of pizzazz, Rusev ultimately came out on the losing end of the WrestleMania match and again at Payback the following month. This is where the Rusev momentum should have skyrocketed but instead it had come to a halt.
On the one hand, winning the U.S. Championship and the challenge gimmick that John Cena took all the way to SummerSlam was an amazing run in terms of in-ring performances, but was it worth the trade off of Rusev no longer being the monster that WWE had worked hard to protect through 2014 and the beginning of 2015? I would argue that if Rusev had won at WrestleMania and carried on his momentum, we would have had an epic battle at SummerSlam of the two beasts - Rusev and Brock Lesnar - and an Undertaker appearance could have been saved for later down the line.
Instead, as we roll into the final parts of 2015, Rusev is essentially playing second fiddle to a mid-card love triangle involving Lana, Dolph Ziggler, and Summer Rae of all people. That bank of money that is on the table is starting to become a country's national income that WWE is leaving on the table.
Could this be WWE's tradition of pushing a wrestler, then pulling back to humble him/her? Possibly, and I've never agreed with this policy unless the person in question displays their success going to their head. The question is whether Rusev been damaged. Yes he has, no matter how you look at it. He's gone from putting fear into the babyfaces who faced him, and beating all who was put in front of him, to longing after a women he's lost, dressing up someone to look like her, and battling with a guy who looks like an '80s reject. But he can be rescued. When this love feud is finally over, Rusev needs to be either by himself or back with a heel Lana and he needs to go on a winning streak. Not just back and for matches, but squashing the lower card and being dominant over the mid-card.
Yes, Rusev is entertaining, and the fans certainly enjoy the cold fish routine, but the fans will get far more enjoyment out of longing for someone to put him in his place, and building up someone down the line who will truly benefit from breaking that streak.
Agree or disagree? As always, contact me on twitter @haydngleed or via email email@example.com.
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