It’s been several weeks since we saw Rusev in action on WWE programming, and we now have a better idea of when he will return.
On SmackDown Live tonight, Rusev appeared in a pre-taped video segment, in which he said that he doesn’t like Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon. He also said that he doesn’t agree with the whole superstar shake up thing and that he has told McMahon and Bryan that he’ll only come to SmackDown Live if he gets a title match at Money in the Bank.
Money in the Bank airs on June 18th, 2017, and so based on this segment, it seems that we’ll be seeing Rusev return to action in June.
This lines up with what we’ve heard about Rusev’s legitimate injury. Within kayfabe, Rusev has not shown his face on SmackDown Live simply out of protest, but in real life, he has been away because he recently underwent surgery.
In early April, Lana said that Rusev was told he would be out for another two to four months, and so a June return would be on the early end of that estimate but would still be reasonable.
“He just started working out again. He’s really excited about that,” Lana told Sirius XM’s Busted Open a few weeks ago. “Yesterday he went to the gym and did two separate hours of cardio. So I’m glad he’s feeling better…[He’s expected back in] 2 to 4 months, somewhere around there. Yeah. That’s what they said.”
It’s unclear what title match Rusev may be given at Money in the Bank, but it would not be surprising to see him go after the United States Championship, the title Rusev held for several months in 2016. Kevin Owens is the current United States Championship.