At Money in the Bank 2017, Lana went up against Naomi in the ring, but those in the arena were mainly focused on Lana’s real-life husband, chanting, “We want Rusev!” So where, exactly, is the Bulgarian Brute? And when will he return?
Rusev has been gone since early March due to a legitimate injury. He received shoulder surgery a few months ago, with this being surgery he needed for a few months. Back in April, Lana said that Rusev would be out for another two to four months, placing his return sometime between June and August.
Then, in late April, Rusev appeared via satellite on an episode of SmackDown Live, saying that he would not return unless he was given a match at Money in the Bank. This did not happen, and so on May 9th, Rusev posted a video message on Twitter saying that he would be on SmackDown Live the following week.
But the following week’s SmackDown Live episode came and went, and Rusev did not show up. He subsequently claimed he wasn’t there because there was a hockey game, but the WWE probably just couldn’t work him into the program.
On May 23rd, Rusev again indicated on Twitter that he was going to be on SmackDown, posting that there was no hockey game that night and so he would be free. But once again, Rusev did not show up on SmackDown Live, and the hints of his return were quickly dropped.
Rusev was reportedly originally going to challenge Randy Orton for the WWE World Championship, and that’s where all these hints were leading. But these plans were altered when it was decided that Jinder Mahal would win the title.
Cageside Seats reported this past week that Rusev has been cleared to return, and he is expected to be back this Tuesday on SmackDown Live. It remains to be seen whether Rusev will still be paired with Lana in storylines and whether he will still challenge the WWE World Champion, Jinder Mahal.
Rusev actually had a bit of fun with the fans on Twitter this evening, live tweeting the evening and at one point saying “here we go” as if he was about to come out, only to apparently stop watching to play Destiny instead.