Remember when SmackDown first went live, and for months it was considered by fans to far and away be a better show than Raw?
Yeah, that’s not the case anymore. SmackDown is pretty much in shambles these days, and it was never more evident than it was on this week’s episode. Shane McMahon was walking around eating popcorn, Daniel Bryan just… left, they cut to a shot of Carmella on her phone in the middle of Naomi’s match against Ruby Riott, and John Cena won his way into an already convoluted WWE Championship match at Fastlane.
Speaking of Cena, Rusev was none too happy that the “free agent” was able just to waltz in and get a title shot.
— Rusev (@RusevBUL) February 28, 2018
Rusev’s wife Lana chimed in too.
Let it be know that @RusevBUL is more over than Nakamura, AJ, Roman Reigns & #RusevDay deserves to be @WWE champion and main eventing #Wrestlemania ! #SDLive if you are the land of the opportunities then give my husband his rightful opportunity!Or are we selling PROPAGANDA again?
— CJ (Lana) Perry (@LanaWWE) February 28, 2018
And I have to say – I agree with them.
What Is WWE Doing With Rusev?
As Lana pointed out in her tweet, Rusev is pretty popular with fans. WWE had to order 5,000 additional “Rusev Day” calendars because the initial 2,500 order sold out quicker than expected, and for a long time, the “Rusev Day” t-shirt was the top-selling shirt on WWEShop.com (it was recently overtaken by Elias’s shirts). Chants of “Rusev Day” have even replaced “CM Punk” as the go-to chant when the crowd is bored with what’s happening in the ring.
Rusev Day chants on a #raw ppv.
Do better #wwe.
What a bore since the end of the opening match. #EliminationChamber
— Talkamania (@_talkamania) February 26, 2018
Now, I’ll be honest: when Rusev first teamed up with Aiden English (someone who I do not care for) and started this whole “Rusev Day” thing, I didn’t like it. But dammit, Rusev is a likable guy and the schtick grew on me like a fungus, in spite of how annoying I find English.
So, given his popularity, it would only make sense to put Rusev in the fatal 5-way at Fastlane, right? Of course, it would make sense, which is why WWE seems to be avoiding it like the plague. Instead, they thought it’d be a better idea to feed English to Shinsuke Nakamura and then put Cena in the title match.
You wanna know the last time Rusev won a pay-per-view match? Roadblock: End of the Line in December 2016. He beat Big Cass by count-out. His previous singles match on a PPV was at Hell in a Cell, where he lost to Randy Orton. He’s pretty much been directionless ever since.
WWE is completely wasting Rusev right now, and if they know what’s good for them, they’ll listen to the fans and give him a program he deserves. It could very well save SmackDown.
Do you think Rusev should get a WWE title shot? Share your thoughts and comments below!