From Bulgaria With Fear

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Anthony Zevoteck


If I began to describe a six-foot tall, 300-pound man possessed with the ability to attack his foes with furious strength and also fly around like a human wrecking ball, you’d probably think it’s the latest James Bond villain or my newest created superstar on WWE 2K16.

That’s not the case however.

The man previously described is best known as current WWE United States Champion Rusev, the big Bulgarian whose already had an impressive career complete with a long once-undefeated streak, a lengthy US Title reign and a freaking tank entrance at WrestleMania 31 before he got to work with John Cena in what fans considered one of the show’s best matches.

Even before his main roster appearance, his time spent in Florida Championship Wrestling was remarkable in its own right. Upon his debut, he tore his ACL/meniscus and was on the shelf for six months. After he recovered and returned, he broke his neck and temporarily paralyzed his arm. Setbacks like that would make most athletes question their career, but that didn’t stop Rusev a bit.

After a year in NXT where he demolished countless opponents, he made his main roster debut at the 2014 Royal Rumble. A few months later, he was established as WWE’s next big thing as he was paired with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana as his manager.

He rode the momentum of an undefeated streak with victories over superstars like Xavier Woods, R-Truth, Big E, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and The Big Show. Along the way, he picked up the US Title from Sheamus as his reign lasted all the way until WrestleMania 31.

This was the turning point, as Rusev’s stock fell as fast as it rose. With acknowledgment of WWE’s cheers of Lana, they unceremoniously split up the duo as she was paired up with Dolph Ziggler and he was paired up with Summer Rae for a monotonous storyline that left fans with confusion and anger.

The pain would soon end for fans once Rusev/Lana broke kayfabe with the announcement of their real-life engagement, but despite their reunion in the squared circle, the pain would begin for Rusev as he suffered a torn bicep.

It was only temporary, as he returned into the formation of an international heel supergroup known as The League Of Nations with Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and King Barrett. They made their mark on the main event scene, but lack of fan interest made the group fizzle out and they split up.

That might’ve been the best thing for Rusev, as he has now gone back to his old roots, with Lana at his side and the WWE US Title around his waist. The future again looks bright as he hopefully recaptures the magic he had with his first reign.

I’d even jump the gun and say Rusev will be WWE World Heavyweight Champion within the next year. He’s a solid in-ring competitor that knows how to draw real heat. If Creative lets him, he can WWE’s biggest heel.

A simple formula can lay out the next year of WWE programming.

Rusev + Crush + Lana + WWE World Heavyweight Championship = Success.

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on June 5, 2016, in Misc, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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