WWE superstar Rusev was released on Wednesday amid a considerable number of layoffs throughout the company. He was one of several wrestlers that were suddenly without a primary source of income due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Weeks prior to his release, however, Rusev pledged a considerable amount of money to several members of the WWE family.
"In Bulgaria we say ' It's not a lot but it's from the heart' I pledge 20,000$ to any of my WWE extended family that are sitting at home without income. WE can't do it without y'all. Production, security, etc. LOVE YALL," the Bulgarian Brute wrote on Twitter. This announcement was made on March 24 and sparked considerable excitement from the fans.
"D—... That is extremely generous of you Good job man," one fan wrote on Twitter. Several others weighed in and said that Rusev was a class act. Some also referred to him as a legend due to his generosity during the coronavirus pandemic.
One fan, however, wanted to draw Rusev's attention to a fellow wrestler. They wrote that he needed to "teach Braun Strowman to do the same" following critical comments that were made on Instagram. Specifically, they didn't appreciate the former strongman-turned-wrestler talking about how people should "switch professions" if they cannot afford to pay their bills on a monthly basis.
The comments they referenced were made by Strowman following AEW's Evil Uno making a plea with his fans to support independents. He asked them to purchase merchandise or donate to Patreon accounts that would support them during the coronavirus. However, Strowman did not entirely agree with this statement.
"Here we go with more of the somebody pay for my bills stuff. If you can't afford to pay your bills maybe you should change professions," Strowman wrote in a since-deleted comment. "That's why I quit strongman I loved it but I couldn't afford to live so instead of making a go fund me or a patreon. ... and for anyone that goes that's easy for you to say you're a wwe superstar just and FYI 7 years ago I moved to fl with everything I owned in a Kia Soul with 150$ to my name when I started this!!!!!"
Strowman drew considerable criticism for these comments, and it continued after the layoffs occurred on Wednesday. Rusev, on the other hand, received praise for his donation. The fans loved that he vowed to make the $20,000 donation in order to help those in need.