There's simply no denying that Rusev is currently one of the most popular stars with the WWE audience. A simple walk down Bourbon Street in New Orleans revealed that the Rusev Day t-shirt is by far the most popular WWE t-shirt out right now, and there were chants for Rusev throughout the French Quarter, through the show and on the concourse of the Superdome.
Instead of putting the U.S. title on Rusev at WrestleMania, Jinder Mahal (surprisingly) won the belt. Two days later on SmackDown, Randy Orton was made number one contender for the U.S. title in a match where Bobby Roode and Rusev also had a chance to emerge victorious. Rather than going with the hot, new feud in Mahal vs. Rusev, WWE chose to rewind the clocks and go back to Mahal vs. Orton which was a focal point for several months in 2017.
Despite his popularity in recent months, it has been hard for Rusev to find television time. That frustration seemingly came out when Rusev tweeted "bury me softly, brother" in response to wrestling The Undertaker at Greatest Royal Rumble.
Bury me softly, Brother https://t.co/IWnBvL20Ez— . (@RusevBUL) April 11, 2018
Within hours, he had been removed from the match. The storyline presented for his removal is that Lana didn't want her husband to work the match, but the actual reason hasn't completely been revealed.0comments
Rusev has continued to sell his frustration with his direction in WWE since that time via social media. He posted the a comment on Aiden English's Instagram page on Sunday, noting "gonna miss you bud." He also removed all references to WWE from his own social media pages.
Surprisingly, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports this is all condoned by WWE and part of a larger storyline. Though we're sure Rusev's frustrations are rooted in some real anger, it appears WWE is using that to their advantage and turning it into an on-going storyline.