Rusev’s updated his Twitter bio to read “soon to be free agent [sic]”
Take this with a grain of salt, as few people in the business embody the carny spirit of pro wrestling like Rusev on Twitter, but his oft-jovial presence on the social media platform has once again led to speculation on his contract status with WWE.
Rusev briefly changed his Twitter bio this past Monday to read “soon to be free agent [sic].” And despite being the centerpiece of one of Raw’s top angles, Rusev’s future with the promotion remains a question mark.
Not much is known about Rusev’s current contract with the worldwide leader, but he curiously checked a fan back in November when the fan suggested he had re-signed with WWE. But therein lies the textbook cryptic carnyism, however, as Rusev wasn’t necessary denying he had re-signed with WWE, he was simply posing a question about the fan’s sources. For all we know, Rusev’s curt response was no different than the Bulgarian Brute responding to a fan’s criticism about his ongoing divorce storyline by asking “how do you know it’s a storyline?”
For what it’s worth, Lana, Rusev’s real-life spouse, reportedly re-signed a five-year deal with WWE. On one hand, this suggests Rusev will follow suit in order to remain closer to his wife, but on the other there are multiple revent precedents of WWE Superstars leaving the promotion despite their wives opting to stay put.
Both Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose) and Shawn Spears (Tye Dillinger) left WWE for AEW last year despite being married to WWE personalities Renee Young and Peyton Royce, respectively. The common thread here is their palpable disgruntlement toward WWE for how they were being used—or, in Spears’ case the lack thereof—which is a thread shared by Rusev who has been known to have his own employee morale issues with WWE.
Rusev, who reportedly asked for time off this past summer amid his character’s creative stagnation, expressed frustration with WWE on Lillian Garcia’s “Chasing Glory” podcast and had a telling quote about “hanging around” in the company.
“I always want to see myself on the [WrestleMania] card and I picture myself there, but again, it’s not like I like it,” said Rusev.
“Don’t get me wrong, I hate seeing that because we came so strong and we were so featured. But I feel like, the more you hang around, the more you’re forgotten. It doesn’t matter how good you are. I think I’m good, I always think that I’m good…It doesn’t matter what I do, I kinda end up with the same thing.”
Rusev has since been revitalized as a babyface to a degree through a hit-or-miss love storyline with Lana, Bobby Lashley and Liv Morgan that very well may lead all parties involved to a fruitful climax at WrestleMania.
Despite its many flaws, both Rusev and Lana have championed the ratings success of their storyline. Lana and Lashley’s wedding led to a whopping 33% increase for the final Raw of 2019, and Vince McMahon was said to be a very interested spectator of the festivities, a far cry from an exasperated Rusev’s claiming he’s “just trying to do something to catch Vince McMahon’s eye,” during the aforementioned “Chasing Glory” podcast.
Now that Rusev has Vince’s full attention, whether it will be enough to hang around and sign a long-term deal with WWE remains to be seen.