Rusev is absent from WWE TV ever since the Wrestlemania season. He had undergone a shoulder surgery that kept him away from the competition for more than two months.
Giving him company, his wife Lana too has been absent from WWE TV, since then. Now, quite interestingly, both of them were part of the Superstar Shakeup process. They were sent to the Smackdown Live brand for the very first time. They are yet to show up here, though.
For the past few weeks, we have seen Rusev demand a championship opportunity at Money in the Bank. As per his statement, he does not intend to compete in the blue brand unless he gets the title shot.
Last week, he commented on being disrespected for a long time and wanted to come to this week’s Smackdown Live to get an answer. However, we did not spot Rusev on the show, last night. This was quite surprising since WWE.com also addressed the matter saying that The Bulgarian Brute is finally stepping up on the show.
— Rusev The Ruler (@RusevBUL) May 9, 2017
In the preview for Smackdown Live, they posted the following earlier:
“Rusev is coming to SmackDown LIVE next week, and he’s looking for an answer to his demands for a WWE Championship Match.
The Bulgarian Brute was sent to Team Blue in the Superstar Shake-up but has yet to be seen in competition on Tuesday nights. Rusev sent a video to the blue brand, explaining that he does not like SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon.
Because of his opposition to the Shake-up, the bruiser is refusing to compete on SmackDown LIVE unless he receives a WWE Championship Match at Money in the Bank on June 18. Rusev has promised to pack his backs and return to Bulgaria if he does not get this opportunity.”
Now, after the conclusion of last night’s show, Rusev sent out a tweet apologising to the crowd for not appearing. He indicated that he was busy attending the NHL game Nashville Predators.
— Rusev The Ruler (@RusevBUL) May 17, 2017
It might turn out to be a last minute decision by the creative to pull him off the show since WWE advertised him for the show even last night. This might be done due to his presence might ruin the momentum of Jinder Mahal who is determined to take away Randy Orton’s championship at the Backlash.
However, the return of Rusev looks imminent once Backlash is done. He should show up on next week’s Smackdown Live to claim his title shot. It will be interesting to see how the creative arranged his comeback.