Aiden English says he enjoyed the organic nature of Rusev Day but he feels there was more meat on the bone with his character following the disbandment of the Rusev partnership.
For many, the peak of the Aiden English character on WWE television was during his time as Rusev’s tag team partner in Rusev Day.
While speaking to Chris Van Vliet, English described the whirlwind turnaround time between learning he’d be involved in a one-off Rusev segment on SmackDown to becoming a smash success with fans.
“Rusev was doing this thing with Randy and I wrestled Randy once or twice that summer. Just put him over, just kind of doing the thing. It was just an opportunity to work with a top guy. Nothing there,” He began. “But they were like, 'Rusev is part of this segment tonight, too.' Then they did that and it was nothing really and then the next week, they're like, 'Well, you've got this character. Rusev's going to have this big celebration. How about you sing for him since you kind of helped him last week?’ I got a call from Michael Hayes probably 48 hours before television. 'Get a tuxedo and learn the Bulgarian national anthem.' So, yeah. Learn a song for national television in a language I've never spoken. It's now Sunday morning at 9:00. Find a tux shop that'll give you something to pick up in time for Tuesday morning or something like that. But by God, I was on YouTube looking up the thing, listening to it for twelve hours straight and found a men's warehouse and it was there. Was it like Phoenix or something like that. That somehow was able to get... I got measured up. They sent it out there and I picked it up in Phoenix. It was... It was a very whirlwind segment that all came together.”
He continued, “It was such a weird, random but organic thing because it was just that day. You know, that that first segment was the first Rusev day, I think they called it that in the backstage segment or something. And then we kind of talked about it once more, like the following week. But then all of a sudden. People just started by changing it, whether it was ironically or something at first, but then more and more people got involved and it just... It really took on a life of its own. I loved it because it allowed us to just really open up and have fun and I think that's what people ended up connecting with, like long term.”
Aiden admitted that getting the tuxedo in 48-hours was harder than learning the song. Rusev Day lasted almost a year before disbanding. For English, he wanted to take his character in a brooding tortured artist direction, but pitches fell on deaf ears.
Yeah, that's one of the things I wish I would have gotten more of an opportunity with. To be fair. That's something I wish I would have fought harder for. I had ideas for sure. I wanted to take that Aiden English character and stuff that I had established with the “Drama King'' and everything, but evolve it, make it a little bit more... Everyone always talked about being much darker and serious and like, I think that's lazy. But I wanted to flesh it out and I wanted to be a little bit more threatening,” he’d say. “I wanted it to be a little bit more maybe a screw loose or something and a little bit more intriguing. My big thing was I wanted to be a tortured artist who just couldn't stand the fact that his ultimate masterpiece could never be realized and I'm driven mad by that kind of a thing. I had all these ideas for vignettes and I and I pitched them to some people. But as often happens, you know, it's a constantly moving thing and it falls on deaf ears or people who are too scared to pitch it themselves. So, that's where I wish people would have listened to me, but I also wish I would have taken a little bit more initiative to go to the top brass. So that's one lesson that I took away from that. I agree. I think there could have been something really cool there. That doesn't mean that there can't be again, though, somewhere else or down the line. I still have ideas.”
English was let go on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. To see a full list of names cut, click here.
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