He never got to talk to Shane about that WWE Title shot demand (see above). He didn't show up at Money In The Bank to help his wife Lana become the most Ravishing Women's Champion in history. He wasn't on SmackDown this past Tuesday.
But that doesn't mean that Rusev's return isn't approaching slowly, as menacingly as a Russian tank.
The Bulgarian Brute is being advertised for SmackDown live events this weekend, and it appears as though he's being dropped back into a familiar title hunt. The former two time GREATEST UNITED STATES CHAMPION EVER is scheduled to participate in a Triple Threat for the US Title against Mojo Rawley and current Champion Kevin Owens at Sunday's live event in Everett, Washington. One quick trip down the coast later, and he'll be in another US Title Three-Way Dance, this time against Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura in Bakersfield, California.
(Incidentally, if anyone is going to either of these Live Events and wants to take some video of these matches, Fightful would be your best friend.)
There has been no formal announcement that Rusev will be on SmackDown TV next Tuesday in San Diego, but his blue brand debut does seem to be imminent.