Rusev Day became one of the most popular acts in WWE in 2017, but was the act actually popular?
Vince McMahon didn't seem to think so when he explained to Rusev why the fans were behind him when the two men would have meetings during that time.
Appearing on The Ryback Show, Rusev discussed wanting to become a diverse perform in WWE, similar to Kurt Angle, who could switch from a comedy act to a wrestling machine and people still bought into the character.
Rusev wondered why he couldn't do the same thing.
"Why can't I do that? Why can't I show my personality backstage? Why can't I go in the ring and do what I do? Then I was told, 'Don't look at the people, don't smile, don't do this.' Really? Everything I'm doing, it seems the people are liking it. Why am I getting over and you're telling me to do the opposite? I didn't understand, I had a conversation with Vince and he told me that with Rusev Day, they were just mocking me, they didn't mean it," he recalled.
Rusev continued, "[Rusev Day] was going on. There was no way the office didn't notice because it was before, after, during the show. It was everywhere. I always felt defeated because what was I doing it for? It was all competition and finally, I got to a point of, 'wow, we're doing something right.' There's no way it wasn't noticed. The first meeting it was, 'they're fucking with you, they don't mean what they're saying.' I respect and I listen because I always want to listen from Vince. He had everybody on his side. In my mind, I knew it wasn't true. They started putting my segments early so the 'Rusev Day' chants would go away. I was not even supposed to be on WrestleMania, the year I lost to Jinder. I was not on TV for three weeks. I'm sitting backstage all night and listening to people chant 'Rusev Day.' I went to one of the writers and I'm like, 'This is not right.' This is the first time I yelled at a writer, and I felt bad. He was like, 'We don't know what to do.' What do you mean you don't know what to do? Just listen. They'll tell you what to do. They're shoving me down and I don't understand why. What am I fighting for? I did everything, right? I went to acting classes, I started working on my body, I did all the extra stuff. I was just defeated. When Vince said the second time, 'they're fucking with you,' I said, 'Vince, we have sold out all of our merchandise.' 'What do you mean?' 'The shirt is sold out.' 'Well, maybe they didn't make enough.' 'They didn't make enough shirts, that's why it's sold out? Not because we're doing good? Really?' Then they didn't know what to do, good guy or bad guy, come on, man."
He went on to say that more opportunities have come to him outside of the WWE bubble because he doesn't have to get things approved by WWE when making appearances. He also said no one in the office reached out to him when he underwent shoulder surgery, which made him feel less than. He concluded by saying, "What am I doing, why am I giving everything I had? I understand it's my dream, but gosh darn. Thank God I did good enough with my investments, I don't need to work there at all. My wife works there, she is happy, good for her, I am done."
Rusev previously said he is now a Twitch streamer after being done with wrestling. When asked by Ryback if he is truly done, Rusev said he's just hurt right now. It is unknown if Rusev will return to the world of wrestling at some point in the future.
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