I’m going to be trying something new this time. Could, would, should. Three words that rhyme. They’re also three words that ask a question, and I’m asking some questions right now. I’ve got questions about Rusev turning face.
The Bulgarian Brute is challenging for the United States Championship, and he’s riding a massive wave of fan support. He was easily one of the most over men at the Royal Rumble. While it may have seemed unfeasible back when he initially debuted, we are closer than ever to a face Rusev.
Could the Lion of Bulgaria do it? Yes, he could. He’s shown that he possesses a great sense of charisma, and he’s displayed it in his promos. He’s witty and has great comedic timing. He and Aiden English got the whole concept of “Rusev Day” over.
It wouldn’t even be that difficult. He could essentially remain the same person that he is now. He’d just need to target his aggression towards evil-doers and ne’er-do-wells.
There are so many things that we can cheer Rusev for. His infectious enthusiasm (like when he beat Randy Orton in nine seconds and made sure to let the whole world know), his sense of humor, and his love for his home nation. Perhaps he could even learn to love America.
As it usually is with WWE, it’s hard to say at the moment. Right now, Smackdown’s midcard is pretty lopsided. On the face side, you’ve got Tye Dillinger, Sin Cara, Bobby Roode, and Zack Ryder. On the bad guy side, there’s Baron Corbin, Mike Kanellis, Mojo Rawley, Rusev, Aiden English, Jinder Mahal, and Dolph Ziggler. A few of these guys, such as Sin Cara and Mike Kanellis, are non-factors at the moment, but it does split down to four to seven. I do believe there’s space for Face Rusev. If he takes Aiden English with him, that makes it six to five. Add in a double turn with Roode, and that’s an even six to six.
Ideally, the whole thing would be a double turn between Rusev and Roode. WWE’s shown that they can do these. The most recent one I can think of is Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler in 2013, so they’re kind of rare, but that’s what makes them special.
By executing a double turn, WWE could have Rusev explore his character as a face, and it would allow Roode to embrace his excellent heel character (the one who called Roderick Strong’s fiancee “marginally hot.”)
Absolutely. If there was ever the right time to turn the Bulgarian Brute into a fan favorite, it’s now. He already has the crowd behind him, so to ignore them would be a massive waste of potential (see: Bad News Barrett in 2015).
The whole concept of Rusev Day is just so weird and quirky that it might not have worked with another performer. Yet the Lion of Bulgaria, with the help of Aiden English, really made the gimmick his own. His new shirt was sold out for a month when it first came out, and if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.
WWE clearly struck gold with Rusev right now, so perhaps they should use it. With all of his good qualities (charisma, wrestling ability, look), it’s hard to see why WWE hasn’t used him more. Let the man turn face. Let him embrace the fans, and let him embrace America.
After all, today is Rusev Day.