WWE booked Rusev to be a Bulgarian Brute, and McMahon wanted him to look that way. There was a time when Rusev was told not to sell, and he took that as a huge compliment.
One fan tweeted out a photo of Roman Reigns spearing Rusev. He replied back saying that he’s a “professional spear taker.” Another fan commented back saying that Rusev was one of the best sellers that he ever saw.
This was followed by Rusev revealing something that Vince McMahon told him about how to sell.
Vince once told me not sell like Ricky Steamboat. I took that as the biggest compliment he ever gave me
Ricky Steamboat was one of the greatest to step foot in the ring. His matches are studied to this day by people learning the art of pro wrestling for a reason. Vince McMahon apparently saw a little bit of Steamboat in Rusev, but he didn’t want to.