Rusev has gone from a significant feud spanning more than three months with Roman Reigns to little more than an afterthought as the WWE makes its way towards one of the big four pay-per-views of the year, Survivor Series.
Reigns and Rusev engaged in easily the most physical and intense rivalry that culminated inside the devil’s playground that is Hell in a Cell two Sundays ago.
Reigns, of course, retained the United States Championship that was on the line during their rivalry. He has since moved on to the biggest angle on Monday nights, joining forces with Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman on Team RAW for the traditional 5-on-5 elimination match against Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Meanwhile, Rusev may not have a place on the card at all.
Coming out of Hell In A Cell, knowing that RAW would have to put together a five-person team to take on their counterparts from the blue brand, it seemed logical to include Rusev in the high-profile match. Reigns, Rollins, Owens and Jericho were virtual locks, but as it turned out, it was Braun Strowman who ended up filling the final spot. Technically, Rollins was the last member named to the team, but the top four stars of the brand made the most sense from the get-go, assuming the Universal Championship wasn’t going to be defended.
So where that leaves Rusev in the short-term is unclear. He lost to Sami Zayn on the latest episode of RAW in a match to determine who would answer Dolph Ziggler’s open challenge for the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series. Last week, we reported that Zayn was on the fast-track for the spot, and though there were rumors circulating that WWE creative was going to wait to unveil the opponent until November 20, the determination was made official Monday night.