WWE Raw Superstar Profile and Grades: Rusev


The man known as the “Bulgarian Brute” that loves to crush his opponents is the current United States Champion that has the potential to be a main eventer one day. Here’s a closer look at Rusev.

Name: Rusev (with Lana)

Age: 30 (Lana is 31)

More wwe: WrestleMania 33 Match Card Projections

Career Accomplishments: WWE United States Champion 2x

Main roster debut: January 2014

The Bulgarian-born Rusev moved to the United States in the mid-2000s with the intention of becoming a professional wrestler. In September 2010, he signed a WWE developmental deal and was called up to the main roster for the Royal Rumble match in 2014. Along with his wife Lana, who he recently married after they fell in love in their NXT days, Rusev looks to build upon his current run as the US Champion to potentially hold a major title like the Universal or WWE Title one day.

Workrate (In-ring Performance)

Rusev is a very good athlete considering he weighs about 300 pounds. He moves around the ring easily, which is likely what appealed to WWE management when they signed him. For most of his nearly three years on the main roster, he has wrestled similar matches where he dominates for much of it, his opponent tries a comeback and ultimately it’s Rusev that ends up the victor. A lot of his matches are similar in that way, but when he’s in there against quality opponents he holds his own.

It would be nice to see him evolve a bit more as a worker because to this point he really hasn’t had many matches that would be considered excellent. Part of it is due to the style in which he works and the other part is the booking. They just really let him have back and forth matches with people. The only guy he did that consistently with was John Cena in 2015, but none of their matches were that memorable.

Can he become a great in-ring worker? Probably. A lot of it will depend on his opponents too. If he was in a 15-20 minute match with an underdog babyface like Sami Zayn or Finn Balor, chances are they would have a great match. However, when he’s in there with bigger guys it usually doesn’t turn out that well. Once he gets to have those matches with those underdog faces, he’ll likely have better matches. Remember that he’s still just 30 years old, so his best years are likely ahead of him. Grade: B-


Rusev has improved a lot in the promo department in the last few years. During his first year on the main roster he rarely spoke aside from saying “Matchka” which means “crush” in Bulgarian. They let Lana do the promos for him. Then last year they split the two up, he started talking a lot more and after they put them back together, he continued to talk a lot. He looks a lot more comfortable doing promos now too.

Often times when Rusev is talking he’ll make people laugh because he uses broken English phrases since he’s Bulgarian. Clearly he’s doing it to make people laugh and it works well for him. As his confidence grows in the ring, he appears to be more comfortable with a microphone in his hands too. It’s been nice to see him improve in that area. Grade: B


Rusev’s look has been pretty basic since being on the main roster. When he was NXT he worse this Muay-Thai inspired outfit, but it didn’t really look that good. They modified his gear on the main roster to where he was wearing wrestling trunks while also competing barefoot. After he suffered a serious ankle injury in May 2015, he came back to action wearing traditional wrestling boots. There’s a reason most guys wear boots in the ring – they are there to protect the feet and ankles. He hasn’t been injured since then.

The theme song that Rusev uses fits him well. It’s basic, but it works as an intimidating track that is meant to put fear in his opponent and the crowd watching the match. There are no lyrics to the song, which is fine for a guy like him. He doesn’t need anything too complex.

His best ring entrance ever was at WrestleMania 31 against John Cena. He entered the stadium in a tank. That’s not something a lot of people can do. It really made him stand out as a big star. Grade: B-


The character Rusev portrays isn’t that complicated. He’s the evil foreigner that is there to annoy the American fans by saying that he is better than them. It’s the same sort of gimmick that many wrestlers have done over the years. It has been tweaked for him because at first they said he was representing Russia even though he’s Bulgarian, likely because Russia is in the news a lot with President Vladimir Putin considered a dangerous man. They dropped that in 2015 and now he’s back to being the Bulgarian Brute.

He has the kind of character that should see him locked in as a heel for the majority of his career. There’s really no reason for him to turn face any time soon. As a bigger guy that’s also a foreigner, it makes sense to keep him in the role he’s in now. Why mess with a good thing? It’s clearly working.

As for Lana’s presence, she adds a lot to the character. Rusev is a fighting machine that is also married to one of the best looking women in the history of wrestling. It’s an easy way to get heat by bragging about who he gets to be with every night. Fans are going to boo a guy like that. She should probably get involved in matches more, but that’s something that has changed a few times in the last two years. WWE seems content with having her stand outside the ring as eye candy more than anything. Grade: B

Future Outlook

It’s easy to be excited about Rusev’s future because he is just entering the prime of his career at the age of 30 and it feels as though his confidence grows with every match he has. When you watch Rusev in 2016 you can clearly see he’s improved a lot over what he was doing two years earlier.

Is he a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion or WWE Universal Champion? Most likely the answer to that question is a yes. The company will always want to push heels and he’s got the kind of heel gimmick that will work no matter who the opponent is. American fans want to boo the guy that says America sucks. It’s worked for decades and it will continue to work well into the future.

The only thing he really hasn’t had is that one defining feud or match that will get people to notice him. That’s why WWE management really has to think of ways to get him to that next level by pairing him with one of those aforementioned underdog faces like Zayn or Balor because they can likely help him have a signature match or feud.

For now, Rusev is a B performer with the chance to be much higher in the next 5-10 years. The future is very bright for him.

Overall Grade (Not An Average): B

Related Story: Rusev and Lana Get Married (Photos)

Next wrestler profile: SmackDown’s Dolph Ziggler.