Rusev was working on WWE "Monday Night Raw" and floundering for a long time when he ended up trade to "SmackDown Live," along with his wife and manager Lana. However, Rusev had to undergo surgery and has never made his debut since the trade. That all is about to change and Rusev has started working house shows and it looks like he will take part in the United States title scene.

The WWE fall of Rusev

Rusev was, at one time, considered one of the top heels in the WWE. However, after a feud with John Cena, where Rusev fell like many others before him, he floundered for a long time. Rusev was part of the League Of Nations faction with Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Alberto Del Rio, a faction that Barrett later explained was just created to help put over Roman Reigns.

When the League of Nations broke up, Rusev had little to do and just relied on his heat generated with Lana by his side to carry him until the WWE threw him into a feud with Roman Reigns - another that he was destined to lose. Since that time, Rusev teamed with Jinder Mahal - who was losing to everyone at the time, and they feuded with Enzo Amore and Big Cass.

The trade to SmackDown Live

When the WWE sent Rusev to SmackDown Live, it was seen as a hugely positive move for the superstar. The biggest reason for optimism surrounds Jinder Mahal himself. When he was teaming with Rusev on Monday Night Raw, Jinder Mahal never beat anyone. He is now the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown Live.

If Mahal can do that, someone as uber-talented as Rusev can as well.

However, with the good came the bad. The WWE split up Rusev and Lana as on-screen partners - or it at least appears that they have. Lana made her in-ring major roster debut at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view where she got an immediate SmackDown Live women's title shot against Naomi.

Lana lost when Carmella distracted her but she gets a rematch tonight on SmackDown Live.

Without the charismatic Lana serving as his mouthpiece, Rusev will have to work on his promo skills, which have always been suspect with his broken English. However, his in-ring skills can't be questioned and he could be a huge WWE star if given the right push.

United States Championship

It looks like Rusev might end up in the United States title picture first, which makes little sense as the champion is the heel, Kevin Owens. It doesn't appear Kevin Owens is finished with his WWE feud with AJ Styles yet but there are some interesting matches at upcoming house shows with Kevin Owens defending the title against Rusev in three-way matches including Mojo Rawley in one and Shinsuke Nakamura in him other.

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