Earlier this year, Rusev met The Undertaker in a Casket match at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. When Vince McMahon initially told Rusev he’d be working with “The Deadman,” he didn’t believe him. He assumed it was a joke. But when it turned out the match was actually booked, “The Bulgarian Brute” couldn’t believe it.
Due to Rusev being a babyface, McMahon didn’t want Rusev to get buried with a loss to Taker. So, Rusev was replaced by Chris Jericho in the match. Rusev told Inside The Ropes in a recent interview that the Prince of Saudi Arabia actually called WWE and wanted Rusev back in the match with The Undertaker.
As a result, Rusev was again added back to the match:
“So I was supposed to be in it,” Rusev said. “Vince told me one time, you know ‘you’re gonna work The Undertaker in Saudi Arabia,’ and I laughed at him because I thought he was joking. I’m like, ‘whatever,’ and he’s like, ‘it’s gonna be a casket match.’ I completely laughed at him and was like, ‘yeah and I’m winning, right?’ He was like, ‘alight I’ll talk to you later.’
“He left and I still completely thought it was a joke and there were other people in the room and they thought that I was being an asshole. I was like ‘he was joking with me,’ and he was like, ‘no, it’s booked.’ The next day there was a big advertisement ‘Rusev vs The Undertaker’ I was like, ‘oh my god… what a… so stupid.’
“Then they took took me out because we’re kinda going a different direction. We’re kinda doing the good guy thing and [McMahon] thought I shouldn’t be buried if I was a good guy. Then he took me out and he put in Jericho. Then The Prince of Saudi Arabia called and said, ‘no.’
“He wanted to see Rusev in that match so Jericho was out again and they added me back to it. I was back in the match and the match was great. Just going out there and wrestling a true legend and learning a lot from him it was a great opportunity.”
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions