There is apparently some smoke to those rumors about Rusev’s contract with WWE about to expire.
While talking with Raj Giri on Ryback TV, it was revealed that Rusev is currently in contract negotiations with WWE. This came up after Ryback and Giri discussed the Mike and Maria Kanellis angle. Ryback said the angle is meant to make Kanellis look bad and lower his value so he can’t get signed anywhere else after his contract expires.
In regards to Rusev, Ryback said, “I can tell you for a fact [with] Rusev and that whole angle, he’s in contract negotiations right now. I love Rusev, I talk to him. I think he’s f**king stupid for doing this angle. It’s acting and it’s fake, but they now have control over your character over a really sh*tty angle that could be humiliating if you choose not to re-sign. He’s going to look horrendous in all of this and they got him. They put him in a sh**y angle while contract negotiations are going on and if he re-signs, it will probably work itself out and he’s gonna look really good in it and then they’re going to use him for a bit, and then it’s going to go back to what they’ve done. Or he’s going to choose not to re-sign and they are gonna humiliate those two like no other. My opinion but I have seen it done before.”
Ryback continued, “again, I love Rusev, but that is what is going on in this situation and whatnot unless he did re-sign and it’s going to pay off huge for him. It’s still a very — with real-life couples, it’s a very odd thing.”
It’s not clear when Rusev’s contract expires but Dave Meltzer reported back in June that his deal was set to expire “relatively soon.”
Earlier this year, Rusev expressed his frustration with his spot in WWE. Here’s what he said on Lilian Garcia’s podcast:
“I fight for everything … I do want to look my best, I do wanna be at my best because I wanna be WWE Champion. I want to be on top. I don’t want to be forgotten but that’s what irks me is I do all these things but nothing changes and that is where the frustration comes. What am I supposed to do? I cut my hair, I did that. It was not a good decision [laughs].”
At this point, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Rusev stay with WWE especially if they throw huge money at him but nobody ever expected to see Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho leave WWE and jump to AEW.