It looks like things are picking up for Smackdown Live. There were reports that Rusev was backstage last week at Smackdown Live but plans to re-introduce him into storylines apparently changed because he did not appear on the show. Instead, Rusev made his return at the WWE live event in Vancouver on Saturday night. Rusev is still sporting the shorter hairstyle that he first showed off on Instagram in late February.
He took on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in a Triple Threat match and, for those of you wondering, he did not come out with Lana but that is not a surprise to us because it’s clear that they want Lana to branch out on her own as a singles Superstar.
— Jordan Kiss (@JordanKiss95) June 25, 2017
So, where has Rusev been? Following the Fastlane pay-per-view in March, he was sidelined with an injury and had to miss WrestleMania. He was cleared to return to action a couple of weeks ago but it looked like WWE was waiting for the right time to bring him back.
There were plans for him to feud with Randy Orton before he was injured so that spot ended up going to Jinder Mahal. During his time off, The Bulgarian Brute has stayed in character and has been doing an angle on Twitter where he demands a championship opportunity. Several weeks ago, he was supposed to appear on Smackdown Live to confront Shane McMahon but that was dropped for some reason and never mentioned on TV.
Mahal and Orton are set to face off one more time at the Battleground pay-per-view on 7/23, perhaps in a Punjabi Prison match. That is not set in stone but there have been tons of rumors floating around that WWE wants to bring back that gimmick match. So, if the plan is to get Rusev back into the main event mix, then a feud with Orton might be in the cards after the feud with Mahal is over.
— Brian Milne (@TestSubjectB) June 25, 2017
In recent weeks he has been trolling fans on Twitter and teasing his return to the blue brand. Since he is officially back on the road, it looks likely that we will see him back on TV on Tuesday night.