Speaking on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer provided more information on the three-time United States champion’s current situation in WWE.
Following a three-month rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev joined forces with his former opponent in January 2019 to form a tag team.
The unlikely allies won their first match together, defeating The Club on SmackDown Live, with Lana by their side. However, they failed to win any of their next eight matches as a duo, including a Fatal 4-Way match at WrestleMania 35 for the SmackDown Tag Team titles.
Since losing a six-man tag match with Nakamura & Cesaro against The New Day on the April 16 episode of SmackDown Live, Rusev’s only televised match came at WWE Super ShowDown on June 7 when he participated in the 50-man Battle Royal.
Two weeks later, Dave Meltzer wrote that Rusev had been granted a leave of absence by WWE – something that “The Bulgarian Brute” appeared to deny on Twitter.
Elaborating on his initial report about Rusev’s WWE status, Dave Meltzer said that the SmackDown Live Superstar is unhappy and there is a possibility that WWE could freeze his contract during his leave of absence.“I think his deal is up relatively soon, I heard. Nothing confirmed. We know he’s not happy because he’s not there and he asked for a leave of absence. That may mean that they’re going to freeze him [his contract] while he does that [takes time off]. Him leaving would not surprise me at all.”
Rusev was not involved in a meaningful rivalry before his run with Shinsuke Nakamura as a tag team seemingly came to an end in April 2019, but there are plenty of possible opponents and never-before-seen matches waiting for him on Raw and SmackDown Live if he returns.See WWE Smackdown Live Updates, Highlights of event, & more on WWE Smackdown updates page