Rusev sounds like a happy man when he arrives to field questions from the media during a teleconference set up by WWE. During the course of the same, he speaks about his love for Hulk Hogan and how he arrived at the United States from Bulgaria, to follow in the footsteps of The Hulkster.
I had a chance to ask him three questions. They are as follows. Be sure to catch Rusev every week on SmackDown Live, only on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 1 HD.
What was it like coming to India and wrestling for the Indian fans?
Rusev: I love going to India. I think I did my first show there two or three years ago. It was me and Roman. We had such a good match. And the crowd was phenomenal. The hotel and just going around the country was such a great time.
I love going to different places and India, you know not too many people get to go and appreciate a country like that. I loved every single moment of it.
What was it like facing The Undertaker in Saudi Arabia?
Rusev: I felt honoured to be in the ring with him because The Undertaker has been around for so long. To be handpicked by Vince McMahon to have that match with The Undertaker on pay-per-view...I felt honoured. I learned a lot from him, talking to him after, getting pointers, directing me in different directions and being very encouraging.
You know that's all I can ask for. I have a little checklist of people like Triple H, you know I've been with the Rock in the ring. Taker. And all these other guys! And not many people get to say the same thing. So I've been very blessed throughout my entire career.
In line with this, would you like a WWE legend to return for the Royal Rumble match?
Rusev: It doesn't matter. In WWE you don't know what's going to happen. This is why WWE is the best. Anybody could show up. If it's The Undertaker, if it's Shawn Michaels, if it's The Rock or Hogan...it doesn't matter who it is.
We're going to have a great time and if I'm in the Rumble match, I'll get to win it.
Are you having more fun as a good guy than a bad guy?
Rusev: I'm always having fun. It's never been about a good guy or a bad guy. I've always been me. And that's what people don't understand. Just because I supported Russia before because that was my belief or understanding, that doesn't mean I was a bad guy.
I was just outspoken about what I believe in. And now, instead of Russia, I believe in Rusev day. And being the best United States Champion I can be. That's what I believe in.
There's no character. There's no gimmick. It's just me.
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Be sure to catch the Royal Rumble match only on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 1 HD.