What’s the story?
According to the Wresting Observer Newsletter, the shoulder injury Rusev sustained will cause him to miss WrestleMania 33.
The Bulgarian Brute has accomplished a fair amount since debuting at the 2014 Royal Rumble. He’s won the United States championship two times, faced John Cena at WrestleMania 31, received the Match of the Year Slammy award for the best match and was the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Most-Improved wrestler in 2014.
With Lana by his side, he’s continued to gain a reaction from the WWE Universe.
Before his injury, he was working a storyline with Jinder Mahal. The two were decimated by Cesaro and the Big Show at WWE Fast Lane in separate one-on-one matches. WWE officials had a sure-fire Superstar that could put on a great match. Not having him for WrestleMania is a loss that leaves Lana vulnerable to relaxed booking.
The heart of the matter
There’s a chance that Rusev could’ve worked WrestleMania, but the report by Dave Meltzer states that he needed surgery a while ago. It is believed that Rusev had surgery on March 9 to repair his shoulder.
Apparently, Rusev needed an operation months prior to him having it, but he put it off. In doing so, the injury got worse and now he has to miss WrestleMania.
For Lana, there’s a chance WWE fans could see her in action sooner rather than later. Lana has competed at NXT live events before. So, her in-ring experience isn’t that of a rookie. WWE Raw’s women’s division is light and needs more stars to fill roles on television. Lana won’t be wrestling 20-minute matches, but she can add a lot to a small division.
Rusev’s exact injury is still unknown. An ailment that could take 2-3 months to recover sounds like a slightly torn labrum, but that’s complete conjecture at this time. With a presumed target return date near the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, it’ll give him enough time to fully recover and enter a championship rivalry as soon as possible.
The noted stigma of pro wrestlers wrestling with injuries is starting to take a toll on their careers. Rusev should’ve taken time off months ago when the injury first happened. He wasn’t in the main event picture, or even in an important feud. There was no reason for him to not heal properly.
Finn Balor is the smartest wrestler to date, as he could’ve returned at the end of January in the Royal Rumble.
WWE officials were wise in preparing for Balor’s WWE return. The first-ever WWE Universal champion will return even stronger. I believe that Rusev could’ve had that same opportunity and not missed WrestleMania if he had his surgery when required.
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