News has been out since Tuesday night and the Smackdown tapings, including photos showing the former United States champion in a temporary cast being wheelchaired around the airport...
He's injured pic.twitter.com/mUpfaLelG4— Leah (@_BellaFam) May 27, 2015
but you know things are serious when WWE.com gets in on the act. That happened last night, when the official website published a brief story about Rusev's leg injury:
Rusev is currently being evaluated for a lower leg injury, WWE.com has learned.
The Bulgarian Brute suffered the injury Tuesday night during the SmackDown tapings in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Stick with WWE.com for more updates on Rusev's condition as they become available.
While it's far from definitive, and WWE.com is certainly known for blending kayfabe and reality, the precedent for reporting on injuries heading into pay-per-view (PPV) matches - most recently seen with Daniel Bryan and his scheduled Intercontinental title defense for Extreme Rules - has been that a story like this leads to being pulled from the show.
Further, PWInsider is saying that he's been pulled from this weekend's house shows. He was scheduled to face John Cena in steel cage matches at North Carolina live events. In his place, Kane will work with the current United States champ.
As reported in today's Rumor Roundup, word on the screens is that Bray Wyatt would replace Rusev in the six-man IC title match at this Sunday's Elimination Chamber match.
While an injury is never a good thing, this one might be coming at a decent time for the Bulgarian Brute since Creative is in the process of separating him from his valet/manager Lana. Rumors also had it that their pro-Russian characters would be dropped as part of the break-up, so being out of storylines for a while may provide a palate cleanser before the reboot - and save him from too many more segments where he has to watch his real-life girlfriend kiss Dolph Ziggler.
Thoughts on Rusev's replacement for Sunday, and his Lana-less future in general, Cagesiders?