“Rusev is a babyface” is an internet wrestling fan joke/belief which goes back quite a ways. To look at his main roster career, the Bulgarian Brute is mainly a bad guy because he doesn’t like and disrespects America... and that’s it. For a long time he didn’t really cheat to win matches, and even when he does, there’s usually a read on his feuds whereby you can argue he didn’t really do anything wrong - that the hero picked a fight with him by being a jerk.
Things have gotten really confusing in his current program with Enzo Amore & Big Cass. He & Lana have done some villainous things, like luring Zo to a hotel room ambush, it’s preceded and followed by the Smacktalker Skywalker making jokes about Lana wanting to see his weiner, and other things middle school bullies would do while picking on a girl who doesn’t like them.
We’ve brought it up before, but the Ravising Russian’s social media really confuses things. And in the fallout from Roadblock: End of the Line, Rusev gets in on the act as well, sending out a message the “Be a S.T.A.R.”-sponsoring WWE should love (and even alluding to the fact that he’s only a rudo because he’s not from around here):
Free lesson in life from me. Maybe a foreigner but here it is. LITTLE CHILDREN DO NOT CALL GIRLS BAD NAMES. ITS WRONG. Be like me not Enzo— Rusev MACHKA (@RusevBUL) December 19, 2016
His wife makes sure their employer gets the message, and expounds on his point:
Hate us or ❤️ us either way @RusevBUL & I will stand up for truth not to be popular but simply because it's the right thing to do— Lana (@LanaWWE) December 19, 2016
Sure, the pair has resorted to violence to resolve an issue, but everyone in wrestling does that. Whether you’re outraged that Lana’s been slut shamed, or see a man defending his wife’s honor, the couple comes across as relatively sympathetic.
Throw in the Tweets, and it’s hard not to be confused, right?