Rusev lost his United States Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura at Royal Rumble 2019. This should have been a very predictable outcome, because Rusev simply doesn’t win on pay-per-view (PPV) anymore.
The Bulgarian Brute used to be an unbeaten badass who rode a tank into a high profile WrestleMania match against John Cena. But now he struggles to even appear on the main card of PPVs, and regardless of whether he wrestles on the main card or the pre-show, Rusev always comes up short.
Rusev has not won on PPV since 2016. He was victorious on the main card of Battleground 2016, as well as the pre-show of Roadblock: End of the Line. The following list includes all of his PPV matches since Battleground 2016 in chronological order, and those two wins will be in bold. Every other match is a loss.
- Battleground 2016: Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
- Clash of Champions 2016: Rusev vs. Roman Reigns
- Hell in a Cell 2016: Roman Reigns vs. Rusev
- Roadblock: End of the Line: Big Cass vs. Rusev (pre-show)
- Royal Rumble 2017: Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble Match
- Fastlane 2017: Big Show vs. Rusev
- Battleground 2017: John Cena vs. Rusev
- SummerSlam 2017: Randy Orton vs. Rusev
- Hell in a Cell 2017: Randy Orton vs. Rusev
- Clash of Champions 2017: The Usos vs. Rusev Day vs. Gable & Benjamin vs. New Day
- Royal Rumble 2018: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the Men’s Royal Rumble Match
- Fastlane 2018: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
- WrestleMania 34: Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode vs. Rusev
- Greatest Royal Rumble: Undertaker vs. Rusev
- Money in the Bank 2018: Braun Strowman wins the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
- Extreme Rules 2018: AJ Styles vs. Rusev
- SummerSlam 2018: Rusev & Lana vs. Andrade & Zelina Vega (pre-show)
- Hell in a Cell 2018: New Day vs. Rusev Day (pre-show)
- Crown Jewel: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev (pre-show)
- Royal Rumble 2019: Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (pre-show)
Not only does Rusev always lose on PPV, but the last few entries indicate that he hasn’t even wrestled on the main card of a PPV since a WWE Championship match against AJ Styles at Extreme Rules 2018, over six months ago.
These losses paint a bleak picture for Rusev, because it’s a sign that Vince McMahon has him pigeon-holed into a certain spot on the card. However all hope is not lost, because one year ago he was in the same sinking boat as Becky Lynch, and things have turned out just fine for her since then. Who knows, maybe Rusev still has a chance to main event WrestleMania 36.
What do you think about Rusev’s PPV losing streak, Cagesiders?