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Vince McMahon gave Rusev a very dumb explanation for why his merchandise sold out


Miro, formerly known as WWE superstar Rusev, recently appeared on The Ryback Show and expressed his frustration with Vince McMahon’s failure to embrace the Rusev Day gimmick.

Rusev always wanted to be more than a one-dimensional foreign heel character, but he said WWE reacted very negatively when he began to show more of his real personality on television. He was actually told by Vince McMahon that the thunderous “Rusev Day” chants were not genuine:

“And then I was told, ‘Don’t look at the people. Don’t smile. Don’t do this. Don’t do that.’ It’s like, really? Because everything I’m doing, it seems like the people [are] liking it. You know? So why am I getting over and you’re telling me to do the opposite? And I don’t understand it. That’s where we had all the conversations with Vince and he said [about] Rusev Day, ‘They’re just fucking with you, they don’t mean it.’”

He went on to explain that “quite a few producers” jumped in to completely agree with Vince’s illogical opinion. To my ears, it sounded exactly like what CM Punk was talking about during his pipe bomb promo when he referred to “yes men” kissing Vince’s ass and telling him exactly what he wants to hear.

Rusev didn’t want to disrespect Vince, so he didn’t fight back against Vince’s viewpoint. But the popularity of Rusev Day only exploded from that point:

“I was like, okay there’s no way the office doesn’t notice this, because [the Rusev Day chants were] before, after, during the show. It’s everywhere.”

That’s when he claims WWE intentionally acted to undermine the popularity of Rusev Day:

“And then you know what they started doing? They started putting my segments early, so the Rusev Day chants can go away...I was not even supposed to be at that WrestleMania. I don’t know if you know that, the one that I lost to Jinder [Mahal]. In my height of my career of Rusev Day I was not even supposed to be at WrestleMania. I was not on TV for three weeks. For three weeks I’m not on TV, and at this point I’m just sitting backstage and listening to these people all night chanting Rusev Day.

At this point I just couldn’t...this is not right, this is the first time I actually yelled at a writer, which I feel really bad. But he’s like, ‘We don’t know what to do.’ I’m like, what do you mean you don’t know what to do? Just listen! Just stay here and listen. They’ll tell you what to do.”

This made no sense at all to Rusev, and it was disheartening to witness his hard work amount to nothing:

“Once again, I don’t understand because the more money I make, the more money WWE makes. So I am busting my ass to get to the top level. And finally I am getting close, and they’re shoving me down, and I don’t understand why.”

McMahon then offered Rusev a very dumb explanation for why Rusev Day merchandise was the number one seller in the promotion:

“I was just defeated, man. I was like then what am I doing here?...And when Vince the second time said ‘They’re fucking with you,’ I sat down and said, ‘Vince, we have sold out all of our merchandise. We beat Roman [Reigns], we beat AJ [Styles], we beat everybody.’ He’s like, ‘What do you mean?’ Like, the shirt is sold out, the merch is sold out. He’s like, ‘Well, maybe they didn’t make enough.’

I’m like, they didn’t make enough shirts? That’s why my shirt is sold out? Not because we’re doing good? Really? You’re gonna [go] with that excuse? Like come on, man. And then he didn’t know what to do. Good guy, bad guy, they couldn’t make up their minds.”

Rusev Day was one of the most popular gimmicks in WWE of the last several years, and WWE’s failure to do anything with it is just one example of how Vince McMahon is the biggest problem with WWE creative. Miro’s interview on Ryback’s podcast established that he was personally hurt with how everything played out, and it took enough of a mental toll on him to make him consider leaving pro wrestling altogether.

Check out the full interview if you want to hear Rusev and Ryback commiserate together about all the bizarre things they witnessed in WWE, including Triple H telling Ryback that John Cena would be the last marquee star ever in WWE.

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