Rusev was to face AJ Styles on this week's episode of SmackDown to determine who would round out the final spot of Shane McMahon's team at Survivor Series. But with Styles instead facing and defeating Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship, Rusev faced Randy Orton instead.
The Viper managed to defeat Rusev in the singles match, and McMahon (who already had Orton on his team), announced that John Cena would be the final member of Team SmackDown in the 5-on-5 tag team match.
And after Rusev learned he was exempt from a spot at Survivor Series, he posted this salty tweet towards John Cena.
Congrats to my friend John Cena who qualified for the survivor series fair and square...... go get them TIGER— Rusev (@RusevBUL) November 8, 2017
You can sense and understand Rusev's possible frustration from not competing at Survivor Series. The Bulgarian Brute was getting a strong push on Raw last year, but the move to SmackDown made Rusev more of an afterthought than anything else. Cena isn't on television much these days and last wrestled at No Mercy, where he fell to Roman Reigns. So you can't say Cena exactly qualified "fair and square."
While on Raw, Rusev won the United States Championship and got to face some of the company's better superstars, including Roman Reigns, Cesaro, and Enzo Amore. But Rusev had to miss time after the 2017 Royal Rumble due to injuries.
Rusev was moved over to SmackDown via the Superstar Shake-Up and stopped getting the championship/mid-card push he was receiving just last year. Mind you, the rise of Shinsuke Nakamura and the arrivals of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn made it hard for Rusev to stand out among the others. It appears the creative team just isn't all that big on giving him another push at this time.
So perhaps that salty tweet towards John Cena was just a somewhat friendly way of Rusev expressing his frustration. We'll see if he continues to voice displeasure (in sarcastic form), in the near future.