Since Rusev returned to SmackDown Live, things have not gone well for his character. Suffering two consecutive big-match losses to both Randy Orton and John Cena, there has been a lot of speculation that both he and his wife Lana are unhappy with the way they've been used in the WWE and might be looking for a change. Both WWE Superstars immediately shut down the rumors, and recently, word has surfaced that there are bigger plans in the works for Rusev.
Dave Meltzer is reporting in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there are plans to continue Rusev's feud with Orton heading into the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, potentially putting the Viper on the shelf for a while. This news makes some sense as on the latest episode of a jam-packed SmackDown Live, Rusev was interviewed and a very somber and serious Bulgarian Brute noted he was going to need to "break a legend."
For the WWE, this might be an effective way to work around the fact that they've let Rusev become an enhancement talent. As a former monster who no one could defeat, Rusev has been handpicked to put over other wrestlers, separated from his wife Lana on television, and needs to find a way back to being an important part of the SmackDown Live roster. Using his recent defeats as motivation to become more dangerous and uncontrollable than ever before, Rusev has the talent to work his way back into the main event scene.
Unfortunately, there is potential this is all for nothing. While logically, it makes sense to give a push to Rusev (a wrestler who has a much bigger future ahead of him than Randy Orton does), the WWE is not keen on making legends like Orton out to be victims who don't eventually get their revenge.
The WWE has an opportunity to do a good thing for a WWE Superstar who should have a bright future. Time will tell if they seize that opportunity or squander it as they've done so many times in the past.