Rusev reportedly has made the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) officials extremely unhappy over the decision to cut his hair. The 31-year-old and Lana were both drafted to SmackDown as part of the Superstar Shake up. However, the man from Plovdiv, Bulgaria is yet to return to WWE programming since his loss to the Big Show at Fastlane.
Reason behind Rusev’s absence
Rusev missed WrestleMania 33 due to an injury. The Bulgarian Brute has not been seen on WWE TV of late. Sources are suggesting that his decision to cut his hair is a major reason behind his absence, according to Billi Bhatti of Sportskeeda.
“WWE Superstars are expected to ask for permission if they wish to make drastic changes to their appearance. This is due to the amount of money that the company invests in marketing,” Bhatti wrote.
“Changing a look to the extent Rusev did, means that programs, cards, sticker books, DVDs, chairs, trucks and especially action figures, featuring Rusev, become dated.”
Mattel, the official action figure distributor for WWE spends thousands a year on getting head scans from the Superstars. This is to make the action figures look accurate and trustworthy.
Rusev and Lana are reportedly set to have a double pack released in the coming months. The double pack will see Rusev still having long hair. However, with him cutting his hair will make the sales of the figure pack weak.
Meanwhile, it is also being speculated that Rusev messed up the opportunity to lose his hair in a Lucha de Apuesta. This is apart from messing up his WWE merchandise and promo material.
Rusev could have told the WWE officials of his wish to have a drastic haircut. Hence, the creative team could have booked him to be part of a high-profile feud where he would’ve lost his hair in the process.
Lana And Rusev WWE Break-Up
Lana will reportedly come to the SmackDown women’s division as an actual competitor. The new presentation of Lana as a dancing showgirl has been an odd transition. This is a steep contrast from her role as the Ravishing Russian.
Lana has been trying out her new dancing gimmick on the NXT Florida shows. The new gimmick is one that will eventually be a babyface role. WWE sees Lana as a potential mega-star for the Women’s division, according to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
WWE is reportedly planning on breaking the two up as an on-screen duo. The wrestling promotion previously attempted to turn Lana into a singles star when they broke her away from Rusev in 2015 to join Dolph Ziggler. However, the angle was unsuccessful.
Rusev’s career has taken a bit of a backslide since losing the United States Championship to Roman Reigns last fall and he has been booked more in a comedy role than as the unstoppable monster that ran up a lengthy undefeated streak upon his main roster debut. If WWE is willing to go a different route with Lana, hopefully they will do the same with Rusev once he returns.
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