When Rusev first stepped foot in WWE, he immediately became one of the strongest competitors on the roster. A highly touted 2012 Olympic prospect for his country’s powerlifting team; this monstrous athlete eschewed the weight room for the squared circle.
Despite his superior strength, Rusev is not simply a mound of muscle. This 300-plus-pound powerhouse displays uncanny agility and skill for a man of his stature. With training in sumo and Muay Thai, Rusev’s offensive attack also includes an assortment of imposing kicks and knee strikes. Make no mistake about it — Rusev is a force to be reckoned with.
Making his introduction to the WWE ring as the No. 6 entrant in the 2014 Royal Rumble Match, the monstrous Bulgarian manhandled a number of Superstars. It took the efforts of four men to finally eliminate Rusev from the contest.
After spending weeks — with Social Ambassador Lana by his side — of warning the WWE Universe of his impending dominance, The Super-Athlete made his Raw debut on April 7. Rusev destroyed Zack Ryder in a commanding display of speed and strength, forcing the overmatched Superstar to tap out to his Accolade submission hold.
At Extreme Rules, prior to Rusev crushing R-Truth and Xavier Woods in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, The Ravishing Russian revealed that the imposing Bulgaria-born Superstar had relocated to Russia to live under the rule of her idol, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rusev went on to battle Jack Swagger in a Flag Match at SummerSlam, where the referee was forced to call for the bell when The Real American passed out rather than tap-out to the Accolade. The Hero of the Russian Federation then attacked Zeb Colter and, alongside Lana, stood tall for the playing of the Russian National Anthem.
The next night on Raw, Rusev was confronted by Mark Henry, who proceeded to induct the WWE rookie into the Hall of Pain with a massive World’s Strongest Slam.
The Super-Athlete and World’s Strongest Man’s rivalry escalated into numerous volatile encounters. After losing an International Arm Wrestling Contest to the Texas native on the Sept. 12 edition of SmackDown, Rusev inflicted a powerful assault on his hulking rival. A few days later on Raw, Rusev interrupted Henry’s “Rally for America,” only to be knocked from the ring by the former World Heavyweight Champion.
On Sept. 21 at WWE Night of Champions, Rusev will clash with Henry in a battle of super powers that will be this Super-Athlete’s toughest test yet.
Several competitors have come forward to try to silence Rusev and Lana’s anti-American propaganda, but as these Russian supporters say, “resistance is futile.”