Former WWE Star Aiden English Explains Why 'Rusev Day' Was Stifled By Vince McMahon

The "Rusev Day" phenomenon in 2017 is a classic case of a wrestling act gaining momentum without the backing of the machine. In a recent interview with WrestlingNewsCo, Matthew Rehwoldt, fka Aiden English explained why Vince McMahon was hesitant to push him and Rusev as babyfaces, but prefaced his comments by shooting down the notion that WWE wanted to "stomp" the storyline. 


"I don't feel it was a case of them spiting us," Rehwoldt told WrestlingNewsCo. "I think there's a misnomer that if there's a popular idea they didn't intend, they just want to stomp it. No, because that's bad business. If they truly felt that way, they would have split us up, squashed it, and Rusev would have gone on to do something else."

"They kept booking us, putting us on shows, and giving us promo time," Rehwoldt continued. "So, they acknowledged that there's something not to ignore. However, where the issue came in, and I stand by this, is that once Vince views you in one way, it's very hard to change that view, especially if he likes you as XYZ."

Despite the lack of support from McMahon and the WWE creative team, the duo of Rusev and Aiden English kept on trucking without the guarantee of a storyline payoff, something that Rehwoldt is proud of to this day.


'He legitimately thought they were making fun of us'

"I think he liked Rusev a lot — as The Bulgarian Brute," Rehwoldt stressed. "So, that's where our conflict came about, with how the booking went or whatever you want to call it. Because, again, they made merch for Rusev Day, they put us on the shows. They just never really pulled the trigger. There were so many matches where Rusev would do the whole babyface comeback but he'd get yelled at: 'You're not a babyface!' Again, it's just how Vince saw Rusev."


Rehwoldt reiterated that McMahon was unwilling to view Rusev as a babyface, which is why WWE continued with the Rusev Day act until "they forced the wheels to fall off." 

Despite being booked as heels, Rusev and Rehwoldt became so popular within the WWE Universe that their "Rusev Day" shirts became the top-selling WWE merchandise item, albeit for a brief period. Reflecting on their popularity, Rehwoldt revealed that McMahon was convinced that WWE fans were mocking him and Rusev with "Rusev Day" chants, in the same vein as WWE fans making fun of Kurt Angle with "You suck" chants.  

"Vince legitimately thought they were making fun of the audience was just mocking us with Rusev Day chants," Rehwoldt said. "That's the kind of mentality we were butting up against."