Rusev lost to Randy Orton in just nine seconds at WWE SummerSlam this past Sunday night. It continued Rusev's losing pay-per-view streak, as the Bulgarian brute hasn't won a pay-per-view main card match since defeating Zack Ryder at WWE Battleground in July of 2016.
The loss sparked a lot of rumors about Rusev's WWE future. However, Dave Meltzer reported in the latest issue of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the quick loss was just a way to kick off their program. The idea is that the first match was a fluke, and Orton winning was due to him needing a victory after his recent lackluster PPV losses to Bray Wyatt and Jinder Mahal.
While WWE didn't further the Orton - Rusev program on SmackDown Live this past Tuesday night, it is the plan going forward. Meltzer noted that the SummerSlam booking call wasn't really "anti-Rusev," but was rather "a major pro-Orton decision."
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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