Akhilesh Gannavarapu of Wrestling Inc. was a part of a media call featuring former United States Champion Rusev, and he discussed various topics including the popularity of Rusev Day and teaming up with Aiden English.
Although still playing the role of a heel, the Bulgarian Brute receives one of the biggest cheers of every show, since the inception of Rusev Day. Soon, the merchandise was released, and fans all throughout social media posted pictures of donning the t-shirt. Rusev commented on the popularity of Rusev Day.
"It's more than just a catchphrase – it's a mentality," said Rusev. "It's celebrating yourself; celebrating who you are. It's more than just catchphrase. If you think about it, it's Rusev Day. So it's more than that. People understand that, and the passion behind it. That's why people get behind it, and it's just been amazing to see."
Since breaking the shell of the former Rusev, which was a militant-like character who operated based on the instructions of Lana, he has shown a much more jovial side. This can also be seen during his appearances on the Total Divas television show. Rusev shared his thoughts on having the tools to show personality compared to the 80s and 90s.
"I don't know. You're right; with social media, you overexpose, people will always see you," Rusev said. "But it's just how it is. Back in the 80's and 90's, everything was more protected, and now you're just out there. And I think it's good because people can get to see your personality, who you are. Not just what they see on TV. And that's why I think people fall in love with characters that are not necessarily at the top of the list – the WWE Champion or whatever."
Seemingly, the momentum of Rusev Day could be quelled by the unimpressive win-loss record held by Rusev over the past few months. Despite this, Rusev is still happy that Rusev Day is still going strong.
"It just makes me proud. Every time I hear someone say 'Rusev Day', it makes me smile. The fact that I was a bad guy, a foreigner that never wanted – that wanted to get out of there, to be able to just have fun, to be 'you'. It's good, man. It's a good feeling. It's the best time of my career, the most fun of my career. Right along the time I was feuding with Lana."
Perhaps Rusev Day would not be where it is if it was not for his accomplice, Aiden English. With his opera-themed introduction, English prepares the way for the former U.S. Champion to enter the ring. Rusev shared the original idea behind the tag team.
"I have no idea whose idea it was," said Rusev. It was uh ... it was supposed to be a joke, a one-time thing. But then we just hit it off. It was right; the chemistry – and we were playing off each other. The people started loving it since the beginning. So it was a no-brainer for us to be together, for us to keep doing magic."
If any of these quotes are used, please provide a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.