Rusev journeyed to America as an immigrant from Bulgaria in the mid-2000's with a dream of becoming a professional wrestler. After training with Gangrel and WWE Hall Of Famer Rikishi, it wasn't long before the 300 pounder was on WWE's radar. The former United States Champion spoke to Inside The Ropes about how Vince McMahon was a source of guidance as he transitioned from a monster to a happier man with his own holiday.
"How does Vince McMahon feel about Rusev Day?" Rusev said repeating the question. "He's supportive, he's trying to teach me a lot. You know I've never been a good guy so he's trying to teach me how to -- you know what he wants and how he sees things so, yeah he's been very supportive."
Rusev continued explaining that McMahon is their boss and if you want to improve, then he's the person to see. The Bulgarian Brute also picked Mr. McMahon as the person he'd rather be stranded with on a desert island when Braun Strowman and The Undertaker were his other choices.
"Vince McMahon any day," Rusev quickly replied. "He's a character, man. He's a smart dude, he knows a lot and just being able to sit and listen to his stories and learn from him would be a great experience."
McMahon had an interesting conversation with Rusev when he informed The Lion Of Bulgaria that he would be facing The Undertaker in a casket match at the Greatest Royal Rumble. The Bulgarian couldn't believe the news and thought it was a joke that he would be facing such a legend in a high profile match.
"So I was supposed to be in it," Rusev explained. "Vince told me one time, you know 'you're gonna work The Undertaker in Saudi Arabia,' and I laughed at him because I thought he was joking. I'm like, 'whatever,' and he's like, 'it's gonna be a casket match.' I completely laughed at him and was like, 'yeah and I'm winning, right?' He was like, 'alight I'll talk to you later.'
"He left and I still completely thought it was a joke and there were other people in the room and they thought that I was being an asshole. I was like 'he was joking with me,' and he was like, 'no, it's booked.' The next day there was a big advertisement 'Rusev vs The Undertaker' I was like, 'oh my god... what a... so stupid.'"
Shortly after the match was announced, Rusev was pulled from the spot and replaced by Chris Jericho. Days later he was put put back in. According to Rusev, he was back in the match after the Prince said he wanted to see the Dead Man battle Rusev Day.
"Then they took took me out because we're kinda going a different direction," Rusev said. "We're kinda doing the good guy thing and [McMahon] thought I shouldn't be buried if I was a good guy. Then he took me out and he put in Jericho. Then The Prince of Saudi Arabia called and said, 'no.' He wanted to see Rusev in that match so Jericho was out again and they added me back to it. I was back in the match and the match was great. Just going out there and wrestling a true legend and learning a lot from him it was a great opportunity."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Inside The Ropes with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription