Rusev took to Twitter this week and responded to fan questions on his WWE status and return.
One fan asked Rusev if he was going to have an "awesome new hair cut" when he returns on this week's SmackDown. That return obviously did not happen but Rusev said he does have a new cut.
"I actually do!," he responded to the tweet. He made another tweet in response to the same original fan tweet and wrote, "How long can you hold your breath ?!?!?"
Rusev responded to another tweet that said he and wife Lana "are currently on a break from WWE, and aren't sure what their next step is going to be."
Rusev replied, "Oh i know what my next step is."
Lana has been somewhat active on social media as of late, but she hasn't said much about her WWE status. She did tell fans she would be attending the Beautycon convention in Los Angeles this past weekend. She attended the convention last year and spent time with fans on the floor.
It was reported in late June, via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that Rusev was away from WWE after requesting time off. There was no word on when he was scheduled to come back, but the break was described as likely just a short hiatus. It was speculated by the Observer that the hiatus was due to Rusev being unhappy, and it was also speculated that WWE could extend the length of Rusev's contract due to the time off by freezing it, which they often do when talents are out of action with injuries. The same late June report on Rusev stated that his WWE contract was expiring "relatively soon" but no exact date was given. It was also reported that Rusev leaving WWE would not come as a surprise to many in the company as it's believed that he has been unhappy with his position for a while now.
Rusev last appeared for WWE at the Super ShowDown event on June 7 in Saudi Arabia. He participated in the 50-man Battle Royal that night. Before that, he last appeared on the April 9, April 16 and April 23 episodes for WrestleMania 35 fallout and the Superstar Shakeup. Lana last appeared on WWE TV for the April 23 post-Shakeup SmackDown episode, and last competed at WrestleMania 35 for the Women's Battle Royal.
Rusev and Lana appeared on Lilian Garcia's "Chasing Glory" podcast back in February and expressed frustration over losing the WWE United States Title to Shinsuke Nakamura at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
"[Winning the US Title again] meant a lot, it always does because it was the first championship I ever won," Rusev said. "And one thing, it kinda hurts me because nobody cares about it. It feels like I'm the only one who cares about that title and I wanted to make it bigger. I wanted to make it what it was back when we wrestled John Cena for it. But it seems like every time someone else has it, nothing happens and now they're lost. The title is probably going to get lost again and I'm going to get lost, too. I always want to see myself on the [WrestleMania] card and I picture myself there, but again - It's not like I like it. Don't get me wrong, I hate seeing that because we came so strong and we were so featured. But I feel like, the more you hang around, the more you're forgotten. It doesn't matter how good you are. I think I'm good, I always think that I'm good...It doesn't matter what I do, I kinda end up with the same thing."
Rusev also talked about using various tactics in an attempt to catch the eye of the boss, Vince McMahon. These tactics included cutting his hair shorter and pitching his own creative ideas. Rusev said he felt like his efforts were futile because Vince wasn't responding exactly how he hoped.
"I do want to look my best, I do want to be at my best 'cause I do want to be WWE Champion, I do want to be on top," Rusev said. "I don't want to be forgotten, but that's what irks me, I do all these things but nothing changes. And that's where the frustration comes. Alright then, what am I supposed to do? Cut my hair? I did that. It was not a good decision. No, I love the short hair but I got a few uncles that [didn't like it]. I'm just trying to do something to catch Vince McMahon's eye, with this, with that I'm trying. We go, we pitch, we talk, he just never comes to anything. It was last year around WrestleMania and before that when the whole Rusev Day started and everything. I thought it was my time. And I keep pushing for it to be my time and I keep talking to everybody, but nobody wanted to do anything. It's very frustrating. But still, as frustrating as it is, I'm like, alright, let's go to the gym. Let's get better, let's do whatever we can."
The Ravishing Russian and The Bulgarian Brute also talked to Lilian about how they were split from Aiden English shortly before he ended up on the WWE 205 Live announce team. Rusev revealed that the Rusev Day group fought to stay together on TV, but WWE officials had a different vision.
"Once [Aiden] was gone, it's like, it's just not the same," Lana said. "It's not the same and I think he had a big part of - he only introduced me a couple times singing and, immediately, people are [singing the Lana song]."
"Management had different visions and we fought, we fought [because we wanted to keep it going]," Rusev added. "If it ain't broke, there's nothing to fix. Because I keep referring back to last WrestleMania and all that because I just watched the WWE 24 special. And the whole weekend, the whole months leading in after was all about Rusev Day and people singing. Top selling merch, everything."
You can see the related tweets from Rusev below:
I actually do! https://t.co/VdHTQcl2Xl— Rusev (@RusevBUL) August 13, 2019
How long can you hold your breath ?!?!? https://t.co/VdHTQcl2Xl— Rusev (@RusevBUL) August 13, 2019
Oh i know what my next step is. https://t.co/XfieA5SieW— Rusev (@RusevBUL) August 13, 2019
Robert Gunier contributed to this article.