Former WWE Superstar Aiden English (Matt Rehwoldt) was a guest on a recent episode of the Warren Hayes Show. Aiden was let go from the company earlier this year due to budget cuts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. He spoke about his run with Rusev, who was also released by the company in the spring, and the origin of ‘Rusev Day’. He also discussed transitioning from in ring performer into the color commentary role he had at the time of his release.
Aiden says the origin of ‘Rusev Day’ starting to get over didn’t start with Rusev or him. He said it was actually Randy Orton who said it on TV which led to the audience beginning the chants.
“If I remember correctly, the ceremony, the segment wasn’t called, like, ‘Rusev Day Segment,’ the mayor said, ‘We’re going to call today Rusev Day’ kind of a throwaway line,” Aiden explained. “And then backstage, Randy [Orton] goes, to like a backstage interviewer, ‘Hey, Happy Rusev Day, ha ha ha’ and walks away. And that was kind of the first Happy Rusev Day was Randy saying it in an interview. And then after that you’d hear small chants at the TV or on house shows. And it just kept growing and growing and people just wouldn’t stop.”
Aiden also discussed how Vince McMahon did not believe the chants from the audience were authentic. He explained that Vince told Rusev that the crowd was making fun of the term as opposed to actually being invested in ‘Rusev Day’.
“I was getting this from Miro [Rusev] who spoke to Vince directly,” Aiden recalled. “But yeah, to be fair, sometimes… I can see… the mind that is Vince McMahon is a very wild place. And so, it literally could just be point face, what it was, or he could have been saying that to try to get Miro, like angry, and like yeah, fire him up. I wouldn’t put it past him. But there would always seem to be this hesitation behind really pulling the trigger on anything major with us, anyway, so I do take as that’s kind of the way it was seen by the boss. So yeah, it was, it was like, what else do we have to do to kind of show people are into this.”
Aiden said one of the reasons he believe the office didn’t want to fully back the movement was it would make Rusev a babyface during a period they were trying to portray him as a heel.
“They were trying to push him [Rusev] as a really strong heel, so I get the urge to be like ‘No, let’s not immediately jump into like everybody loves him,’ I get it,” Aiden explained. “You don’t want to jump into anything too fast. But it kept going. If it’s ironic, people will throw it away in a week or two. They get over that stuff. But when they’re really loving something they stick with it and they did stick with it and stuck with it and stuck with it and stuck.”
Aiden transitioned into a commentary role near the end of his run with WWE as he joined the 205 Live booth. He credits Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness as the two people who helped him get comfortable in the role and find a love for doing commentary.
“Honestly, I ended up learning a lot more and falling in love with that side of it more than I thought I’d do,” Aiden said. “Which is why I ended up staying. And I credit a lot of that to the guys I was thrown out there with, to begin with: Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness, because they were both so good at their job. Nigel obviously is funny and knowledgeable and he’s learned his craft on the headset and Vic is just such a solid play-by-play guy and both guys are fun to be around, they took me under their wing there was no, as it’s so often in the wrestling business edginess with the new kid or anything like that, they were so cool and just welcoming.”
Aiden recently returned to the independent wrestling for the Zelo Pro Wrestling promotion last weekend. In a new interview with Wrestling Inc. he said he is keeping his options open post-WWE and is willing to do commentary or get involved in the ring and is currently open for bookings.