Rusev was one of the biggest names released during WWE's COVID cuts in April and even hinted at retiring afterward by saying "I'm not a wrestler anymore" on his Twitch channel. But he showed up last week in AEW under the name of Miro and aligned himself with Kip Sabian.
"Yeah man, of course it was a big surprise to everybody. Will he make an impact? Of course because he was making an impact in WWE as far as Rusev Day. Fans were getting behind him at one point. The Bulgarian Brute when he first came up with Lana. He had a lot of momentum going so definitely I think he can be an asset to the company," stated Booker. "Then arriving the way he did during the COVID times, people were not expecting to see big-money players get shifted around. Then BOOM! He shows up so it's definitely gonna be good for him and the company.
"One thing I think he missed the boat on — and this is just me talking — going to AEW and first night, boom, jab at WWE. That's alright but if you really wanna add fuel to the fire and you want the star to really shine bright, you start causing havoc before you leave the company. I always say that if they fire me at work then I'm breaking something on the way out [laughs]. I'm making noise and somebody's gonna wanna sign me immediately. Then I come in and then I'm really talking major noise and just going all the way over the top. So, a moment was missed.
"For you young guys out there, there's a moment and you only get it once. Then that moment — poof — it's gone forever. It's like a miracle; it just disappears."
During Miro's non-compete period following his WWE release, he was likely prohibited from saying anything negative about the company but those restrictions went away when he joined AEW. He took several shots at WWE in his first AEW promo including telling his former employer to "take that brass ring and shove it up your ass."
Booker isn't necessarily a fan of former WWE stars cutting anti-WWE promos as he believes that just gives attention to the company you left.
"Take me for an example — I left the company and went to TNA and it wasn't about WWE at that time. It just wasn't. For me, I did not think it did anything for me to talk about the other company," said Booker. "I always felt like when I'm talking about the other company, I'm just throwing focus on them and focus that I don't need to."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Reality of Wrestling with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.