For those of you who may not know, Rusev was set for a big match at the Money In The Bank pay-per-view. After being traded to Smackdown Live in the Superstar Shakeup, Rusev declined to show up on the brand unless he received a WWE Championship match. It looked like this was the direction WWE was going in. It would have been perfect too. Randy Orton vs. Rusev.
Orton could win in his hometown and Rusev becomes a member of Smackdown Live. However, plans changed and Jinder Mahal is the current WWE Champion. Orton gets his rematch for the belt at Money In The Bank, which leaves Rusev as the odd man out.
So where does he go from here?
There’s the obvious choice of coming out during the championship match and costing Orton the match. This would in turn set up a feud between Rusev and Orton. Rusev would look strong if he came out of this feud on top, but WWE would probably not have Orton lose two feuds in a row.
The next option would be interfering in the Money In The Bank ladder match, costing a superstar their chance at winning. It could work, but I have a better idea. Rusev should attack AJ Styles before the match, take his place in the ladder match, and capture the briefcase.
You may be questioning yourself, wondering how on earth is this a good idea? Well, let me explain. Styles is the one guy in this ladder match (besides Nakamura possibly) who really doesn’t need to be in this match. They can get a shot at the gold any day. They are both pretty expendable at this point. Styles will more than likely get a shot within the upcoming year, so having him miss out on this opportunity won’t hurt him.
If Smackdown Live wants to capitalize on the return of Rusev, then he needs to return in a big way. Keep him off of television until the night of Money in the Bank. Rusev shows up and destroys Styles, making him unable to compete in the ladder match. Shane McMahon declares Rusev as the replacement since he is the one that caused all this mess. Rusev goes on to shock the world and win the Money in the Bank contract. It’s an outcome few, if any, would expect to happen going into the event. Seeing as how Smackdown Live has been booking on the shock value as of late, this would be right up their alley.
Not only would we see Rusev return in grand force, but we would also see him thrown into a rivalry with the hottest guy in the WWE. It’s a win-win for Rusev, who hasn’t been utilized the way he should’ve been throughout his short career. Rusev has all the tools to be a mega heel, and him going against Styles would only add to it.