What happened to Rusev and Lana?
The former United States Champion hasn’t appeared on television since competing in the 50-Man Battle Royal at WWE Super ShowDown on June 7. Lana did not accompany Rusev for the match, so her last television appearance took place on the April 23 episode of SmackDown LIVE (Rusev and Lana backed up Shinsuke Nakamura at ringside for a main event match against WWE Champion Kofi Kingston).
According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter published last week, Rusev recently requested time away from WWE. He’s expected back “shortly.”
Rusev seemed to deny the rumor last Friday on Twitter, writing, “You have been fed the wrong information, Dirt sheets.”
You have been fed the wrong information, Dirt sheets.
— Here comes THE PUSH (@RusevBUL) June 21, 2019
On Saturday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer again said that Rusev asked for time off from the road.
“He went home. He asked for time off. It’s not like he stormed off,” Meltzer said.
“He asked for time off, he was granted time off. I think you can read between the lines on that. He asked for time off so he’s not around right now. I’m not sure when he’s coming back.”
Meltzer then revealed on the post-Raw edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that Rusev’s WWE contract is expiring “relatively soon.”
Meltzer did not say if Rusev is looking to leave WWE, but speculated that his hiatus has to do with him being unhappy. Rusev’s contract expiring also means that Lana’s deal should be up soon as well.
Brad Shepard, who was sources in WWE, was told that Rusev is looking to leave. Lana, however, is pushing him to re-sign with WWE. If Rusev leaves WWE, he expects Lana to leave as well.
— Brad Shepard (@TheBradShepard) June 27, 2019
Although Rusev and Lana haven’t appeared on SmackDown LIVE since April, they continued working house shows through last month’s European tour (with Lana accompanying Rusev).