Backstage Update On Rusev's WWE Contract Dispute
If recent reports are to be believed, Rusev was removed from WWE television after Royal Rumble 2020 as he's currently stuck in a contract dispute with the promotion, birthing fresh rumours that he could be on his way out the door. The abruptness of this made it believable, particularly as the explanation that he and Bobby Lashley weren't in the Rumble because they were brawling backstage suggested their long-running feud was continuing.
Monday's announcement that Rusev will compete in the Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match at Super ShowDown on 27 February planted seeds of doubt, leading to the suggestion that perhaps 'The Bulgarian Brute' and WWE had ironed their issues out. These assumptions are false.
Per Dave Meltzer in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that Rusev is booked for Saudi Arabia should be taken as a sign that the dispute has been settled, though the former United States Champion does have a lot of time left on his current contract. WWE is free to use him as they see fit for the foreseeable future.
It's an interesting lineup for the Tuwaiq Trophy, with Rusev and WWE at loggerheads, AJ Styles injured, and Andrade serving a 30-day Wellness Policy suspension that expires the day before the show.