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Rusev on the inspiration behind his in-ring name

Rusev is currently in the plans of the WWE at the moment with the former United States Champion only being used sporadically. Rusev was interviewed on Bulgarian television on the show At Cafe. The interview was conducted before the WWE Super Show-Down in Saudi Arabia.

During the interview, Rusev mentioned the origins behind his in-ring name which was altered over the course of his career. He claimed that a few Rocky jokes with his friend Vasil Rusev gave birth to his name. He said:

“[WWE] gives you an option to submit names you like,” Rusev said. “And I was thinking about it. Then to make a joke with my friend Vasil, Vasil Rusev, who I used to share a rowing boat with, I chose Rusev. And I was Alexander Rusev with Alexander later being dropped. I liked Alexander because it sounded [mighty] and Bulgarian. But then it got dropped because Vince Mcmahon said ‘Ugh, Alexander, they’ll start calling you Alex as a nickname and you have to be a Russian/Bulgarian villain, we’re dropping it’.

He also mentioned the origins behind his catchphrase which is also played out during his entrance music. He stated:

“I made [the catchphrase ‘Rusev udrya, Rusev machka’] myself. Our character, mine and Lana’s, that we present in the ring was very [inspired] by¬†Rocky IV, we took a lot from there. And I remember a scene where Rocky’s trainer says that whatever Drago hits, he destroys. And I was thinking how something similar can work for me. And one day we had to record it in studio and that’s when ‘Rusev udrya, Rusev machka’ was born.”