It’s been a little while since fans have seen Rusev on WWE programming, as he’s currently taking time away from the company, but a few weeks ago he did an interview with the Bulgarian show At Cafe where he answered a question fans have been asking for a long time.
When Rusev first debuted on the main roster he was Alexander Rusev, but his name was later shortened. The Bulgarian Brute explained that Vince McMahon shortened his name because he was worried people would start calling him Alex.
“[WWE] gives you an option to submit names you like. 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.'”
The former WWE United States Champion went on to say that early in his career with WWE he pulled a lot of inspiration from “Rocky IV” for his character.
“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.”
Are you glad Vince shortened his name, or do you think he should still be Alexander Rusev? Sound off in the comments below.
H/T Wrestling Inc.