This Sunday at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view the vacant Intercontinental Championship will be on the line inside of the Elimination Chamber and Rusev is one of six men aiming to capture the gold.
The Bulgarian Brute is supposed to be joining King Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, R-Truth and Ryback inside of the steel structure.
But, if rumours are to be believed, Rusev won’t make it to the match at all.
On this week’s tapings of Thursday Night SmackDown, Rusev was going one on one with The Big Guy, Ryback, and reports online from fans in attendance suggest that Rusev was reportedly injured during this match.
The reports suggest that Rusev injured his right ankle and the match ended abruptly, with Ryback picking up the win after Rusev sent him head first into the steel ring post.
Usually we would assume that an injury early in the week before a pay-per-view would be enough time for someone to heal and compete in a multi-man match where the workload would be easier.
But this is the Elimination Chamber and although a number of superstars are involved, there is still a big risk of injury and there’s a chance the WWE will opt to replace Rusev with someone else.
Judging by the this picture circulating online with Rusev in a wheelchair with crutches, it doesn’t look too good at this stage but only time will tell whether Rusev will be able to compete.
WHO COULD REPLACE HIM?
It’s still too early to say whether Rusev will definitely be replaced, but the WWE will obviously be monitoring this situation and have stars ready to replace him should it come to that.
Don’t expect a huge star to replace Rusev. The likes of Randy Orton and Roman Reigns are not in matches but there’s no chance of a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contender replacing Rusev.
Instead fans should prepare for someone who is either in a feud with someone involved in the match lower down the rankings, or a contender for the title.
The first choice for many fans would have been Neville, his match with Bo Dallas was one of the latest to be announced and if that match didn’t take place then Neville would have surely been at the top of the list as he brings in a whole new dimension to this match.
Stardust doesn’t have a match and he competed in the ladder match for the title at WrestleMania, so the WWE could decide to go with him if they need a reliable and strange character competing in the chamber.
If we push the boat out a little more then for comedic value there’s a slight chance we could see Heath Slater get himself a title match at last whereas fans would also love to see Macho Mandow involved in the match.
If Rusev is replaced, then I think the superstar that makes sense is Bray Wyatt, he isn’t in a match and his feud with Ryback should be continuing and fans would love to see Bray Wyatt locked inside a chamber, and it is about time he was involved in a championship match.
I do think that is Rusev is not involved then it will be a big loss to the event as a whole. A lot of eyes are on Rusev right now because of his split with Lana and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back. This was the first big test and there’s a chance he might not even compete.
It would have been great for Rusev to compete in a marquee match like this, as well as using this match to advance his feud with Dolph Ziggler.
He still has a few days left to recover and the WWE will be doing all they can to make sure Rusev is healthy enough to compete at the Elimination Chamber and look strong in his efforts.