When he first made his debut, Rusev was just the latest in a long line of foreign characters the WWE used in the same manner.
They’re evil, treacherous and after a long run of dominating their opponents, an American hero is bound to come around and stand victorious.
That was the case with Rusev, as the Bulgarian first aligned himself with Russia and lost out to John Cena at WrestleMania 31.
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However, in a recent appearance on Chris Jericho’s ‘Talk is Jericho’ podcast, the former United States Champion revealed his character could have been very different from the one we are used to.
Appearing alongside real-life wife Lana, Rusev revealed that Dusty Rhodes – who mentored the NXT stars – originally wanted Rusev to be a genie.
He explained: “He’s [Dusty] given me so many good and bad ideas, he tried to make me a genie.”
Jericho asked Rusev to imitate Rhodes, which he did.
He added: “’Baby, I see you with that new gear, you look like a genie. I want you to work with the Russian chick, Anya, and baby, she’s gonna rub that lamp and you’re gonna poof, appear.’
“I remember, I came home to Bulgaria for the first time in a long time, and I was like man, I’m just gonna go out there because I used to wear a singlet and I had all this – I’m like I’m just gonna go in a completely different direction.
“So, I started doing my hands different from my favourite movie, Tong Po [Kickboxer] like the bad guy. I took pretty much his whole stuff and I applied it on me, and I came back and I just put on these shorts, and Dream thought that I looked like a genie.
“So, he made me do genie promos for the next three weeks. He had his lamp, and this kickboxing chick that we had back in FCW, and she rubbed the lamp and I appeared.”
If there’s anyone on the WWE roster that could have genuinely pulled off a genie gimmick, it’s certainly Rusev.
However, he’s probably counting his lucky stars that it didn’t work out, and so are his fans as they believe he now belongs in the main event picture.
How long do you think Rusev would have lasted in WWE with a genie gimmick? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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