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WWE! Give Rusev Day The New Day Treatment! Don't Let Him Be Another BNB!

Why are some gimmicks allowed to evolve organically, while others aren't?

“I was specifically told the reason I wasn’t allowed to say my catchphrase ‘I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news’ anymore was that it was getting a positive response and they wanted me to be a heel. I personally didn’t agree with that philosophy. I felt ‘Look, if they are going to cheer for me, they like this, let’s go with it. I’ve never been a babyface before, let’s go with it."

Bad News Barrett left WWE just after WrestleMania 32 with the entire WWE Universe wondering just how the poshest export from Preston since Mr Humphries didn't achieve more.

If you were to draw what a Vince McMahon wet dream would look like, it wouldn't be too far removed from the five-time Intercontinental Champion. He was big. He was shredded. He was evil because he wasn't born in the United States of America. What wasn't there to love?

We've all seen the headlines over the past few days detailing the rise and fall, and then rise again of my bae and spirit animal, the delightful Rusev of Rusev Day. The Bulgarian Brute was booked for a match with The Undertaker - a massive deal due to the fact there is no way in hell 'Taker doesn't handpick who he works these days - before being replaced by Chris Jericho not too long after.

(The Casket Match has been confirmed as being back on while I'm writing this thing so I'm as confused as Buff Bagwell in a wrestling ring. I just don't know what to do with myself. Everything I'm writing here still stands though so don't worry.) 

This was just the latest in a long line of things that just screamed how much Vince McMahon doesn't really fancy The Bulgarian Brute becoming something substantial on his programming once again. I don't understand why you wouldn't allow something that is so obviously popular reach its full potential. Surely, by suppressing all things associated with Rusev and Rusev Day against the fans wishes, you're only costing yourself a lot of money?

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Now obviously, as we've seen with Daniel Bryan in recent times, Vince McMahon might be playing the long game with Rusev. He must see that the fans are 100% behind that handsome man, so it is possible that he is taking it away as much as he can so another Yes Movement of sorts begins - I guess that would be called 'Да, миг' if Google Translate is anything to go by. That's going to be a household phrase soon, no doubt.

This whole scenario has had me thinking of BNB again, however. At the time, I remember reading the rumours and innuendo surrounding why he wasn't being booked as the responses from the crowd suggested he should be and feeling a great deal of sadness. It just wasn't fair. Why couldn't he be allowed to naturally transition from one side of the tracks to the other like many had before him - most notably in the modern era, The New Day?!

You all must remember The New Day's initial run on the main roster as the feel-good Gospel Singers. I'm sure Vince loved what he saw from the trio. I'm sure he danced so hard his quads threatened to crawl back up into his hip sockets again. The problem was, not too many members of the WWE Universe understood what was going on, and because of this, people booed. A supposed babyface was being booed, so WWE did something that should have been afforded to both BNB and latterly Ruu today.

WWE allowed New Day to turn heel organically. And what's more, they seemingly allowed the trio to find their feet under their own steam. The difference between the New Day that debuted in 2014 and the heel champions crowned at SummerSlam 2015 was Patrick Clark and The Velveteen Dream if you know what I mean.

There's no way Vince McMahon was telling Xavier Woods to talk about sliding into folks' DMs. I'm not having it.

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Evidently, it was the right thing to do. New Day became so good as heels that WWE fans were almost forced to cheer for them by the end. This, in turn, led to another organic turn back to the good side which they're still enjoying to this day.

Again, why wasn't Bad News Barrett and Rusev afforded the same opportunity? Oh, what could have been, and what should be happening right now...

I guess if I really think about it from Vince's perspective as best I can, I understand why Barrett wasn't given the chance since the cheers from the crowd weren't taking over arenas at any given opportunity. It was clear the 'I'm afraid I've got some bad news' schtick was resonating with fans, but outside of the catchphrase - if I remember correctly - fans weren't really shouting about much else. They definitely wanted more, but not so much that would force McMahon's hand into doing something.

With Rusev Day, however, it's just got to the point where the continual suppression of something that should be the biggest babyface act we see on Raw or SmackDown these days is pissing off fans. It makes the Rusev Day fire burn even brighter, with chants being heard up and down the card in places they simply shouldn't be.

'Rusev Day' has taken the place of 'CM Punk' chants. Go and watch the SmackDown Live that aired from Chicago over Christmas. Rusev initially made those fans forget about their hometown hero. He literally climbed Everest that night!

Call me biased, I don't care. I'm a fan of WWE and a huge fan of Rusev. I can see the potential the guy has in being the biggest babyface in the company. He's so endearing, with a connection to the fanbase not too many others on the roster can boast.  What's more is that he has the skills in the ring and on the mic to match, AND HE'S A BIG SWEATY MAN. Everything is in place, we're just waiting for Vince McMahon to pull the trigger.

I guess this is a plea to Vince and those fabled teams of creative writers in WWE. Don't let Rusev go the same way as Bad New Barrett in joining a long list of Superstars who should have achieved more than they did. Cash-in. Give the fans what they want and allow this organic movement spread its wings. Watching every single Raw and SmackDown each week it's clear to me it's what the fans want and it baffles me why it hasn't happened yet!

I must add here, we are seeing Aiden English sing 100% babyface songs now after a couple of frustrating months where one line would insult the town SmackDown was in. So there's progress being made at least...

At the end of the day, professional wrestling is always best when it feels real and organic - and in terms of the roster today, nothing this side of Daniel Bryan fits that description better than Rusev and Rusev Day.

Don't miss out, Vince!

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Editor-in-chief of Cultaholic.com and presenter on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]