What the creative team has in mind with both Cesaro and Rusev highlights the latest WWE rumors.
For The Bulgarian Brute, word from backstage is that WWE wants to model his run after another monster heel. Cesaro fans have to smile as they read through the reported plans for The Swiss Superman. He's apparently headed for big things as soon as June 29.
Other WWE rumors provide updates on two former world champs who are currently out of the spotlight and recovering from lingering injuries.
Will Rusev be challenging for world titles himself? That's a likely scenario for the near future if WWE really does book him like it did Umaga.
Rusev remained undefeated after knocking off Big E at Payback. A peek behind the curtain reveals his potential path going forward.
Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc shares a report from F4WOnline that notes, "The original push for the late Umaga is being used as a template for Rusev's current WWE push."
Like Rusev, Umaga had a manager who spoke for him and seemed to be the only person able to control him. He tore through his opponents much the way Rusev is doing now.
If Umaga's run is indeed WWE's blueprint, that means that Rusev will soon seek out more high-profile opponents. Within months of Umaga debuting his Samoan monster gimmick, he was in the ring against top guys like John Cena and Shawn Michaels.
Less than a year after earning his first win, The Samoan Bulldozer challenged Cena for the WWE Championship.
It's hard to imagine Rusev making that fast a climb, as he is less experienced than Umaga was at that stage. He had worked as Jamal in an earlier WWE run and wrestled in Japan as well.
Rusev is going to have leapfrog emerging stars like Roman Reigns and Cesaro to mirror Umaga's journey.
Injured Star Updates
Fans have not seen Undertaker since WrestleMania 30. It's been even an longer time away from the ring for Christian.
The latest word on Undertaker won't thrill his fanbase. Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Nick Paglino of Wrestle Zone, reports the following:
The Undertaker is still pretty banged up following his WrestleMania 30 match against Brock Lesnar. The extent of his injuries is unknown at this time, but there is reportedly no indication that he will not be able to return for WrestleMania 31 next year.
It's a long time until WrestleMania 31, but a Sting vs. Undertaker dream match at that event has become increasingly less likely. Sting has yet to appear for WWE despite constant Internet rumblings about his signing being imminent. Undertaker, not surprisingly, is going to have a tough time getting into ring shape.
He looked his age in his match with Brock Lesnar. It's not yet time to declare his run over, but it's best to keep expectations of his return low.
The same is true to a lesser extent for Christian.
Paglino passed along news from a Wrestling Observer Newsletter: "The feeling backstage in WWE is that Christian's career as an in-ring performer will be scaled back this year, due to his injury status and latest concussion."
"Scaled back" sounds a lot better to Christian's peeps than "forced to retire." Few would be surprised if his repeated concussions kept him out of the ring for good.
The year is running out, though, and he hasn't competed since March 24. Hard to scale back any more than that.
With SummerSlam approaching, will Captain Charisma be asked to step between the ropes once more?
WWE is high on Cesaro. That's the lesson from the rumors surrounding The King of Swing.
The reported original plans for Payback had him winning the Intercontinental Championship, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Middleton of Wrestling Inc. That of course didn't materialize, as Cesaro instead challenged for the U.S. title and lost.
The above report states that the switch was made because there was a "feeling that going for the Intercontinental Title would hurt Cesaro." That's odd logic. Does the company regard the U.S. belt as more prestigious, then?
How is losing a championship match less harmful than winning one?
The better explanation for Cesaro not winning the IC title is that WWE may have bigger things in mind for him. According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via PWMania.com, "It's said that Cesaro is the front-runner to win the match and he has been discussed as the winner."
F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc's Middleton, adds the following:
There was a plan discussed that would have seen Cesaro cash in on Lesnar at SummerSlam, right after Lesnar defeated Bryan for the title, and become the new champion. That plan is said to be off the table for now with Bryan's status up in the air.
The fact that the Swiss strongman's name is reportedly coming up in these discussions is a great sign for him.
Alberto Del Rio is the only Superstar to have earned a spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder match so far. WWE is sure to have qualifying matches to decide who joins him. With this backstage buzz of Cesaro being pegged as the Money in the Bank favorite, the next few weeks are going to be mighty interesting.
If his feud with Sheamus continues, there's more of a chance of those two battling at the June 29 event than Cesaro getting an opportunity to become Mr. Money in the Bank.