On SmackDown Live, every day is Rusev Day.
That's because the once-unbeatable monster heel has settled into a niche as a supremely likable comedic figure.
Midcard comedy, while necessary in WWE's variety show format, typically spells a dead end. This is especially true for Superstars like Rusev who are accustomed to being booked like fire-breathing animals.
But Rusev's in-ring talent and tough-guy aura can easily keep him from becoming less of a limited comedy trope and more of a must-see babyface with credibility whose much-needed new persona could lead to an organic rise to the top of the WWE roster.
SmackDown is currently experiencing a shortage of babyfaces, as AJ Styles headlines a limited class of talent that features Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, a struggling Bobby Roode and not much else from a singles standpoint.
At this juncture, Rusev has shed his skin as an outdated evil foreigner and instead endeared himself to the WWE Universe through ironic promos that have inspired popular battle cries such as "Rusev No. 1" and the increasingly popular "Rusev Day!"
Once a top heel that started his career in red-hot fashion, Rusev was only a convincing villain when the focus was his impressively dominant offense and Lana did all the talking with a thick Russian accent that evoked animosity from live crowds.
But ever since going solo as a member of SmackDown Live, Rusev's winning personality shines brighter with every passing week. Even his confusion with the word "elated" has become a charming running gag on television.
Everything Rusev does as a self-aggrandizing heel has caught on as a cause for celebration among a fanbase that cheers heels more than any prior generation in WWE history.
Alongside Aiden English's similarly resurgent antics, the two have formed one of WWE's premiere comedy duos whether the promotion knows it or not.
Chants of "Rusev Day" reigned down from the Manchester Arena this past Tuesday on SmackDown as one of WWE's most impassioned markets backed the former United States champion against one of WWE's all-time greats.
As admirably as Rusev portrayed a no-nonsense heel, the cat is out of the bag when it comes to his potential as a babyface, which was put on full display through his Big Bart persona during the first season of cult favorite Southpaw Regional Wrestling.
Congrats to my friend John Cena who qualified for the survivor series fair and square...... go get them TIGER2017-11-8 15:14:06
There's no more hiding it. Rusev is hilarious. For every strong heel in WWE, there's a babyface fighting an uphill battle to be cheered.
Rusev is the rare case study of a WWE Superstar whom fans are dying to embrace. And as quite possibly the funniest man in WWE, why the heck not?