Lana, Rusev's Status on 'Total Divas,' RVD on AEW and Luke Harper in WWE Roundup

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 06: Rusev (L) and Lana (R) attend the 2018 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 6, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

      

Lana, Rusev Removed from Total Divas

Speaking with former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia on her podcast, Chasing Glory, Rusev opened up about his frustration with his current role in WWE (h/t Pro Wrestling Sheet's Norm Quarrinton).

The Bulgarian Brute said he was trying his best to further his character on WWE programming but that that commitment wasn't reciprocated by the company.

Garcia dropped the second part of her interview with Rusev and his wife, Lana, on Monday. During their discussion, Lana revealed she and Rusev will no longer be a part of the Total Divas cast.

"Kevin Dunn told me that E! executives took a poll and that we are strongly disliked by the demographic," she said (h/t WrestleZone's Michael McClead). "They do not like us and that I'm hated, we're hated, and that the E! executives thought that our stories were very slapstick, and they were a strong no."

      

Rob Van Dam Discusses AEW's Chances of Rivaling WWE

While All Elite Wrestling hasn't painted itself as a rival on par with WWE, many fans wonder whether the upstart promotion might be able to make a dent in the biggest wrestling company in the world.

Rob Van Dam knows what it's like to work for a direct competitor to WWE from his days with both ECW and Impact Wrestling. The former ECW and TNA champion remains cautiously optimistic about AEW's chances.

"As far as the Monday Night Wars goes, c'mon, these guys don't even have a TV deal yet," he said on Wrestling Inc's WINCLY podcast. "I wish them all the luck in the world—I hope they do well. Over the years, I've seen many companies want to come up and be a competing brand, but eventually the guy funding it decides he doesn't want to keep losing money and he pulls out."

        

Luke Harper Reportedly Nearing SmackDown Live Return

Luke Harper has been off WWE programming since teaming with Erick Rowan in a defeat to The New Day on the Aug. 21, 2018, edition of SmackDown Live. Rowan subsequently underwent surgery for a torn bicep, while Harper required surgery to address a wrist injury.

Rowan made his in-ring return at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, aiding Daniel Bryan in his victory over AJ Styles. Harper may not be far behind.

According to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson, he's scheduled to be in Toledo, Ohio, on Tuesday for SmackDown Live. It's unclear whether he'll join Rowan and Bryan or split off and enjoy a singles run.

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