Video: Watch New-Look Rusev Embarrass Mike Kanellis in Return to WWE Raw

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2019

COLOGNE, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 11: Rusev during WWE Road to WrestleMania at the Lanxess Arena on February 11, 2016 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)
Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images

Rusev is back—with a brand new look to boot. 

The Bulgarian Brute returned to WWE programming on Raw Monday night, defeating Mike Kanellis in an impromptu singles match.

Rusev is apparently now part of the ongoing storyline involving Kanellis and his wife Maria. 

Maria initially revealed Ricochet was the father of her child in an attempt to see whether Kanellis could defend her honor and defeat Ricochet. When that tactic backfired, she implied Rusev is the real father, setting off another match.


We were today years old when we found out that the REAL father of @MariaLKanellis' baby is... @RusevBUL?!?! #RAW @RealMikeBennett We're still so confused. https://t.co/63UY054L6E

Although Rusev looked better than he ever has in his WWE career, joining the Kanellis family dynamic would do him few favors.

Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN

Rusev looks like a million bucks. And you have him return after so long away for a throwaway segment. #WWE #Raw

Aaron Oster @TheAOster

Rusev is in the best shape of his life and this is how he returns... #RAW

Perhaps this was a way for the promotion to bring the former United States champion back into the fold ahead of the draft, which starts Oct. 11.

Unlike Luke Harper, who made his return Sunday night to aid tag team partner Erik Rowan, there isn't a marquee feud in which Rusev could seamlessly insert himself. Having him squash Kanellis at least reminds fans he's still around until he's better positioned after the draft to chase a title.