Professional wrestling fans will always have differing opinions on the direction a superstar, wrestler, or performer takes in their career. However, there are times when specific missteps seem glaringly obvious, regardless of who makes the decisions behind the scenes.
This week on the podcast "Oh You Didn't Know," WWE Senior Vice President of Live Events, Brian "Road Dogg" James, discussed WrestleMania 34 and candidly admitted that the company could have done a better job with a couple of former superstars: Aiden English and Rusev.
Describing English, James said, "Great dude. Great body, is a great wrestler and has a great voice. Couldn't pick a nicer guy." He then acknowledged the missed opportunity, "And I don't know. I will say I missed the ball with him.
" At WrestleMania 34, English participated in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, where fans were notably disappointed when he was eliminated. After this, English shaved his head and reappeared alongside Rusev for a Fatal Four-Way match against Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, and Jinder Mahal for the United States Championship.
English became a crucial part of Rusev's act, often singing "Rusev Day" during their appearances.
Rusev: Bigger Missed Opportunity
When asked whether Roode or Rusev was the more enormous missed opportunity for WWE, James responded, "I think Rusev." He quickly added, however, that "Bobby Roode is a great hand; Bobby Roode doesn't get used enough right now." Despite the popularity of the "Rusev Day" gimmick, James believes there was even more potential that the company could have explored after initially setting it up and eventually paying it off.
"We felt it. We set it up... We made Rusev Day from a creative standpoint... but yeah, we dropped the ball with Rusev," James admitted. This candid acknowledgment highlights the challenges and complexities of managing talent in professional wrestling.
It demonstrates that even those in charge can recognize when they have made a mistake or missed an opportunity to capitalize on a wrestler's potential fully. h/t WrestlingInc for the transcription