Rusev is a Bulgarian-American wrestler who gained fame after he joined World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He made his debut in 2008 fighting in the New Wave Pro Wrestling independent promotion. By 2010, he had already made his way to WWE where the massive Bulgarian fighter has established himself as one of the most popular figures.
Although it is as Rusev that the wrestler has come to be known, he was born Miroslav Barnyashev in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, on December 25, 1984. He grew up as an athletic kid and took part in rowing and powerlifting after he left school. However, what he had his mind on was to become a professional wrestler. Miroslav relocated to the United States with hopes of pursuing this dream. He eventually trained in Torrance, California at the KnokX Pro Wrestling Academy. Here’s a look at how he has navigated his career through the years, as well as his personal life.
Rusev’s Climb to the Upper Echelons of WWE
As stated earlier, he started his career in 2008 in the independent promotions and then in 2010, the doors opened to him in WWE where he continued to fight as Alexander Rusev in Florida Wrestling Championship (rebranded as NXT in 2012) until 2014.
The Bulgarian powerhouse made his main roster debut in April 2014 in a Royal Rumble event. Since then, he has gone on to record many victories against some of the biggest names in the business including Mark Henry, R-Truth, Big Show, Zack Ryder, and Sheamus.
Thanks to his victory over Sheamus, Rusev clinched the United States Championship title from the wrestler. He successfully held on to the title in defense matches against Jack Swagger and John Cena. Eventually, he lost it to Cena at WrestleMania 31 after a 146-day reign.
How Injuries Affected His Career
Rusev reached the summit of the wrestling business thanks to his skills and unique storylines. But then, sustaining his place at the top became a problem for him as he continued to suffer injuries. This would force him off wrestling from 2016 to 2017. Before this, nonetheless, he took home a second U.S. Championship title on May 22, 2016, after he defeated Kalisto by submission. Although he was able to defend the title against Titus O’Neil, Kalisto, Cesaro, Zack Ryder, and Mark Henry, he surrendered it after 126 days to Roman Reigns on September 25, 2016, at the Clash of Champions.
A history of his injuries which is his main shortcoming dates back to 2011 when he tore his ACL. Next, he broke his neck and not too long after, it was his back. Although Rusev fractured his foot, he would shrug this off.
With injuries out of his way, Rusev has all the potentials of becoming a greater wrestler than he is. He has recorded many victories and has received accolades which include being ranked 8 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in its top 500 wrestlers of 2015 and winning 3 WWE United States Championship.
Rusev has a net worth that has been estimated to be as much as $1 million to complement his efforts. It is said that his WWE endeavor since 2014 has been fetching him an annual salary between $250,000 and half a million.
Is Rusev Still Married to Lana?
While the professional life of Rusev has been interesting, his personal life has also followed the same line for quite some time. The wrestler used to be managed by Lana, but as things went on, the two became romantically involved and then in 2012, they got engaged. However, it was four years later that the two finally got married. Although some believe the two only got married in a storyline, the truth is that they are man and wife.
Interestingly, WWE decided to have a storyline that splits the two. Lana made the shocking announcement that she was divorcing her husband, a storyline that Rusev was said to be involved in. More so, Lana who is also a wrestler was seen on-screen on a bed with Bobby Lashley.
The on-screen affair with Bobby Lasley did not go well with some fans even though it was made clear that it was just a storyline. Lana revealed she has continued to receive death threats via her mails and on social media. It got out of hand that at a point, the FBI got involved.
For now, Lana and her husband who is the first professional wrestler in the WWE from Bulgaria, do not have any child.
Lana’s real name is Catherine Joy Perry. Apart from being a professional wrestler, she is also an actress, model, singer, and dancer. She was once a part of a singing girls group known as No Means Yes. The group was signed to singer Ne-Yo’s record label. They disbanded in 2010. Rusev and Lana got married in July 2016, and they live in Nashville, Tennessee.