Alexander Rusev

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Alexander Rusev
AlexanderRusevApril2014.png
Rusev on Raw in April 2014.
Birth nameMiroslav Barnyashev[1]
(Bulgarian: Мирослав Барняшев)
Born(1985-12-25) December 25, 1985 (age 28)
Plovdiv, Bulgaria[2][3]
ResidesTampa, Florida, USA[2][3]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Alexander Rusev[1]
Miroslav[2]
Miroslav Makarov[2]
Rusev[4]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[4][3]
Billed weight305 lb (138 kg)[4]
Billed fromBulgaria[5]
Moscow, Russia[4]
Trained byGangrel[1][3]
Rikishi[3]
FCW[1]
WWE NXT[4]
DebutNovember 22, 2008[6]
 
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Alexander Rusev
AlexanderRusevApril2014.png
Rusev on Raw in April 2014.
Birth nameMiroslav Barnyashev[1]
(Bulgarian: Мирослав Барняшев)
Born(1985-12-25) December 25, 1985 (age 28)
Plovdiv, Bulgaria[2][3]
ResidesTampa, Florida, USA[2][3]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Alexander Rusev[1]
Miroslav[2]
Miroslav Makarov[2]
Rusev[4]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[4][3]
Billed weight305 lb (138 kg)[4]
Billed fromBulgaria[5]
Moscow, Russia[4]
Trained byGangrel[1][3]
Rikishi[3]
FCW[1]
WWE NXT[4]
DebutNovember 22, 2008[6]

Miroslav Barnyashev (Bulgarian: Мирослав Барняшев; born December 25, 1985), known by his former ring name Alexander Rusev and currently performing as Rusev, is a Bulgarian professional wrestler and former powerlifter and rower. He works for the United States-based professional wrestling promotion WWE.[4][3] Barnyashev is the first Bulgarian to have wrestled for WWE.[2]

Early life and athletics career[edit]

Barnyashev was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.[3] He attended a sports school while growing up and competed in rowing and powerlifting as an adult.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (2008–2010)[edit]

In the mid-2000s, Barnyashev emigrated from Bulgaria to the United States with the ambition of becoming a professional wrestler. He originally lived in Virginia,[3] before relocating to Torrance, California, where he began training as a wrestler with Gangrel and Rikishi at the Knokx Pro Wrestling Academy as his trainers.[1][2][3] Barnyashev debuted on the independent circuit on November 22, 2008 under the ring name "Miroslav Makaraov", defeating Aerial Star.[6]

In 2010, Barnyashev wrestled for Vendetta Pro Wrestling as "Miroslav". While wrestling for VPW, he was managed by Markus Mac.[7] He and several other VPW wrestlers appeared in the music video for the song The Whole F'n Show by Kushinator (the entrance music of wrestler Rob Van Dam).[8]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Developmental territories (2010–2014)[edit]

Rusev at WrestleMania Axxess in April 2013 in his Muay Thai-inspired ring attire.

In September 2010, Barnyashev was signed to a contract by the professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[2] He was assigned to the WWE's Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) developmental territory, where he adopted the ring name "Alexander Rusev".[1] He wrestled his first televised match on the July 17, 2011 episode of FCW, defeating Mike Dalton while being managed by Raquel Diaz.[9][10] Shortly after debuting in FCW, Rusev tore both his anterior cruciate ligament and his meniscus and spent six months rehabilitating.[3]

Rusev returned to FCW in March 2012 with Nick Rogers as his manager.[11] In the summer of 2012, Rusev suffered a broken neck, temporarily paralyzing his arm. While rehabilitating, Barnyashev travelled to Thailand, where he studied the martial art Muay Thai.[3] In August 2012, WWE rebranded FCW as WWE NXT.[12]

After recovering from his injuries, Rusev made his NXT television debut on the May 30, 2013 episode, competing in a battle royale to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship that was won by Bo Dallas.[13] Rusev's first NXT singles match came about on August 21, losing to Dolph Ziggler.[14] Shortly thereafter, Rusev adopted Sylvester Lefort as his manager and formed a short-lived tag team with Scott Dawson named the "Fighting Legionnaires"; they feuded with the team of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady.[3][15][16][17] On the October 30 episode of NXT, Rusev ended his affiliation with Lefort by attacking him during a tag team bout.[18] Rusev proceeded to adopt Lana as his "social ambassador",[19] a pairing compared by WWE to Ivan and Ludmilla Drago from the 1985 film Rocky IV.[20]

Rusev continued to appear sporadically on NXT after joining the main roster in April 2014. He made his final appearance on July 24, 2014, getting disqualified against NXT Champion Adrian Neville in a non-title match.[21]

Main roster (2014-present)[edit]

Rusev made his main roster debut at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 26, 2014. The sixth entrant to the titular match, Rusev was eliminated by a joint effort of four wrestlers.[22][23] After an absence of several months, Rusev returned to the main roster on the April 7 episode of Raw alongside Lana, squashing Zack Ryder.[24]

In May 2014, Rusev adopted a Russophillic, anti-American gimmick that saw him announced as having relocated to Russia,[25][26][27] and as having been named "Hero of the Russian Federation".[28] In the same month, his ring name was shortened to simply "Rusev".[29] He subsequently began feuding with Big E, whom he defeated in consecutive bouts at Payback and at Money in the Bank.[30][31][32] Rusev went on to feud with the self-proclaimed "Real American" Jack Swagger, whom he defeated on July 20 at Battleground.[33] Prior to the match, Lana referenced "recent current events" and praised president of Russia Vladimir Putin to help build heat for Rusev, which The Washington Post interpreted as a veiled reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 three days earlier. WWE subsequently apologized but maintained that Lana's comments were not in reference to Flight 17.[34] At SummerSlam on August 17, 2014, Rusev defeated Swagger who passed out due to Rusev's submission hold the Accolade in a flag match.[35] Rusev then began feuding with Mark Henry, leading to a match at Night of Champions, which Rusev won.[36]

In wrestling[edit]

Rusev (right) applying The Accolade on Zack Ryder (bottom) in April 2014, watched by his manager, Lana.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Wrestling Entertainment Signs 'The Bashing Bulgarian'". Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency). One Click Media Group. September 30, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Saxton, Byron (August 29, 2013). "Alexander Rusev: NXT’s brewing storm". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Alexander Rusev". WWE.com. WWE. 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Alexander Rusev – FCW Profile". Florida Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2014. "Finishing move: Bulplex" 
  6. ^ a b "Alexander Rusev". Gerweck.net. Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
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  10. ^ a b c Pendry, Ryan (July 9, 2011). "7/8 FCW results in Gainesville, Fla.". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Parry, Josh (March 4, 2012). "3/2 FCW results Kissimmee, Fla.". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 15, 2013. "Rusev and Rogers are a very impressive tandem. Rusev, the big man, stomped out to the ring as Rogers joined him in jeans and a bedazzled jacket, loudly blowing a whistle." 
  12. ^ "WWE News: FCW name being phased out". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ Witner, Emerson (May 30, 2013). "WWE NXT TV report". F4WOnline.com. Wrestling Observer. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b James, Justin (September 5, 2013). "James's WWE NXT Results 8/21 & 8/28 & 9/4". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Saxton, Byron (September 12, 2013). "Making money: Sylvester Lefort's lucrative path to NXT". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
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  17. ^ a b c James, Justin (October 10, 2013). "James's WWE NXT Report 10/9". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 11, 2013. "'Rusev with a butt splash, then a Camel Clutch (he calls it "the Accolade") for the win.'" 
  18. ^ James, Justin (November 1, 2013). "James's WWE NXT Report 10/30". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved November 3, 2013. "'Lefort comes into the ring and Rusev knocks him to the mat with a belly splash for no obvious reason. [Rusev] goes to the back without Lefort.'" 
  19. ^ a b James, Justin (November 21, 2013). "James's WWE NXT Report 11/20". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved November 21, 2013. "The Mysterious Blonde announces Alexander Rusev. Apparently, she is "Lana" his social ambassador." 
  20. ^ Saxton, Byron (December 4, 2013). "'The NXT Champ Report': Bo Dallas evaluates five of NXT's rising stars". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved January 3, 2014. "Alexander Rusev and Lana remind me of that duo from "Rocky IV."" 
  21. ^ James, Justin (July 25, 2014). "James's WWE NXT Report 7/24". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  22. ^ Caldwell, James (January 26, 2014). "Rumble PPV news: Batista, undercard losers not included, this year's surprise entries, Bray's big night, The Crowd". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  23. ^ Murphy, Ryan; Linder, Zach. "Full list of Royal Rumble Match participants and eliminations". WWE. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
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  27. ^ Payne, Marissa (May 5, 2014). "Vladimir Putin makes his WWE debut at ‘Extreme Rules’". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
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  34. ^ Payne, Marissa (July 21, 2014). "WWE alludes to Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 during ‘Battleground’ and it did not go over so well". The Washington Post. Katharine Weymouth. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
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  36. ^ "Caldwell's WWE NoC PPV Report 9/21: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of of live PPV - Lesnar vs. Cena". September 21, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
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  38. ^ Trinonfo, Richard (June 10, 2011). "Florida Championship Wrestling spoilers for July 3, July 10 and July 17 shows". PWInsider.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014. "Alexander Rusev defeated Mike Dalton with an Oklahoma Roll into a German suplex for the three count." 
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  51. ^ Saxton, Byron (December 11, 2013). "Mistress of destruction: The true life story of Lana". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved January 3, 2014. "As Social Ambassador to Alexander Rusev, Lana has declared herself the prime orchestrator of "The Bulgarian Brute's" path of destruction." 
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External links[edit]