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It looks like a lingering injury is finally going to put one of WWE’s best performers on the shelf for several months.

According to the Wrestling Observer, former U.S. Champion Rusev had to have shoulder surgery last week, which means he will miss this year’s WrestleMania on April 2 in Orlando. The Big Show, with whom Rusev had his last match with prior to the surgery, confirmed the news.

Related: Former WWE champion officially released after weeks of controversy

A lot of questions arose at WWE FastLane when Big Show completely squashed Rusev in a match that had absolutely zero buildup. Big Show says the intent of the match was to write Rusev off of television while he has the surgery.

Rusev is one of the top in-ring performers in the company, and he had been involved in several main event angles over the past two-plus years. This includes his memorable entrance at WrestleMania 31, where he entered on top of a tank prior to his match with John Cena.

SlamBuzz’s take

While it is really unfortunate that Rusev will be missing time with the injury, it will give him a chance to come back with a renewed push after his recovery. He had been rather directionless for the past several months, and did not have anything major planned at WrestleMania.

Rusev has previously been one of WWE’s top villains over the past couple of years, feuding with the likes of Roman Reigns and John Cena. It would be nice to see him get back to that level once he returns, because he certainly has the talent — both in-ring and on the mic — to have that spot.

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