WWE reportedly planned on having Rusev burn the flag of the United States of America as part of his 2017 feud with John Cena.
That year, Rusev (now Miro in AEW) feuded with Cena, culminating in a flag match between the two at that year’s Battleground pay-per-view event.
While on his “Oh…You Didn’t know?” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and former lead writer of the “SmackDown” brand, Road Dogg Jesse James revealed the controversial idea that didn’t make it to air.
“We always talked about, ‘Hey, let’s have Rusev burn an American Flag.’ Folks was like, ‘Oh, you couldn’t do that’ … I was one of the first people, ‘Oh, you can’t do that!’ Well, then I started writing for the television show and I started thinking, ‘Hey, this is a television show.’ You know what I mean?
“Here it was like, ‘It may be real heat to have, you know, John Cena tied up and burn an American flag in front of John Cena, and then you go to the Flag match.”
This isn’t the first time WWE had considered burning the flag, as the idea was floated around for Sgt. Slaughter’s 1991 feud with Hulk Hogan.
Instead of burning the flag, Slaughter burned a Hogan t-shirt.
Rusev would be released from WWE in 2020 and join AEW, where he is a former TNT Champion.