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HomeWWE | Pro WrestlingRusev Must Defeat John Cena At WWE Payback 2015

Rusev Must Defeat John Cena At WWE Payback 2015

I can’t recall someone rising to the top in the WWE as quickly as Rusev did in 2014. The WWE booked him better than any new heel in a decade. Yet Rusev is facing a crossroads at Payback which could bring all of that momentum to a screeching halt.

[adinserter block=”1″]While Rusev had experience outside of the WWE before signing in 2010, he didn’t have the pedigree that other guys like Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins had before coming up to the main roster. Rusev is about as “home-grown” as it gets and for all of the criticism that the developmental system has gotten over the years, they got it right with him. They truly molded this raw talent into a money-drawing WWE machine.

I never would have imagined that a Russian menace gimmick in 2014 would have gotten as over as Rusev did, but it did. Credit goes to Rusev, Lana, and the bookers who protected Rusev and shielded him away from the 50/50 booking we have all come to know and hate. The rivalry with John Cena was a natural hit and for the first time in several years, fans were booing the heel against John Cena.

I had no problem when Cena got his first win over Rusev at WrestleMania. Rusev had done enough damage, including scoring a win over Cena to sustain his momentum. Everyone has to lose at some point, even Brock Lesnar has lost since he returned. Rusev remained hot with the loss and most would agree that he and Cena had the hottest feud going into WrestleMania. Everything was clicking and Rusev was still red hot.

Cena defeated Rusev at WrestleMania but you know what? It was okay. The match was presented as a special event and Rusev received an entrance that separated him from the other WWE stars on the show. Win or lose, Rusev was still coming out of WrestleMania as a hot heel on the upswing. His trajectory looked much different than Bray Wyatt’s did last year coming out of the Cena feud.

Then there was Extreme Rules. Extreme Rules was a different animal. It wasn’t WrestleMania, Rusev didn’t get the glitzy treatment, and it was a specialty match that benefitted Rusev. Sure, Rusev wasn’t pinned nor did he submit in the match, but he lost his own match. Not only that, this was the first disappointing match in the series. The stipulation prevented the guys from tearing down the house as they have done in their previous meetings. Ironically, this was the same problem with Wyatt vs. Cena last year at Extreme Rules and Wyatt still hasn’t recovered from the disappointing match.

Now we have Payback. The feud appears to be heading to a crescendo in a few weeks. Unlike Mania and even Extreme Rules, Rusev cannot lose this match! Losing three in a row against Cena will be an albatross that Rusev may never be able to disassociate himself with. While some will argue that wins and losses don’t matter, I would disagree. Winning and losing individual matches may not matter as much, but losing three in a row, including the finale is a killer. Rusev cannot afford this loss.

[adinserter block=”2″]Looking at the big picture, I feel it is more important to bring Rusev out of this feud hot than it is Cena. Cena has sustainability and even after going 1-3 against Lesnar, he barely missed a step. As a matter of a fact, I could argue that losing was probably the best thing for Cena. A win for Rusev would set him up for inevitable showdowns with Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and yes the beast incarnate Brock Lesnar. While those matches will still be intriguing, they will not have the same zest with Rusev hobbling out of this feud without his belt, his girl, and three losses in a row.

Orton, Reigns, and Lesnar need Rusev to remain hot and sustain his momentum as the year progresses. Those are money matches right there that the will all be hurt by another Rusev loss. It is critical that Rusev wins at Payback. The future of the company depends on it.

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  1. I don’t think cena should lose because it would mess up his whole never give up and cena has made the u.s title great again pretty much every match cena has had on raw gets a positive reaction cena is doing the u.s title well

    • I agree that the belt is being used correctly this time around and the never give up angle is great and serves Rusev even more then it will Cena. Beating Cena can serve as a notice to other wrestlers that Rusev is no joke and the heat he could get would be great. I think the angle would work even better when Lana shows her true colors at the pay per view and helps Rusev win. That would give her some huge heat as well.

        • I have this feeling that you might be right with the big push that Vinnie Mac wants to give her, which I think is a mistake seeing as she doesn’t wrestle. She could be the equivalent of Paul Heyman in way of heat.

  2. Eric,
    I totally agree with your assessment, Rusev has to win, period! And those that argue that wins and loses do matter are right to certain degree. Austin losing a match didn’t matter at all when he was at his heights and it didn’t matter for the Rock either. Those guys had so much more going on than just win and loses and so does Cena. Prime example is the fact that he is holding a belt that isn’t the Heavyweight championship and is still allotted 15 to 20 minutes for his promos and matches. The lose would mean nothing to him especially if its done right. The Wyatt loses were terrible for Bray and he has yet to recover. Personally I think he should have won the match with the Undertaker, the fear angle they are running with him would work a whole lot better with those two wins under his belt and the gimmick would be running with crazy heat right now. Fear would really be a great angle if he would of whooped Taker. Rusev has to maintain his heat right now, with Orton in the wings after the pay per view it would be something new to watch and would be great TV.


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