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WWE Money in the Bank 2014 match card preview: Rusev vs. Big E

Rocky IV, Part III

Big E vs. Rusev

The Bulgarian Brute and his social media ambassador (and connection in Moscow) have made a point of running down the U.S. of A. and breaking every American wrestler who has the misfortune of being placed in the ring with Rusev.

This has awakened the inner patriotism of the former Intercontinental champion.  Whether it's the rhetoric or the violence, Big E has seen enough.  And he and his giant American flag are looking to out a stop to Rusev's reign of terror.

The Road to Money in the Bank

I'm tempted to just cut and paste Rex's preview from Payback earlier this month, both because it's funnier than anything I'll come up with, and I'm not sure a whole lot has changed.

The two were both involved in the battle royal eventually won by Roman Reigns for a spot in the ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  That provided a glimpse into how the company sees each man.  Big E battled, but was eliminated to set up the big showdown between Reigns and...Rusev.  That showdown felt like a moment...or a preview of a future MOMENT.

Their only other interactions in the weeks since the last pay-per-view (PPV) have occurred this week.

On Monday in the US capital.  E made quick work of Abraham Lincoln, then channeled his inner Baptist preacher to motivate himself and the crowd to challenge Vladimir Putin's favorite pro wrestler...leading to Lana and her man responding to the challenge.

Noteworthy that Rusev needed a distraction from The Ravishing Russian to launch his assault.  That continued to bear out on Friday night, when E managed the impressive feat of putting Rusev down.

Will E's exxuberance for the red, white and blue be enough to carry him to win over the hero of the Russian Federation?

What's at Stake?

The role as the next big hoss in WWE.

Six months ago, that was Big E's role to lose.  Whether most of the blame for his not making the role his own lies with him or Creative is debatable.  But now, he needs to climb back up the ranks to even have a shot.

The Raw battle royal was telling.  Reigns is being groomed as a mega-star, and Rusev felt like he could hang.  He's still missing a breakout singles match for his portfolio, though.

There's probably not much chance that E wins (barring a sudden burst of patriotism from Vince McMahon and company), because there's money in Rusev continuing to be built as a monster.  But a buzzworthy hoss fight could do a lot for Big even in a loss.  Their match at Payback was a hard-hitting affair, but didn't generate a whole lot of conversation in the post-show discussion.

Can they up their game and deliver a match that helps both men moving forward?

'Murica! or Mother Russia?  Find out on WWE Network and right here at Cageside Seats!

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