WWE United States Championship Match
Rusev (c) vs. John Cena
The unstoppable Russian force meets the unbreakable American spirit once again on WWE programming! Will Rusev shock the world by cleanly defeating a WWE legend like Ivan Koloff did by pinning Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden to win the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship on Jan. 18th, 1971? Or will John Cena stand tall like Hulk Hogan always did from 1984-1992 whenever he faced an evil foreign menace?
The Road to Fastlane
Before John Cena could even open his mouth to respond to Tom Phillips' question of what was next for him in an exclusive WWE Network interview minutes after the Royal Rumble had finished airing, Rusev answered the question for him by snatching the microphone off Cena and forcefully getting in his face. Thankfully, half a dozen wrestlers were on hand to split them up before they came to blows, but clearly that would happen soon enough.
On the Jan. 29th Smackdown, John Cena and Rusev had another confrontation, but once again they didn't come to blows, even though The Cenation Leader wanted to give Rusev a lesson in the word respect, when Lana told Rusev "don't waste your time on this" with a look of disdain on her face.
Rusev proved that he would be John Cena's toughest test since Brock Lesnar when he completely destroyed Cena's good friend Erick Rowan on the Feb. 2nd Monday Night Raw before the bell had even rung for their match together. Given that it's Oscar season, Lana celebrated her charge's destruction with her very own movie premiere, a Russian propaganda video that showed the Bulgarian Brute crushing all of WWE's Real American heros that had crossed his path so far.
However, glee quickly turned to anger when their massive Russian flag got caught above the ring and didn't properly unfurl at the conclusion of their celebration, a dirty trick presumably by the idiotic Americans in the production truck.
It was déjà vu on the Feb. 5th Smackdown, as Rusev cleanly defeated Erick Rowan with the Accolade in a quick slobberknocker and maintained his undefeated streak.
There was more propaganda on the Feb. 9th Monday Night Raw too, as Lana "honoured" John Cena with a video about his lengthy career that started off glowingly, but soon turned into a hit job showing the old man getting beaten down and injured at the hands of Big Show, Seth Rollins, Nexus, Edge, JBL, Batista, The Wyatt Family, Brock Lesnar and Triple H. The message was clear: Cena may look as good as ever, but inside he's hurting and has grown weak. Thus, he would be absolutely annihilated by the ruthless fighting machine Rusev. When Cena interrupted the party, he vowed to whip the Bulgarian super athlete's ass at Fastlane, but on this night it was Rusev who won the brawl, poking Cena in his injured eye and throwing him into the video wall.
There were more barbs and blows slung on the go-home edition of Raw this week. Cena proclaimed that the idea of Rusev being unstoppable was a load of crap. Lana fired back by promising Cena that there would be no coming back from the rough beating Rusev would lay on him at Fastlane, whilst Rusev vowed to crush his body, his spirit and his will to live! Another brawl between the two eventually broke out with Cena coming out top this time by vengefully throwing him head first into the LED board twice.
What's at Stake?
John Cena is vying for his fourth United States Championship reign, the first time he's fought for the belt in almost a decade since dropping the strap to Orlando Jordan on Mar. 1st, 2005.
Meanwhile, Rusev is trying to keep his undefeated streak in singles competition intact. Indeed, he's yet to be pinned or submitted since making his debut on the main roster in the 2014 Royal Rumble match, which is one of the longest winning streaks in modern day WWE history.
But perhaps of greatest importance is the patriotism and pride at stake. Rusev destroying John Cena would be used by Lana as further evidence that America, once a great and powerful nation, is crumbling from within and is being overtaken as a world superpower once again by mother Russia. Cena defeating Rusev would prove that some things never change in life: the USA always ends up victorious in a WWE ring.
Find out whether the undefeated Russian force conquers the unbreakable American spirit by watching Fastlane tonight on the WWE Network and following our live coverage at CagesideSeats.com.