Following his second straight pay-per-view (PPV) loss to John Cena, Rusev dispatched his social ambassador to demand a rematch of The Authority. Lana returned from those closed door negotiations with word that The Bulgarian Brute will get a chance to avenge himself and regain the United States Championship at May 17th's Payback- on the condition that the bout be decided under "I Quit" rules.
We've been scolded this week about using the term "buried" to describe WWE's ongoing storytelling, and Rusev has certainly given Cena a fight in all of their encounters. But it's hard to not feel a little concerned that the man who was undefeated until he picked his fight with John C is almost certain to take another loss to blow off this program, and in a match that will require his submission. Especially since it was last year at this time that a series of similar matches with Bray Wyatt cooled off The Eater of Worlds momentum for several months.
The other wrinkle to their feud that Creative emphasized tonight is increased tension between Rusev and Lana. The Ravishing Russian jumed up on the ring apron to give the fans a wave, resulting in her man dispatching her to the back mid-match. The crowd-pleasing move seemed out of character for the manager, and caused some consternation among fans that WWE may be shotgunning a break-up angle as part of the long-rumored "big plans" for Lana.
We'll have a month to worry about and debate all of these things while Rusev, Lana and Cena prepare the final chapter of their story for Payback in Baltimore.