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WWE Payback 2015 match card preview: Rusev vs. John Cena

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"I Quit" Match for the United States Championship

John Cena (c) vs. Rusev

This is the final match between America and Russia, and it's an "I Quit" match. John Cena has made a career out of never giving up, and giving up is the only way to lose this match. Uh oh, this can't be good news for Rusev.

The Road to Payback

After losing to John Cena at Extreme Rules in a Russian Chain match, Rusev forced Lana to speak with The Authority and get him one final match with John Cena - an "I Quit" match.

This was quite a bold move on Rusev's part because John Cena's entire gimmick has been built on the words "Never Give Up." In other words, this type of match is John Cena's specialty. Nobody has ever defeated John Cena in an "I Quit" match. But Rusev knows that if he can get Cena to finally utter those words, the spirit of America will be crushed once and for all.

Payback is the fourth pay-per-view (PPV) in a row that is featuring a match between Cena and Rusev. Not surprisingly, this match is being billed as the final match between these two warriors. To hammer that point home, John Cena has voluntarily relinquished his opportunity at a rematch for the United States Championship if he actually disgraces his country by quitting at Payback.

Lana's relationship with Rusev has dramatically changed over the last few weeks. Lana used to hold a controlling grip over Rusev's actions, but Rusev's rage has taken over and he no longer takes orders from Lana. Rusev also doesn't appreciate the fans responding positively to Lana, and so he has asserted his dominance over the Ravishing Russian. As a result Lana has become submissive and weak in Rusev's presence.

It is quite clear that Lana will play a major role in the finish of this match. John Cena's one glaring weakness is that he could very well sacrifice himself if it means protecting the well-being of an innocent person. That is exactly what happened back when Seth Rollins took Edge hostage and forced Cena to bring back The Authority.

Rusev's best chance to win this match will be to force Cena into this terrible position one more time, and Lana's vulnerability is the key to this strategy. If Rusev can force Cena to helplessly watch as he is about to put Lana in the Accolade, would that be enough to finally get John Cena to quit? And would this lead to Lana truly becoming a sympathetic figure, or would it be a master trap all along planned out by her and Rusev?

There is no doubt that a lot of Cena haters would love for Lana to be faking her submissiveness all along just to sucker John Cena into becoming a quitter. But if rumors are to be believed, Lana is on the cusp of a major babyface run in the very near future. That doesn't bode well for Rusev's chances at Payback.

What's at Stake?

By the time Payback is over we will probably know the fate of Lana's relationship with Rusev. If Lana sticks with Rusev and he actually forces Cena to quit, then he could become a main event superstar for years to come. But if Rusev loses to Cena for the third straight PPV and also breaks up with Lana, he could quickly find himself on the dreaded Marty Jannetty career arc while Lana surges to singles mega-stardom.

John Cena's reign as United States Champion is also on the line, and a loss here for Cena would mean an abrupt end to his open challenges on Raw. But don't fret Cena fans, he could always latch onto that vacant Intercontinental Championship and bring back the open challenge before you know it.

Will the mean nasty villain finally force John Cena to quit? Tune into Payback 2015 and keep it here on Cageside Seats to see who wins!