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WWE SummerSlam 2015 match card preview: Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler

Cold War Love Rectangle

Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae)

A feud that's featured busted bones and a crushed windpipe is really all about broken hearts.

The Road to SummerSlam

Seems like it was only yesterday that The Bulgarian Brute was riding a tank to the ring, wearing a medal bestoyed upon him by Vladimir Putin thanks to the hard work done on his behalf by his social ambassador. But even at WrestleMania, there were signs that things weren't right between Rusev and Lana. Where once he loved taking orders from his blonde handler, here increased acceptance of cheers from stupid, fawning Americans was making the former United States champion bristle...and even snap back.

Wasn't enough for Lana to just stand-up for herself. No, she had to run into the arms of another man. Her purely physical bonding with fellow attractive person Dolph Ziggler didn't just bend her ex. Rusev broke, physically and emotionally. With a broken ankle, he stalked the blondes wherever they went, tormented by their happiness while he couldn't even get in a ring to do what he did best.

Then an angel came to him in the form of Hot Summer. RaeRae was more than willing to play the part of leggy blonde valet for The Super Athlete. With her assistance, Rusev regained his confidence. Enough to lure Ziggler into a trap.

The Show Off was now the injured one, although the windpipe Rusev crushed with his crutch somehow allowed Dolph to film a WWE Studios thriller during his convalescence. It gave the once-again proudly Bulgarian and his new girlfriend plenty of time to torment Lana...sometimes with props.

Showing she could stand up for herself in her lover's absence worked out for Lana...for a while. Eventually, this version of the numbers game - and the fact that, unlike some people, Summer Rae has a pretty nasty Accolade in her arsenal - let her exposed:

and in need of a ploy to put Ziggler in a position to even the odds in this intergender rivalry, and even the score for his injured pipes.

What's at Stake?

For a feud that's been going on for a long while, it's taken forever to get to a match-up between bumper extraordinaire DZ and all-around stud Rusev. Given that, it's probably okay to just kick back and enjoy the match, because it's equally unlikely that we'll get a dud, or the feud ends here.

WWE seems pretty clear on what they see in Dolph, which is an upper mid-card act with some crossover appeal. In the end, I'd bet on Rusev going over, as the ability he's shown with his character and a microphone the last couple of months makes him a sure fire bet for a main event run in the not-too-distant future. This program seems designed to see if he can maintain his heat without ripping America with every other word out of his mouth.

That's all down the road, though. Tonight, look for a fun match with a lot of selling from both guys, and for a cat fight to break out between the blondes.

As long as Rusev stands tall, either Sunday or Monday...Brooklyn deserves to see that flag.

Tune in Sunday to see this love rectangle heat up, and maybe a fish or a flag, with all your pals here at the best dang pro wrestling community online - Cageside Seats!

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