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Rusev won a match on pay-per-view for the first time since 2016

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WWE closed out this year’s pay-per-view (PPV) calendar with TLC 2019, a show where Rusev lost a Tables match against Bobby Lashley. Rusev never wins on PPV, so this shouldn’t have been a surprise.

In March 2018, I wrote about how Rusev and Becky Lynch had not won on PPV in over one year. Becky Lynch became the biggest star in the company by the end of that year, but Rusev’s luck did not see a similar turnaround. After Royal Rumble 2019 in January, I wrote about how Rusev had not won on PPV in over two years.

The quick summary goes like this: Rusev’s last victory on the main card of a PPV occurred in July 2016 at Battleground when he defeated Zack Ryder. His last victory on the pre-show of a PPV took place in December 2016, when he defeated Big Cass via countout at Roadblock: End of the Line. No matter which way you slice it, Rusev’s fall down the card from his time as the undefeated badass riding a tank into WrestleMania 31 in 2015 was about as extreme as it gets. Not even his massively popular Rusev Day gimmick could get him a single PPV victory.

Now that the end of the year is upon us, I figured it’s a good time to check in on how Rusev fared on PPV in 2019. Here is his entire match list:

  1. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev for the United States championship on the Royal Rumble 2019 pre-show.
  2. New Day defeated Rusev and Nakamura on the Fastlane 2019 pre-show in March.
  3. At WrestleMania 35, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura came up short in a Fatal 4-way tag team match for the SmackDown tag titles that was won by The Usos.
  4. Rusev failed to win a 50-man Battle Royal in Saudi Arabia at Super ShowDown in June.
  5. Rusev competed in Saudi Arabia again at Crown Jewel in November, where he was a member of Team Hogan. Team Hogan went on to defeat Team Flair.
  6. Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev in a Tables match at TLC in December.

Thanks to the power of Hulkamania (and Roman Reigns), Rusev’s winless streak on PPV finally ended in November. It’s still true that Rusev has not pinned or submitted any of his opponents on PPV since July 2016, well over three years ago. But a win is a win, and Rusev’s losing streak on PPV is finally over.

What year do you think Rusev will get his next win on PPV, Cagesiders?