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Rusev wins battle royal to become new #1 contender for the United States championship

It is a new era on Raw, as Shane and/or Stephanie McMahon remembered there are three singles titles for men and actually started a storyline for Kalisto's United States championship more than a week before the next pay-per-view (PPV).

The champ was ringside (and in a dapper suit) for the battle royal which would determine his next challenger.

Right from the start, things were interesting. We knew all three members of the recently disbanded League of Nations would be in the fight from the graphic announcing it. Then, Titus O'Neil returned to television for the first time since his suspension for "playfully grabbing" Vince McMahon after Daniel Bryan's retirement.

Kalisto's Lucha Dragons' tag partner was in there, as were the men he shared the pre-show with last night, Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin. There were Social Outcasts, former U.S. champs like Zack Ryder and more.

Early exits happened for Viktor, Stardust, Damien Sandow and Darren Young. Sheamus eliminated Apollo Crews, and then the Show-Off took out Corbin. The Lone Wolf assaulted Ziggler afterwards, and fed him to Rusev to eliminate.

After a commercial break, eight men were left, but the Celtic Warrior tossed Titus, ADR sent the Axe Man packing, and Sin Cara flipped Bo Dallas out.

The League of Nations members put their differences aside to try and eliminate the babyfaces, and eventually took out Sin Cara, then started the beatdown on Iced Z. Thinking they'd eliminated him, Sheamus tried to dump Del Rio, but he held on as well.

RuRu and Alberto teamed up to take out the Irishman, and then the Bulgarian was able to kick the Mexican Aristocrat to the curb. Ryder had the St. Louis crowd on his side, but his latest attempt at a miracle came up just short. A man with an illustrious United States title reign on his resume is the new #1 contender for the red, white and blue belt.

At this point, there's been no mention of if his title shot will come at Extreme Rules or not, but if it is, with three weeks to build, maybe it can avoid the pre-show.

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