clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Extreme Rules 2016: Kalisto vs. Rusev full match preview

United States championship match

A man with an impressive U.S. title run on his résumé want a belt he believes is his back from the luchador striving to make it his own.

The Road to Extreme Rules

When Vince McMahon called Ryback's bluff, Kalisto was in need of a new dance partner. Surprisingly, rather than allow the high flying champ to drift back into the tag ranks or down to Superstars, Creative promptly ran a battle royal to determine a new #1 contender.

Though there was a moment at the end where it looked like perennial underdog Zack Ryder might once again get his day, the story of the battle royal was the recently dissolved League of Nations. One Leaguer rose above the rest... former U.S. champ Rusev:

Lana's man is taking the task at hand very seriously. Not only does he mean it when he says the red, white and blue belt belongs to him, but he started his run toward this title shot by defeating Ryder one-on-one, and then informing Michael Cole that he plans to not only defeat Kalisto, but "eat his heart".

After that peak, it's been a more traditional build to their showdown this Sunday in Newark. The Bulgarian Brute has dominated the champ's Lucha Dragons partner, but only come up with one win thanks to WWE's booking patterns.

Business did pick up on Raw this week, where a battle between Kalisto and his old rival (and Rusev's old teammate) Alberto Del Rio devolved into chaos after the challenger again attacked Sin Cara and used that as a means to get his hands on the Diminutive Dynamo.

Now, we're heading into the PPV with a banged up champ - and a hungry challenger.

What's at stake?

The title, of course... although the belt has dropped in significance considerably since Del Rio won it from John Cena back at Hell in a Cell.

Many have wondered if Cena will rejoin the U.S. title picture when he returns in a few weeks. And while there's been no indication one way or the other from WWE, just the thought of a feud with the Face That Runs the Place would raise the profile of whoever wins this weekend. At least for a while.

For Kalisto, his run has largely happened on the fringes (and the pre-show). A win here buys him more time to catch fire, but only if he can get on our screens. For Rusev, getting back the belt he dominated with back in 2014 would be a sign he's finally out of the doghouse in which he and his fiancée Lana spent most of last year.

Who will represent Murica, and can this match stay on the main card? Find out right here on Cageside Seats Sunday night!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats