Mixed Tag Team Kickoff match
Rusev and Lana vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega
For months we’ve wanted Rusev to be presented as a good guy. It seems to finally be happening, but not without a cost.
The Road to SummerSlam
It started, like all good feuds do, in an online exclusive video:
But as Lana points out, rather calmly considering Zelina had just disrespected our most sacred of holidays, there was a larger story at play which started back at Extreme Rules. That was where the Bulgarian Brute finally earned a WWE Title shot. His other partner, Aiden English, attempted to help Rusev win that match, but his involvement ended up contributing to a pinfall win for AJ Styles.
It was a pattern which would continue as the Total Divas couple embarked on their program with Almas and Vega. English’s good intentions would backfire in singles matches between Rusev & El Ídolo and the Ravishing Russian & Zelina.
He tried to make good by softening Cien up for Rusev on the ‘go home’ show, but came up short. It did give us an opportunity to see The Handsome One unleash some good old-fashioned babyface fire...
Meanwhile, poor Aiden is crestfallen:
What’s at stake?
Oh, just the future of Rusev Day as we know it.
It’s possible English runs in to save the day and Mr. and Mrs. Rusev close out their stint on the pre-show by singing along with the man who first sang the extremely chantable “Lana is the best” for Mixed Match Challenge. But traditional wrestling storytelling points to the start of a feud between Aiden and the man he helped create a holiday for.
Which would at least free Almas up to showcase his skills in a feud for a secondary belt or something a little more high-profile. And free all of us from any more Vega/Lana matches.
But if it does come at the expense of English’s friendship of the Lion of Bulgaria, it will be a very sad Rusev Day indeed.
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Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega
Lana and Rusev