On the June 30 episode of Raw, Real Americans Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter interrupted Rusev and Lana's bashing of the United States and ignited a rivalry between Swagger and Rusev that will culminate in a major match Sunday night at Battleground.
By standing up for the country in the face of sure punishment at the hands of the "super athlete," Swagger endeared himself to fans for the first time in his career. His match with Rusev this weekend will be the first major televised bout in which he works as a babyface, meaning all eyes will be on the former World Heavyweight champion and the performance he delivers in that role.
Fans have done their part to this point, reacting very strongly to Swagger's face turn and Colter's pro-American dialogue. They have been as much a part of the success of the angle as the performers themselves and deserve credit for it.
When the bell rings Sunday night, however, it will be up to the men between the ropes to capitalize on the energy and the anticipation surrounding their match and deliver something worthy of it. Rusev is still plenty green, despite strong showings against Big E and Reigns recently, meaning it will be up to the veteran Swagger to get the most out of the match.
A very good worker, Swagger has proved himself capable of working against Superstars of many styles. He has not, however, worked as a babyface in any match close to the magnitude of his bout with Rusev.
How he adapts his ring work to match the recent change in attitude is not only worth watching, but it will also determine the success of the match.