When Rusev squares off against John Cena for the United States Championship at the 2015 edition of WWE’s Payback pay-per-view, it will be the fourth special event in a row that the two men have gone to battle.
While Rusev managed to steal the first victory at Fastlane, Cena has earned back-to-back wins at WrestleMania and Extreme Rules. With the champion claiming that he will not seek a rematch with Rusev regardless of the result in the next PPV match, anything could happen at Payback.
Here are the most likely outcomes in the battle between Rusev and Cena at the May special event.
Rusev Does Something Despicable to Force Cena’s Hand
It is so hard to imagine John Cena saying “I Quit,” but one way around this would be having Rusev doing something despicable like threatening to attack Lana or attempting to degrade the American flag.
Either way, Cena would have to quit in order to avoid Rusev doing something deplorable.
The battle between the two men has gone through several different stipulations and has been amplified with each passing PPV. Adding in Rusev almost doing something that could damage the company’s reputation, and it would give Cena no other choice.
Let Cena beat down Rusev for the majority of the match, but when both men are tired, have Rusev threaten to put Lana in the Accolade before Cena is forced to quit. Afterward, Lana can reveal she was in on the idea the whole time.
Cena Just Wins Clean
As much as conventional booking and classic storytelling says that Rusev would win the championship and Cena would move away from the U.S. title scene, this is Cena we’re talking about.
The 15-time world champion could easily just beat Rusev and add him to the extensive list of up-and-coming Superstars buried over the years. Unfortunately for wrestling fans, Cena winning is an all-too-realistic possibility.
There is no doubt that Cena has helped bring prestige back to the secondary title, and the company loves everything the face of the company stands for. If Vince McMahon wants Cena to retain the championship, Rusev will be reduced to nothing following yet another loss.
Rusev Plays a Clip of Cena Saying “I Quit”
One of the most outlandish options for the outcome of this match is WWE taking a page out of the 1999 playbook and having Rusev play an altered version of Cena saying “I Quit” on the PA system.
It worked for Mankind vs. The Rock at the Royal Rumble in 1999.
Cena has said the words “I Quit” several times during the build for the match, and with the help of Lana, Rusev could easily manipulate the system and steal a tainted win by playing the audio over the loud speakers.
While it would be an overbooked ending, it would protect Cena—totally unnecessary but something WWE does all the time—and still give Rusev the victory. Add in that Cena would not be granted a rematch, and the porously booked feud would finally be over.
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