One of the more highly anticipated matches taking place at WrestleMania 31 is the United States Championship rematch between Rusev and the challenger, John Cena.
The two first clashed at the WWE Fastlane pay-per-view last month where Rusev defeated John Cena to keep hold of his United States Championship, the win coming after Rusev hit John Cena with the low blow whilst the referee was distracted by Lana and then locked in the Accolade as Cena passed out.
There was no way John Cena was going to take that lying down and the build-up to the rematch has been impressive so the WWE can be forgiven for showing us a WrestleMania match a month earlier.
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Since their Fastlane match, Cena continued to challenge to Rusev but his requests were declined and Stephanie McMahon also got involved into the situation, declaring that only the champion could grant him his rematch.
On the March 9 episode of Monday Night Raw the challenge was finally accepted, albeit reluctantly. Rusev defeated Curtis Axel and insulted the United States a little more and John Cena snapped and locked in two STF holds until Lana accepted, continuing the entertaining build-up to their match.
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Considering the two have already had a match at Fastlane, the build-up to their WrestleMania rematch has been better than expected and there is still another week left until the two do meet.
Rusev is playing his role as the heel champion perfectly and at times John Cena genuinely looks like he can’t defeat Rusev and that is key heading into WrestleMania. The fact that Lana is now off-screen has also played a big role in Rusev’s development as it shows that he is the one who has the final say and now it will show what Rusev is capable of on his own for a short while.
His contract signing segment with John Cena this past week on Monday Night Raw was also entertaining and he came across as a confident champion and you would never guess that he is heading into his first ever WrestleMania in the WWE and taking on the number one star, he seems to have embraced his situation and this marquee match and he’s running with it and doing a fantastic job, even though his attorney couldn’t provide a worse Russian accent if he tried.
For the first time in a very long time the United States Championship actually means something and will be defended in a marquee match at WrestleMania with the number one star in the company walking in as the challenger.
Rusev portraying a Russian holding the United States Championship is the perfect heel move as he continues to bury the country like no other superstar on the current roster. A win for Rusev would really show his dominance and set him up for a blockbuster year whilst a loss may not be good for his development.
However, John Cena capturing the United States Championship would certainly make the championship relevant and elevate the prestige of the gold and Cena is someone who can make the gold mean something once more and well find out at WrestleMania whether Rusev will remain unbeaten or John Cena can end his unbeaten run and become the new United States Champion.