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The months-long struggle between United States Champion John Cena and Rusev over the stars-and-stripes title will reach its apex at WWE Payback, where the Cenation leader and The Super Athlete meet in a championship “I Quit” Match.
After warring in three consecutive title contests, including an awe-inspiring WrestleMania showdown and a barbaric Russian Chain Match at Extreme Rules, the two proud warriors will collide on Sunday, May 17, when the only way to win is by forcing the opposition to utter the humiliating words, “I quit.”
As unthinkable as it may sound for either Cena or Rusev to say those words, the cruel stipulation may be the only suitable finale for a rivalry that the WWE Universe has watched steadily escalate throughout the calendar year.
In their first match at WWE Fastlane, Rusev extended his historic win streak by defeating the decorated Cenation leader. Cena turned the tide in their rematch at WrestleMania 31, leveraging a miscommunication between Rusev and Lana to not only pin The Hero of the Russian Federation, but also dethrone him. At Extreme Rules, the two Superstars were tethered at the wrists by a length of unbreakable Siberian steel chain. During that grueling match, dissension between Rusev and Lana was observed as The Super Athlete, in seeming disapproval of Lana’s behavior toward the WWE Universe in attendance, sent The Ravishing Russian to the backstage area mid-match. Without her by his side, Rusev ended up falling short against Cena.
Enraged by the pivotal loss, Rusev made clear to Lana that he is not finished with Cena, and Lana went straight to The Authority to get the rematch signed for WWE Payback. Will the obvious trouble between Rusev and Lana lead to another misfire at WWE Payback, or has the power couple put their problems behind them once and for all? Can the Cenation leader survive another conflict with the mighty 300-pound Super Athlete?
Most important of all, which Superstar will be brutalized into saying “I quit” live before the entire WWE Universe? Find out when WWE Payback airs live on the award-winning WWE Network Sunday, May 17, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT!