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Title Shot That Is Deserved

The path to reaching a title opportunity comes in different forms for each WWE superstar. The normal way entails one of two ways: either someone the company has decided will be the next shooting star, or a person whose put in laborious time to finally reach their moment.

What the WWE tends to stay away from, though, for whatever reason, is giving a world championship match to a wrestler who organically became white hot with the crowd. Someone that constantly engages an enormous reaction upon arrival to the point where the fans have to physically demand their favorite gets a shot. This might be what they call the “Daniel Bryan effect,” chanting a name during matches they’re not involved in. We’re not talking about Daniel Bryan here.

The superstar that has invoked this type or reaction for months now, while also putting in his time, is Rusev. As we learned from the SmackDown gauntlet match, Rusev earned a WWE Championship title shot after submitting the Miz in the final match, and it is more than well deserved for him. All on Rusev Day also!

Long, Humble Career Beginnings

Rusev has done all about everything asked of him during his time in the WWE. He started out as a menacing villain, the Lion of Bulgaria, jobbing out during interesting battles with John Cena. He’s tackled the romance area of the company, involving a storyline relationship with Summer Rae and pivoting to having his real wife Lana by his side once word got out that the two were married in their personal life. Continuing as a bad guy, who could forget the failed project of the League of Nations? Then so he continued to take the fall, including a high spectacle of being on the receiving end of a beatdown at the hands of WWE legends Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold at WrestleMania 32.

We soon learned that Rusev also had a natural comedic humor to him as well, thanks to his numerous appearances on Total Divas. He took the ball and ran with it, turning lemons into lemonade when paired up with Aiden English, not knowing what direction this would head to. Thus began the incarnation of the household saying now: “Rusev Day.”

Of course it’s a parody, but Rusev has taken this day and turned it into something that will live on further than his career, living up there with the Austin “what” chants that you still hear today. Despite a beloved craze from fans across the world, it was again Rusev who took the pin to Jinder Mahal at this WrestleMania during a fatal-four way match for the U.S. Championship. Once more, the WWE refused to put over the largest movement it had going for them.

Rusev consistently puts out entertaining matches due, in part, to his combination of size and agility. He’s shown how he can play the serious and funny role, the bad guy or good guy character.

The best part is he’s grown better from year to year as a superstar in all capacities.

Fighting On His Own Holiday

The fact of the matter is Rusev is just as deserving to be awarded this title opportunity just as much as anyone on the company roster. While he more than likely will not win at Extreme Rules, it’s still awesome that Rusev gets a moment in the spotlight for a major title. He’s won the United States Championship, but it’s great that he’s now in this facet. More importantly, this match gives a fresh look for both opponents that we didn’t expect to see coming.

Upgrading from mid card to upper card will do nothing but improve the progression of Rusev. He’s done enough for this moment. Listen to the crowd every time English comes out and hums before starting his introduction for the Lion from Bulgaria. They go wild. We all know what day it is, and what a fine day it shall be. Rusev Matchka, and Rusev Day will be a phenomenal day. This pay-per-view should not be taken as a throw away. It’s about time Rusev is in this type of role after the many roles he has been asked to do. Here’s to bigger and better things for him.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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