Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summerslam: Swagger (USA) vs Rusev (RUS)

The classic wrestling angle of the evil foreigner and the baby face American. It is as old as wrestling itself or so it seems. The latest version trying to cash in on this classic angle has been the feud between Jack Swagger and Rusev with their respective mangers Zeb Colter and Lana. In many respects, this feud has been made by the mangers with the wrestlers more in the background.

The Rusev arrival from NXT to get him to the point we find ourselves now has been a rocky road. He started, as the Bulgarian Brute and transitioned into being from Russia as go figure people hate Russia more than Bulgaria. Let us be honest, there are many things about this feud that could not have been foreseen.

It probably begins with Jack Swagger being turned baby face along with Zeb Colter. They have been booked as radical tea party like supporters that had very controversial opinions on America. Unexpectedly they come out and confront the evil foreigners and instantly they were turned. It kept with their logic as heels to come out and confront Lana and Rusev.

The real life issues involving Russia and their involvement in Ukraine and the downing of a commercial airliner. Lana referenced the tragic event in a promo on the last WWE pay-per-view. It was just a comment about people blaming Russia for “recent events in the world” and it was wrong. It caused a backlash in mainstream media that threaten this feud. This was set up with match between the two ending in a countdown out victory for Rusev leading to this flag match at Summerslam.

In the end, the WWE weathered the storm issuing a very sarcastic apology and moved forward with their plans for these two. It does remind me of the situation the WWE landed them in with Slaughter vs. Hogan angle that started just prior to the first Iraq war. This angle is walking a line that is similar in nature. . Let us hope for peace and not war and this angle to continue being totally secondary to that.

In any case, this is a feud that deserved to continue as Zeb and Lana have more than done their share as the soundtrack to this feud. While Rusev and Swagger both who lack the microphone skills are a good match-up in the ring. This is a feud that honestly shows you the value of some performers need for having a manager that can do their talking for them. Makes total sense that an Old School angle would point out one of the other aspects of Old School wrestling that can still work today.

You also have Lana who has become the pin-up girl for the WWE despite her less than American values of her character. Zeb has become the American patriot all of the sudden for America to rally behind. 

The outcome has been fairly predictable in this one as America always wins in the end in the WWE. Nothing a crowd of Americans especially wrestling fans love to do more than chant U-S-A. People claiming Jack Swagger is over and this has made him might be going too far. Ultimately, though a win here will help him a great deal.

In contrast Rusev does not have to be pinned to win a “flag match” if it is done in the last version of this we have seen it just takes claiming the flag off a pole. Therefore, he remains strong to some extent. Which is perfect wrestling booking, in which the match harms no one and everyone should come out stronger on the other side.

So America have fun chanting U-S-A like Hacksaw Jim Duggan for 2014. Rusev can be your Volfoff but Lana is in no way resembling Classy Freddie Blassie or Slick. Which males from all nations are thankful for that!

Check out the rest of our In-Depth Summerslam previews so far: 

Stephanie vs Brie     

Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins   

The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler   

Jericho vs Bray Wyatt



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