Zack Ryder became a symbolic champion of America after he and Big Show led Team USA to victory over The Multinational Alliance on the Fourth of July. However, with a match against Rusev now confirmed for WWE Battleground, Ryder stands ready to attain something a bit more tangible: the United States Championship.
The Bulgarian Brute officially accepted Ryder's challenge to a title bout on the July 11 edition of Raw. In the process, Rusev did his best to humiliate Long Island Iced-Z, attacking Ryder in a blatant sign of disrespect after his match against Sheamus and locking him in the Accolade.
Though Lana's Super Athlete appears to be taking the threat of “Zack Daddy” lightly, Ryder historically thrives when it comes to proving doubters wrong. Such was the case when he heroically won the U.S. Championship once before, defeating Dolph Ziggler at WWE TLC 2011 in one of the biggest feel-good wins in memory. More recently, Ryder came away from WrestleMania 32's seven-Superstar Ladder Match holding the Intercontinental Title, despite the fact he was widely regarded as an underdog heading into the contest.
Such fortitude will be necessary against Rusev, who remains as big and daunting a foe as there is in WWE. In The Bulgarian Brute, Ryder faces a brawler who has a single objective: to crush the opposition.
|Battleground 2016 previews|
The Usos v Breezango • Triple Threat match • Sami Zayn v Kevin Owens • Becky Lynch v Natalya • Six-man tag team match • The Miz v Darren Young • Rusev v Zack Ryder • The New Day v The Wyatt Family • Divas Tag team match