Rusev def. Jack Swagger by count-out

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July 20, 2014

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TAMPA, Fla. — Jack Swagger didn’t beat Rusev at Battleground, but he brought the fight to him in a way no other Superstar has. If you’ve been following The Super Athlete’s reign of dominance in WWE then you know that’s an accomplishment in its own right.

Check out photos from this grueling encounter

In a physical, relentless fight that looked less like a wrestling match and more like deleted footage from “King Kong vs. Godzilla,” Swagger and Rusev traded blistering strikes and punishing holds with the over-the-top carnage of movie monsters.

It wasn’t all swinging for the fences with Swagger, though. The newly minted American hero focused much of his attention on Rusev’s vulnerable ankle from the start. It was a wise decision — no matter how formidable an opponent is, it’s impossible to bulk up an ankle. Swagger’s attempts at The Patriot Lock clearly threw Rusev off as the typical powder keg offense of the big man all of a sudden became clinical. If he didn’t strategize against Swagger, he’d pay the price. 

Watch Swagger and Rusev's electrifying first showdown 

Still, Rusev’s power was undeniable and the way he threw the 270-pound Swagger around the ring with relative ease was hard to deny. The most dangerous aspect of Rusev’s offense is that every part of his body is lethal — he can dispatch an opponent with a knee or foot just as easily as he can with a fist. And when he wasn’t blasting Swagger’s kidneys with ugly kicks, he was twisting his head like a man struggling to pop the lid off a pickle jar.

Just when it looked like Swagger was done, though, he found a reserve of energy in the fans’ chants of “USA!” to battle back with a series of well-placed boots and a Swagger Bomb.  The All American’s best shot at victory came when he countered Rusev’s jumping thrust kick with The Patriot Lock. The excruciating hold pushed Rusev far beyond his pain threshold before he finally managed to struggle to the bottom rope.

When Rusev retreated to outside, Swagger followed and applied The Patriot Lock on the arena floor. It was a curious bit of strategy — the maneuver could’ve caused both men to be counted out — but Rusev used Swagger’s momentum against him and sent him face first into the steel ringpost. The impact knocked the Oklahoman out cold and allowed Rusev to hobble back into the ring to win by count-out.

The Hero of the Russian Federation tortured his opponent with The Accolade after the bell, which looked to be a sign of frustration more than anything. Swagger may have lost to Rusev, but he exposed one very important truth about the dangerous Superstar — he can be beaten.

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