CHICAGO – Four weeks after toppling then-unbeaten Rusev at WrestleMania 31 to become United States Champion, John Cena held his star-spangled prize high above his head at Extreme Rules, where The Champ valiantly defeated The Super Athlete in WWE’s first televised Russian Chain Match.

View Russian Chain Match photos |  Full Extreme Rules 2015 coverage

The rules of this unique contest were straightforward, but that simplicity made this barbaric confrontation no less grueling for either Superstar. The rivals were tethered to one another by unbreakable Siberian steel, and the first warrior to incapacitate his opponent long enough to touch all four corners of the ring would be the victor. In the end, it was Cena who was up to that seemingly insurmountable task, but it was far from easy.

Even though The Windy City is often viewed as enemy territory for the Cenation leader, The Champ was met with “USA!” chants as he battled the Russian aggressor. The Super Athlete nevertheless took control early in the match, keeping the Cenation leader on the defensive with skull-rattling kicks and liberal use of the titular chain.

After countering one of Cena’s signature shoulder tackles with a well-timed fall-away slam, Rusev incapacitated The Champ with a massive kick that seemed to seal Cena’s fate. However, when the WWE Universe in Chicago chanted for Lana, prompting some surprising acknowledgement from The Ravishing Russian on the apron, an enraged Rusev ordered her to the back.

Had Lana remained at ringside, she might have devised a way to prevent what would transpire just moments later.

Taking advantage of Rusev’s momentary distraction after ejecting his social ambassador from the arena, Cena hit The Super Athlete with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and set his foe up for the Attitude Adjustment, which was somehow countered into an Alabama slam that left The Champ vulnerable to Rusev’s excruciating Accolade. Using the chain, however, Cena was able to counter Rusev’s signature maneuver into his own STF. With The Russian Tank momentarily grounded, Cena touched three corners, but Rusev strategically exited the ring, leaving Cena unable to reach for the fourth corner that would secure his victory. Cena brought the 300-pounder into the ring to lay him out with an Attitude Adjustment, but Rusev retaliated and made another attempt at the Accolade, this time locking it in successfully.

In order to break the hold, Cena rose to his feet, hoisting his larger opponent onto his shoulders and, not realizing it, drove Rusev into two turnbuckles and unwittingly carried The Hero of the Russian Federation halfway to a U.S. Title victory. Realizing Cena’s error, Rusev tagged a third corner and nearly hit the fourth until Cena finally hit the Attitude Adjustment successfully. In the tense, final moments of the match, Cena and Rusev raced to touch all four corners and, with each Superstar one turnbuckle away from victory, Cena — channeling his inner Scorpion from “Mortal Kombat” — used the chain to yank Rusev away from the final corner and into another Attitude Adjustment. Cena then touched the fourth and final corner, and celebrated his second consecutive victory over Rusev, Old Glory waving proudly behind him.

Furious after his defeat, Rusev berated Lana in the locker room area, leading The Ravishing Russian to meet with The Authority and secure a U.S. Title “I Quit” Match for The Super Athlete at WWE Payback. Will Rusev make the “Never Give Up” Superstar say the two words that aren’t in his vocabulary? Find out Sunday, May 17, live on the award-winning WWE Network! 

Extreme Rules
Extreme Rules
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Extreme Rules
Extreme Rules
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CHICAGO – Four weeks after toppling then-unbeaten Rusev at WrestleMania 31 to become United States Champion, John Cena held his star-spangled prize high above his head at Extreme Rules, where The Champ valiantly defeated The Super Athlete in WWE’s first televised Russian Chain Match.

View Russian Chain Match photos |  Full Extreme Rules 2015 coverage

The rules of this unique contest were straightforward, but that simplicity made this barbaric confrontation no less grueling for either Superstar. The rivals were tethered to one another by unbreakable Siberian steel, and the first warrior to incapacitate his opponent long enough to touch all four corners of the ring would be the victor. In the end, it was Cena who was up to that seemingly insurmountable task, but it was far from easy.

Even though The Windy City is often viewed as enemy territory for the Cenation leader, The Champ was met with “USA!” chants as he battled the Russian aggressor. The Super Athlete nevertheless took control early in the match, keeping the Cenation leader on the defensive with skull-rattling kicks and liberal use of the titular chain.

After countering one of Cena’s signature shoulder tackles with a well-timed fall-away slam, Rusev incapacitated The Champ with a massive kick that seemed to seal Cena’s fate. However, when the WWE Universe in Chicago chanted for Lana, prompting some surprising acknowledgement from The Ravishing Russian on the apron, an enraged Rusev ordered her to the back.

Had Lana remained at ringside, she might have devised a way to prevent what would transpire just moments later.

Taking advantage of Rusev’s momentary distraction after ejecting his social ambassador from the arena, Cena hit The Super Athlete with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and set his foe up for the Attitude Adjustment, which was somehow countered into an Alabama slam that left The Champ vulnerable to Rusev’s excruciating Accolade. Using the chain, however, Cena was able to counter Rusev’s signature maneuver into his own STF. With The Russian Tank momentarily grounded, Cena touched three corners, but Rusev strategically exited the ring, leaving Cena unable to reach for the fourth corner that would secure his victory. Cena brought the 300-pounder into the ring to lay him out with an Attitude Adjustment, but Rusev retaliated and made another attempt at the Accolade, this time locking it in successfully.

In order to break the hold, Cena rose to his feet, hoisting his larger opponent onto his shoulders and, not realizing it, drove Rusev into two turnbuckles and unwittingly carried The Hero of the Russian Federation halfway to a U.S. Title victory. Realizing Cena’s error, Rusev tagged a third corner and nearly hit the fourth until Cena finally hit the Attitude Adjustment successfully. In the tense, final moments of the match, Cena and Rusev raced to touch all four corners and, with each Superstar one turnbuckle away from victory, Cena — channeling his inner Scorpion from “Mortal Kombat” — used the chain to yank Rusev away from the final corner and into another Attitude Adjustment. Cena then touched the fourth and final corner, and celebrated his second consecutive victory over Rusev, Old Glory waving proudly behind him.

Furious after his defeat, Rusev berated Lana in the locker room area, leading The Ravishing Russian to meet with The Authority and secure a U.S. Title “I Quit” Match for The Super Athlete at WWE Payback. Will Rusev make the “Never Give Up” Superstar say the two words that aren’t in his vocabulary? Find out Sunday, May 17, live on the award-winning WWE Network!