WWE Network: Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev: SummerSlam 2015

Rusev lowers the boom on his American rival Dolph Ziggler: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After looking on from afar as Rusev and Summer Rae tormented Lana, the returning Dolph Ziggler valiantly defended his girlfriend at SummerSlam, bringing the fight to The Bulgarian Brute like never before. However, there was no decisive victor in this emotionally-charged grudge match, which ended on the outside floor when neither Ziggler nor Rusev could re-enter the ring before the referee’s 10-count.

Ditching her business suits for acid-washed denim, Lana beamed as Ziggler unleashed on Rusev in the early goings of the bout, attempting to counter the behemoth’s frightening strength with a rapid-fire flurry of punches. However, Rusev refused to go down, and soon trapped Ziggler in a monstrous bearhug. Summer Rae relished watching her man crush the life out of his smaller opponent, but her smile vanished when Ziggler escaped the hold, then reversed a gorilla press slam into an expertly executed DDT.

Photos: The Showoff vs. The Super Athlete

After thwarting Rusev’s attempt to launch an airborne attack and somehow bouncing back against a running senton from the 138-kilogram goliath, Ziggler locked in a sleeper hold and nearly put The Bulgarian Brute down for an impromptu nap. Shaking off the cobwebs, Rusev soon landed a superkick on The Showoff that left Ziggler susceptible to the Accolade submission hold. Lana pleaded for her boyfriend to fight out of the excruciating maneuver, prompting Summer to attempt to silence The Ravishing Russian with a slap. Lana countered Summer’s attempted attack with a stinging strike of her own.

Following Lana’s satisfying act of self-defense, a furious Rusev confronted Lana outside the ring, holding Ziggler’s battered form in front of her. Distracted, Lana was vulnerable to an ambush by Summer, while The Bulgarian Brute was surprised by a swift superkick onto the announce table.  Ziggler crawled to the apron, but was unable to get into the ring before the referee counted to 10. As a result, the bout ended in a double count-out.

Watch: Rusev lowers the boom on Dolph Ziggler

After the bell, Ziggler and Rusev continued the brutality, which led to a two-on-one assault as Summer entered the fray. Lana then latched onto Lana, forcing Ziggler and Rusev to pull their respective girlfriends apart. Clearly, the issues between these warring duos are far from resolved — but given how personal this rivalry has been in recent weeks, the ongoing strife is hardly surprising.

After Rusev sustained an ankle injury in May and verbally took out his frustrations on Lana week after week, The Ravishing Russian ended her relationship with the former United States Champion, finding solace — and liberation — by sparking up a new romance with The Showoff. This perceived betrayal only further infuriated the hulking Rusev who, once healed from his ankle ailment, savagely assaulted Ziggler with his crutch on the July 6 edition of Raw, bruising the former World Heavyweight Champion’s trachea and putting The Showoff on the shelf.

Exclusive: Ziggler talks about return to the ring 

As Ziggler recovered, Rusev continued to emotionally torture Lana, and the mind games only escalated when Summer Rae — donning all-too-familiar skirts and with her blonde hair in a conspicuous bun— was revealed as the new object of The Bulgarian Brute’s affections. Lana would be driven to physically retaliate against her calculating doppelgänger, but she was ultimately rendered helpless during the Aug. 10 edition of Raw. That night, Rusev showed the true breadth of his cruelty as he commanded Summer to trap Lana in the Accolade. That disgusting display clearly lit a fire inside Ziggler, who raced back to Raw the following week to even the odds and to get some much-needed payback against his chauvinistic foe. This set the stage for their clash at SummerSlam in Brooklyn, which ended with Ziggler and Lana standing triumphant — even in a draw — while Rusev and Summer retreated up the entrance ramp.

How might Rusev and Summer Rae raise the stakes in their ongoing war with Dolph Ziggler and Lana? Will The Showoff and The Ravishing Russian be ready? No matter what happens next between these contentious couples, one thing’s certain: They won’t be double-dating anytime soon. 

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WWE Network: Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev: SummerSlam 2015

Rusev lowers the boom on his American rival Dolph Ziggler: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After looking on from afar as Rusev and Summer Rae tormented Lana, the returning Dolph Ziggler valiantly defended his girlfriend at SummerSlam, bringing the fight to The Bulgarian Brute like never before. However, there was no decisive victor in this emotionally-charged grudge match, which ended on the outside floor when neither Ziggler nor Rusev could re-enter the ring before the referee’s 10-count.

Ditching her business suits for acid-washed denim, Lana beamed as Ziggler unleashed on Rusev in the early goings of the bout, attempting to counter the behemoth’s frightening strength with a rapid-fire flurry of punches. However, Rusev refused to go down, and soon trapped Ziggler in a monstrous bearhug. Summer Rae relished watching her man crush the life out of his smaller opponent, but her smile vanished when Ziggler escaped the hold, then reversed a gorilla press slam into an expertly executed DDT.

Photos: The Showoff vs. The Super Athlete

After thwarting Rusev’s attempt to launch an airborne attack and somehow bouncing back against a running senton from the 138-kilogram goliath, Ziggler locked in a sleeper hold and nearly put The Bulgarian Brute down for an impromptu nap. Shaking off the cobwebs, Rusev soon landed a superkick on The Showoff that left Ziggler susceptible to the Accolade submission hold. Lana pleaded for her boyfriend to fight out of the excruciating maneuver, prompting Summer to attempt to silence The Ravishing Russian with a slap. Lana countered Summer’s attempted attack with a stinging strike of her own.

Following Lana’s satisfying act of self-defense, a furious Rusev confronted Lana outside the ring, holding Ziggler’s battered form in front of her. Distracted, Lana was vulnerable to an ambush by Summer, while The Bulgarian Brute was surprised by a swift superkick onto the announce table.  Ziggler crawled to the apron, but was unable to get into the ring before the referee counted to 10. As a result, the bout ended in a double count-out.

Watch: Rusev lowers the boom on Dolph Ziggler

After the bell, Ziggler and Rusev continued the brutality, which led to a two-on-one assault as Summer entered the fray. Lana then latched onto Lana, forcing Ziggler and Rusev to pull their respective girlfriends apart. Clearly, the issues between these warring duos are far from resolved — but given how personal this rivalry has been in recent weeks, the ongoing strife is hardly surprising.

After Rusev sustained an ankle injury in May and verbally took out his frustrations on Lana week after week, The Ravishing Russian ended her relationship with the former United States Champion, finding solace — and liberation — by sparking up a new romance with The Showoff. This perceived betrayal only further infuriated the hulking Rusev who, once healed from his ankle ailment, savagely assaulted Ziggler with his crutch on the July 6 edition of Raw, bruising the former World Heavyweight Champion’s trachea and putting The Showoff on the shelf.

Exclusive: Ziggler talks about return to the ring 

As Ziggler recovered, Rusev continued to emotionally torture Lana, and the mind games only escalated when Summer Rae — donning all-too-familiar skirts and with her blonde hair in a conspicuous bun— was revealed as the new object of The Bulgarian Brute’s affections. Lana would be driven to physically retaliate against her calculating doppelgänger, but she was ultimately rendered helpless during the Aug. 10 edition of Raw. That night, Rusev showed the true breadth of his cruelty as he commanded Summer to trap Lana in the Accolade. That disgusting display clearly lit a fire inside Ziggler, who raced back to Raw the following week to even the odds and to get some much-needed payback against his chauvinistic foe. This set the stage for their clash at SummerSlam in Brooklyn, which ended with Ziggler and Lana standing triumphant — even in a draw — while Rusev and Summer retreated up the entrance ramp.

How might Rusev and Summer Rae raise the stakes in their ongoing war with Dolph Ziggler and Lana? Will The Showoff and The Ravishing Russian be ready? No matter what happens next between these contentious couples, one thing’s certain: They won’t be double-dating anytime soon.