DALLAS — Despite facing a massive size disadvantage, Kalisto rose to the occasion on The Grandest Stage of Them All, overcoming Ryback in a spectacular United States Championship showdown on the WrestleMania Kickoff.

The first match of the historic evening invoked memories of an age-old story: David versus Goliath. The hulking Ryback does, after all, call himself “The Big Guy,” even questioning whether a good little guy could ever defeat a good big guy. Well, that question was answered.

Kalisto vs. Ryback - U.S. Title Match: WrestleMania 32 Kickoff

In the first match on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Ryback looks to dethrone United States Champion Kalisto.

Despite checking in at nine inches shorter and 120 pounds lighter than his challenger, and competing for the very first time at The Showcase of Immortals, The King of Flight showed no fear or butterflies. He did, however, encounter the full brunt of The Human Wrecking Ball’s powerful attack.

The spirited Kalisto came out swinging, but the behemoth that is Ryback enforced his brutality early on, manhandling the titleholder. The high-flying Luchador’s first impactful strike came with a flying knee off the apron, onto his opponent on the outside. The offense was short-lived, though, as Ryback quickly overpowered Kalisto once again.

After throwing the masked Superstar back into the ring with a gorilla press slam, the massive Superstar continued to pound his rival with forceful strikes. Kalisto showed his giant heart by battling back with kicks to his challenger’s legs and midsection, though every time he seemed to pick up some momentum, Ryback answered with a clubbing blow.

Ryback held the champion high above his head for what seemed like minutes with a superplex attempt, but the maneuver nearly backfired when Kalisto ended up on top of the former Intercontinental Champion with a near fall.

This exchange seemed to give Kalisto the jolt of confidence he needed as his offensive spurts lengthened. After Ryback pulled an outstretched Kalisto out of the corner, the feisty competitor pulled the padding off the turnbuckle. This would be an important moment in the contest as The Big Guy would ultimately run headfirst into the exposed turnbuckle after Kalisto escaped his powerbomb attempt. 

The United States Champion then took full advantage of the dazed Superstar, hitting him with Salida del Sol for the victory.

With Kalisto showing that the power of the Lucha spirit can overcome even the biggest of obstacles – on The Grandest Stage of Them All, no less – what potential hurdles will the United States Champion face next?

DALLAS — Despite facing a massive size disadvantage, Kalisto rose to the occasion on The Grandest Stage of Them All, overcoming Ryback in a spectacular United States Championship showdown on the WrestleMania Kickoff.

The first match of the historic evening invoked memories of an age-old story: David versus Goliath. The hulking Ryback does, after all, call himself “The Big Guy,” even questioning whether a good little guy could ever defeat a good big guy. Well, that question was answered.

Kalisto vs. Ryback - U.S. Title Match: WrestleMania 32 Kickoff

In the first match on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Ryback looks to dethrone United States Champion Kalisto.

Despite checking in at nine inches shorter and 120 pounds lighter than his challenger, and competing for the very first time at The Showcase of Immortals, The King of Flight showed no fear or butterflies. He did, however, encounter the full brunt of The Human Wrecking Ball’s powerful attack.

The spirited Kalisto came out swinging, but the behemoth that is Ryback enforced his brutality early on, manhandling the titleholder. The high-flying Luchador’s first impactful strike came with a flying knee off the apron, onto his opponent on the outside. The offense was short-lived, though, as Ryback quickly overpowered Kalisto once again.

After throwing the masked Superstar back into the ring with a gorilla press slam, the massive Superstar continued to pound his rival with forceful strikes. Kalisto showed his giant heart by battling back with kicks to his challenger’s legs and midsection, though every time he seemed to pick up some momentum, Ryback answered with a clubbing blow.

Ryback held the champion high above his head for what seemed like minutes with a superplex attempt, but the maneuver nearly backfired when Kalisto ended up on top of the former Intercontinental Champion with a near fall.

This exchange seemed to give Kalisto the jolt of confidence he needed as his offensive spurts lengthened. After Ryback pulled an outstretched Kalisto out of the corner, the feisty competitor pulled the padding off the turnbuckle. This would be an important moment in the contest as The Big Guy would ultimately run headfirst into the exposed turnbuckle after Kalisto escaped his powerbomb attempt. 

The United States Champion then took full advantage of the dazed Superstar, hitting him with Salida del Sol for the victory.

With Kalisto showing that the power of the Lucha spirit can overcome even the biggest of obstacles – on The Grandest Stage of Them All, no less – what potential hurdles will the United States Champion face next?