3. “I Quit” Match – Payback 2015
Hey, remember when I said that it would’ve been brutal if this feuded ended on the back of their Extreme Rules match? Well, this was the match that ended it and guess what? In wasn’t that much better. Honestly, it could be the reason that Rusev lost so much momentum after this was all said and done. Even in defeat, if a superstar can leave a lasting impression in the ring, the future is usually bright. Rusev and Cena ended the program, not on a low-note, but more of a “meh” note. It was just okay.
The match wasn’t all bad. It had the normal Cena/Rusev physicality level but at that point in the feud, that part of it had become stale. It didn’t help either that this match seemed to go on forever. At 28 minutes it seemed the two were trying to make this feud seem more competitive than it really was. Add to that the fact that both Cena and Rusev really only have one finishing submission hold each and seeing each guy for it over and over again was the equivalent of smashing your head into a wall: pointless and painful. Another key annoyance on this night was referee Mike Chioda. No lie, Chioda must have asked the question “You wanna quit?” 75 times. Body slam, “you wanna quit?”. Chop, “You wanna quit?” Change of wind direction, “you wanna quit?” Exhausting.
And then, of course, was the silly ending. Mid-way through the match, Cena passed out to The Accolade submission. But our buddy, Chioda was it again as he explained to Rusev that Cena had to say the words to him. Yet, that rule didn’t apply when Lana claimed Rusev was saying “I Quit” in Bulgarian while locked in Cena’s ring-rope aided STF. Great logic there. It wasn’t their worst match but it still wasn’t something that either a guy, the referee, or the booking team should be all that proud of.