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This Sunday at WWE Money in the Bank, Big E and Rusev will clash in a match of international proportions.

Rusev and Big E first collided last month at WWE Payback, when The Super Athlete was able to weather the early storm and defeat Big E with the Accolade. From there, the two Superstars have continued to spar with one another, both verbally and physically.

This past Monday night on Raw, Big E made quick work of Damien Sandow with the Big Ending, then – after weeks of having to listen to Rusev and his Social Ambassador, Lana, disparage the United States – let loose with an inspiring speech touting his love for all things red, white and blue. However, the patriotic moment was short-lived as Lana distracted her American rival, allowing Rusev to attack from behind and once again apply the Accolade on the defenseless Big E.

Yet, Big E would not remain down for long, as he confronted the Hero of the Russian Federation on SmackDown, getting the better of him and taking Rusev off his feet.

Can Big E defend his country’s honor proudly, or will he once again succumb to the sheer power of Rusev and the Accolade? Find out at Money in the Bank, available on WWE Network and pay-per-view, this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT!

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For the first time since his intimidating introduction to WWE, Rusev will square off with a competitor who exhibits equally imposing strength and explosiveness. This Sunday at WWE Payback, the 300-plus-pound powerhouse will go head-to-head with Big E in a showdown that is sure to be a hard-hitting affair.

Since his debut, The Bulgarian Brute has not only defeated, but destroyed every opponent thrown his way, doing so at his Social Ambassador Lana’s cruel command. In addition to the burly Bulgarian’s unsympathetic brutality inside the ring, The Ravishing Russian’s verbal assault on America has generated a great deal of disdain from the WWE Universe.

Rusev’s ruthless Social Ambassador took her attack on all things American one step too far when she ordered her client to “crush” WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on the May 12 edition of Raw. Fortunately for the WWE Legends’ House star, Big E had enough of the Russia residents’ callous tactics, saving the patriotic Superstar from impending danger before getting knocked from the ring by The Super Athlete.

Two weeks later, after bumping Rusev from the ring, Big E proudly waved Old Glory in the face of his foreign foe. Now, with patriotic pride raising the stakes, the Florida native has payback on his mind and hopes for a Big Ending to his conflict with Rusev.

What will happen when two of WWE’s most powerful Superstars collide inside the squared-circle? Find out when WWE Payback airs live on WWE Network and pay-per-view this Sunday, June 1, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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Joey Styles: WINNER: Alexander Rusev. ALSO WINNERS: All of us because we get to see Lana.

Howard Finkel: If Alexander Rusev was a stock, I would be in a buy mode. He has more than impressed me thus far in his WWE tenure. Although more than capable opponents, the Truth/Woods combo will endure a long night at the office this Sunday, courtesy of Mr. Rusev. WINNER: Alexander Rusev

Ryan Murphy: A more interesting prediction to make here might be “How many limbs will R-Truth & Xavier Woods still have intact after Alexander Rusev is through with them?” Sure, the duo did a decent job of fending off The Bulgarian Brute on Raw, but when Lana commands her cyborg to “crush!” at Extreme Rules, it’s going to be a horror show. WINNER: Alexander Rusev

Bobby Melok: Despite their best efforts, R-Truth & Xavier Woods have not been able to make a dent in the seemingly impenetrable armor of Alexander Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute has hurled the two around the squared circle with ease over the past few weeks in singles bouts. Though he’s at a disadvantage in this Handicap Match, Rusev will relish the opportunity to dish out twice as much punishment in the same amount of time. WINNER: Alexander Rusev

John Clapp: The possibility of Alexander Rusev making Truth & Woods tap simultaneously to a two-for-one Accolade should not be ruled out. Against most Superstars in a Handicap Match, Truth & Woods would be the favorites. Not here. WINNER: Alexander Rusev

Alexander Rusev: 5, R-Truth & Xavier Woods: 0

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Unstoppable since arriving in WWE, newcomer Alexander Rusev will meet his biggest test yet when he takes on both R-Truth & Xavier Woods in a Handicap Match at Extreme Rules.

The Bulgarian Brute has obliterated all who’ve stepped before him so far, a growing list that already includes Truth and Woods in singles competition. In both of those situations, however, the rookie bruiser wasn’t content with merely improving his win-loss record.

After trouncing Woods on the April 14 episode of Raw, Rusev’s Social Ambassador, Lana, saw it appropriate to sic The Super-Athlete on Truth, who was tending to his fallen protégé. A similar scene occurred days later on SmackDown, with The Ravishing Russian ordering Rusev to “crush” Woods after Rusev had already put away The Rapping Superstar with the Accolade.

Though the 300-plus-pound Bulgarian Brute demolished Truth and Woods in singles matches — and he’s gotten the better of the two with his unprovoked post-match ambushes — will the WWE Universe learn Rusev’s limitations May 4 at Extreme Rules?

With ample motivation for retribution, can Truth, a double-tough veteran who’s held the U.S. Title and WWE Tag Team Title, help guide Woods to victory? Or will Rusev’s suffocating strength, supported by Lana’s callous coaching, once again prove too much — even against not one, but two skilled Superstars?

Catch all the action when Extreme Rules airs on WWE Network and on pay-per-view Sunday, May 4, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT!

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Height: 5’7”
Hometown: Moscow
Twitter: @LanaWWE

Lana is the International Social Ambassador to NXT Superstar Alexander Rusev. Born into a wealthy Russian family, Lana’s neighbors were ex-presidents, diplomats and other powerful political figures. Fulfilling her desire to pursue a stateside education, Lana attended Florida State University, where she not only learned English, but also majored in Foreign Affairs, Business and Social Media Marketing.

Encouraged by her parents to discover an investment hobby, Lana has invested her knowledge and business acumen in Alexander Rusev. Living by the philosophy that no mountain is too high to climb, Lana plans to use her smarts to conquer NXT.

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As Social Ambassador to Alexander Rusev, Lana has declared herself the prime orchestrator of “The Bulgarian Brute’s” path of destruction. As successful as Rusev has been, what is his relationship to Lana? What is her background? What are her long-term intentions? This week, Lana sheds light on those questions and reveals her story, which just may surprise you.

WWE.COM: How did your association with Rusev come about?

LANA: When I was living in Russia, I heard a lot of things about Alexander Rusev’s physical ability, in and out of the ring. From his unique fighting style to his incredible strength and aggression, I was extremely curious about what he had to offer. Growing up as a lover of all kinds of sports and entertainment, I was really excited to go to his matches. After I saw in-person what he was capable of, I knew I wanted to invest my time into him. I was also happy to help a man from my side of the world hold titles and become a WWE Champion.

WWE.COM: What is the relationship between you?

LANA: My parents told me I needed to find a hobby. Because I wasn’t married and didn’t have children, they told me I should find a hobby like my uncle, who owns a sports team. I looked into the possibility of investing in a team or an athlete, and that’s when I found Rusev. I guess you could say we have become good friends from working to make the #RusevLegacy the strongest force in NXT.

WWE.COM: What are your responsibilities as Rusev’s Social Ambassador?

LANA: I take care of all his public relations matters, I handle his social media, I am his cultural ambassador and I schedule his appointments and public appearances. I make sure he has his proper dietary consumption of meat along with his favorite Greek yogurt for energy and strength. The American and Eastern European/Russian cultures are very different. I make sure there is nothing that distracts him from staying focused on building his legacy. (more…)

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This Bulgarian brute has stormed into WWE NXT and bulldozed over competition like CJ Parker and Mason Ryan. He’s leaving people like William Regal astonished.

“Alexander Rusev is one of the most incredible things I’ve seen in my entire 30-year career,” Regal said. “He’s a ferocious monster.”

“Ferocious” might be the nicest possible way of describing Rusev. The sleazy Sylvester Lefort seemed to have Rusev under his control, but the beast snapped during a match between the two and Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady. On the Oct. 30 edition of NXT, Rusev demolished all three men, but all eyes were on a mysterious blonde beauty who was watching the carnage from the ramp.

The following week, Rusev was introduced by his new advocate, the lovely Lana, when he took on his former manager. The Bulgarian beast made quick work of Lefort, forcing him to tap out to his camel clutch variation called The Accolade. The lightning-quick victory put all of NXT on notice.

“He’s so powerful and with no redeeming qualities,” Regal said. “Which makes for someone who will do anything he has to do to achieve what he has to achieve. I’m in awe of Alexander Rusev.”

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