The irresistible-force paradox will be put to the test at Night of Champions when Mark Henry and Rusev tie up in a collision of super-heavyweight Superstars. Which will stand tall: the proud Texas Longhorn or the ever-confident Russian bear?
The 413-pound World’s Strongest Man and 307-pound Super-Athlete have been at odds since Henry boldly objected to Rusev and Lana’s anti-American rants on the Aug. 18 edition of Raw. In voicing his dissent, Henry, who twice represented the United States weightlifting team at the Olympics, made clear that while he does not disapprove of competitors expressing national pride, he thought Rusev and his Social Ambassador’s badmouthing of the United States had gone too far.
When Rusev tried to ambush him, Henry not only took The Hero of the Russian Federation off his feet, but he also outright outmuscled Rusev, even landing The World’s Strongest Slam. Since then, Rusev has gained an upper hand, ambushing Henry mid-match on the Sept. 1 edition of Raw. The World’s Strongest Man responded by noting his plans to open an international wing of the Hall of Pain.
Several Superstars, from former Intercontinental Champion Big E to former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger, have tried dealing Rusev his first pinfall or submission loss, to no avail. At SummerSlam, Swagger, a former All-American grappler at the University of Oklahoma, managed to pick an ankle and reverse the Accolade, but even he was ultimately “crushed” by Rusev.
Will Mark Henry induct Rusev be the first to hand The Super-Athlete a decisive defeat? Or will Rusev continue his mighty streak of pay-per-view victories and add another former World Heavyweight Champion to his list of downed opponents? Find out when Night of Champions airs live on WWE Network on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.