As seen on Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live, WWE announced that John Cena would face Rusev in a flag match at the upcoming WWE Battleground event. Bryan Alvarez speculated on today’s installment of Wrestling Observer Live that the reason WWE decided to have a flag match between the two was in case they decide to have Rusev win.
“The Flag match is essentially the professional wrestling version of capture the flag. For the match two flags are placed on opposite turnbuckles, each representing a specific wrestler or team of wrestlers, and the object of the match is to retrieve the opponent’s flag and raise it while defending the flag in the wrestler’s corner.”
According to the rules (seen above), the match will conclude when a specific wrestler retrieves the flag of their opponent. This means Cena doesn’t have to actually be pinned to lose the match. Historically, WWE normally has gimmick matches as a blow-off match in a feud or as an “out” for a screwy finish.