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Extreme Rules 2014 match card preview: Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods & R-Truth

Two good guys team up to take down a monster. But when they haven't had much success against him together or alone, what hope do they have to not end up CRUSHed?

WWE.com

Two-on-One Handicap Match

R-Truth & Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev

Woods has had beef with The Bulgarian Brute dating back to their days in developmental.  Those have been rekindled on the main shows, and Xavier's dancing and rapping buddy Truth has been dragged into their issues.  Can the two of them do together what neither has been able to do alone - defeat Alexander Rusev?

The Road to Extreme Rules

Rusev has been in a bit of a holding pattern since his surprise entrance into the 2014 Royal Rumble match.  After months of nothing but pronouncements of his prowess from his social ambassador, Lana, he finally got in a match with his old NXT punching bag, Xavier Woods.

After releasing the PhD candidate from his submission finisher, The Accolade, Woods' friend R-Truth went to check on him, drawing the ire of the lovely Russian spokesperson.  Lana instructed her man to attack Truth.  That pattern has followed across a series of singles matches between Rusev and the two men, with each ending up on the wrong side of "CRUSH" command from the blonde pulling the big man's strings.

Little Jimmy's big buddy is a former tag team champion, so hopefully he can help Woods to overcome his rival in this one-sided feud.  To date, double-teaming The Bulgarian hasn't been entirely successful, but maybe with enough time to game plan, the two can come up with a winning plan for their numbers advantage.

What's at Stake?

The credibility of "special events".  With pay-per-view (PPV) a dying concept, WWE will be adapting the way it sells Sunday shows in the WWE Network era.  Will booking character advancing squash matches be a way to entice subscribers to the Network?  This is the kind of match that usually gets placed on a card unannounced to fill time; having it as one of the featured bouts feels like a remnant of the times when Smackdown and Raw held their own dedicated PPVs.

Can they make this a moderately competitive affair without killing Rusev's mystique?  Is there any hope for Woods to ever be anything more than the jobbiest jobbier in WWE?

This handicap match might answer those questions, even if it doesn't do much to excite the folks who already planned to watch Extreme Rules.

Remember to stay with Cageside Seats for all of your Extreme Rules news, analysis and fallout!

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