Dean Ambrose looks to extend his title reign on the May 2 edition of WWE SmackDown, but he will have to fend off three hungry challengers.
Ambrose's United States Championship defense highlights the go-home SmackDown before Extreme Rules. Kansas City, Missouri, already hosted that match and the night's other offerings, as WWE taped the show on Apr. 29.
Rob Van Dam, Sheamus and Big E were all in action. The Internet is smeared with spoilers of how they fared for those who can't wait until Friday to see what happens.
The following preview is intended for everyone else, a look at the matches scheduled for Friday's show, with the results omitted.
Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam
Two of the three men in the Triple Threat match at Extreme Rules face off early.
Both Swagger and Van Dam missed out on a chance at the Intercontinental Championship when they lost to Sheamus and Bad News Barrett, respectively, during Raw's recent tournament. They will both still make it to Extreme Rules by way of a three-way dance with Cesaro.
Zeb Colter tried to recruit Van Dam as a replacement for Cesaro in The Real Americans.
Van Dam declined. He is the only wrestler in this burgeoning feud without a manger.
He'll have no one to look out for him should Cesaro want to make his presence felt in this match. There is sure to be some type of chaos here, whether it comes courtesy of The King of Swing, Colter or someone else.
Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth
If R-Truth can't win this one-on-one clash, he'll have a chance to go at Rusev with Xavier Woods before long. The team formerly known as Truth and Consequences will take on Rusev in a Handicap match at Extreme Rules.
Rusev has abused Woods at both NXT and on the main roster. On Apr. 14, Truth tried to prevent his buddy from getting a post-match beatdown, only to get clobbered as well.
The Bulgarian Brute now has a chance to soften one of his Extreme Rules opponents.
The powerhouse has barely been tested since debuting. Will R-Truth make yet another easy victim, or will he be able to make Rusev stumble?
The Usos and Sheamus vs. The Wyatt Family
The Usos are one of the few teams that aren't scared of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The Tag Team champs have defeated the bearded brutes before, including a pinfall win on Jan. 20.
Adding Sheamus to their crew would normally give them added confidence, but Bray Wyatt just toppled him on Tuesday's Main Event.
The Celtic Warrior doesn't lose often, so it's a telling sign that WWE gave Wyatt the win over him. Wyatt will be looking for even more momentum as he prepares for his war inside a steel cage against John Cena.
None of the fan favorites in action here have a match at Extreme Rules. They can, however, play the role of spoiler and send Wyatt into the event with a loss on his record.
Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler
The feuding midcarders meet once more. Their most recent collision came on Monday's Raw when Hugh Jackman made an appearance on the show and chummed it up with Ziggler.
Sandow confronted them dressed as Magneto, only to end up getting embarrassed.
This is his chance to make up for that. Pounding Ziggler with some elbows and getting a three-count on him would help heal his bruised ego.
For Ziggler, he's been mostly asked to make others look good, including Barrett in the first round of the IC title No. 1 contender's tournament. Does Sandow play the victim this time around, or will The Show-Off be asked to depend on his selling skills again?
Big E vs. Titus O'Neil
Big E faces a challenge he has passed before. O'Neil looks to be more than a warm-up for before the IC champ's showdown with Barrett at Extreme Rules.
O'Neil has to hope he can last longer against the powerhouse than he did on the Apr. 17 edition of WWE Superstars.
Momentum has been hard to come by for O'Neil since splitting with Darren Young. A victory would change that in a big way.
His size and power is usually more of an advantage than it will be against Big E, though. The former Iowa State defensive linemen is a charging bull who has been mighty difficult to slow down as of late.
Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Ryback vs. Curtis Axel
Ambrose's United States Championship reign is in jeopardy.
After becoming the longest-reigning U.S. titleholder in WWE history, per WWE.com, he faces three challengers all at once. Two of those foes are a tag team and the other is a former world champ. Ambrose's run with the belt has featured few defenses and now he seemingly has to make up for lost time.
@TeamAntiCena lol cramming it all in like homework assignments before finals week .— HouWrestlingRadio (@hwrestlingradio) April 29, 2014
He won't have any assistance from The Shield, either.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins will be banned from ringside. It's now either Ambrose's chance to prove his worthiness as champion, or it will be a night worth celebrating for Ryback, Axel or Del Rio.
Whether he is champion after this bout or not, Ambrose has to join his brethren in a six-man match against Evolution at Extreme Rules. With this match and others, Friday's SmackDown offers a chance for final buildup to that event and opportunities for momentum everywhere.