Natalya gets a little Precap love this week. Photo via WWE.com
After a month of mediocre to downright horrible Raws, the WWE has somehow, someway, put together a damn good card. No Way Out may be a "B-level" pay-per-view (PPV), but there is a lot of potential to be had here.
Both John Cena and Big Show are doing some of the best work of their careers. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane -- with the lovely AJ at ringside -- is the perfect blend of campiness and technical ability that makes professional wrestling great. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio had a solid build up before the "Mexican Aristocrat's" concussion, but now we get a chance to see Dolph Ziggler shine in the spotlight.
And maybe it's just me, but Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriquez in a tuxedo match is so stupidly awesome that I get giddy thinking about it. A solid matchup between Christian and Cody Rhodes rounds out the card, and all in all we have a pretty fun PPV ahead of us.
And yet, the main event will certainly leave a horrid taste in our mouths. What should be an enjoyable PPV will most likely turn into another disappointment. It really is a shame that WWE is determined to shoot itself in the foot at every turn.
The entire card after the jump.
As with every PPV, we're going bottom up.
Brodus! Otunga! Pre-Show! Perfectly! Average!
Brodus Clay takes on David Otunga in the vintage pre-show online match, and I think this is the most average contest WWE has ever put forth. A midcard face who is mediocre in the ring and is better known for his antics outside of it against a midcard heel who is mediocre in the ring and is better known for his antics outside of it. The booking of it makes sense overall.
Clay is pissed about Big Show's attack, and wants to take his anger out on John Laurinaitis's right hand man. This is so amazingly simple that I'm still not sure how it happened. It will be an average match with forgettable spots, but somehow will remain important to the storyline ahead. We will enjoy it, but won't really care.
Layla! Beth! Rematches! Divas Championship!
Layla and Beth Phoenix will go at it for the second PPV in a row for the Divas Championship. It will be a nice match that is brought down by lack of crowd noise. People who think they are funnier than they actually are will make "pee break" jokes. No one will laugh at them. People will complain that either the women are getting not enough or too much time. Oh, and we will all wonder when Kharma is coming back.
Santino! Rrrrrrricardo! Tuxedos! Amazing Gimmicks!
In what will go down as the greatest gimmick match of the night, Santino Marella will face Ricardo Rodriguez in a non-title tuxedo match. If you are the type of person to hate on this match, then I do not want to be your friend. This is so outrageously stupid that you cannot help but love it.
Santino has found his place within the WWE, and while he'll never win the WWE Championship or main event WrestleMania, he is one of the most beloved characters on the roster. Ricardo makes a great foil to the "Milan Miracle," just as silly but standing on the opposite side of the face/heel spectrum. As much as I want to see these two in a legitimate matchup for the United States Championship, this is a great way to continue the feud forward.
Ricardo is always good for a great spot, and Santino knows how to play up the crowd. This will certainly be a fun match and a good change of pace.
Christian! Cody! More Rematches! Intercontinental Championship!
When you start looking at where Christian and Cody Rhodes are, and where they need to be, a certain uneasiness starts creeping in. Christian is coming back from injury and has been trying to get over as a face. Cody has been slipping since trading victories with Big Show at WrestleMania 28 and Extreme Rules.
Both of these men need a victory to have any type of momentum, and the fear is that neither will get it. Remember when Christian was World Heavyweight Champion, and Cody was getting his bell rung by Randy Orton? Don't they both seem so much lower on the roster, now?
Either Christian wins and he'll go on to feud with some random heel, or Cody Rhodes wins and he'll be in the exact same spot he's been for the past eight months. At least this will be a good match, right?
Sheamus! Dolph! Replacements! WWE Yin Yang! World Heavyweight Championship!
What an amazing matchup, no? I personally enjoyed the Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio feud. It was a classic "PG-era" WWE matchup; cartoony, one dimensional, and easily digestible for the children.
We now have a slightly different aspect of good versus evil. The much-hyped Sheamus against the forever underrated Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship. Everything that the smarks hate about the WWE against the embodiment of their love. A wrestler who was pushed to the moon and back facing a man who has been saddled with crappy gimmicks and worse tag team partners.
It is extremely unlikely that Dolph picks up the win tonight (especially since he got a roll up win over "The Great White" on SmackDown), but it says something that those back stage have faith in him to toss him into the World Heavyweight title match. He's paid his dues, and I think those in charge respect that. It will be a fun match, with Dolph selling what Sheamus is buying, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see this matchup again in the near future.
Punk! Bryan! Kane! AJ! The! Greatest! Feud! Ever! WWE Championship!
You can keep your Davey Richards versus Michael Elgin's five star matches. Have your colony of fighting ants. Don't bother me with overrated Japanese wrestlers who repeatedly kick out of piledrivers. This right here is why I watch professional wrestling. Overbooked, overacted, convoluted, months worth of history all twisting together into an absolute mess of a match.
And I love every damn second of it.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had an amazing match at Over the Limit, and will have plenty more to come. But I have absolutely no problem with Kane and AJ playing a role in this feud. Kane as the silent monster is what he should always be playing, and as a big man he'll be a good counter weight to Punk and Bryan's style. A triple threat match always has the possibility of devolving into on guy lying around while the two other contestants have a normal match. Having to smaller wrestlers paired with a giant, though, will certainly help that.
And how amazing is AJ? She's playing the crazy damsel in a soap opera storyline, and it fits her perfectly. Maybe she'll interfere. Perhaps she'll side herself with the winner (the only reason to hope for a Kane victory). She could possibly end up in the greatest position of all, playing each of the three men against each other. I have no clue. And I can't wait to find out.
Cena! Show! Ace! Vince! Cage! YOU'RE! FIRED!
This is the best feud John Cena has been in since Money in the Bank last year. This is the best work Big Show has done since...ever? And we get John Laurinaitis being his amazingly awesome self and Vince McMahon making his triumphant return? This should be the best thing going on in the E, and yet it sits a step above garbage.
The problems are vast and numerous; Show and Cena need to learn to stop repeating themselves and get to the point, Johnny Ace needs to stop botching every 5th line, Cena needs to stop being an asshole to everyone, this should not be the main event, et cetera, et cetera. But the fact that this has been so damn predictable just ruins any enjoyment I could get from it. Cena goes over Show, Ace gets fired, McMahon mugs for the camera, end scene. We've seen this movie time in and time out, and quite frankly we're bored as hell.
This could be so much better. There are a hundred ways they could take this. Big Show wins, John Cena's gone. Cena wins, but is kind hearted and save's Ace's job. Cena turns heel and joins Big Show to dominate the WWE landscape. Nope. We'll get the same old story, and we will like it. Such is the life of a WWE fan.
Hopefully this has helped get you prepared for the nights activities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, make sure to follow the action @Cagesideseats, please join Geno, myself, and the whole
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