It’s time once again for my monthly WWE pay-per-view preview. Tonight is WWE No Way Out, which in the past has seen some amazing matches such as Triple H vs. Cactus Jack inside Hell In A Cell, Kurt Angle vs. The Rock, The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan II, Eddie Guerrero winning his first and only WWE Championship and Shawn Michaels winning the WWE Championship inside the first ever Elimination Chamber match. Unfortunately, tonight we get Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez in a Tuxedo Match. Actually, with the exception of this match and the pre-show match which nobody will even watch, four of the other five matches should be very good and the fifth (a Divas match) has potential.
As always, each match in my preview has two predictions – what I think should happen (or what I would have happen if I were in charge) and what I think will happen (since unfortunately I am not in charge). So, without further ado, here are my predictions for all seven matches tonight:
As always, I will be out at a restaurant to watch the PPV, so I will miss this match. Luckily for me but unfortunately for the WWE, unlike the last two times WWE has done this, I could not care less about this match. If the pre-show match is supposed to be one last effort to convince fans to buy the PPV, this is not the one to do it with. Yes, Brodus Clay is mildly entertaining, especially if somehow you have never seen him before. But there was no heat between these two men until 48 hours ago, no title is on the line and the outcome is obvious. Even though Otunga took out Clay’s knee and supposedly injured him this past Friday night on Smackdown, there’s no way Clay’s undefeated streak ends in an online match.
What Should Happen – While I would like to see Brodus Clay’s character develop more, a loss to David Otunga on YouTube is not the way to do it. Brodus Clay wins.
What Will Happen – Brodus Clay wins.
Just when you thought the WWE couldn’t devalue the United States Championship anymore, they put this match together. What’s worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) is that the title isn’t even on the line. So Marella, who is nothing more than a comedy act, not only continues to be placed in comedic situations, but he doesn’t even defend the title while doing so. As I have said many times before, comedy has its place in professional wrestling and Marella is one of the best ever at it, but comedy acts have no business being champions.
For those of you unfamiliar with the rules of a Tuxedo Match, it’s the male version of the old pre-PG era Bra & Panties Matches. Unfortunately, instead of seeing one of the WWE Divas stripped down to her underwear, the two competitors will be wearing tuxedos and one of them will be stripped down to his.
What Should Happen – The match never happens. Santino Marella is attacked backstage before the match by [insert mid-card Superstar here] and then has to defend his title against said Superstar tomorrow night on Raw, which he loses. Or, Vince McMahon wakes up this morning and realizes that this match is a travesty and cancels it all together. What would be really cool if Alberto Del Rio, who is out with a concussion, came back and attacked Marella before or during the match. I would even be happy with seeing Del Rio become the US Champion. Some people may think that sends Del Rio down the ladder, but I think he is just the right man to raise up that title. Plus, who makes a better US Champion than a snobby aristocratic Mexican who thinks he’s better than all of us?
What Will Happen – A short, comedy match that sees Santino Marella win after Ricardo Rodriguez stripped down to his underwear.
I agree completely with reporter Arda Orcal when he noted in his No Way Out preview that the entire Divas division is in a state of flux while the fans wait for Kharma to return. It didn’t help that the Divas were kept off television for two weeks and that this match was just announced six days ago after Beth defeated Layla in a mixed tag match where there partners were Marella and Rodriguez. However, despite that, the presence of AJ in the WWE Championship storyline is proof that with a little time and effort, you can get the fans invested into the Divas and their title.
What Should Happen – The two Divas are given plenty of time to put on a stellar match, one that Beth Phoenix ultimately wins. Beth then goes on a rampage, destroying Divas both past and present, never even coming close to losing (this would include a match against Trish Stratus at the 1,000th episode of Raw, although Beth would either cheat to win or get herself disqualified, thus setting up a potential Wrestlemania rematch). After defeating her opponent at SummerSlam, she declares that there is no one else left for her to beat and so she is going to retire and take the title with her. Just then, Kharma’s music hits….
What Will Happen – Layla retains her title and is lucky to even be on Raw tomorrow night.
This part of the card is where the pay-per-view starts to become worth your time and money because I think the last four matches all have the potential to either be great wrestling matches and/or tell great stories and/or have shocking finishes. While it would seem like Rhodes has taken a bit of a backseat since losing his title to Christian, he was actually overseas the last week doing promotional work for WWE. So this match doesn’t have a lot of steam going into it, but these two Superstars are so good in the ring that they don’t need it. If given the time, they have the potential to steal the show.
What Should Happen – As much as I love Cody Rhodes, I want to see him lose this match, but only because it is time for him to move on to the main event. Because I assume Sheamus is going to retain his title tonight (more on that later), Rhodes would be the perfect man to feud with him next. As for Christian, having a veteran like him hold the Intercontinental Championship elevates the title and gives it the prestige that it deserves.
What Will Happen – Whether it’s because Vince McMahon thinks Rhodes is ready for the next step in his career or that his career should be buried to Drew McIntyre status, he will have Rhodes lose and Christian retain the title.
Unfortunately for Dolph Ziggler, this match was only given a week to be set up because Sheamus’ original opponent, Alberto Del Rio, suffered a concussion due to the clumsy and oafish Great Khali. Fortunately for Ziggler, he was given the stick and now has the chance to run with it. In my mind, Ziggler is not only one of the best wrestlers and entertainers on the entire WWE roster, but he is also the most underutilized and unappreciated. While there is no way that Zigger wins tonight, he has the chance to show those in charge that he has what it takes to be in the main event and make tonight his first shot of many at a world title in the near future.
What Should Happen – Because I have no interest in Sheamus, both in general and as the champion, I would love nothing more than to see Ziggler win. The fans desperately want it and it would allow Rhodes and Ziggler to battle for the title this month and next while Sheamus and Del Rio battle for who will face the champion in August at SummerSlam.
What Will Happen – Sheamus retains the title. I just hope it is not too quickly and that Ziggler looks good in defeat.
I am more excited about this match than any other on the card because of the potential that it brings to tonight. Yes, the John Cena/Big Show match has potential as well, but the outcome of that match could upset me so much that I might not even watch Raw tomorrow night. But more on that later. This triple threat match for the WWE Championship, which will include AJ at ringside, will be the one that will have me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Not only am I curious to see which Superstar walks away with the title, but I am just as curious to see which Superstar AJ chooses to help do so. The volatile nature of a triple threat match in general, plus the addition of the completely crazy AJ, makes this match the hardest one of the night to predict.
What Should Happen – This is a really tough one for me to call because there are a couple of things that I would like to see happen. I’d like to see Kane win the title because I think his career is coming to an end in the next few years and he deserves a run with the title that he has only held once before, and for only 24 hours at that. I also don’t think that Bryan or Punk need a title to continue their feud because their matches and interactions are so good that they can steal the show night after night without it. However, I’d also like to see Bryan win the title and have him and Punk feud over it for the remainder of the summer, culminating in an Iron Man Match at SummerSlam. Heck, you could even take a break from Punk/Bryan and have them pick up where they leave off next year and hold off on that Iron Man Match for Wrestlemania. As for AJ, I’m just happy to have her out there so she can go ahead and help whoever her heart tells her to.
What Will Happen – Again, this one is extremely tough to predict. The nice thing about this match is that no matter who wins I will be happy with the outcome, and since it is a triple threat match which means there is no disqualification, this match is going to end via pinfall or submission. But, in the spirit of my predictions, I will go ahead and predict that Punk retains his title by pinning Kane. As for AJ, I predict that her allegiance is still going to be left up in the air by the end of the night.
If John Cena wins this match, I am not watching WWE Raw tomorrow night. I would take a cue from those fans in New York all those years ago and say that I’m going to riot, but I have to go to work tomorrow. The setup to this match is that no matter who wins, someone is getting fired tomorrow night. If John Cena wins, Vince McMahon is going to fire John Laurinaitis, but if Big Show wins, John Laurinaitis is going to fire John Cena. Say what you want about Laurinaitis, but keep in mind that he is an authoritative general manager; you are supposed to hate him. And say what you want about John Cena, but it is just way more interesting if he gets fired and, unlike the last time this happened, he is kept off TV for more than a week.
Think about it – if John Laurinaitis is fired, what happens next? So someone else takes over and is in charge of Raw and Smackdown? Frankly, even if it were some crazy outcome like Ric Flair coming back to do it, I would rather see him in another role and keep Laurinaitis in charge. And what does Cena do? The WWE Championship picture is already crowded and Cena doesn’t need the title to stay in the main event picture. But if Big Show wins, and tomorrow night John Cena is fired and kept off TV for most of the summer, that is interesting. That will make the fans tune in every week and purchase (or go out to watch) every PPV because they will be hoping that it is that night that Cena makes his triumphant return. Plus, in real life, Cena is going through a very nasty divorce and hasn’t taken any time off except to film movies in 10 years and could probably use a short break.
What Should Happen – Big Show wins.
What Will Happen – Despite losing two of his last three big main event matches, with his only win coming against Brock Lesnar after getting completely destroyed, I am going to go out on a limb and say that John Cena loses this match tonight. Whether he is actually fired tomorrow night, and if he is if he stays off TV long enough to make the payoff worth it, remains to be seen.
The only other schedule segment for tonight is that Triple H is supposed to return and address the situation with Brock Lesnar. I would be surprised if Lesnar makes an appearance tonight but hopefully this leads to his return soon. I read rumors online that the scheduled match for SummerSlam is going to be Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, and while I generally always discount the rumors that I read on the dirt/news sites, I actually hope this one comes true. However, if Triple H wins that match, than Lesnar can just go home and not even bother showing up for Wrestlemania next year.