Stuck In A Rut: WWE has No Way Out (with results)
BY BRETT MURDOCK AND MATTHEW VINSKO, Couchsideshow.com bloggers
No Way Out. Three words that when grouped together create an idea of fear, panic and the unknown. That is what the WWE is aiming for this Sunday when the company puts on the pay-per-view live from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. However, only two of the matches on the card create that sense of paranoia and helplessness, and even then, it is a risk even calling them big time main events. WWE’s last PPV, Over the Limit, was pretty good but the transition to this month’s show has been sloppy, unorganized and for lack of a better word, facepalm-esque. Ok, so that’s not a word. Sue us.
So, after failing to ingratiate you with our presence with Over the Limit predictions, we are back to hit you with some in-depth knowledge and full-scale awesomeness. So sit back and enjoy while we tell you what we think will happen this Sunday in a world dominated by a fake reality, guys in tights and Speedos, and terrible announcing.
This blog wasn’t able to be uploaded before the event on Sunday night. In addition to Brett’s and Matt’s predictions, Couch Side has also provided the results in the headline of each match.
Brodus Clay defeated David Otunga
Brett: Thank goodness that this match will be the pre-show display, because I have no interest in witnessing a dancing fat guy facing off against a muscular version of Carlton Banks. Ever since returning as a guy who was infected with disco fever, Brodus Clay has been squashing jobbers left and right and has never really been given any true direction with his character. The closest he came was a couple of weeks ago when he challenged Big Show, but nothing came of that. He was entertaining when he came back after having a reputation as a monster heel, but has become stale since. Otunga has developed a nice role as the coffee-sipping right-hand man to General Manager John Laurinaitis. His gimmick has drawn comparisons to that of former WWE superstar Chris Masters, due to his physique and entrance displays. As far as the match itself, I’m going to go with Clay due to the fact that the crowd will enjoy it and hopefully set the tone for a night that on paper, seems destined to be very underwhelming.
Winner: Brodus Clay
Matt: This opening match will appear as a special, free pre-show on YouTube, and with good reason. No one wants to pay their hard-earned cash to see the likes of Otunga and Clay together. While I don’t expect this match to be terrible, there’s just no way these two can open the show properly and get the crowd excited for what’s to follow. This rivalry has been very hastily thrown together, especially since it looked like Clay would battle the Big Show. For now, I expect a relatively quick victory for “The Funkasaurus,” who hasn’t been in a match over five minutes since his debut some months ago. I have a feeling Clay will win and move onto bigger and better things, more specifically the aforementioned Big Show.
Winner: Brodus Clay
United States Champion Santino Marella def. Ricardo Rodriguez in a Tuxedo Match
Brett: The rules to this match are very simple. Both men come to the ring dressed in tuxedos and the first one to strip the other to his skivvies wins. I first heard that this match was added to the card when I perusing a message board and saw a thread titled “No Way Out is saved! Big match added!”, and was completely duped, much to mine and others’ chagrin. Honestly, this will not be a match in terms of a fight but should provide some at least decent funny moments. Marella and Rodriguez have had some decent comedy moments in recent weeks, setting up this mini-feud and with the WWE more geared to having its programming target kids and families, this is on the card for them. Contrary to popular opinion, Rodriguez is actually a quality wrestler and put on solid performances in the minor leagues, if you will, before being straddled with the gimmick of being Alberto del Rio’s ring announcer. However, he will not get to showcase his talents here and will probably be buried by Marella for purely comedic reasons.
Winner: Santino Marella
Matt: Unfortunately for WWE fans, this match is definitely going to make it on the PPV just because of how awesome Marella has been lately. The stipulation and his opponent, on the other hand, are barely PPV worthy. In a tuxedo match, both wrestlers start out in a penguin suit and wrestle one another just as in a regular match. However, the winner isn’t decided by pinfall or submission; instead, one competitor must strip down his opponent to his skivvies and/or wrestling tights. It’s a male version of the old bra and panties matches that never get made anymore, and quite frankly, there are much better things to watch on TV than two guys battling in a quasi-striptease. Mind you, I expect this match to be entertaining for all the wrong reasons, but at the end of the day, I feel like it’s a card-filler, especially since Alberto Del Rio (Rodriguez’s ally) was originally supposed to be wrestling in one of the main events. If Del Rio interferes in this match, I think it would add a much needed reason for its booking, but seeing as he’s been written out of action for a while due to his concussion, I see a silly affair ending with Marella, and his “Cobra,” victorious.
Winner: Santino Marella
Layla def. Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship
Brett: This match has no build and no true storyline, as is the case with a lot of Divas matches in the past few years. The WWE does not seem to really care anymore about their ladies, which is a shame because some of them are quality athletes and can put on good shows in the squared-circle if given a chance. Thankfully, Layla and Phoenix are two of those performers and should put on at least a decent match. In terms of eye-candy, Layla is sexy as all hell while Phoenix is pretty easy on the eyes too, despite being able to probably kick my ass. With that being said, I feel that Layla’s time as the Divas Champ is coming to an end. She had her fun in the sun, returning at Extreme Rules and given the opportunity to win the belt, capturing it in the process. But now is the Glamazon’s time to shine, especially if the WWE has bigger and better plans for the Divas division in the future, as some have hoped and suggested.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Matt: Now normally I’m not ecstatic for Divas matches, but this one has quite a bit of intrigue. You have Layla, who returned a couple months back, against Beth Phoenix, who lost the belt following an “injury.” Layla won the belt following a quick squash match against one of the Bella Twins, and the rest as they say has been history. People have been talking about the return of Kharma for ages, which would probably dictate a Phoenix win. However, Layla has been riding a wave of popularity since her return, and I just don’t see her losing, even if it’s to the once-dominant “Glamazon.” What I actually think is going to happen is Kharma returns and lays out both competitors in an effort to reclaim her dominance. In that case, I feel as if Layla retains. That way, Phoenix doesn’t have to lose legitimately; outside interference is always a cop out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it once more, especially to make a returning Kharma look that much stronger and her opponents not suffer at the hands of (legitimate) defeat.
Christian def. Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship
Brett: This match is a rematch from Over the Limit, where Christian returned to win a battle royal that gave him the opportunity to either challenge for the United States or Intercontinental Championship. After winning the battle royal, he seemed focused on taking on Santino Marella for the US Title, but changed his mind after Rhodes made self-serving and pompous remarks. That was just the fuel Captain Charisma needed as he snatched title from Rhodes’ grasp. I do not hide my man-crush on Cody Rhodes, as evidenced by my past two prediction pieces and the fact that I frequently use him on wrestling video games. However, because of that, I want more for the second-generation star, so this is going to be tough for me to do. I am going with Christian to retain the Intercontinental Title, allowing Rhodes to start his trend toward the top of the food chain. Despite this match being for a mid-card title, it has the potential to be the best of the night as both Christian and Rhodes are good workers and have solid move sets.
Matt: Well, this was a nice surprise. Christian, who was out of action due to an injury, returning as a good guy, embracing his peeps, and slapping the smirk off the face of the former “Dashing” one. I have always been a fan of Christian, and seeing him return as one of the WWE’s top faces was a very rewarding moment as a peep. Cody Rhodes, on the other hand, has been up and down like crazy this year. He couldn’t legitimately beat the Big Show in a table match, but was main-eventing prior to that against the likes of Daniel Bryan. Like I said earlier this year, Rhodes is bound to win the big prize sooner or later, but constantly sticking him with mid-carders (even losing some of those matches) isn’t doing anything for the guy’s career. I feel like he’s in a rut between main event glory and mid-card mediocrity, and winning the championship here from Christian will do nothing but prevent him from reaching the top of the mountain. Plus, since he’s returned, Christian has been a big time success with the fans, so why slow down his momentum? A Christian win does wonders for both competitors, so I’m going to go with that.
CM Punk def. Daniel Bryan and Kane in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship
Brett: Punk and Bryan put on an absolute wrestling clinic last month at Over the Limit, with Punk’s title hanging in the balance. It was easily the match of the night and an early favorite for Match of the Year. The finish to the match also provided controversy, with Punk getting the pin but Bryan claiming the champ tapped out. Either way, it set up a solid storyline between two of the best pure wrestlers in the world. However, the 95-pound Diva known as AJ has thrown herself into the mix. As the ex-girlfriend of Bryan who is/was also seeking the affections of Punk, she has created a combustible element. Throw Kane into the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster, in a potentially good way. Hell, AJ has even thrown herself at Kane, jumping into his arms and diving him a solid make-out sesh right in the middle of the ring on last Monday’s RAW. She is one crazy chick, and Punk loves crazy chicks, but that could, and will, play into his doom. I like Punk and he has been a breath of fresh air over the past 11 months, especially the last seven months when he has been the champ, but all reigns must end some time and this is it. Do not expect Kane to be involved in the decision, as I feel he is just there to wreak havoc and be a wildcard in terms of the violence. However, I can very easily see AJ being involved in trying to help Punk retain his title but failing to do so, as she did to Bryan at WrestleMania 28, allowing Bryan to eventually pick up the win and establish himself as WWE Champion. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Matt: Now I haven’t been watching WWE as much lately, but I will admit the weird storyline they’re doing with these three has me intrigued. For those living under a rock, AJ Lee, Bryan’s former girlfriend, has been messing with all three competitors lately in a twisted love square (you know, since there are four of them). AJ has openly stated she’s not over Bryan, flirted with CM Punk, and even kissed Kane. Now I know it’s a mess, but if girls have their soap operas, guys need something similar. Why not fixate on men in tights? Anyways, CM Punk hasn’t seemed to have a challenge since he won the belt last November, but I want to believe No Way Out will be his swan song. Dominant champs are cool for a while, but when the guy’s been seemingly decimating his opponents for nearly a year, it’d be nice to see a change of pace. While Kane is nowhere near main event talent (I love the guy, but the WWE severely under-utilizes him and his talent), that leaves me with only one option: Daniel Bryan will once again be WWE champion. The guy deserves another run due to his embarrassing loss at Wrestlemania, and it’d be cool to see AJ go back to her former flame and reform that power couple I’ve been hoping for since the Edge/Lita days. Let the “YES!”’s commence.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship
Brett: Many smarks (smart marks — those who understand the business and can see through the fake reality, but still enjoy the entertainment) would be thrilled at seeing Ziggler in the title picture, if it weren’t for the fact that he is a last minute replacement for the concussed Alberto Del Rio. This is why this prediction is going to be short and sweet. Seeing as Ziggles is a replacement, there is no real reason to have him walk away with the gold. The main feud on Smackdown is still Sheamus vs. Del Rio, with Randy Orton and Chris Jericho waiting in the wings once their suspensions end. Make no doubt about it, Ziggler is one of the best performers in the company and can make any match look fantastic, and he will do the same during this one, but Sheamus’ reign as the World Heavyweight Champion will continue at least another month.
Matt: Stepping in for the injured Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler is back in the main event for the first time since the Elimination Chamber PPV back in February. Since that time, he has been decimated by the likes of Santino Marella, Brodus Clay, and even the WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. Doesn’t seem very impressive for a guy many were touting to be on the top by the end of the year. Granted, we still have half a year left, and Ziggler could catapult himself to the top with a victory of the “Great White,” Sheamus. Sheamus has been less than impressive since his win at Wrestlemania, and I’ve never been a big fan of his shtick, but I can’t deny his popularity, especially with Randy Orton (Smackdown!’s other top star) being suspended. I could see Ziggler winning and being dropped by his current stable of Jack Swagger and Vicki Guerrero (ala Evolution doing the same thing to Orton back in to 2004) because of how much the fans have started to admire him, but I just don’t see him beating Sheamus now, especially as a last-minute replacement. Sheamus has to lose soon, but he won’t lose at No Way Out.
John Cena def. Big Show in a Steel Cage: Cena saves career, John Laurinaitis fired
Brett: Surprisingly enough — actually, scratch that. This is not surprising at all, the fact that this is Cena’s fifth straight main event PPV match without a title being on the line. Hell, the last time he fought for a championship was at Vengeance way back in October, but that’s a moot point. Still the WWE’s top guy in the brass’s eyes, Cena’s presence always creates the feeling that he will walk away victorious because of the way he has been booked in the “PG Era”, much similar to that of Hulk Hogan. This is especially true in matches such as this, when he is facing a 7-foot, 440-pound giant inside a cage, making it seem like has no way out (get it?). Big Show’s heel turn at Over the Limit was expected by many smarks and the internet wrestling community (IWC) as they have seen this storyline over and over again, and are quite frankly pissed off at it. This will not be a technical classic, as any match involving Show and/or Cena never is, but should be an opportunity for Big Show to display his force and dominance as a monster heel instead of a baby face goofball who panders to kids. But, also keep in mind that the stipulations added create a different element and should allow for plenty of dreamt-up endings and finishes, but I think that they will wind up with Show walking out victorious, thus meaning Cena is “fired”. That is in quotations mark because in reality, Cena won’t be fired, like he wasn’t as part of the Nexus storyline in 2010 and like he was supposed to be last summer after Money in the Bank. Furthermore, if the WWE is serious about pushing Big Show of all people like this, then a victory for the big man makes even more sense.
Winner: Big Show
Matt: The main storylines lately on RAW have involved John Laurinaitis and his henchman doing battle with John Cena (and even Triple H, but I’ll save that for my Summerslam predictions). The past few months, Johnny Ace has sent Lord Tensai, Brock Lesnar, and even himself into matches with Cena. Now, the recently-returned Big Show has turned on the fans and set his sights on Cena for disrespecting his boss. I swear, I’ve seen this match a million times (starting back in 2004, where Cena beat the Big Show for the U.S. Title at Wrestlemania), and I’m really not interested in seeing it once again. However, the stipulation on this match seems to imply that Cena literally has no way out against a 7-foot giant. Seeing as Cena lost last month to Johnny Ace due to Big Show’s return, it’s hard seeing the “Cenation Leader” losing two months in a row. However, rumors have circulated that Lesnar might return at the PPV and get into it with Vince McMahon (who has publicly denounced Laurinaitis himself), who is expected to be sitting at ringside to view the main event. If Lesnar interferes in the match, I think it would detract from what could be a dramatic conclusion to the PPV, especially since Cena beat him cleanly a few months back. That being said, I think Cena triumphs here so Show, Lesnar, and Johnny Ace can move onto the McMahon/Helmsley connection.
Winner: John Cena
Brett versus Matt in a predictions war
Wade: Ladies and Gentleman, it appears we have a draw between Couch Side bloggers Matt Vinsko and Brett Murdock, who both correctly predicted five of the seven “No Way Out” matches. However, because there is no ties in wrestling, Couch Side editor Wade McMillin will have to give the championship to Matt Vinsko for choosing Cena to defeat the Big Show. Come on Brett, you really didn’t think the WWE would just let Cena leave, right?