WWE No Way Out 2012: Creating a Card Through Logic and Wishful Thinking
After putting on perhaps one of its best pay-per-view events in the past year, the WWE will be following Extreme Rules with the 2012 edition of Over the Limit. But to be quite frank, the card is just downright unappealing.
With the exception of the CM Punk-Daniel Bryan match, nothing on the current card warrants any of my interest.
So let's look ahead. Sure, Over the Limit has yet to pass, but let's look ahead to the next pay-per-view.
On June 17, the WWE will be resurrecting its No Way Out event in East Rutherford, N.J. It is not yet clear whether the show will be running under some sort of stipulation or gimmick, but we'll assume it will.
Regardless, here's my construction of the potential card through both logic and wishful thinking.
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H (No Disqualification Match)
Some, if not many, of you will completely disagree with this. And to be honest, I can understand.
The concerns of a No Way Out match between these two include odd timing, misuse of Brock Lesnar's dates and just a straight contradiction of the storyline with Triple H's "broken arm."
But from both a business and entertainment standpoint, Lesnar and Triple H should have this match here and not at SummerSlam.
From the business side, the WWE has to keep these in-between, non-Big Four pay-per-views appealing. SummerSlam will get its buys off the name alone as Money in the Bank will receive its share of interest through the intrigue of the ladder matches.
No Way Out, on the other hand, currently does not have any official specialty to offer. A Lesnar-Triple H match would, in turn, be exactly that.
And just as it does through the monetary aspect of things, this match would be best suited for the fans at No Way Out. Like I just stated, SummerSlam and Money in the Bank have their respective appeals. This pay-per-view, however, would need a big billing or main event to get us tuned in.
I would have Lesnar win this match to build his monster heel character. We already know of Brock's dominance, but a win over a wrestling icon in Triple H will further the credibility of his character.
WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Steel Cage Submission Match)
Although this feud may have been better served for the very near future, we're getting it now. So in hopes of building a Michaels-Hart or Rock-Austin type of feud, perhaps this first angle with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will be a solid first step.
If so, this current battle should last through the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. And being that their first pay-per-view match is coming up this Sunday, booking them for No Way Out should be a no-doubter.
It doesn't really matter who comes out with the WWE Championship from Over the Limit or No Way Out. In my mind, all that matters is that Punk retains or regains the strap into SummerSlam. (Stay tuned for my future booking of SummerSlam this upcoming week.)
This match would be booked as a steel cage submission match. It'll be the Anaconda Vice versus the beloved Yes! Lock with no escape at hand. The only way to win, obviously, is by submission.
If I had to say, I would have Bryan capture the championship at Over the Limit, only to have Punk regain it here and win a final faceoff at Money in the Bank.
World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. Randy Orton (Steel Cage Match)
All indications point to a Sheamus-Randy Orton feud after Sunday's fatal-four-way.
So to keep in theme of the logic side of this article, this is what we'll probably get at No Way Out as the second of three cage matches.
The promo and mic work in this feud probably won't be much to look forward to, but the in-ring action should. Ultimately, the feud should accomplish at least one of two things.
It should either solidify Sheamus as a main event talent and/or turn Orton into the heel character the company's been lacking. Orton's bland and peculiar face angle isn't really doing it for anyone. So let's hope a turn or repackaging of some sorts is in his future.
John Cena vs. Lord Tensai and Big Show (2-on-1 Handicap Match)
Here's another version of a No Way Out stipulation. With two monsters in Big Show and Lord Tensai teaming up against him in the ring, there may be no way out for John Cena.
But before I give you the result of the match, let's do a bit of housecleaning first.
As many of you among the Internet Wrestling Community have been predicting, Big Show may very well be turning heel to coincide with John Laurinaitis' reign. He'll be the "do whatever I say or I'll fire you again" henchman for the Raw and SmackDown! general manager.
Show could be the X-factor in Big Johnny's match with Cena on Sunday, allowing the People Power Era to continue.
So in further abuse of his power, Laurinaitis could pit Cena against his two potential goons in Show and Tensai.
And as for the result, there's no way I would have Cena coming out of this looking strong. The days of his Superman/Hulk Hogan runs must end. The WWE will never have a shot of pleasing the older demographic with Cena if they can't relate to his seemingly superhuman powers.
If I were to book this, I would have Cena lose by way of count-out. He would try his best to conquer the two monsters, but ultimately surrenders despite his "Never Give Up" mantra.
Having Cena give up and walk away from the ring would add some much needed depth to his otherwise annoying character. Showing the crowd that Cena is in fact human may keep everyone relatively interested.
Tag Team Championship: Kingston and R-Truth vs. Primo and Epico (Steel Cage Match)
In order to make the tag team division relevant once again, the WWE must commit valuable pay-per-view time toward it. And sure, maybe a third steel cage match in this show is overkill, but why not?
If the company is willing to give this tag team bout this type of stipulation, it'll really show us some dedication.
The winners of this match are meaningless. What really matters is the showcase of the talent and the quality of the match itself.
Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Brodus Clay (Cowbell Match)
If you didn't catch on to the stipulation, it kinda goes full-circle. That's right, Cody Rhodes, Brodus Clay and a cowbell are all somewhat related.
For one, we all know who Cody's father is—the great Dusty Rhodes. And what type of match is connected to Dusty? Yup, the cowbell match. From the Billy Graham bout in 1978 to the Randy Orton one in 2007, the American Dream has been associated with the cowbell match.
But what does the Funkasaurus have to do with this? Simple, he's the most comparable talent to Cody Rhodes. They're big, they're athletic and, most importantly, they love to dance.
Giving Clay a prebooked match and Rhodes a crafty win would be a nice step in the right direction for the validity of both.
Divas Championship: Layla (c) vs. Kharma (Lumberjill Match)
Whether you like it or not, Divas matches are a staple in these pay-per-views. Hopefully, the company will be able to write Kharma into this division already.
If so, this lumberjill match for the strap would serve as a display of dominance for Mark Henry's twin. She can squash Layla, destroy some girls outside of the ring and pick up the belt en route to becoming the scariest force the division has ever seen.
United States Championship: 6-Man Over the Top Rope Challenge
This may look like a clumping of sorts, but if we're sticking to a No Way Out theme, this match would work nicely.
Whether you call it a Battle Royal or an Over the Top Rope Challenge, there is only one way out for the participants. That way, however, is the one they cannot take.
Miz, Santino Marella, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio aren't really into any deep feuds or storylines at the moment. So maybe this challenge for the United States Championship could keep them relevant. But if there isn't enough for this during the pay-per-view, it could turn into a preshow Internet match.
I would have Miz come out with the victory here. The U.S. title may be a step back for the former WWE champion, but let's be real here—anything for the Awesome One is better than whatever he is doing, or not doing, right now.
*Matches in order with time estimate
1. United States Championship: 6-Man Over the Top Rope Challenge (10 min)
2. Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Brodus Clay (Cowbell Match) (10 min)
3. Tag Team Championships: Kingston and R-Truth vs. Primo and Epico (Steel Cage Match) (15 min)
4. Divas Championship: Layla vs. Kharma (Lumberjill Match) (5 min)
5. World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton (Steel Cage Match) (25 min)
6. John Cena vs. Lord Tensai and Big Show (2-on-1 Handicap Match) (20 min)
7. WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (Steel Cage Submission Match) (25 min)
8. Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (No Disqualification Match) (30 min)
Filler/Promo/Backstage/Video Package time: 40 minutes
Notables Left Off the Card
Chris Jericho: Unfortunately, Jericho is not being advertised for the event as of now. He will be touring with Fozzy from June 6 to June 11. Y2J is, however, slated for the June 18 Raw. (That is the Raw following this pay-per-view.)
Christian: His injury may still keep him out.
Wade Barrett: Same as Christian. He may also not be ready by mid-June.
Ryback: Although I didn't include him, Goldberg Jr. will probably have a squash match anyway.
Zack Ryder: Now we know the company only used Ryder to get the older fans to relate to Cena.
What Do You Think?
As always, I would love to hear your feedback and opinions.
If you agree, disagree or have a card of your own, please feel free to comment below.
Thanks for reading!