WWE No Way Out 2012 Preview: Match Predictions You Can Take to the Bank
This Sunday, there's No Way Out.
The WWE is heading to the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., for No Way Out, which will be the sixth pay-per-view of 2012.
The show isn't exactly loaded due to the suspensions of Randy Orton and Chris Jericho, as well as the unfortunate injury to Alberto Del Rio.
But still, it's a decent lineup overall with a couple of potentially good matches and a blockbuster announcement coming from Triple H.
The WWE has to deliver a solid PPV here, as the company has been hit hard with a string of bad luck and can't afford to let the fans down again.
So, let's take a look at how this show can and perhaps will play out.
Here are 10 No Way Out match predictions that you can take to the bank.
10. Beth Phoenix Will Become the New Divas Champion
Exactly what has Layla done as Divas Champion?
Well, not much really.
Other than defeating Beth Phoenix in a halfway decent match at Over the Limit, Layla's had an incredibly lackluster title reign that's somehow made the Divas division even worse.
You can put a lot of the blame for this on creative, but Layla's been rather boring as a babyface, and thus, I don't see very many reasons why the WWE would want to keep the Divas title on her.
That belt should go back where it belongs: On Beth Phoenix.
She should be carrying the Divas division right now. She's needed as the face of women's wrestling more than ever.
9. My Predicted Match Order
Only five matches have been announced for No Way Out's main card so far, which means that we'll probably see at least two, and possibly three, matches added to the card mid-show.
So, what's the match order gonna look like?
On a whim, here's what I think the card will end up looking like on Sunday:
Match 1: Intercontinental Championship: Christian (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
Match 2: Tuxedo Match: Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
Match 3: World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Match 4: Ryback vs. Two Local Competitors
Match 5: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
Match 6: Divas Championship: Layla (c) vs. Beth Phoenix
Match 7: John Cena vs. The Big Show
Hey, I may be wrong. But I think I'll actually end up being pretty damn close.
8. Cody Rhodes Will Lose Clean
The Intercontinental Championship match is a bout that honestly could go either way.
But the more that I think about it, the more I think that Christian is going to win...and that he's going to win clean.
Cody Rhodes doesn't seem to be getting any type of push at the moment while Christian has been getting a lot of easy, clean victories on both SmackDown and Raw.
The WWE is looking to build Christian back up as a borderline main eventer after he missed nearly seven months with that ankle injury. Rhodes, on the other hand, seems to have been largely forgotten about lately.
You never know if the WWE might decide to put the Intercontinental title back on Rhodes, but I don't think that's going to happen...at least not at No Way Out.
Christian will win, and it won't be because of a DQ, countout or any other cheap finish. It'll be Christian hitting the Frog Splash for the 1-2-3.
7. Sheamus Will Walk out as World Heavyweight Champ, but His Win Won't Be Clean
With Randy Orton and Chris Jericho suspended and Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett injured, that probably leaves Sheamus' four likeliest challengers out of the mix for a World Heavyweight title feud anytime soon.
Thus, we Internet fans have gotten something great out of it: Dolph Ziggler in a PPV match for the World title.
I honestly don't think that Ziggler has any real chance of walking out of No Way Out as the World Heavyweight Champion, but given those suspensions/injuries I mentioned above, why should we think that this Ziggler/Sheamus feud won't continue after the PPV?
I mean, it's not like there's any must-see feud just waiting for Sheamus after No Way Out, other than perhaps one with Cody Rhodes, who is busy with Christian at the moment.
And with such a thin WWE roster, it doesn't seem like there's any better option for Sheamus to feud with right now and in the near future than Ziggler.
So, although I don't see Ziggler having a legit chance of walking out with the title, I do think this match will end with some type of shady finish that gives him another title shot at Money in the Bank.
The likeliest finish? Jack Swagger interferes, tries to help Ziggler and costs him the match, which leads to the rematch.
6. Ziggler vs. Sheamus Will Be the Best Match of the Night
I published an article on Monday in which I stated that I thought Christian vs. Cody Rhodes would be the best match at No Way Out.
Now that Dolph Ziggler is the new No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, I actually think that his match with Sheamus will be the best one on the PPV.
Ziggler and Sheamus have had a handful of matches in 2012, including the two recent ones, and although they never truly took any of those bouts to an elite level, they clearly had some good chemistry.
Of course, we all know that good chemistry is the key to a good match, and when you combine that chemistry with Sheamus' drastic improvement and Ziggler's incredible in-ring abilities, their match at No Way Out is destined to be a great one.
Considering that this is a World title match, it should get 15 minutes or so, and that's all it's going to take for Sheamus and Ziggler to put on the best match of the night.
5. Big Show Will Beat Cena After a Ton of Shenanigans
There are a lot more factors in this match than just John Cena and The Big Show.
You have Vince McMahon (who may or may not be in attendance), John Laurinaitis, David Otunga, Michael Cole (after that beatdown he took from Cena) and the steel cage structure, among other things that could influence the outcome of this match.
And at the end of the day, I think it will be the likelihood of some type of interference from those guys I mentioned that ends up allowing Big Show to pick up the victory.
Show only recently turned heel, and he's been booked like an unstoppable monster since then.
So, why would you already have him lose his first PPV match during this heel run? You wouldn't.
The WWE shouldn't have Cena "Rise above hate." They should have him lose in some sort of unclean manner.
The steel cage stipulation isn't going to mean much. People who want to get involved will get involved, and those same people will help Big Show get the win.
4. AJ Will Cause Someone to Lose the WWE Title Match
At the center of the Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship is AJ.
The "crazy chick" has been just that as of late, having recently planted a kiss on the cheek of CM Punk and also straddling and making out with Kane.
With AJ slowly, but surely losing her mind, we can't be sure just what her motives are.
But there is one thing that we can be sure about: AJ has played far too big a role in this WWE title feud to not be involved in the match at No Way Out.
There are literally countless ways that she could be involved on Sunday, and any of those situations could also play out in several different manners.
But I gotta go with my gut and say that AJ will provide a big distraction, whether purposely or inadvertently, and will cause someone to lose this match.
Who that someone will be is anyone's guess, though.
3. A New WWE Champion Will Be Crowned, but CM Punk Won't Be Pinned
CM Punk has held onto the WWE Championship since way back at Survivor Series in November 2011, and virtually no one has posed much of a real threat to his title reign.
But Punk's reign is going to have to end at some point, and with the way things are currently shaping up, I think we'll reach that point at No Way Out.
You've got a Triple Threat Match (which brings a No-DQ stipulation), a monster (Kane), a cunning Daniel Bryan and a "crazy chick" (AJ), which all make this match so unpredictable.
Many seem to think that Punk has virtually no shot of losing the WWE title, but I believe that Kane was really added to this bout so that Punk could lose the belt without taking the pin.
While I don't think it's likely that Kane himself will win this match, I do think that he will play a major role in the outcome.
What seems probable to me is that AJ causes a distraction, which gets Punk knocked out of the ring, and then Bryan pins Kane to win the match and the WWE Championship.
Even if that situation doesn't play out, though, I'd bet on Punk not being directly involved in the final pin.
2. Big Show vs. Cena Will Get the Main Event Slot
There's been a very disturbing trend in 2012: Not including the Royal Rumble (because the Rumble always main-events the show), John Cena has main evented all four pay-per-views.
This is despite the fact that not one of those matches has involved a World title.
That's a damn shame, too, because two of Cena's main events (against Kane at Elimination Chamber and against John Laurinaitis at Over the Limit) were pretty horrible.
Not only that, but keeping the WWE and World Heavyweight title matches out of the main event slot cheapens the values of those titles and makes them seem unimportant.
Regardless, I don't see that influencing the WWE come No Way Out.
As has been customary lately, Cena's match will main event a PPV. Again.
1. Cena's 'Firing' Will Mean Absolutely Nothing
There are two stipulations to this match: If Big Show loses, John Laurinaitis gets fired, and if John Cena loses, Cena himself gets fired.
"Firing" stipulations are really lame and incredibly overdone in the WWE, so I'm not particularly excited about this match.
No matter what the result is, someone is getting fired. But Teddy Long was basically fired at WrestleMania 28, and he still gets a solid amount of TV time each and every week.
Meanwhile, Cena himself has been "fired" twice over the last few years, and he somehow managed to get just as much as TV time as usual while he was "fired."
Why should we expect any firing to actually mean anything anytime soon?
Whether it's Cena or Big Show that loses at No Way Out, it doesn't really matter. Whoever gets fired that night will be on Raw the next night.