WrestleMania XXVIII, Extreme Rules, Over the Limit: All three of these pay-per-views were good to great shows for WWE. Given WWE's recent weaknesses on their TV shows—especially Raw—the PPVs have been surprise successes.
WrestleMania and Extreme Rules were some of the best PPVs in the past few years with three matches to each card that blew the roof off the arena, while Over the Limit had one of the most solid undercards in recent memory with only its main event to dampen proceedings.
On Sunday, WWE will present another PPV in No Way Out, and we can only hope it is more Extreme Rules than Elimination Chamber. Though early buildup has many people worried. John Cena is main eventing over the WWE Championship for the fifth time this year while the rest of the card is largely underdeveloped.
While I am a bit worried that only four matches have been named to the card so far, I have a feeling that No Way Out is going to shock a few people with how good it is.
Since WrestleMania, WWE has failed to properly build up every single PPV since. The matches have been thrown together almost at the last minute, and the stories behind even the main events have been undercut. However, when the time came, the WWE superstars delivered.
While WWE strives to be an entertainment show first and foremost on its television programming, lately what succeeds the most is pure wrestling. The roster right now is a talented bunch of wrestlers who know how to deliver in the ring much more than most do on the mic—which is beginning to lead to a disparity in WWE. While television programming is weak, the PPV output is strong.
No Way Out has the same thing going for it that Extreme Rules did, besides star power. The four matches named to the card so far are all guaranteed to be great because the men involved know exactly what they are doing in the ring.
Christian vs. Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship is the only midcard match booked so far, but it also has one of the best buildups of any match on the card with the two back-and-forth segments. Plus it's Rhodes and Christian, two guys who have proven far too many times that they can deliver in the ring when given the time.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship is a last minute match, hastily put together because of how unsafe a worker Great Khali is (concussing Alberto Del Rio), yet it still has its story laid out. Ziggler is looking to show that he's main event material while Sheamus is the aggressive unbeatable face. Sheamus has yet to deliver a poor match as champion, and Ziggler delivers consistently in the ring more than perhaps anyone else in WWE today.
The WWE Title triple-threat match is a combination of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, who have already stolen the show once, and the veteran Kane, who can deliver where big moments are concerned. AJ should play a major factor as well, which is also a plus. The whole thing has a sturdy foundation along with three men known for great in-ring work.
Finally, there is the main event steel cage match between John Cena and Big Show. It has the story that Cena/Lesnar and Cena/Kane never had: two guys who have been in that ring for a combined 27 years and are only getting better as in-ring workers. This won't be fast and exciting, and it doesn't need to be. It will be a brutal, physical and story-driven exhibition between two legends.
Four matches, all with the potential to steal the show for different reasons. The undercard, which still has to be filled out, should include matches like Beth Phoenix and Layla (who continue to show what real women's wrestling is about), and a tag team match which will allow some fresh faces onto the scene.
Add to that the fact that we will be seeing Triple H and probably Paul Heyman and/or Brock Lesnar at the event—hyping up the Lesnar/HHH Summerslam bout and potentially the return or debut of guys that could include Wade Barrett or Dean Ambrose—and you have a PPV set to impress.
While many may say that the main event will be a slow, plodding mess or that the World Title matches are being built carelessly, I only say that the PPV is ready to continue WWE's PPV streak. It has the talent. It has the stories. Now it just needs to deliver.
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