WWE No Way out 2012: Why Otunga vs. Clay Matters More Than You Think
In the pre-show match of Sunday’s No Way Out pay-per-view, David Otunga will take on Brodus Clay in a one-on-one match.
You already knew that.
What you maybe didn’t know is that this match will likely mean more than you think.
They may not have made it onto the main show. Neither has had a match of any real consequence in a very long time, Otunga since he was a tag-team champ and Clay since he came in second on NXT Season Four.
As such, a match between these two isn’t worthy of a spot on the main card.
However, the long-term direction dictated by this match may very well be a big funkin’ deal .
Sorry, with Clay involved I couldn’t resist.
Despite neither Clay nor Otunga being serious in-ring competitors, it is clear that WWE is high on both of them as characters in the short to medium-term—perhaps longer.
Otunga currently is the right-hand man of the general manager of Raw and Smackdown. Clay currently gets to dance and squash people on a weekly basis.
However, both of their fates are heavily tied to the biggest players in the company in John Cena, John Laurinaitis, The Big Show, and Vince McMahon.
I still maintain that Big Show will defeat Cena at No Way Out and that Big Johnny will keep his general manager job, but it seems like Show is being groomed to feud with—and possibly put over—Brodus Clay.
It is not like it is without precedent for a comedy act to suddenly team up with John Cena to take on the powers that be. Remember, he teamed up with Cryme Tyme for a while in what could have been an awesome storyline.
No sarcasm intended, those three were entertaining together and it could’ve given Cryme Tyme a real long-term direction, had Cena not gotten hurt.
It would not be out of the question for Cena to team up with Clay and take on Big Show. Yes, I know that Clay has been moved to Smackdown to “keep him away from the Big Show,” but I feel like that might be a short-term deal.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Clay were to somehow interfere with the Cena-Show match on Sunday.
The fact remains that Clay, despite his gimmick being somewhat of a joke—or originally a punishment for leaking rumors of him jobbing John Morrison out of the company—he has gotten over in a big way.
No, he’s not CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, or John Cena over, but people are buying into him.
It’s time he starts getting taken seriously.
What better way to start taking him seriously than to insert him into the main event of the show? This brings us back to the match with Otunga at No Way Out.
I’m not saying it’s going to happen but, if there ever was a time to have Clay job, it might be to Otunga on Sunday.
It would likely be a schmoz finish, with Big Show or Laurinaitis interfering, but this would lead to Clay coming to Cena’s aid later in the night and inserting Clay into the main event picture if there were to be a long-term Team Johnny vs. Team Vince/HHH feud.
Some people might choke at the idea of Clay in the main event but, if it’s done well—mainly, keeping him chained to someone like Cena—it could work. Let him do what he can do well.
If it sticks and people start believing in Clay as a potential main-eventer, keep him there and give him big matches. If he bombs, let him quietly go back to dancing and squashing—no harm done.
If WWE handles it well, there’s not a lot to lose here, especially since the company is lacking in new stars.
Where does Otunga fit into all of this?
Well, as I said, I see Big Johnny keeping his job on Sunday and Big Show continuing his reign of terror. This means that Otunga will stick around as Laurinaitis’s right-hand man.
I definitely see him getting preferential treatment due to this, and it’s highly likely he would continue to be a thorn in Clay’s side due to beating him and eventually win the US Title off of Santino Marella.
Santino isn’t doing anything with it, anyway.
The combination of these two scenarios would mean that we’re likely a couple of months away from seeing a Clay-Otunga feud over the US Title, with Clay ultimately going over.
Say what you will about another joke character holding the US Title, but it’s obvious the title doesn’t mean what it used to anymore.
At least Brodus Clay is a joke character who is a dominating presence in the ring. He would be infinitely more legitimate than Santino at this point.
What should we expect on Sunday’s pre-show match?
If WWE is serious about creating new stars in guys like Clay, there will likely be a screwjob finish that will put Otunga over Clay, leading to Clay getting involved with the general manager storyline. The match itself might be nothing to speak about, but the long-term effects might be very interesting.
Just a thought.
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