To the surprise of many, former WWE Champion John Cena emerged triumphant—and exhausted—from his action-packed cage match against The Big Show at WWE's No Way Out pay-per-view.
The bout itself was decent for the most part, although it had far too many ref bumps, Spanish announcer tables, and run-ins to be taken truly seriously as a match. Indeed, over the course of the scrap, we saw (deep breath) Kofi Kingston, Brodus Clay, Alex Riley, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, John Laurinaitis and Vince McMahon get involved in some manner or other. It was difficult to keep track of them all at points.
Vince Russo would be proud.
The finish of the match (which was newsworthy, if nothing else) came about after John Cena jumped off the top of the cage to the floor, just as a frantic, crawling Big Show was doing his best to get to the door. It was actually a very riveting way to end the match, with anticipation mounting as to who would get to the floor first.
And as if this wasn't enough, the victor then gave an outraged Laurinaitis an incredibly brutal Attitude Adjustment through the table. Whew! What a night for Cena!
Per the stipulations announced on last week's episode of Smackdown, John Laurinaitis (the man responsible for turning The Big Show to the dark side) is now fired. Vince McMahon did the honors (gleefully screaming "YOU'RE FIRED") right before Cena sent the beleaguered GM through the announcer's table. It was a fun end to what was a fun pay-per-view.
So, what have we learned from Cena's victory at No Way Out?
First of all, it looks like WWE's booking team are finally ready to move on from John Laurinaitis as an on-screen character ,possibly replacing him with Vince McMahon or another authority figure.
Of course, some have suggested that WWE will simply backtrack on the "Laurinaitis is fired" stipulation, like they have at other times in the past. For instance, Laurinaitis will come out tomorrow night on Raw, talking some complicated legal loop hole or other, and weasel his way back into his old position, like nothing ever happened.
While this is a valid concern (has anyone tried keeping track of the amount of times Cena has seemingly been "fired" only to come back a day later?), I genuinely don't believe this is the case here.
The firing of Laurinaitis seemed too emphatic, too final for the promotion to bring him back tomorrow. The ending of No Way Out seemed too much like a final goodbye to the smarmy, bumbling Laurinaitis for it to not have been for real.
The Big Show's loss may also have given us a sign that WWE management are losing faith in their new top heel. While he undoubtedly looked strong here (Cena needed a fair amount of help from Clay, Riley, Ryder and Kingston to defeat him), the fact remains that he couldn't finish off his foe when he had to. No matter how you try to swing it, he looks weaker coming out of the pay-per-view than he did going in.
However, it's also possible WWE management still think highly of the giant, but they just simply needed a way to write Laurinaitis out of the show, hence why he had to lose here.
Regardless of the reasoning, Big Show has to be booked to bounce back from this. And how about in a program with reigning WWE Champion CM Punk? That would surely help heighten his profile.
And then, of course, there's Cena himself, who comes out of No Way Out looking stronger than ever.
But, hey, aren't wrestling fans used to that by now?
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