The audience held its collective breath as Vickie Guerrero kissed Dolph Ziggler on the cheek. With images of WrestleMania XXVIII flashing through their heads, everyone anticipated Ziggler to turn into a surprise Brogue Kick from Sheamus to open the No Way Out pay-per-view.
Thankfully, the spot was not fully duplicated when Ziggler ducked the World Heavyweight Champion's scissor kick and rolled to the outside.
In match filled with plenty of quality spots, the inevitable conclusion that 98 percent percent of fans had predicted came true: Sheamus walked away with his World Title firmly intact.
But the way most fans wanted to see Sheamus walk out of No Way Out victorious was not the way it happened, however.
With many calling for some kind of a screw-job finish with Jack Swagger making a run-in or an inadvertent interference from Guerrero to cost Ziggler the match (and possibly turn him into a full-blown babyface), it seemed WWE creative did what they always do: the complete, exact opposite.
In short, Ziggler was buried after Sheamus "Brogued up the band" and buried his foot into the challenger's head for the clean pin.
Some will argue that is the way it should have gone considering the match had absolutely zero buildup since Ziggler was a last-minute sub for the injured Alberto Del Rio.
And yet it seems almost the opposite.
For months, fans have watched Ziggler overachieve in a mediocre tag team with a manager he doesn't need. There's been plenty of buildup to see Ziggler get his due and move on to bigger and better things. In many matches, the fans have overwhelmingly supported him despite being a stereotypical wrestling heel.
The match at No Way Out was no less than another fantastic effort from Ziggler. He worked the best dropkick in the business, nailed his tribute to the Rocker Dropper/Fameasser and even managed a top-rope Facebuster/X-Factor which Sheamus, for his part, took beautifully.
And it's not to say that Sheamus should be left out of the praise because of the outcome of the match. Clearly, he has demonstrated that he can hang as World Champion since his five-star effort with Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules.
Clearly, WWE creative wants to continue to push Sheamus as a dominant belt holder and establish a credible reign for him as they are doing with CM Punk.
Was Sheamus over with the crowd at the Meadowlands? As much as he always is.
Was Ziggler over more? No doubt about it.
With overwhelming chants of "Let's go Ziggler" repeating from the crowd, the question of whether or not the fans have embraced "The Showoff" has been answered, and you can three-peat it as Daniel Bryan does.
No one should have been expecting Ziggler to defeat Sheamus at No Way Out. But what would have been reasonable to expect would be some plot point to show Ziggler moving on from his current affiliations and maintain orbit in the World Title picture.
But alas, no Swagger, no screw job, no swerve, no plot point to show the advancement of anything. Not even a post-match moment where Guerrero shows her disgust and frustration with Ziggler and dismisses him as a client. Just a cut to Vince McMahon walking backstage.
Of course, there might be a plan for something to happen on Monday Night Raw that would accomplish the same thing for Ziggler too. But what better platform to kick start a new direction for a character than a pay-per-view audience?
What did you want to see happen to Dolph Ziggler at No Way Out?