Looking at World Wrestling Entertainment’s Pay-per-view offering on Father’s Day, you might be tempted to make a joke that WWE had “no way out” of presenting it, but maybe they should have looked for one. A combination of injuries, suspensions, contractual situations and in some cases just plain poor booking, have made this a less than stellar lineup. WWE obviously realizes it, and even tacked on a stipulation at the 11th hour that John Cena will be “fired” if he loses his main event steel cage match with the Big Show. Too bad Cena’s been fired before, and amazingly still appears on Raw every week, taking away any impact the stipulation will have. Here’s a look at the lineup for No Way Out, which will broadcast from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, right across the road from MetLife Stadium, home of the Superbowl Champion New York Giants.
John Cena vs. Big Show in a steel cage. If Show loses, John Laurinaitis will be fired as Raw and Smackdown General Manager. If Cena loses, he will be fired. Laurinaitis, and possibly Vince McMahon, will be at ringside. Even with his new bad attitude, it is hard to take Big Show seriously as a main event star in 2012. Vince McMahon even mockingly acknowledged this fact on Raw last week. The fact is, Show only got this spot because the planned push for (no longer Lord) Tensai bombed so badly. This feud is just a time-killer for Cena until Brock Lesnar, or Rock, or an opponent fans will care about, comes around to take on WWE’s top star. Win or lose, we all know Cena isn’t going anywhere.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. Punk vs. Bryan is always enjoyable from a wrestling perspective, but by tossing Kane into the mix, we’re pretty much guaranteed one of those three way matches where one wrestler naps on the floor while the other two go at it, punctuated by an occasional three-way spot. Everything here is wrapped up in who AJ will help (or hurt), and you know that will play into the finish, which sort of kills the drama of the match before it even starts.
World Champion Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler. Originally Alberto Del Rio was scheduled to face Sheamus, but he went down to injury. With Randy Orton and Chris Jericho both suspended, and Miz off working on the next Marine sequel (yes, because the world needed that), Dolph Ziggler found the rocket strapped to his back (again) this past week. It is hard to take Ziggler seriously with the yo-yo push WWE gives him. Whenever he gets momentum, you expect WWE to pull the rug out from under him. Still, this should be a very good match, maybe even the best on the show from an in-ring perspective and WWE could pull out a title switch just to give the show some shock value.
Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. Cody Rhodes. These two work really well together, but being in a feud for a secondary title on the secondary show usually doesn’t mean a lot to the live crowd. Given they are in the Northeast, which tends to appreciate strong in-ring action a bit more than other areas, maybe these two will get the respect they deserve. Along with Sheamus and Ziggler, this looks to be the most “pure” wrestling bouts on the show, without the threat of a overbooked finish.
Divas Champion Layla vs. Beth Phoenix. I’m just amazed WWE bothered to even advertise a Divas match for a PPV. These are two of the better workers in the division, so I expect a solid bout. That said, it will still most likely be used as a buffer between the title matches and the main event.
Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriquez in a Tuxedo match. Obviously, the comic relief of the show, but I fully expect it to be entertaining. Santino has his niche as a performer, and I’m sure he and Ricardo (who is woefully underrated at times) will put together something that will have a smile on everyone’s face (well, until they get the cable bill anyway).
Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga. This match will be broadcast on YouTube during the 7:30pm pre-show. With all the momentum Brodus has, it is hard to imagine Otunga beating him here.
LIVE AND LOCAL– Upcoming live wrestling events in Florida.
July 12 – Full Sail University – Winter Park
TNA Impact Wrestling (Broadcast live on SpikeTV)
June 21 – Universal Studios – Orlando
June 28 – Universal Studios – Orlando
Florida Championship Wrestling
June 20 – Orlando Armory - Orlando
June 22 – Winter Haven Armory – Winter Haven
June 23 – Florida Gateway College – Lake City
Know a company running shows in Florida not listed here? Send their website address to firstname.lastname@example.org.