Sunday, June 17, 2012

No Way Out Predictions

So it is that time of month and year, the WWE's next pay-per-view is knockin' at our doors, and there's NO WAY OUT of watching it. ;) OK ... well I suppose you don't need to buy it, but ... lol. Anyway, Ari and I didn't have a chance this weekend to podcast our predictions due to a visit from our in-laws and a weekend away while they babysat for our anniversary, but I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts on tonight's PPV before it airs. So match by match, here are my predictions.

John Cena vs. Big Show:
This match will take place in a steel cage and feature Vince McMahon and John Laurenaitis at ringside. If Big Show loses, Johnny Ace loses his job. If Cena loses, he's fired. I'm going to predict a loss and firing for Cena. The character badly needs a reboot. If they actually follow the story through for a time, he could get some time at home to recharge, deal with his divorce, and come back with a fresh set of batteries. Johnny Ace is a great heel authority figure (as much as it pains me to say so), and I think the stable he's working to build, works. In short, there's still some juice in that potential lemon. :) Even if they 'rehire' John Cena a week or two from now, this kind of loss might be enough to enable a directional change for him; not necessarily a heel turn, but even just encouraging him to approach his matches and career more seriously. The character needs a change and a loss would enable that.

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler:
I'm going to go with Ziggler here actually. Sheamus has had a good run and has been easil frustrated/semi-aggressive; I could see a loss here enabling a heel turn. Ziggler also could really use some main event cachet. This would, in the big picture, benefit both men if Ziggler won. It wouldn't surprise me to go either way though, as for whatever reason WWE has been reluctant to back Ziggler to date. But I could see a double-turn here with relative ease.

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane:
The most exciting match on the card. AJ will play a prominent role here and I think she and the title both are going with whoever wins this match. I think Kane has meshed into this storyline well but is still a tertiary player; CM Punk is too obvious. I am, by default, going with her helping her ex-boyfriend Bryan regain his title to win back his grace and favour.

Intercontinental Champion Chrisian vs. Cody Rhodes:
This should be a good match - in a storyline perspective, they have not focused on it as they could have, but if given a healthy amount of time to go in the ring these guys could make up for that easily. I'm guessing Christian retains on the basis that he only won the title a month ago, but this is another that wouldn't surprise me either way, as WWE doesn't care enough about the IC belt to worry about hotshotting it if Cody holding it somehow fits better into their plans.

Diva's Champion Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
Enh ... let's say ... Beth? And please oh please a return of Kharma?

US Champion Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
This also happens to be a tuxedo match. Ah the comedy spot ... this will not be a ***** match by any means, but could be some good light fun for those who enjoy its wrestling with a side of tongue-in-cheek. These two are great comedy characters ... it's just a bit of a shame this is what the US title has become. Predictions? This is a toughy, as both have been pushed as decent yet entertaining wrestlers ... I will say Santino Marella has a slight edge over Rodriguez as champ and a more established star (wow did I really just say that?), but I think the difference in their chances resemble the 1994 Quebec Sovereignty Referendum results (look it up).

Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga
Brodus Clay's character has been evolving now that he's full-time Smackdown, and Otunga is being pushed more as a John Laurenaitis entourage member than a wrestler in his own right, so I'm going to guess Clay goes over here, being more in need of the win in terms of the work he does as a wrestler day-to-day. But this match is symbolic of the undercard at present; while the top three matches on this PPV are incredibly strong, either in terms of wrestling potential, storyline potential or both, the bottom 3-4 feel throwaway - not as an insult to those involved, but based on how WWE has positioned and pushed (or not) them. It comes down to - do you feel a good 2-3 matches can sell a PPV? And do you believe the midcard guys can turn their lemons into lemonade? Let's hope!


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