The following piece was contributed by avid wrestling fan and analyst JR. Follow him on Twitter at @StarNinja99.
Tonight marks the return of No Way Out, once the event that held the Elimination Chamber. While this year it has been revamped into a different format. We shall have to see if it becomes a staple once again, or a sad revamped attempt like Vengeance was last year.
So, lets get started with Good Ol' JR's predictions for No Way Out, and it can only be found here, at Next Era Wrestling!
Pre-Show: David Otunga versus "The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay
Ah, the Youtube pre-show, a free to view Internet version of Heat. Sadly, the quality has not quite stacked up to Heat, but it is indeed free. Well, this one is a pretty easy prediction, even with they (Kayfabe) injury angle. Brodus will win this, but unlike most of his squash matches, Otunga will at least attempt to put up a fight, mostly on the leg. Still, its obvious we're going to see The Funk on a roll with a win tonight.
Ricardo Rodriguez versus Santino Marella in a Tuxedo match
I want to avoid myself and all of you the pain of focusing on this match for more than a paragraph. The fact that this match was even suggested by the creative team is an insult to our intelligence. Worse, Ricardo may actually have some wedge of talent, but we are never going to actually see it. Take it for what it is, a stupid gimmick match.
Santino with the Cobra for the win. End of statement.
Beth Phoenix versus Layla for the Divas Championship
I'm not really upset with this match occuring again. There aren't many women on the roster who can actually wrestle on the card, but these two can. Lets hope we can squeeze some time out of this card to let these ladies put on a proper match.
I see Layla retaining here, mostly because they seem to want to hold the title on her until Kharma's return.
Speaking of the wrestler formerly known as Awesome Kong, don't put it outside the realm off possibility to see her make her way down that ramp tonight, purely based off the images she leaked over twitter. Its slim, but possible.
Cody Rhodes versus Christian for the Intercontinental Championship
And the award for the busiest man in wrestling goes to... Christian (Cage)!
Yes, it was a bit surreal to see the countdown clock at Slammiversary last Sunday, and then watch him compete as Christian the next night on Raw... but we're not here to talk about, are we?
Given a good amount of time, this could be one hell of a wrestling match. Cody has the talent, and Christian is a world class wrestler. Cody has been toting how he restored the prestige of the Intercontinental Championship, and this match may indeed be what puts it back on the map.
I see Christian retaining here after a hard fought match, probably with a Killswitch, as I see him failing wuth the Five Star Frog Splash at one point or another.
This allows the quality of IC matches to stay up with Christian holding the belt, and Cody Rhodes to go on to win Money In The Bank next month, allowing him to move into the main event scene, as he rightfully should.
Dolph Ziggler versus Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
I'm not going to even attempt pretend I'm not happy about this. I'm sorry Alberto Del Rio, but Ziggler deserved this much more.
Moving on, it only makes sense for Sheamus to retain here. Ziggler was giving up some hard fought matches to him, so at the end of the day, Sheamus has th track record going in. Still, expect a great match out of these two.
Ziggler has to look good going into Money In The Bank, am I right?
Kane versus Daniel Bryan versus CM Punk for the WWE Championship
Oh boy, oh boy, I'm going to have to work to figure out this prediction.
Bear with me.
The original inclusion of Kane into the mix confused me, as D-Bry and Punk had a really good thing going. But my new favorite Diva character, AJ Lee, has made him a welcome inclusion. AJ has made all of them bend to her whim and truly made this match special.
I suspect Kane will absoltely dominate in the early going, but it will eventually whittle down to Punk and Daniel. AJ will distract Punk, allowing Bryan to take advantage, but not quite allowing him to get the win. That's where Kane re-enters, and it happens once more, allowing Daniel Bryan to pick up the win, AJ, and the WWE Championship.
I say this because it will allow the Punk/Daniel Bryan angle to continue, which is what most of us want. I am not certain on this, especially considering I love Punk as champion, but it will probably not be Kane at the end of the day.
I would still not be surprised to see Punk victorious with AJ in tow.
And I still wouldn't be upset.
John Cena versus The Big Show in a Steel Cage Match
Ah, the Big Show heel turn. Whenever the company is in doubt, they resort to this one. Not that I'm really complaining, it makes some sense. It's just be rehashed a couple dozen times.
Now, let's look at the stipulations. If John Cena defeats The Big Show, Johnny Lung Cancer is out on his pompous rump, but if Big Show defeats John Cena, the poster boy of the WWE is out of the job.
Have we all taken that in properly? Good.
So, let's analyze almost every steel cage match Show has ever had in his career (that wasn't a squash match). He can't get over the cage, and he ends up losing.
Now let's look at everytime a heel Show and Cena have stepped into the squared circle. Big Show dominates for a while, then all of a sudden, Cena hits the five moves of doom. Puts him up for the AA (or FU, in some cases), fails, gets dominated, hits a Big move, then, OH MY GOD, Big Show is put down with an Attitude Adjustment! Who would have thought John Cena could pick up the five hundred pound giant?
It's safe to assume John will put down the giant. What will require some crafty thinking is what happens to Big Johnny afterwards.
I doubt you're going to see many filler matches with , except maybe a quick Ryback squash match.
The only other noteworhy item is Triple H coming back to speak of his lawsuit with Lesnar. Of course, this is to build for the proposed match between the two at SummerSlam. Now, I don't see Lesnar showing up, to be completely honest. What I do see is Triple H proposing that they settle their differences in the ring. This will lead to Brock's mouthpeice, the almighty Paul Heyman, to come out and either accept on Brock's part, or to tell him Lesnar will be on the 1000th episode of Raw to anser his call.
Of course, Brock could simply answer by arriving, F-5ing, and leaving, but I doubt this.
And that about covers my predictions. See you at No Way Out, folks!