It was only a twenty-one days ago that we had the Royal Rumble and Rey Mysterio won the Royal Rumble by defeating Randy Orton among others. It was only sixteen days ago that Randy Orton proclaimed Eddie Guerrero was in hell and all our hopes and dreams with WWE died. It was only nine days ago that Orton further drove the point home by riding out in a low-rider to mock Eddie. It was only a few days ago when WWE proved they just can not pass up an opportunity at the cost of morals. Now, it’s only a few hours away from what will really be the make-or-break PPV for WWE. WWE can either go the high road and have Rey Mysterio win and go onto Wrestlemania or go the low road and have Orton win and make a company stand on a policy that if you die, you will be greatly missed but exploitied beyond belief. If Rey Mysterio wins, I daresay the storyline will be justified in that it gave Rey Mysterio that little extra something that he did need to cover up for the past few months of jobbing to Big Show and in tag matches, not to mention the past few years where he was destroyed by bigger men and even jobbed cleanly to Kurt Angle. Yes, the storyline is rotten and never should have happened in the first place, but with Rey winning, at least there will be some light at the end of the tunnell. Try and look for the good in the bad. If Orton wins on the other hand, I doubt many people will even care to watch WWE anymore let alone Wrestlemania which would have Rey in a very throwaway match that probably would get less time than he and Eddie got last year. Only a year ago, Eddie and Rey were Tag Champions set to go into what would be the feud, in my mind, of 2005. Now, we have Orton and Rey set to culminate in perhaps the one thing in this business that still makes me sick to my stomach. There are a lot of other matches on this card and all have the chance of making it a good one despite Rey-Orton, but it all lies on Orton and Rey tonight. Does it matter about the match? No. Does it matter how they conduct thesmelves? No. All that matters is who will get their hand raised and at what expense? Tonight, I will be reviewing No Way Out live at TheWrestlingVoice.com. Like most WWE PPVs, I really have no idea what to expect from such a weird card, but know that WWE has some might shoes to fill left over from TNA’s Against All Odds from last week. Let’s simply break down the card:
John Bradshaw Layfield Vs. Lashley
I have no problem with this match. Really. They’ve been building towards it for months and it really is the true break-or-make match for Lashley. The problem I do have though is that after this PPV, JBL will have jobbed cleanly twice in a row. What kind of credibility will he have left? SmackDown! is a very fun brand in my eyes, but with each passing month, there star power and main eventers seem to dwindle more and more and they aren’t doing anything to remedy that problem except shoving Booker T and Chris Benoit into the mid-card and jobbing JBL out to two guys who probably won’t make it till the end of the year in WWE. Forget JBL being a main eventer, what does this say about his title reign? What does this say about all the people he went over? If Boogeyman can beat JBL, what’s to stop WWE from putting Boogeyman over Undertaker? If they are willing to job a guy out they defend for ten months straight, who really is safe now? As far as the match itself goes, I think it will suck and it’s sad too. If Lashley had stayed in OVW a year or two longer and then this match had taken place, I guarantee you it would be ten times better. WWE needs to stop calling people up so soon into WWE because they are tired of the talent they have, though in true WCW fashion, they will still pay those guys like Stevie Richards who are literally doing nothing in the company right now. The only way I see to salvage this “feud” or match would be to have JBL cheat to win and then have a rematch in the undercard at Wrestlemania to put over Lashley in a good match with a gimmick, so that Lashley and JBL can use hardcore spots to cover up for their weaknesses much like Abyss and Rhino just did in TNA. That’s not entirely fair because Abyss and Rhino are both far better workers than JBL and Lashley, but it’s just an example. I know there will be no Wrestlemania rematch though. JBL will job and probably get Big Show-disease from Wrestlemania X8 where he shows up on the PPV in the crowd trying to hype himself up though he doesn’t have a match on the card, yet main evented Wrestlemania the year before. Even more, I doubt the match will go longer than four minutes, which while smart, is doing nothing except hurting JBL more and giving Lashley everything on a silver platter when he’s not even ready to dine from the appetizers. In the end, Lashley will destroy JBL and 2004 will be erased into oblivion with a Dominator and three slaps to the mat.
Predicted Winner: Lashley
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
I know this should be a good match, but I really just see it being a clusterf***, but with that said, I really dig the actual storyline this match has and if Gregory Helms wins, it’s really the first step in giving the Cruiserweight title some major credibility back. I know it’s a long shot and it’s WWE, but if they give Helms a nice long reign, it could do wonders for the division and revitalize it especially if you start having number one contendership matches not just on SmackDown! and Velocity, but the PPV as well. Two things need to happen in this match to me though. Number one: London and Kendrick need to duke it out with the Mexicools and set up a program that will lead to them challenging MNM for the belts. We all know WWE is a big favorite for the Triple Threat Tag matches at Wrestlemania for the gold, but here’s one that would actually have a better storyline than any tag match at Wrestlemania since 2001. The other thing that needs to happen: Gregory Helms needs to steal the win over Funaki or Scotty 2 Hotty and set-up a program with a tweener Kid Kash who got screwed. A one-on-one match needs to happen between these two and Kid Kash is really the most logical pick for the title match unless WWE really screws over Rey and puts him against Helms to make up for Rey not being in the main event. Kid Kash as a tweener needs to work as well because right now, I see no cruiserweight faces with credibility as single stars. Mexicools are a solid tag team as are Kendrick and London. Scotty and Funaki are great but have been jobbed out more times than Lita in bed. Kid Kash is really the big contender I see and what they need to do is start building up another cruiserweight in the form of Scotty 2 Hotty or Funaki, or call in for some OVW talent like Seth Skyfire who could get the job done as well if not better than the WWE cruiserweights. In the end, I think the match will suck and I’m fairly confident WWE will keep it on Helms, but WWE has f***ed over the Cruisers many times in the past and I fear they will continue. One thing is certain though: this is make-or-break time for the Cruiserweight division just like Lashley.
Predicted Winner: Gregory Helms
WWE Tag Team Championship
Goody, we haven’t had a mystery partner type match in a while, though the sad part is that both of the rumored partners for Hardy suck amazingly. You’ve got Tatanka and Animal, both superstars who primes have come and gone and then some. Why would WWE even think of pairing Hardy with these two guys except to punish him? Wait, I just answered my own question. Shit. In an ideal word, this is where Jeff Hardy would make his return and the tag team division on SmackDown! would really start to heat things up. In the WWE world, this is where Matt Hardy will get killed as a singles star to put over a tag team and embarrass him. Matt Hardy must really be kicking himself at this point, but what did he expect was going to happen when he came back to WWE? He’d get an instant title shot? I don’t think there is anyone more naïve in this business than Hardy for that thought. Even though both partners would suck, I still think this match would be very good. MNM is literally one of the best things going on SmackDown! right now and they have really yet to have a bad tag team match since about October or September. I think there is no doubt that MNM will win this one as WWE is putting a lot of push into MNM as stars, despite their getting squashed by Kurt Angle which was just a completely moronic move. The only bad thing that will come out of this match is the fact that Tatanka or Animal will still be employed at least for another two-three weeks and Matt Hardy will say he won’t die, but will really just be died inside.
Predicted Winner: MNM
WWE United States Championship
I really do not know what WWE expects to happen with this match except have Booker vacate it and have either Regal or Finlay come in and put on a wrestling clinic. If that happened, I’d literally praise WWE for it even if the finish involved Sharmell again. However, I think they are going to have Booker attempt to wrestle when he’s still not 100% and no offense, but their best of seven series matches weren’t even that good and he was 100% then. I originally liked the idea of Booker taking the title while injured, but as the weeks progressed and we didn’t see Booker in action, the US Belt started to lose credibility by the minutes. The only thing that can save it now is Benoit taking it for a nice title reign where he defends it on Velocity and SmackDown! like last time and eventually puts over a rookie like Lashley or Ken Kennedy when he makes his return. Personally, I think it’s a given that Benoit will win the strap, but the match itself, if Booker proceeds, will be literally the worst match on the card in my opinion which is quite a feat given the Lashley-JBL match in the opener.
Predicted Winner: Chris Benoit
Number One Contendership To WWE Championship
Well, here it is. The big one we’ve all been talking about. No doubt in my mind that this one will be a good match, but honestly, who cares? This is a true match where it doesn’t matter what happens in the match, but what happens after the match. Truth be told, I see an actual solution that could make WWE and fans happy: Triple Threat. Yes, I don’t really want to repeat the WM XX main event so quickly, but this way, WWE gets to push Orton to the moon and Rey gets in the main event and would probably win to set up Orton-Rey and hotshot the title to Orton. Not an ideal situation, but which way is really better? If Rey loses this match like I think he will, I see nothing else left for him in WWE except as the undercard guy who has the best matches of the night. If he doesn’t main event now or get the title now, it’s never going to happen. Plain and simple. There isn’t much left I have to say about this match except that it’s really time for WWE to show if they have morals at all. They can’t make up for what they did, but they can literally try with this match.
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
We haven’t had a good face-on-face match in a while either so those are two cliché storylines returning tonight, but this one has the option of being good! Unless Benoit does match up against Regal or Finlay, this will literally be the match of the night and should be a top five match of the year probably right behind KENTA-Marufuji and the Triple Threat from Against All Odds. Kurt Angle and Undertaker have really yet to have a bad match in my eyes. This will be their fifth match and every single past match they have had has been electrifying to me especially the one in September of 2003 on SmackDown! which had the crowd more into it than anything else that year. What I love the most about this match is that other than the goofy special effects, none of these men have gone in looking weak, but rather, both looking strong as hell making for a strong match in my eyes. The outcome to the match is pretty much a lock though with Henry interfering to cost Taker the match and setting up their WM match which I’m sure will make everyone’s “Best of Wrestlemania” list, but if this match is anything like 2003, no one will care because they will be so dumbfounded. Yes, the ending in 2003 hurt the match, but not to the level of the MNM-Batista/Rey cage match or a dusty finish and with the workrate these two will put out there, no way in hell anything except Angle collapsing in the ring from all his injuries could stop it from being great. I think this will be Undertaker’s last great match though as 2006 has to be the year he retires. He really had two options: retire or go full-time because the part-time gig is not working at all especially when he “dies” every other month. This match will also be a chance for Kurt Angle to redeem himself for not being able to carry Mark Henry when Rey Mysterio and Undertaker both did it on TV in way less time, not to mention show management why Angle should have been champ in September. This is really the match I would pay to see as I imagine other Angle or Taker marks would and even though the match before this one is really going to put a damper on this one, I still don’t see it affecting the workrate unless it turns out to be what Tim White did to Armageddon.
Predicted Winner: Kurt Angle
There you have it match-by-match. No Way Out 2006. It has the potential to be the best WWE PPV since Summerslam, but with the storyline, punishment, need to put over injured wrestlers, and need to kill a good division; they are going to have to do a lot of work to reach that potential. I don’t expect this to get a good buy rate, but I literally do expect this to be the most anticipated and talked about PPV in WWE in a long time simply for the Eddie storyline. If Rey wins, I think the world will hear a collective scream of joy that can be heard into space. If Orton wins, I think that might just be the nail in the coffin for WWE. We will see though and I’ll be there at TheWrestlingVoice.com reviewing it all the way. Make sure to join me, guys. I guarantee you that you won’t regret it.
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