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Lots to cover in this week's edition of "Stars in Progress", so let's not waste any time.
First of all, I want to change one of my picks for tonight's No Way Out pay per view. In my "Cashbox" column this week, I took the safe bet in Cena over Big Show. I could be way off here, but I'm changing that to Big Show. Here's why:
The spoiler we had listed on WrestleZone that revealed a new stipulation to the John Cena/Big Show match was a little misleading.
I'm really not a spoilers type of guy and never read the full recap of a show before it airs on television. However, if there's a breaking story or noteworthy item that comes out of a pre-taped show, and it's reported separately (title changes, injuries, etc.), I'll often check those out.
In this case, a post was made earlier this week with the headline, "*Spoiler:* Another Stipulation Added to Cena vs Big Show Match". It stated that in addition to John Laurinaitis being fired by Vince McMahon if Big Show loses at No Way Out, John Cena will now be fired if he loses. The details of the stipulation and how it was introduced "exactly" on Smackdown were not included in said spoiler.
After watching Smackdown, it's clear there's a bit of a difference between the original stipulation and the new one. John Cena won't be fired as a direct result of him losing tonight. Rather, Johnny said that if Cena punched him, which he did, then he would fire him the next day if Cena lost because he would still be GM.
There's plenty of ways they can get out of that if they want.
The most important factor in all of this is something we can't possibly know: does Vince McMahon have faith in John Laurinaitis yet? If I knew the answer to that, it would certainly help form my prediction for this match. Rather, I'm making an educated guess based off the following:
-WWE needs main event players, and quickly. They might not be looking at Big Show as a long-term solution, but he could have a quick run on top during the interim of finding those next guys. Therefore, he needs a strong win.
-Big Show guaranteed a victory. If he would have said "guaran-damn-tee", I would have said he had in the bag, but they still made a strong point of him saying it. That's usually very relevant.
-Vince rarely admits failure by changing his mind on something, and when he does, it's never this quickly. I can't imagine he's giving up on Johnny as GM just yet, even if there are better options available. Outside of Vince himself, I still don't think there are any.
-If Laurinaitis is fired as a result of Big Show losing, do viewers tune in tomorrow night for Raw more than they will if Cena is "supposed" to get fired?
Take all of that however you want, it's my rationalization. Typically, when I "overthink" a story and/or match, I come out on the wrong end of it. But I still do it. If nothing else, it makes the pay per view more fun to watch in my own mind.