Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
Haven't had a chance to sit down and write for a while, so here it goes:
No Way Out, key matchups
John Cena vs Big Show
If anyone wants to see why Cena/Lesnar was such a breath of fresh air, watch this match. There's a lot to like, especially early on when Big Show first misses his first attempt at the WMD, but unlike the Lesnar match, the scent of danger and unpredictability is gone from the air. It's a basic story that Cena does well, but once we hit the extended beatdown segment, it turns into the match we expected: Big Show hits a move, Cena writhes in agony, Big Show yells. Rinse, repeat. They set up the WMD well, and the announcing team does a pretty good job of selling the danger in body blows, but this is all storytelling 101 stuff that has been around since King Kong Bundy and even for a Big man destroys little(er) man match, there's a lot of wandering around. Cena, of course, times his comebacks well, hitting his flurries of offense and drawing pops from the crowd, which is what makes Cena the babyface champion that he is (good or bad. Take your pick).
Annnnd then the overbooking begins, and this thing goes to hell. First we get Johnny trying to intercept Cena, McMahon intercepting Johnny, Johnny taking McMahon down. Fine. Ok. Makes sense, that's what McMahon would have done to Austin or Rock. But then things get screwy as Big Show nails the ref, and then nails Cena. Clean. Big Show has an opportunity to win. Clean.
In the WWE universe,apparently, one heelish action by the authority figure justifies a "by any means necessary" approach for the rest of the match on the part of the babyface. Nevermind that Show never did anything dirty. So...because Johnny cheated at one point in the match, interference from Brodus, Alex Rielly, Santino, and finally Kofi, is not only ok, but moral. We can cheer the AA Cena hits. We can cheer the race between Big Show and Cena to get to the floor, all because Johnny did one rotten thing, thereby justifying the faces blatantly cheating. And that, Ladies and gentlemen, is the moral code of your WWE.
I'm going to have to go ** 1/2 on this one. Cena and Show put on a perfectly acceptable match with all the necessary spots to make it a main event, but the warped double standards that have plagued John Cena's run at the top once again reared their ugly head. Lesnar/Cena had a terrible ending, but it was still better than this crap.
Fun, fun match, but whereas Cena/Show was morally confused, this one was thematically confused. Was the story Punk/Bryan/AJ with Kane as an added player, or Punke/Kane/AJ with Bryan as an added player. Early on, the match plays like it's Punk/Bryan, but the ending eliminates Bryan from the equation all together. Odd. Early on, the chemistry between Bryan and Punk is fantastic. The way they communicate with each other, and the way the switch so seamlessly from tag partners (when they are mutually targeting Kane) back to enemies is great. Not too much to say about the action as it's what you expect: tight, crisp, and doesn't leave much breathing room. This is how you do a triple threat match. Kane looks good as well, hitting a low drop kick on Punk near the post (he would also hit a seated dropkick on Daniel Bryan on the next night's Raw. As people have noted in other posts, he's looking VERY motivated). It's good to see Kane moving that well again. All the little things are there, such as how CM Punk grabs Daniel Bryan by both his ears to yell "NO!" It's a nice little match with some cool spots such as the battle over the right to superplex Bryan. That spot returns later as Bryan tries to superplex Punk, but then Kane pulls him into an Electric Chair position, allowing Punk to Hit a Doomsday device. THAT's how you do a call back.
All the problems people have with ending I share. DB dissapears for a good 3 minutes, which was probably seen as a way to protect him when they came up with it, relegates him to the sidelines in reality. I've only come to this conclusion in seeing how the story played out over the past two Raws, where Kane has basically been written out of the story. It's a good example how booking doesn't always translate from theory to practice, and how there are frequently good intentions behind questionable booking decisions. I like this match lots, but it feels like a transition match, and not a real match. Kind of like a very good Raw Main Event. Can't go higher the *** 1/2.
Ziggler vs Sheamus
Match of the Night. Not a question in my mind on that. I know that some of it feels stilted, with Dolph bringing Sheamus' momentum to a halt with sleeper holds, but I think that's the right story, and they tell it fantastically. One of Ziggler's great talents is going from 0 to sixty. He'll look like he has no chance one minute, and then he'll turn on the juice very similar to what I remember from Randy Savage. I'm a sucker for crowds turning a guy "face" during a match, and that's exactly what happened here. I especially like how Lawler had to try and cover up the "Let's go Ziggler" chants by claiming they were chanting "Let's Go Sheamus!" Ziggler, like Bryan, is going to go forward as a tweener in that he will be a heel in storyline terms, but a clear face for much of the crowd. You're going to be seeing a lot of that as WWE moves forward, and I think it may be the best thing for them. Ziggler is the clear ring general here, but Sheamus keeps up with him just fine, and is clearly improving as he works with talents like Ziggler and Bryan. In a couple years, maybe even as little as 1, I think Sheamus will be the wrestler WWE wants him to be. I have no problems with that as long as they let guys lik Ziggler shine along with him.
Christian vs Cody
I don't get it. I like both of these wrestlers. Cody is my favorite mid card talent (that excludes upper midcarders like Ziggler and Bryan) and yet there's nothing for me really to grab onto here. The action was crisp, they hit their spots, they went back and forth, fighting with expert timing, but something was missing. I think in the end, the problems lies with them working a WWE style match, with no real WWE storyline. All of this would have killed if there was a build to it, and not just the unfocused rantings that Cody has been reduced to as of late. All the dramatic pauses, dramatic reversals, and dramatic moments were there, but there were no real stakes, so all the drama was theoretical in nature. Like they were teaching a class. Where as Sheamus/Ziggler gave me hope that WWE can handle its talent, this match just bummed me out to no end and confirmed my belief that talent needs management and creative to put it in position to succeed.
** 1/2-***. Take your pick.
Over all this show was kind of a reversal of Over The Limit. Over the Limit was a huge surprise where every match delivered more than I expected. That was a great card with a little bit for everyone and with booking that made sense (I'm excluding all these compliments from the main event. That was terrible). No Way Out provided exactly what was expected, with no pleasant surprises, and with all the booking I feared. It was grim professionalism, with enough excitement to keep the crowd entertained, but without anything to truly cherish. Only the past two Raws and a fantastic Smackdown have helped keep me optimistic. The subsequent Bryan/Punk/Kane matches have alleviated my concerns over the ending here, and their collective chemistry continues to impress.
Thumbs in the middle show. Filler PPV.
Last edited by Kid Kablam; 06-27-2012 at 08:16 PM.