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Random Network Reviews: No Way Out 2012

April 2, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: No Way Out 2012  

No Way Out 2012
June 17th, 2012 – Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey – Attendance: 10,000

This will be my third review of a show from 2012, a year that I admit I enjoy. CM Punk’s legendary title run lasted the entire year and we also got the rise to prominence of AJ Lee, who I loved at the time. In preparation for this, I watched the go home episode of Raw, which featured AJ Lee leaping into Kane’s arms and planting a kiss on him before sitting in trademark CM Punk style in the middle of the ring. I’ve fallen off of liking AJ, but I loved her during this time period. The part about 2012 that I dislike included things like the Big Show vs. John Cena main event for this PPV.

Our opening video package tries to play up how “shocking” Big Show’s turn on John Cena at Over the Limit was. Spoiler alert; it wasn’t. The commentary team consists of Michael Cole, Booker T and Jerry Lawler.

World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero

I’ll say it again, Sheamus’ 2012 World Title run doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves. This was originally supposed to be Alberto Del Rio getting the title shot, but an injury forced him out and Ziggler earned the spot on Raw six days prior. “Let’s Go Ziggler” chants from the fans in New Jersey. Dolph gets a kiss on the cheek from Vickie after the bell and Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick but Dolph wisely dodges. Shades of WrestleMania 28. Sheamus with a shoulder block and Ziggler with a picture perfect dropkick early on. He goes for the sleeper but Sheamus perches him on the top rope and shoves him outside hard. Sheamus beats on him outside quickly and they trade some reversals inside. Sheamus gets two with a swinging neck breaker. Those always make me think about Honky Tonk Man. They fight on the apron, on opposite sides of the post, with Ziggler pulling Sheamus into it. He hits his jumping DDT inside that Michael Cole mistakes for an offensive move by Sheamus. Kitchen sink from Ziggler gets one, which is interesting since for the most part, he’s kicked out at that count each time. Ziggler does his headstand headlock, which has always been a cool visual. Sheamus gets out, only to be hit with an even better DDT. This one gets two. Ziggler looks great here as he keeps wearing down Sheamus. He nearly wins with a rollup, but the referee catches his hand on the rope for leverage. Shake, rattle and roll from Dolph for two. See? Honky Tonk Man thoughts. Time for the face rally as Sheamus starts to pound away. Or is it? Dolph dodges a high knee and locks in the Sleeper, but Sheamus breaks it. Dolph goes up top, but Sheamus catches him. They go through awkward motions, which end when Dolph nails the Fameasser for the closest near fall so far. Sheamus is seated in the corner, but pulls himself up, only for Dolph to shoot up with him and connect on a big top rope facebuster for another near fall! Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus counters into the Irish Curse. This has been some great back and forth. Sheamus does the ten beats of wherever, but Ziggler is back to the sleeper. Sheamus counters into White Noise before hitting the Brogue Kick to retain.

Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus in 15:11
That was damn good. Going in, I would’ve have thought that Dolph Ziggler had no chance since he just got the shot six days earlier but he made the fans believe. They were hot for this, it featured a ton of counters, Dolph looked like a million bucks and his need to keep trying the sleeper made sense. Great start. ****

Vince McMahon is shown walking backstage, six days after getting punched by Big Show accidentally. John Laurinaitis, in a ridiculous red suit walks up and tries to suck up. Vince wants no part as Josh Matthews comes up to ask Laurinaitis about tonight possibly being his last night. Laurinaitis badmouths him for being a failed wrestler.

Tuxedo Match
Ricardo Rodriguez vs. United States Champion Santino Marella

Why is this on Pay-Per-View you ask? I have no fucking idea. Ricardo Rodriguez gets the most basic Spanish music ever. This started because Santino said he was a better announcer. Santino is wearing a powder blue tux. They get into a contest of who is more popular, which ends obviously. Rodriguez rips hit tux, making me think SHIRT RIPPER! Santino takes off Ricardo’s jacket and starts to work it like he’s a matador. I don’t know why I’m doing play-by-play here. Santino ends up with no pants, but has a Cobra on his foot. He strikes and strips Ricardo, who is wearing Alberto Del Rio underwear.

Winner: Santino Marella in 4:24
There wasn’t a need for this to be on PPV. Santino made it as entertaining as it could be, but there’s no real appeal here. DUD.

Matt Striker interviews CM Punk, who is sporting an “I dig crazy chicks” shirt. They ask about his relationship with AJ Lee, who would ironically become his future real life wife. His promo is cut short by AJ Lee who wishes him luck and kisses him on the cheek.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Christian (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

The white strap Intercontinental Title is gorgeous. Christian returned last month, won a battle royal and took the title from Cody Rhodes. This is the rematch. A feeling out process starts things and Christian gains the upper hand with some shoulder blocks. Cody slaps Christian, so Christian responds with a loud one back. He pulls Cody outside and then follows with a baseball slide. He goes for a dive, but Cody dodges and trips him up. Cody brings him in and starts working the arm. In an interesting twist, Christian goes to pull Cody groin first into the post, but Cody pulls him forward, face first into it. Front suplex gets Cody two before he knocks Christian outside, onto the shoulder that Cody has been working. Christian rallies out there though, by leaping off the steel steps and nailing a tornado DDT. Creativity is something I admire. They both make it in before the double countout. Near fall for Christian following a second rope dropkick. He starts to get in his usual stuff, but a cross body is turned over by Cody for two. He tries a springboard, but again Cody was ready and pulls him down to the mat. Cody then goes back to the shoulder, which was injured prior to the match, meaning the work on it makes more sense. Killswitch is blocked, so Cody goes Hardcore Holly with the Alabama Slam for two. Christian tries a Spear but Cody escapes. Christian tries a sunset flip but Cody counters for two. They get up at the same time and the Killswitch only earns two! Whoa! Continuing to try everything, Christian goes for the Frog Splash but Cody gets his knees up. He tries the Disaster Kick, but it’s ducked, so Christian attempts another Killswitch, which is blocked, so Cody goes for another Disaster Kick that’s ducked before Christian finally ends this with a Spear.

Winner and Still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Christian in 11:30
One of the better Intercontinental Title matches in recent memory. I was thinking that it wasn’t going to be great in the early stages, but it really picked up in the end and featured one of the best finishing sequences I can remember. ****

Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match
Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd vs. The Prime Time Players vs. Primo and Epico w/ Abraham Washington and Rosa Mendes vs. The Usos

The Usos are pretty bland here and had yet to connect with the crowd in the way that they would in 2013, which would lead them to the Tag Titles in 2014. Basic tag team stuff starts us off as each team tried to get in their stuff. The Usos do some double team moves on Darren Young until Epico tags in. He doesn’t get much offense though as they double team him. Justin Gabriel comes in and reaches a stalemate with an Uso before they work a popup Samoan drop double team. The Usos are looking surprisingly strong here. With them out of the ring, other teams get a chance to shine. While all of this is going on, I find it odd that Primo and Epico have two managers. Tyson Kidd pretty much steals the show with his fast paced offense and gets a near fall with a blockbuster. His springboard elbow is blocks before he eats a Backstabber. Usos double superkick Titus before we get us SOME FLYING USOS MAGGLE! The only guys left inside are Primo, Tyson and Darren, Darren blind tags but is hit outside. Tyson then nails a top rope hurricanrana on Primo onto the rest of the participants! Young rolls in and Washington rolls his man, Primo, in for a chance to win. It fails though as Young hits the gut buster on Primo! When Epico goes to make the save Washington holds him back! CONTROVERSEY!

Winners: The Prime Time Players in 9:29
Decent tag team match that showed there was potential with this division. It started very basic but when it broke down it got to be a lot of fun. ***

Abraham Washington gets in and celebrates with the Prime Time Players. Primo and Epico knock him down because he screwed them, leading to the PTP beating on them. This should have led to a fun tag team rivalry. It didn’t.

We get highlights of Brock Lesnar breaking Triple H’s arm a few months back. This was around the time that the WWE had recently gotten back Brock but wasted three of his matches on Triple H. It’s not surprising though as they wasted about four on John Cena and one on Big Show. Anyway, Triple H comes out to address the fans and I think it’s funny how face Triple H uses “The Game” theme song while heel Hunter uses “King of Kings.” He makes his “I became a wrestler because I didn’t want a real job but ended up with one anyway” joke. He lays down a challenge for SummerSlam against Brock.

Daniel Bryan is shown preparing for the WWE Title match when AJ Lee walks up to him. She wishes him good luck and kisses him on the cheek as well.

WWE Divas Championship
Layla (c) vs. Beth Phoenix

Beth Phoenix dominated the Divas division in late 2011 and early 2012, but an injury led to her losing the title to Nikki Bella. Nikki’s reign lasted six days as Layla returned from her own injury to win the title. Beth uses her power in the beginning and shouts “YOU CAN’T LACE MY BOOTS!” Layla gets the upper hand and steals Beth’s headband before mocking Beth. She takes it a bit too far with the dance but at least she looks good doing it. Beth gives chase, which allows Layla to dropkick her. She has the advantage with mind games right now. She goes to springboard but Beth knocks her down and she eats the apron on her way down. Beth tosses her into the guardrail. Back inside, Beth puts the pressure on Layla’s spine. Glam Slam attempt is countered into a pin for two but Beth gets her own near fall with a powerslam. Gorilla press slam is reversed into a nice DDT by Layla but it’s not enough. She connects with a big neckbreaker, which gets the win.

Winner and Still WWE Divas Champion: Layla in 6:57
I’ll admit that might be the first time I’ve seen Beth Phoenix lose a match that didn’t end in a rollup or something like that. I liked the mind games early on and this wasn’t bad.

AJ Lee is seen strolling through dark corridors, which can only mean that she’s looking for Kane. She wishes him luck and kisses him on the cheek, but Kane wants more. He goes in for a huge kiss, which is kind of strange since he’s like 43 and AJ is about 25. She also had his poster on her wall when growing up, so that’s odd.

Hunico w/ Camacho vs. Sin Cara
Man, Hunico and Camacho were Mexicools bad when it comes to Mexican stereotype. We get the stupid Sin Cara lighting for his matches. Cara goes to leap outside, but runs into a boot form Hunico before hitting a senton inside for two. Hunico hits a sweet looking dropkick in the corner for two. GORY SPECIAL but Sin Cara reverses, only to run into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Hunico does a school boy but instead of pinning with it, he lifts and slams him with a powerbomb. Impressive. It’s interesting that Hunico is now officially Sin Cara. This has been all Hunico as he gets two with a sit out powerbomb. Finally some offense from Cara who kicks Hunico before snapping off a hurricanrana. He then hits his tilt-a-whirl facebuster or whatever it’s called to abruptly win.

Winner: Sin Cara in 5:48
So, Hunico did pretty much all of the offense and had the best moves of the match but Sin Cara does two things and wins. The crowd didn’t care about this and neither did I.

I personally love the video package that airs before the WWE Championship match. I loved AJ’s involvement in the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/Kane saga. That fact that it went from Bryan & AJ to Bryan vs. Punk to a Triple Threat match and eventually led to Team Hell No.

WWE Championship
CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

They go a different way than normal at the start. Usually the small guys double team the monster. That happens as they kick the crap out of Kane, but that’s only after the future Team Hell No’s attempts on Kane fail. Kane rolls outside, leaving the Bryan/Punk saga to occur. They trade shots with Punk shouting “NO!” with each strike. I do agree with Punk’s statement that he and Bryan could have been like Bret and Shawn. Kane gets a near fall with a clothesline. As things spill outside, Punk dives out onto both men. Kane comes back and drives Punk back first into the ring post before pulling him into it. Kane continues to pound on Punk in the ring while Bryan is outside selling. He comes back in from OUTTA NOWHERE, not with an RKO, but a big running dropkick. He tries it on Kane but is caught with a side slam for two. He does his backflip/running elbow combo but Kane no sells it, so Bryan drops him on the second turnbuckle and kicks it into his face. I’ve always thought that was a great creative move. Bryan climbs to the top, but Punk stops him and tries a superplex. Kane stops him for one of his own but Punk stops him. This happens about three more times. They end up fighting in the middle of the ring, leading Bryan to nail a double dropkick. Bryan fires away on both guys with kicks to “YES!” chants from fans. Punk ducks the big roundhouse and rolls him up for two. Punk hits two running corner knees before gaining a near fall with a neckbreaker. He goes up top but Bryan stops him this time. His superplex gets stopped by Kane getting him on his shoulders, and Punk does the LOD Doomsday Device for two. Ugly top rope elbow from Punk only gets two as well. Kane is back in, but he gets kicked in the head. Punk misses the elbow this time, allowing Bryan to climb up top and nail the diving headbutt but it’s not enough to put down Punk. He applies the Yes Lock, but Punk slips out and nails the GTS! He covers but Kane pulls Bryan out of the ring. Flying clothesline from Kane before he signals for the Chokeslam but it’s countered into a DDT for two. Punk’s elbow connects here for a near fall. Tons of those in this match. And we get another after Kane’s Chokeslam. He tries the Tombstone, but Punk squirms out and shoves him into the ropes. AJ Lee happened to have just ran out and gets knocked off when Kane bumps into her. Kane is concerned, which leads to him turning right around into the Go to Sleep and being pinned.

Winner and Still WWE Champion: CM Punk in 18:17
The third great match of the night. All three guys worked hard, had good chemistry, threw in some near falls and they advanced the AJ angle without overusing her. I was worried she would get involved early and take the focus away but they didn’t go that way. ****

Kane is still concerned while CM Punk celebrates, so he picks up AJ and carries her backstage. As he’s carrying her, she looks over his shoulder and smiles at Punk in the ring.

Dan Delany & Rob Grymes vs. Ryback
Yup, this won’t last long. The crowd is pretty dead for Ryback’s entrance. Booker T hilariously says that the jobbers are big on the indies. One of the jobbers runs in and gets back body dropped. Ryback is all like “STUPID” as he gorilla presses one. “Goldberg” chants ring out before he hits a second rope splash. Double Shell Shock wraps this up.

Winner: Ryback in 1:38
At least this was short. I prefer this as filler to some drawn out match between two guys I don’t care about. SQUASH

Steel Cage Match
Big Show vs. John Cena

Both Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis are at ringside, because if Big Show loses, Laurinaitis is fired and if John Cena loses, he’s fired. GUESS WHO’S GONNA WIN THIS? Right out of the gate, Cena blocks a Chokeslam but ends up grounded anyway. Show beats on Cena for a while as Booker T compares this to “David and Goliath”. No, Booker that’s not what this is like because Cena is no David. There’s not much to discuss here because it has just been Show beating on Cena and it is dull as fuck. Anytime Cena gets an opening he tries to escape but Show always manages to stop him. Show actually hits a splash on Cena for two. Show goes up top and lifts Cena from the mat by his throat. Cena fights off but still gets tossed, just not with a Chokeslam. Show drops an elbow from the top, but Cena moves and I wonder how strong the ring is. Show nearly goes out the door, but Cena “OHMYGOD HE’S SO STRONG” pulls Show back in. Cena nearly leaves but Laurinaitis closes the door. Mr. McMahon shoves him and opens the door, but Laurinaitis pushes him into the door into Cena. A Chokeslam is hit, but only for two. Show misses the WMD but hits the official before connecting with it on Cena. So technically, he had Cena beat. Show goes to walk out but Brodus Clay has a steel chair and is waiting by the door. I would’ve gone out anyway. I’ll take a chair shot for a win. JOBBERMANIA is here as Alex Riley, the most generic of the generic, runs out with Santino to try and stop him. Zack Ryder goes it too, getting a big pop, but is stopped as well. Kofi Kingston appears and actually knocks Show from the top. That John Cena is a cheater. AA from Cena because “HES SO STRONG!” Cena makes it out over the top because Show escapes through the door.

Winner: John Cena in 19:58
Man that was as pant-by-numbers as it could be. It was predictable, dull and bland. Not a good way to close the show as it is one of the times that Cena didn’t deserve to close over CM Punk.*

John Laurinaitis goes to attack John Cena with his crutch. Cena ducks and hoists him up for the AA through the announce table after Vince McMahon screams “YOU’RE FIRED!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
This is like the Jekyll and Hyde of WWE Pay-Per-Views. While you get three four star matches, which is rare, you also get a dull Steel Cage main event, a lame Sin Cara/Hunico bout and the awful Tuxedo match. However, the Divas match was passable and the tag team match was fun. I do recommended this show though because the majority of it is damn good. Just skip the crap.

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No Way Out 2012, WWE, Kevin Pantoja