WWE returns to pay-per-view Sunday with No Way Out.
The show has undergone a number of changes to the announced and predicted card because of injuries and suspensions, creating an opportunity for at least one young star to step up to the plate.
Ring Posts contributors Arda Ocal and Adam Testa weighed in with their predictions for the PPV:
Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga
Adam: This is a match that doesn't appeal to me in the least. Look at how long it has been since Otunga won a match and how long it's been since Clay has officially lost one. This is a completely one-sided story, and it's not likely WWE will end Clay's victorious streak on a YouTube show.
Prediction: Brodus Clay
Arda: I'm wondering if this is a match that people will log on to the YouTube pre-show to see. There is certainly a segment of the WWE Universe that will log on regardless of what the match is, but others need an appealing matchup to motivate them. Brodus Clay is certainly entertaining to many, but I wonder if this match will make people truly feel that his undefeated streak is in any sort of jeopardy. Brodus embarrases Otunga and wins.
Prediction: Brodus Clay
Layla (c) vs. Beth Phoenix
Adam: The divas have taken a backseat, as of late. They have been given little television time, and hence, we get a rushed Divas Championship rematch with little recent build. Phoenix pinned Layla on Raw in what basically amounted to a comedy match, but there's no reason to move the belt back to her with so little momentum or story behind it.
Arda: I hate to say this, but unfortunately the Divas division has the Kharma cloud hanging over it. Whether she returns Sunday or not, we all anticipate this return and hope it comes sooner than later because, to me, she is the shot in the arm that is needed to rejuvenate interest in the Divas division. Hopefully Layla and Beth Phoenix can present a good match to make us forget about Kharma. Layla retains.
Christian (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
Adam: This is another rematch over a title that hasn't meant much lately. The Intercontinental Championship has been hot-potatoed since WrestleMania, and hopefully it doesn't change hands here again. The absence of some main-event stars is the opening Rhodes needs to reach the next level, and Christian provides a veteran presence in the midcard scene. Therefore, there's no reason to pull yet another title switch with the Intercontinental belt.
Arda: I'm not reading too much into Christian's TNA appearance. My bet is that his appearance was part of the deal that saw Ric Flair appear at this year's WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. In terms of this match, I'm happy it's happening, and I would like Christian to win and enjoy a long, eventful title reign. Maybe a unification bout with the U.S. title also in the future?
World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Adam: This is Ziggler's opportunity to prove himself capable of delivering in a high-profile pay-per-match match. He and Sheamus have had good television matches in recent weeks, but they'll need to up the ante and provide something fresh and special to make this match stand out. Ziggler has lost to Sheamus twice in a row, but the third time won't be a charm. Sheamus will retain the title, possibly through a disqualification finish or other dirty means, but hopefully Ziggler proves himself a worthy championship challenger in the process.
Arda: I am a fan of Dolph Ziggler. I want him to have a long and prosperous run as a world champion as much as the next guy, but I question the timing of this next world heavyweight title shot for him. I understand that there are unforseen circumstances with Alberto del Rio, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho, so it almost seems like there is no choice but for Ziggler to be in this position. I'm happy he will be receiving a PPV payday of this magnitude. I just hope this doesn't halt his singles career progress. I was picturing him as a world champion around Survivor Series. I look for Sheamus to retain in a solid match that makes people continue to praise Ziggler.
CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Adam: I have picked Daniel Bryan to win every pay-per-view match he's been in this year, and I don't think I've been right yet. That said, I think Sunday is his night. Kane's presence gives Bryan a way to win the title without pinning Punk, which allows their feud to continue. The wildcard is going to be AJ; though I think everything she has been doing has been an orchestrated ruse to help Bryan win the title. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan
Arda: A lot of people are disappointed that Kane has been added to this match; I'm not. As much as I love to watch CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan, I want a break from that match because I feel I've seen it too much lately and, in my opinion, it should be kept special and scarce. Kane is also a performer that will be able to provide a high-quality match with any superstar, including Punk and Bryan. Kane will add power to that matchup and will give a different dynamic. I look for CM Punk to retain.
Prediction: CM Punk
Steel Cage Match
John Cena vs. Big Show
If Big Show loses, John Laurinatis will be fired.
Adam: There is a further stipulation to this match added on Smackdown that gives it a new dimension. Regardless, though, I'm expecting some kind of screwjob finish here that allows Big Show to win and keeps Laurinaitis in power. But, on the other hand, if I've learned one thing in wrestling, it's don't bet against John Cena. So, weighing the option, I have to go with Super Cena for the victory.
Prediction: John Cena
Arda:The Big Show has been interesting again since his villainous turn, and I'm enjoying the serious side of the Big Show. Let's face it: Bad guy Big Show is much better than good guy Big Show, and it makes this match much more interesting. I look for a Big Show win to keep his momentum. John Cena doesn't need the win, and there could be more notoriety created with a convincing loss here.
Prediction: Big ShowCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun