A major stipulation will be added to one of WWE's marquee matches at Sunday's No Way Out pay-per-view when WWE Smackdown airs on Friday.
In the closing segment of the show, which features John Cena cutting a promo about his match against Big Show, John Laurinaitis interrupts and informs Cena that, if he attacks him and loses on Sunday, he'll be fired (according to PWTorch.com). I guess Cena took the bait and dropped Big Johnny, meaning he's gone if he loses.
This completely changes my perception of this match. With both Laurinaitis and Cena's jobs on the line now, it makes the match that much harder to call. However, I still think Big Show wins. Cena can very easily be brought back in a storyline, whereas I think Laurinaitis being fired pretty much eliminates him from TV.
Should Cena be fired, it won't last long. I do think WWE has been planning to give him some time off, but circumstances forced them to keep him around a bit longer. They are treading on dangerous ground, however, to take Cena off TV when so many other top Superstars are injured or suspended -- mainly Randy Orton. The good news is that both Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho, at least, will be eligible to return to WWE TV on the June 25 Raw. And with Triple H appearing at No Way Out and likely to be a recurring character on Raw the next few weeks, I could see WWE putting their eggs in that basket, and giving Cena some time off.
There's also the fact that Cena's been in this situation and lost before, only to miss very little -- if any -- time.
Remember Cena was fired when he didn't help Wade Barrett win the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 2010. He didn't miss a single episode of Raw, although in storyline, he was showing up illegally or buying a ticket or whatever. (For house shows, he wrestled as "Juan" Cena under a mask, a gimmick they could reprise for the house show circuit and dark matches if they wanted). He was supposed to be fired by Vince McMahon last year after Money in the Bank, when he dropped the title to CM Punk who claimed to be leaving with it. (Punk was back in two weeks, but Cena never got fired -- McMahon did. Kind of.)
If Cena is given some time off, I could see them keeping him off TV for about a month, with his return at the 1000th episode of Raw.
Obviously, this stipulation was added to put a little more intrigue on the main event of No Way Out, which has been deemed a very skippable PPV by some. I think it will exceed expectations, but only because those expectations aren't very high.
Here's the rest of the Smackdown spoilers, courtesy of PWTorch, along with some more analysis.
Opening promo with AJ, Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus. They open with the advertised tag team match.
Ziggler and Bryan defeated the team of the WWE and World champions after some interference from Guerrero, allowing Ziggler to pin Sheamus. AJ and Vickie then brawl, which brings out Kane, which leads to him chokeslamming Punk and Bryan.
Wayne's analysis: Perfect, perfect booking here. Ziggler needed to pin Sheamus to give him a bit more credibility heading into their title match Sunday, since he's lost clean to Sheamus twice in recent weeks. And Kane, I think, is the least likely to win and actually, the most likely to get pinned Sunday, so it makes sense to book him strong here.
Brodus Clay beats Heath Slater in a squash. David Otunga did a post-match run-in to attack the Funkasaurus.
Wayne's analysis: Vader literally squashed Slater on Raw, and Brodus gets to do so here. Otunga gets some heat for their pre-show match, but if Clay doesn't squash him, I'll be shocked.
Beth Phoenix beats Alicia Fox, with Layla on commentary.
Wayne's analysis: Typical squash to hype Beth for Sunday's match. I can't get excited about the Divas divsion right now.
Laurinaitis apologizes to Vince McMahon on behalf of the Big Show for Monday. Show cuts a heel promo.
Wayne's analysis: Pretty standard stuff I'd think here.
Intercontinental Champion Christian beats Jack Swagger in a quick, nontitle match.
Wayne's analysis: My Swagger mark-ness will show through here, but these two should get some time to work. They had great matches in ECW when Christian returns to WWE and took the big silver belt off Swagger. I'd love to see a feud for the IC title between them. A win for Swagger here -- with Christian's ankle hurting from Monday -- could've set that up. Ah well. No Rhodes again, because he was on a plane heading back from promotional work somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere.
Off camera, Swagger cuts a promo, then eats a Pedigree from Triple H.
Wayne's analysis: Great, he's getting Drew McIntyre treatment now.
Ryback beat two jobbers.
Wayne's analysis: I'm still bitter about Swagger. Ryback sucks. I thought he wanted three opponents now?
Damien Sandow beat Tyson Kidd.
Wayne's analysis: Another squash match. I guess this continues their mini-angle from last week. They should've saved this for No Way Out instead. No Antonio Cesaro this week?