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Thumbs in the Middle

Best Match: Punk vs. Kane vs. Bryan

Worst Match: Tuxedo Match

This was the first WWE ppv I have bought since 2007. I was looking for Sunday entertainment as Game of Thrones and Mad Men ended their seasons recently.

The live pre-game was not shown on the TV broadcast which is annoying. They showed a taped studio show with Scott Standford. I ended up watching the live pre-game on via my smart phone.

I give this show In the Middle because there was nothing really good or really bad here overall. It was a standard WWE show that everyone has come to expect. Same people go over. No new main eventer. We're left with the same old and boring question of "who will be in charge now?"

What does it say about CM Punk when the WWE Champ isn't even a main eventer and who knows when he will be again at this rate.

I hope this isn't going to be a bad omen for Bryan because he literally was forgotten in the last few minutes of that match and in the Kane/AJ segment like he wasn't even there!

Jake Koch

Thumbs Down
Best Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Worst Match: Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
Hi Dave,
WWE is the worst major wrestling promotion out there right now and this PPV was a great example of why that is. This was one of the most unpleasant experiences that I have ever had watching a WWE PPV. By about 9:30 EST I was practically begging for this thing to be over. The majority of this PPV was just so agonizingly dull and excruciating to sit through. Most of the show just felt like filler and I pity anyone who actually wasted their money on a ticket to see this show in person or was suckered into ordering this on PPV. I was bored out of my mind and felt like I just wasted 3 hours of my life. The show had a couple good matches but the bad outweighed the good heavily. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler was pretty good outside of the sloppiness near the end. I don't think these guys had very good chemistry with each other but the crowd liked Dolph a lot and this was better than most of the other matches tonight. Santino vs. Ricardo was completely stupid and a waste of time. Not funny and had no place on PPV. Totally unamusing for anyone who has completed the 5th grade. Cody Rhodes vs. Christian I thought was a good back and forth match that had a little bit more action and near falls than you'd expect out of a match so low on the card. One of Cody's best matches I'd say. The 4-way tag match was a good 5 minutes too long and absolutely nothing was happening outside of the Tyson Kidd spots. Didn't care for it at all. Triple H's announcement was fine but promo segments belong on TV not PPV. Layla vs. Beth Phoenix was another terrible Divas match. Crowd was totally flat and there were some very noticeable botches. A bit too long as well. Hunico vs. Sin Cara was a slightly extended weak Smackdown match. No place on PPV. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane I thought was a very good match. They did some solid near falls, told a pretty good story, and didn't allow the angle from the buildup to inhibit the match too much. Bryan and Punk were just made to wrestle each other and I hope Kane leaves the scene for the next PPV. Glad Bryan didn't eat the pin. The Ryback squash was useless. John Cena vs. The Big Show was their usual slow, tedious match before things got wacky with the overbooked ending. Although it went with the storyline, all of it was just too much to take in and it came off like a mess. Just not a good main event, especially if you don't care about the storyline. Overall this was one of the worst WWE PPVs of the last several years. I felt so drained and miserable while watching this thing. Like I said, WWE is currently the worst major promotion out there right now. ANY company deserves your support more than them. TNA, ROH, CHIKARA, PWG, NJPW, Dragon Gate, and EVOLVE are all superior, hell even CZW might be putting out a more cohesive product. This company isn't worth your time or money right now.
Jared Silberkleit
Orange, CT

WWE No Way Out: Thumbs Down
Best Match: Punk vs. Bryan vs. Kane
Worst Match: Marella vs. Rodriguez
I think watching this show was basically a preview for what we will be getting every Monday night starting July 23 when the three hour Raw shows.  An average show with one or two good matches.  Sheamus vs. Ziggler was pretty good, but not great.  Thought they actually would have gone longer and could have considering what else was one the show later.  I have no problem continuing the push of Sheamus, but I do think they should work on making Ziggler a full time headliner who doesn't lose every week.  Tuxedo match was abominable and again is something I expect to fill up time on a three hour Raw show.  Intercontinental Title match was good, but no one seemed to care.  Rhodes is another guy who needs to get a real push instead of a lose every match, but get a title match on ppv push.  Divas title was decent for what it was, but again no one cares about them.  They need some actual time on TV to build a real angle that someone might care about.  Same goes for the tag title contenders match.  No one cares about those titles and therefore no one cares about the so-called tag teams competing for them.  It was nice of AW to turn on Epico and Primo after having never actually been with them since they forgot about that angle.  Gabriel and Kidd deserve a lot better.  Sin Cara vs. Hunico felt like another TV match and in fact I think it was a TV match a few weeks back.  Ryback vs. two jobbers served its usual purpose, but still don't think we need this on pay per view.  Punk vs. Bryan vs. Kane was the best thing on the show and I enjoyed the match.  I feel that A.J. is going to eventually screw Punk out of the title after he turns her advances down.  Cage match was fine, but again average.  I like Big Johnny getting fired, but know that they never actually live up to the stips which means he will be back on Raw tomorrow night.  I really think he's run his course as a TV personality and would like to see Mick Foley or someone like that as Raw GM or at least give Teddy his Smackdown job back.
Robb Block

Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Punk-Bryan-Kane
Worst Match: Ryback 
I feel like the Punk-Bryan-Kane match saved the show. Nothing else too memorable tonight. The Christian-Rhodes match was decent. 
Let's just give Ryback a real match. The character intrigues me, but not the never-ending squashes. 
Nothing to say about the Shamaus-Ziggler match. It could have been more. The Divas were better than usual. Both tag matches left me bored, if only because none of these guys has been developed. 
Main event and HHH segments made me want to watch Monday. 
All and all not a bad show. But nothing great either. 
Mike Trask
Las Vegas

Overall Impression: thumbs down
Best Match: Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk vs. Kane
Worst Match: The Tuxedo Match

To me, this show was basically a three hour raw with less wacky segments and more wrestling....but it just felt entirely stale throughout. Sheamus and Ziggler was fine and really picked up at the end, but everyone I was watching with knew Ziggler had no chance of winning. Santino and Ricardo was thankfully short, but was atrocious. Christian and Cody Rhodes was ok, but it felt like a generic match I saw 539 times within the last two years anyways. Tag match was fun and I was stunned to know that WWE actually has more than 2 tag teams, plus it was good to see some fresh faces on ppv. The HHH promo was just there, didn't excite me in any way for summerslam. The women's match was also just a match. The three way was probably the best match on the show, but the whole time my friends and I were talking about how much better of a match it would be if it was just Bryan and Punk. Kane did fine, but knowing that I could be watching a better match and not getting it was kinda annoying. Plus the ending of the match just seemed like the ending of a tv match, just something that builds up the stuff with AJ to blow off at another show down the line. Cool, we get to see these three continue their feud or even worse, the focus will shift to kane vs. punk. Everyone at the bar was really into Bryan and Kane, the only louder reactions coming for John Cena (mix of boos and cheers like always). The Cena-Big Show match was ok, and people reacted to it at the end, but throughout most of it the people were paying more attention to the heat-thunder NBA Finals game. On top of that we had the same old Ryback squash where he nearly killed two indy guys and screamed for people to feed him more steroids as well as another Sin Cara match that I think I saw move for move on the last ppv.  Outside of the 3 way and the main event (and even those matches felt below average), this show just felt like so much filler and quite frankly I get enough of that on Raw and Smackdown.

Rob Lamka

I watched No Way Out, and I just was not really into the show much.

I give the show Thumbs in the Middle

Best Match: Triple Threat for the WWE Title: Punk vs D. Bryan vs Kane

Worst Match: That silly Tuxedo Match between Santino Morella vs Ricardo

I think the Triple Threat was the best worked match, considering Kane was in the match. You can't do a lot with him, but Punk and Bryan did a good job. AJ didn't play as big a role as I thought, even though most of her work tonight was in the backstage segments. I love her character. She plays it well. I will say one thing. The chicks dig Kane for some reason, judging from that long kiss Kan gave her. From the way she looked at Punk when Kane brought her to the back, it does look like she is going to be Punk's downfall.

Why on earth were we subjected to that silly Tuxedo match? WHY? Awful match. I guess we had to have some sort of comedy match, but really.  "Boring" chants could be heard as well.

The rest of the card was hit or miss:

I enjoyed the Intercontinental match. Christian and Cody had a pretty solid match with Christian retaining with his friend and WWE Hall of Famer Edge's spear. It was good that Edge got a mention also by one of the commentators. It was not one of the best IC matches, but it was a very good, solid match.

The Diva's Title match was pretty good. Once again, Layla retained over Beth Phoenix. I think the storyline is that Layla has Beth's number. What I thought was really good was that the two women played to the crowd. Unfortunately, there was a "boring" chant going in some areas. Of course, what do you expect when on Raw/Smackdown, the women only get one or two minutes. They inserted some comedy where Layla took Beth's crown, and taunted Beth with it, and ran off with it. Anyway, I liked the match. Solid.

The opener, the World Title match between Ziggler and Sheamus was very good. Sheamus retained, but Ziggler really did a great job. I just hope that Ziggler continues to get more opportunities to contest for the top belts. I really enjoy his work, and there were portions of the crowd who got behind Ziggler.

Ryback squashed two jobbers. Ho Hum. Nothing special there.

Sin Cara beat Hunico in a decent match.

The Four Way Tag Team Match to determine the number one contender for Kofi and R Truth's belts between The Usos vs Epico and Primo vs Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel vs Titus O’Neil and Darren Young had a lot of spots. However, it was just decent. Darren Young and Titus O'Neil won, and that AW manager dude turned on his former clients, the Usos, and went with Young/O'Neil.  It was not all that great to me.

Triple H came out and called out Brock Lesnar saying that they should drop the lawsuits, and that his arm is almost 100% (he did not have the brace on ), and they should fight at Summerslam. Good promo.

The main event between Big Show and John Cena was a long match, and was boring. I was so bored. It just dragged on. I don't know if it was me, but till the very end when all the interference and stuff happened, I didn't pick up a lot of heat from the audience. I could be wrong though. Once Cena starting making his comeback and all, then the crowd got into it, but from the start of the match till then.....barely any heat.

Of course, the stipulations were if Show won, Cena was fired, and if Cena won, John Laurinitis would be fired by Vince, who was at ringside, but had a slight concussion. Of course, both Laurinitis and Vince would be knocked out, and interference from Brodus and others would come through. Cena eventually escapes the cage by going over the top, and the Big Show crawled out, but it was too late. Vince fires Johnny Ace, and Cena FUs him over onto the Spanish announce table. How predictable.

I just thought the Main Event was just boring. Overall, the PPV was just OK. Even the good matches were just good. I have seen better versions of No Way Out.

Terri Bey

No Way Out 2012


Best match Ziggler vs Sheamus

Worst Match tuxedo match between Ricardo and Santino


A thumbs in the middle ppv.

This was a two match show and the two matches impressed. Ziggler and Sheamus was great. While botchy at times they more than made up for it with intensity and constantly making it look like Ziggler would win.

I thought the opening sequence recalling Wrestlemania was clever and hopefully this is marks a step-up in the attention Ziggler gets on tv thus far.

The three way was the next best match. Kane worked harder here than he has in year. D. Bryan showed great intensity kicking both opponents and when he missed punk in the head the first time he made sure to strike him later in the match. A well-planned match.

While it was inevitable A.J would affect the ending I’m glad it was limited and the ending protected Bryan. I hope he gets a shot on ppv down the line.


As for the rest of the matches they were pretty forgettable. I thought the Prime Time Players win was really good. The show was hurt by match placement. Having that pitiful tuxedo match early killed the crowd for later and Ryback and Sin Cara were crowd killers as well.

The main event was overbooked and I’m just glad it’s over. I want the main event picture to move on from focusing on non-wrestlers.

Here’s hoping Money in the Bank is better and that Dolph Ziggler gets the push he sorely deserves.


Rob Cammarata

Mississauga,Ontario, Canada

Best Match: Punk/Kane/Bryan
Worst Match: Tuxedo Match
This was the first WWE pay per view I've watched since SummerSlam last year and man this was dire for the most part. The problem is none of the matches felt special, even thought they were mostly well worked. How am I supposed to care about a world title when it's the first match defended on the card, even before a pathetic tuxedo match? It seems amusing that the world titles are so irrelevant that they aren't even main events anymore anyway. The last four PPV's have all featured Cena in the main match, so he might as well be the champion. Regardless the triple threat match was good action, ruined by Kane of course, which is always the case when he is in the mix. There's no logical reason to have him there. Watching him pick up AJ and walk off with her like a sympathetic monster is about as stale as it gets. The filler was obvious, making this about as special as a typical Raw. Who the hell pays to see Hunico and Sin Cara? Another Ryback squash? This guy will go the way of Mason Ryan in no time. The tag team match was ok, but who cares about the tag team scene? When Fuji double crossed Demolition in 88 it had relevance, but tonights switch was pretty meaningless and it isnt the teams faults either. Christian and Rhodes had its moments, but realistically it's a weekly Smackdown type match, just like Sheamus and Ziggler. The cage match was as good as it could be, considering these guys have feuded with each other multiple times since god knows when. How can the commentators act like Cena giving Show the attitude adjustment is a big deal when he did it all the way back at WMXX? What year is it anyway? I still can't buy cage matches without blood either. Somethings missing without it, even if it has been four years now without juice. The whole finale was predictable, no real surprises. The firing angles are so overdone you wonder if there can ever be a main event without a stipulation. As for Triple H's promo, like you guys said, not much of one!
I'm not trying to be negative because it's the thing to do, but when you feel like you've really watched nothing more than a house show there's obviously problems. This show had nothing going for it on paper and it certainly delivered that. The wrestlers are working hard, but nobody feels like a real star, except Punk, Bryan and Cena.
Thumbs Down
Huw Roma

Thumbs in the middle

Worst match: Ricardo vs Santino
Best match: Triple Threat match

I give it thumbs in the middle, there was really some AWFUL stuff and some good matches (not a classic or anything) this night. Santino and Ricardo has my vote right now for being the worst match of the year, I thought Brodus vs Otunga was bad, but that was made look like a good match compared to the tuxedo match. Layla and Beth IMO don’t have that chemistry in the ring, and I felt bad for them, both girls got 0 reaction, Beth has been somewhat overused and Layla has been a victim since her return since we all were expecting Kharma (by the way I really want her to come back already). Ziggler vs Sheamus even though the sloppiness, I thought it was good, and I now hope WWE gives the Money in the Bank to Dolph, people want to see him pushed so bad now and I think he deserves it. Christian vs Cody was solid, and the triple threat IMO had very good storytelling and it was well done by the 4 people involved in it.  Cena and Show was okay for what it was, didn’t had any problem about it and the ending at least was fun.

Alberto Dominguez

Thumbs Down.
Best Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Worst Match: Santino vs. Ricardo
Just an awful, awful show. I'm not sure the product WWE puts out is even for me anymore. Very little of it entertains me, and I find myself either angry or bored with it most of the time.
Onto this PPV: the opener was sloppy and I ALMOST expected them to do the quick squash here. I'm not sure why there's so much concern about both titles being on the same house show. It's obvious neither Cena or RAW need a title. Then there was some comedy bullshit followed by a number of things that even the crowd turned on.
Going into the show, I was slightly excited by the WWE Title match and the story that they seemed to be telling. I was foolish. It seemed the story was being built here to see who AJ was going to choose and therefore help won the WWE Title. I think she helped Punk. I bet we get Punk vs. Kane next month with Bryan going into the Money in the Bank match.
I don't need to see Punk vs. Kane in a semi-main event PPV match in 2012.
Who am I kidding they won't even be semi-main? It'll be Ryback.
The main event sucked a cock. Slow, plodding...lots of general bullshit. Just the dirt worst. Absolute drizzling shits.
I'm calling DISH to demand a refund.
Charles Humphreys

Hi Dave,

Best match: Sheamus vs Ziggler
Worst Match Tuxedo Match

Watched this show with a few people.  I am not going to go into the matches much because they all felt like they were just there.  Nothing was very good and there was some very bad.  Most of it was just there, it was probably the television which lead me to have zero interest in this show as anything more than a chance to hang with friends.

The opener was okay, the three way match was okay, the tag 4 way match was okay but not really good while the main event was so-so, the divas match was bad, the tuxedo match was naturally bad, Cody vs christian was bad too. Squash was what it was, same with Sin Cara Match.  I just don't care enough about this show to get into details.

Show was just there, thumbs slightly down.

Keep up the great work,

-Ryan McDeed

Thumbs down

- Very average show from start to finish. Some decent stuff , but not enough of it.

Best Match

- Three way

Worst Match

 - Santino vs. Ricardo


World Heavyweight Championship

Sheamus (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Crowd well behind Ziggler, Lawler looked like a fucking idiot for saying the loud and obvious "Let's go Ziggler" chants were for Sheamus. Why must they peddle their shit constantly and ram their way down everyone's throats. Someone else was over, just go with it! Imagine if they reacted like that with Austin in 96/97 when he started getting cheered as a heel. Ziggler should have gone over here, throw a swerve in there with him getting the shot so late, and throw someone new right into the top line mix. Ziggler is one of the top three workers in the company (along with Punk and Bryan) and he is just incredible to watch. His current status is criminal; he should be a megastar, especially with their incredibly shallow talent pool. Good match this anyway, hurt slightly by the odd botched spot, but it was exciting and the crowd helped. The result was sadly never in doubt.

Final Rating: ***


Tuxedo Match

Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez

Shite. What a complete joke this was. I like both these guys but this had no place on a PPV. Christ, it had no place on Superstars twenty years ago for that matter.

Final Rating: DUD


WWE Intercontinental Championship

Christian (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

Christian is boring. Cody has been in this same spot for too long. If you are going to elevate him, now is the time. I struggled to maintain much interest for this one. It is just same old, same old.

Final Rating: **


Four Way Tag

Nice to see a new team given the chance and a mini push, and also pleasing to see tag wrestling given an opportunity. I guess this is one of Triple-H's incentives, because I heard he was high on making the division hot again. Fingers crossed, but breath not held. Hell, it was not exactly the Brainbusters or the Bulldogs out there, but at least it was real teams in matching gear, with a reason to be teaming. That is enough for me in 2012. Some cool spots, and they didn't let the uninterested crowd bother them. Fun enough, and there was some promising talent in there.

Final Rating: **1/4


WWE Divas Title

Layla (c) vs. Beth Phoenix

Yeah, fucking around with the tiara didn’t get over. It's because you are balls love. Watching Layla thinking about her next spot, because she lacks any natural ability or ring awareness, is at least good for a giggle. They just do stuff. Nothing really flows or tells a story, like nearly all Divas matches, it is just moves for the sake of moves. You could hear a cricket fart during this. Should any champion winning ever be considered an upset?

Final Rating: 1/4*


Hunico vs. Sin Cara

The dimmed lighting really annoys me. The "we want Ryder" chants during this tell you everything you need to know. Other than that, the aforementioned cricket is still flatulent, and we all know about it. I have never seen a cruiserweight guy work as boring a style as Hunico. It is like watching the Barbarian. I wanted Sin Cara to work in WWE, but the experiment has been a disaster. Poor match, despite the odd athletic spot.

Final Rating: *


WWE Championship

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

Shame they ruined this by adding Kane. I can only assume they did it to upset the people who would want to see the singles between Bryan and Punk again. The AJ stuff leading up to it had actually been pretty good. Tasty little crumpet as well isn't she? They are over these former ROH guys who "don't know how to work" aren't they? You would think WWE might cotton on and bring more proven workers from elsewhere in. I'm sure I am not alone in thinking Kane looks like he is wearing his singlet inside out. Bryan is the best thing they have in the company. The exchanges between him and Punk were as good as you would expect them to be, just superb chemistry. Kane, not so much. Actually this was his best match in ages, and he looked good in there carried by two superior workers. AJ involved in the finish was expected, and thankfully she didn’t get too involved to ruin the match, it was just at the end. Good little 3-way.

Final Rating: ***1/2


Ryberg vs. Jobbers

I still don’t get why you would have a body like that and then cover it with a singlet. He looks impressive, I enjoyed his squashes. Those Goldberg chants won't go away though. You can tell it is pissing him off too, because he was trying to make them chant "Ryback" at the start. Bless him. If they brought back TV squash guys, maybe more of their roster would get over. It would increase the number of fresh matches on PPV's ten-fold as well.

Final Rating: SQUASH (But a fun one)


Cage Match

John Cena vs. The Big Show

It's like we have regressed, having to suffer Show in main events. Give it a month or two and this push will be dead and buried. Again. Like it always has been over the last 13 years. This is the FIFTH show in a row that Cena has main evented and the WWF title has not. They sure do know how to elevate things. At least Cena doesn't joke around when he looks into the camera tonight, unlike his usual suspension of disbelief destroying nod, wink and nudge, and acknowledgement that it is all just a bit of fun. Michael Cole said: "WWE fans". I guess it is because Vince is at ringside and not feeding him lines. If they released comp tapes like they used to in the 80's and 90's, would they have to change Fan Favourites to Universe Favourites? I bet they would too. This was like a cage match dot-to-dot puzzle, it was so basic and generic for the bulk, not to mention boring.

Final Rating: *

James Dixon

Dave and Bryan:
Thumbs in the middle.
Best Match: Tie between Christian vs. Cody Rhodes and C.M. Punk vs. American Dragon vs. Kane.
Worst Match: Three-way tie between tuxedo Match, Divas match and two indy jobbers vs. the illegitimate love child of Goldberg and Rob Van Dam.
The epitome of a 'B' pay per view was not terribly offensive but there wasn't anything that left the viewer feeling they got a show that was worth their money outside of HHH's promo challenging Lesnar to a fight.
That is a fundamental issue that must be corrected.
No Way Out was just another show in just another arena on just another day. There was nothing that separated it from Raw or Smackdown or Money In The Bank or Summerslam. 
Incidentally, WWE's hubris in its commercial boasting Raw was the biggest program in the history of Monday nights was hilarious. Raw is not and never will be bigger than Monday Night Football.
A pro-wrestling crowd loved the Sheamus-Dolph Ziggler opener, the triple-threat match and the main event run-ins. But their reaction to two good mid-card matches (Christian-Rhodes; four-way tag) were muted because of the abject sports-entertainment messes that were the tuxedo match, Layla dancing like a clown and the bland Sin Cara-Hunico match.
WWE brags about how it was 'color' compared to WCW's 'black-and-white' during the Monday Night Wars. Without competition on Monday nights, WWE has long since grown stale.

Dennis Gorman

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