The following results, courtesy of WWE’s official website, are from a recent WWE pay-per-view event. WWE No Way Out took place on June 17th, 2012 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
John Cena def. Big Show in a Steel Cage Match
It took an Attitude Adjustment, some assistance from Mr. McMahon, Brodus Clay and Kofi Kingston, and a little bit of luck, but John Cena did it. In what will be remembered as one of the most harrowing bouts of his career, the Cenation leader overcame a 441-pound giant inside a dangerous steel cage to not only save his own career, but to also end the tyrannical reign of General Manager John Laurinaitis. For the 10-time WWE Champion, few victories will be this sweet. It was a match the Superstar knew he had to win, but that didn’t make it easy. From the opening bell, Cena attempted to use his awesome power to topple The World’s Largest Athlete, but the nasty giant was not going to be pushed around at No Way Out. Smacking his opponent away in the same manner that King Kong swatted fighter planes from the sky, Big Show appeared shockingly unfazed by Cena’s strength. Instead, the giant controlled the pace of the bout as he took slow pleasure in the destruction of his opponent. The super heavyweight even found the time to flash a cruel smile when he wasn’t sledgehammering his fists into his opponent’s abdomen.
With Mr. McMahon and John Laurinaitis each keeping concerned eyes on the action from ringside, Big Show displayed his scary strength by standing on the top rope and yanking WWE’s white knight into the air by his neck. From there, The World’s Largest Athlete attempted to launch all 441-pounds of his massive body onto a vulnerable Cena. The splash would have certainly been the end of the Cenation leader had he not had the presence of mind to roll away from impending doom at the last second. Calling upon an internal strength that few humans possess, Cena then proceeded to stop Show from escaping from the structure by pulling him back into the cage by his leg. It was a dramatic turn of events from there as Mr. McMahon halted Laurinaitis from interfering in the bout, only to accidentally drive the cage door into Cena’s head when the General Manager tackled The Chairman from behind. Dazed and rattled, Cena stumbled directly into a devastating chokeslam from Big Show, but somehow managed to power out before the three count. Frustrated, The World’s Largest Athlete decked both the official and Cena with his nuclear warhead of a fist and attempted to walk out of the cage while they both lay motionless on the canvas. There was a problem though. Brodus Clay was standing on the other side of the door with a steel chair in his hand.
Banding together to stop the man who brutally attacked them in recent weeks, Alex Riley, Santino Marella and Zack Ryder all raced to the ring to join The Funkasaurus, only to come face-to-fist with the giant. Kofi Kingston had better luck, however, as he scaled the structure and kicked Big Show back to the canvas, stopping the monster from escaping and ending Cena’s career. The commotion gave Cena enough time to find energy and rally once again, lifting his humongous opponent onto his back to deliver a thundering AA. But with no referee available to make the count, Cena was forced to climb the cage where Big Johnny was swinging a crutch to stop the Superstar from escaping the cage to win. Once again interjecting himself into the match, Clay grabbed Laurinaitis and allowed Cena to drop to the arena floor for the victory. Exhausted and battered with purple bruises mapping his body, Cena probably would have preferred to hit the locker room for a hot shower at this point. Instead, he got his hands on Laurinaitis. Heaving his slimy rival onto his shoulders, the Superstar held the former General Manager in place while Mr. McMahon snarled the famous words, “You’re fired!” Cena then sent Laurinaitis packing by driving him through the Spanish announce table with a blistering AA. It was a fitting end for the man who attempted to drive John Cena from WWE and one that opens up a world of possibilities for WWE. Now that Big Johnny is gone, who will take his place? WWE Universe, get ready to meet the new boss — whoever he or she is.
Ryback def. Two local athletes in 2-on-1 Handicap Match
WrestleMania bound? Not so much. Yet another pair of local competitors – Dan Delaney & Rob Grymes – foolishly challenged the undefeated Ryback in a Handicap Match … and naturally found themselves Shell Shocked. In the shadow of the home for WrestleMania XXIX, a team of Philadelphia wrestlers stood in the middle of the ring at the IZOD Center and claimed that a win against Ryback would propel them to the main event of The Show of Shows. They even sang the theme music to WrestleMania X as they waited for their opponent. Clearly, they were a bit overzealous, considering the mean streak of the bruiser from Sin City. Ryback made quick work of the pair, screaming “stupid” at the weak offensive attempt by his challengers before delivering a bone-jarring body splash, then the Shell Shocked, for the victory. After the pinfall, the undefeated Superstar yelled, “Feed me three!” still displeased with his competition. It wasn’t the first time he has asked for a trio of challengers, and judging by the support of the fans cheering in the IZOD Center, it may be a matter of time before Ryback gets his wish.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Kane and Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat Match
Before WWE Champion CM Punk took to the ring to face Kane and Daniel Bryan, he received a little good-luck kiss on the cheek from AJ, to which The Straight Edge Superstar replied: “Luck is for losers.” Punk didn’t need any “luck” to become the longest-reigning WWE Champion in six years, but some mind games and a timely distraction from the ever-unpredictable Diva certainly helped his cause. AJ’s presence was felt before the battle even took place when she planted a kiss on her ex-boyfriend’s cheek and admitted she still wasn’t over him, and later shared a long, passionate kiss with The Big Red Monster – their second stunning kiss in a matter of days. But as the Triple Threat Match got underway, AJ was curiously nowhere to be found, only an electric crowd anticipating what turned out to be a tremendous back-and-forth clash. The majority of the crowd at the IZOD Center backed the WWE Champion, though it was clear from the get-go that there was plenty of love for Bryan as well, as a swarm of “Yes!” signs greeted the submission specialist as he made his emphatic entrance. It didn’t take long for Kane to silence the passionate fans, punishing both Punk and Bryan before attempting a double chokeslam. Both competitors opted to team up to escape punishment and took The Big Red Monster’s legs out from under him. Risk-taking quickly became a trend in the early going, with Bryan hitting a dive through the ropes on Kane, and Punk following with a high-flying crossbody onto both Superstars on the outside. Bryan’s attempt to go high risk again was thwarted when Kane caught him with a strike to the throat, taking Bryan out of the match for a stretch while The Devil’s Favorite Demon went to work on Punk’s injured ribs. Using the steel ring post and a constrictive leg scissors, Kane wore down the WWE Champion and seemed to take the edge in the matchup.
Right when Punk found an opening to rally back, Bryan came out of nowhere and nailed The Second City Savior with a dropkick at the turnbuckle, quickly followed by more vicious kicks on Kane. With The Big Red Monster subdued temporarily, Punk looked to gain the advantage with a superplex on Bryan, but Kane interfered and pulled him off the top turnbuckle. The WWE Champion tenaciously kept fighting back against The Big Red Monster, leaving Bryan, still sitting atop the turnbuckle, time to recover and capitalize with an impressive split-legged dropkick that sent his two foes tumbling. After more intense seesaw action, Punk appeared to be on the way to victory when he executed an amazing clothesline off the top rope as Bryan sat atop Kane’s shoulders. The Straight Edge Superstar soon followed with his savage flying elbow drop, but it wasn’t enough to keep Bryan down for the count. The former World Heavyweight Champion responded with a high-risk maneuver of his own, drilling Punk with a diving headbutt off the top rope, and trapped him in the excruciating “Yes!” Lock. The WWE Champion remarkably reversed the submission into a near-pinfall, in a repeat of the controversial finish between the two rivals at WWE Over the Limit. Kane made his biggest impact of the battle when he prevented Punk from sealing a victory with a Go to Sleep on Bryan, dragging the “Yes!” man out of the ring to the arena floor. The Devil’s Favorite Demon then hit a ferocious flying clothesline off the top rope and Punk countered with a flying elbow drop, but neither competitor was able to land the decisive blow. Following a brutal chokeslam that nearly took the last bit of energy out of The Straight Edge Superstar, Kane tried to finish off Punk with a Tombstone piledriver, which prompted AJ to come rushing down to the ring. The Diva’s interference couldn’t have been timelier as Punk somehow escaped out of Kane’s clutches and shoved Kane into the ropes just as AJ was waiting on the apron. The collision sent AJ flying to the arena floor and left Kane clearly shaken over what he had just done. From there, it was time for The Big Red Monster to Go to Sleep. Immediately after the bout, Kane rushed to AJ’s aid and lifted the seemingly injured Diva into his arms, gripping her tightly as he walked up the entranceway. When The Devil’s Favorite Demon got to the top of the stage, however, AJ opened her eyes and let out a sly smile as she flashed a glance back at Punk, who was celebrating his huge win in the ring. The priceless look on AJ’s face said it all. It was billed as a Triple Threat Match, but there was a volatile fourth threat that ultimately tilted the odds in the WWE Champion’s favor.
Sin Cara def. Hunico
Mexican-style professional wrestling took flight at The Meadowlands at No Way Out on Sunday as Sin Cara took on longtime rival Hunico in a match showcasing lucha libre at its finest. The biggest box office draw south of the border, Sin Cara entered the bout as the favorite. The International Sensation has achieved the upper hand in contests against his homeland rival in the past, including a thrilling Mask vs. Mask Match when SmackDown emanated from Mexico in November of last year. But in the shadow of New York City, the action developed a little differently. Hunico was able to ground Sin Cara like the WWE Universe has not seen before. With his own array of exhilarating aerial attacks – including an impressive springboard senton – and deliberate headlocks, Hunico forced Sin Cara to up his game on Sunday. With his ally Camacho looking on, Hunico became just a little too confident. After narrowly missing Sin Cara in the corner of the ring, the dazzling Superstar in the red mask nailed his foe with a swift kick to the skull, which followed with a hurricanrana off the top rope. One mistimed maneuver by Hunico was all it took. From there, it was all downhill for the bandana-clad cyclist. Sin Cara remained in control, and used the remarkable tilt-a-whirl head scissors transitioned to a single arm takedown that he’s been using to finish off opponents. Hunico was planted face first into the canvas, and the Mexican phenomenon achieved another victory over his longstanding combatant.
Divas Champion Layla def. Beth Phoenix
It was another day, another defining performance for the reigning Divas Champion. Picking up at the IZOD Center where the two rivals left off one month ago at WWE Over the Limit, Layla produced another strong effort at No Way Out to successfully defend her coveted butterfly-emblazoned title against Beth Phoenix. The British bombshell withstood a fierce assault from The Glamazon and connected a timely Lay-out neckbreaker to seal the victory. Tempers flared in the early goings as both Layla and Phoenix tried to subdue each other’s spirit in the middle of the ring. The Fabulous Firebird followed a brutal boot to Layla’s abdomen with taunts about the champion’s worthiness to be in the ring, while the Divas Title holder swiped Phoenix’s headpiece and proceeded to parade in and out of the ring with it. However, it was Layla’s resiliency that ultimately helped her ground The Glamazon. She reversed an impressive Gorilla Press attempt by Phoenix into a DDT and later connected a powerful neckbreaker to put the challenger away. Thirteen months removed from the ACL and MCL injuries that knocked her out of action for nearly a year, Layla now looks as strong as ever, and appears ready to rumble with any Divas aspiring for her championship gold.
The Prime Time Players won a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match
With their victory over Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd, The Usos and Primo & Epico in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match Sunday night, Titus O’Neil & Darren Young not only earned the No. 1 contendership for the WWE Tag Team Championship. These Prime Time Players have proven that they’re ready to make an impact in the tag team division. O’Neil & Young, who left WWE NXT for SmackDown recently after getting their big break thanks to John Laurinaitis, scored the monumental victory after A.W. turned against his All World Promotions tag team, Primo & Epico, costing them the match. This opened up an opportunity for The Prime Time Players to get the No Way Out win, which to them is likely worth “millions of dollars.” The loss for Primo & Epico is a particularly harsh blow, as their promoter, A.W., mistakenly cost them their rematch for the WWE Tag Team Titles against Kofi Kingston & R-Truth. During the No Way Out Pre-Show that live-streamed on WWE.com, YouTube and Facebook, Primo & Epico learned that because they didn’t exercise their automatic rematch clause within 30 days after losing their titles, they forfeited their opportunity. Even though A.W. promised his team the spotlight and urged them to stay positive at No Way Out, it wasn’t exactly the outcome Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes were hoping for. During the match, Kidd used Primo as a weapon, tossing him into their opponents off the top rope. At the time, Young was one of the legal men, and A.W. threw Primo back into the ring for Young to pin for the victory. Then, A.W. made his true allegiance known, as he congratulated and high-fived The Prime Time Players, which prompted Primo & Epico to attack. But O’Neil, Young & A.W. reciprocated, beating down the former WWE Tag Team Champions to stand tall after the match. Now that The Prime Time Players are No. 1 contenders, the WWE Universe is left wondering when they’ll use their opportunity to face Kofi Kingston & R-Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Intercontinental Champion Christian def. Cody Rhodes
The athletic ability of two of WWE’s most versatile Superstars was put on full display at No Way Out, as Intercontinental Champion Christian defeated former titleholder Cody Rhodes to retain his illustrious title. Christian entered the IZOD Center Sunday night with two essential goals in mind. First and foremost, defend the Intercontinental Championship — the same title he won in shocking fashion when he returned to the ring at WWE Over the Limit one month earlier. But Captain Charisma also sought to solidify his standing as one of the greats in WWE history and gild the road to what he hopes will someday lead to the WWE Hall of Fame. Cody Rhodes, on the other hand, looked to add another championship reign to his family’s already legendary lineage on this Father’s Day. Heading into Sunday’s pay-per-view, Cody was typically cocky, and that arrogance carried over into the bout as the challenger continually held up three fingers — signifying that he was looking for his third reign as Intercontinental Champion. A red-hot New Jersey crowd was clearly vested in the battle, giving their Captain a warm welcome when his music blared through the sound system. The action really picked up when Christian hit a flying dropkick through the ropes, sending Rhodes crashing to the floor. The younger competitor was able to find an early opening, however, and zoned in on the champion’s left arm. Rhodes’ tactical assault slowed the pace of the bout and put the challenger in complete control. The more experienced champion turned things around on the outside of the ring, however, countering an Irish whip attempt and sending Rhodes crashing into the steel stairs before planting his foe with a resounding DDT on the ringside floor.
Back in the ring, Christian continued his offensive assault, but Rhodes proved his mettle by continuously countering his opponent’s varied offense. The momentum of the match swung back and forth repeatedly, with multiple cover attempts and near-falls that brought the WWE Universe in attendance to its collective feet on several occasions. The New Jersey crowd wasn’t prepared for what came next, though. Captain Charisma hit the Killswitch on Rhodes, went for the cover and looked to end the bout. Incredibly, the young Superstar dug deep and somehow managed to kick out. Christian then went to the top rope looking for a frog splash, but again, Cody thwarted the attack, getting his knees up and countering what should have been a match-ending maneuver. After a thrilling series of counters that saw Christian miss a Killswitch attempt and Cody come up empty trying for the Disaster Kick, the WWE Universe saw flashes of Edge, as Christian planted Rhodes with a monstrous spear to secure the pinfall victory and retain the Intercontinental Title. It was only fitting that Christian would utilize the finishing move of his WWE Hall of Famer best friend, as Captain Charisma took another significant step toward mirroring Edge’s accomplishments, as well.
United States Champion Santino Marella def. Ricardo Rodriguez (Tuxedo Match)
It was a black tie affair at the IZOD Center in The Meadowlands of New Jersey Sunday as United States Champion donned a tux to battle Ricardo Rodriguez in the return of the cummerbund-crushing Tuxedo Match concept on pay-per-view. In a match designed to destroy clothing for a conclusion, neither man would like the way the look, guaranteed. During the competition, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T reminisced about the great Tuxedo Matches of the past. The Milan Miracle described the stipulated bout as “one of the most electrifying matches in sports-entertainment” during a WWE.com Exclusive, and it was certainly a unique bout to say the least, but did not exactly live up to its epic characterization by Santino. Clad in a powder-blue getup more appropriate for a 1970s senior prom than a pay-per-view battle, Santino abandoned his signature power walk to ringside in favor of a smooth John Travolta-esque stride. “Rodridgo,” as the United States Champion refers to him, opted for the classic black tie option, befitting his typical announcer duties. But No Way Out was no typical night for Alberto Del Rio’s employee. On the night when Del Rio was sidelined by injury, Ricardo was to grapple in his first pay-per-view singles match. Ricardo showed no fear, tearing at his opponent’s pocket, which Santino retaliated against by doing the same to his rival. After Ricardo’s lost his sport coat to his opponent’s grasp, Santino performed his best Tito Santana impression, enticing Ricardo to run at him like a bull and flying out of the ring to the floor. Rodriguez’s white shirt was the match’s next victim, but his bowtie remained on. His shapeless physique was on display and his neckwear was intact, but it was clear that Ricardo is no Chippendales dancer. After a brief comeback by the ring announcer, Santino lost his white shoes to reveal a Cobra on his right foot. The snake struck, and off went Ricardo’s trousers to end the matchup in favor of the United States Champion. But Ricardo’s embarrassment was far from over. Only six days after being found out as a Justin Bieber fan, the camera focused on the loser’s rear end, revealing Alberto Del Rio’s likeness printed on his briefs. Ricardo was the butt of the joke once again. From “Baby, Baby” to “destiny,” the shamed Rodriguez certainly has an unorthodox collection of idols.
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler
Facing an upstart challenger who became the No. 1 contender only six days earlier on Raw SuperShow, World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus instead turned his title match at No Way Out into a teachable moment for Dolph Ziggler. The lesson? When a Superstar has pure power like The Celtic Warrior, there’s no need to show off. Sheamus successfully retained his championship gold in a hard-fought battle against Ziggler at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday evening. The Irish brawler broke through his foe’s many upper body holds to connect the Irish Curse backbreaker and Brogue Kick in succession, which cinched the victory for the World Title holder. Though The Showoff only became the No. 1 contender at the last minute due to a concussion suffered by Alberto Del Rio, the change in challenger caused The Great White to adapt his customary crush-and-conquer strategy. Both match combatants were certainly familiar with one another after clashing in non-title bouts on SmackDown and Raw earlier in the month. The raucous crowd in attendance created an atmosphere worthy of The Grandest Stage of Them All, which was fitting considering how the bout commenced. Following a pre-match pep talk on the ring apron, Ziggler solicited a kiss from his manager, Vickie Guerrero, which appeared eerily similar to the one that Daniel Bryan received from AJ at WrestleMania XXVIII. Fortunately for Ziggler, he saw how that championship clash ended in 18 seconds and in Sheamus’ favor. As a result, The Showoff promptly dodged Sheamus’ early attempt for a knockout blow with a forceful Brogue Kick.
Both combatants then fought to establish an edge in the early moments, with the champion relying on brute force and Ziggler calling upon an arsenal of upper body holds. It was Ziggler’s focus on The Celtic Warrior’s head and neck that appeared to swing the momentum behind The Showoff. Feeling the course of events may be in his favor, the cocky challenger added flourishes to his maneuvers that were designed to show up The Great White. He paired an effective chinlock with a seemingly unnecessary headstand, and later pumped his fist upon connecting a timely Zig Zag – instead of rushing to pin the reigning titleholder. Unfortunately, it was Ziggler’s strategy of focusing on Sheamus’ upper body that ultimately proved his undoing. Attempting his signature sleeper hold for the third time in the match, The Showoff underestimated the champion’s resiliency, as Sheamus broke the hold with sheer force. He proceeded to plant his opponent with a painful Irish Curse backbreaker before lying in wait to connect a Brogue Kick that would ultimately put the bout’s outcome in the World Heavyweight Champion’s favor. With the win, Sheamus also prolonged his current undefeated streak in all pay-per-view competition to seven consecutive events and counting. The Celtic Warrior’s run of success dates back to last December, when he defeated Jack Swagger in singles competition at WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
Brodus Clay def. David Otunga
If the recent attacks on Brodus Clay had any Superstars thinking that the big man was slipping, they learned during No Way Out’s live Pre-Show Sunday night that The Funkasaurus is a competitor who should not be underestimated. Facing off with David Otunga mere days after the underhanded Harvard grad brutalized Clay in an assault that caused considerable damage to the medial collateral ligament, or MCL, of his knee, the dancing destroyer rallied to beat the litigious competitor by count-out despite only having one leg working in his favor. It was an inspiring performance by the monster from Planet Funk. On a roll since exploding onto Raw Jan. 9, Clay had the dance floor pulled out from under him when Big Show decimated him in a shocking attack May 28. Sensing an opportunity to take advantage of Clay’s supposed vulnerability, the sleazy Otunga blindsided The Funkasaurus following Brodus’ victory over Heath Slater on June 15’s SmackDown. The focused assault was enough to cause a grade II tear to the super heavyweight’s MCL. The bum wheel may have stopped a lesser Superstar, but the funky fighter wasn’t about to go out like that. Bravely facing the chiseled lawyer on No Way Out’s free Pre-Show event, Clay suffered trouble early as Otunga wisely targeted the weakened joint with clinical strikes. The barrage nearly buckled the aggressive 375-pounder, but with the WWE Universe and his beautiful Funkadactyls cheering him on, Clay found the adrenaline to force Otunga to the outside of the ring. Then, in an act that baffled many inside the IZOD Center, the Ivy Leaguer opted not to get back into the squared circle and intentionally lose by count-out. It was unclear whether the move was a cowardly decision on Otunga’s part or a piece of a bigger puzzle, but it hardly mattered to Clay. Overjoyed with his heroic win, The Funkasaurus and his Funkadactyls broke into a dance party, proving that despite a few setbacks, the funk is still on a roll.