CM Punk protects AJ from Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero.
Strong segment to kick off the show featuring all the stars of this Sunday's WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship matches. I was pleasantly surprised to see AJ be the first one to appear, and she continues to flourish in her current character. The verbal exchange between Punk and Ziggler was humorous, and Sheamus wasn't that bad here either.
Solid tag team match with Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan defeating World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and WWE Champion CM Punk. It featured some great action and had the perfect outcome with Ziggler getting the pin over Sheamus. Kane's appearance was a nice touch, and it was an intriguing way to end the segment with AJ and Kane making eye contact. My only complaint is that AJ now seems to be the focus of this feud rather than the WWE Championship.
Throwaway match between Brodus Clay and Heath Slater. It was practically over before it even started. However, having David Otunga attack Brodus Clay following the bout was smart moving. This would be the first pre-show match for a pay-per-view that's actually received some type of build-up, and this was an efficient way of doing so. Clay rarely looks this weak, so it gave Otunga nice heat.
Brief match between Beth Phoenix and Alicia Fox. Having Divas matches go under a minute seems to be the norm these days as usual, but it's better than not featuring them on television at all. They've hardly built this feud between Layla and Phoenix in recent weeks, so I don't think many people care about their upcoming title match regardless.
Great promo from Big Show. He's had some passable promos since turning heel last month, but this was easily the best of them all. Not only did I love how he mentioned his WCW past, but his entire story made sense. He showed good intensity and is playing the card that he's finished doing what the fans wanted him to do.
Intercontinental Champion Christian battles Jack Swagger.
Good match between Intercontinental Champion Christian and Jack Swagger. They could have easily gone longer, but it was fine for the time they received. Of course, Swagger hasn't meant anything in forever, but I'd love to see this as a future feud over the Intercontinental title. Swagger and Christian have nice history and chemistry inside the ring, so I'd be looking forward to that. As far as the Rhodes-Christian rivalry goes, they built it up well with an excellent video package, despite Rhodes not being present due to still being on tour.
Typical Ryback squash against two local athletes per usual. I liked the variety in his moves, though, as it makes his matches a little more interesting. However, it's time to move him into a legitimate feud if they hope to get anything out of his character. If nothing else, the fact the crowd chanted along with his "Feed me more!" line shows they're at least investing in Ryback somewhat.
Fine match with Damien Sandow defeating Tyson Kidd. Sure, it was pretty short, but Sandow was at least able to exhibit more moves than he has in his previous matches. Kidd was also able to execute a few offensive maneuvers, and it's always great to see him get television time. Hopefully, this isn't the end of the feud and we see more from these two going forward.
Effective promo from John Laurinaitis and John Cena to close the show. It seemed a bit illogical that Cena was quick to arrive at the arena although he doesn't all that close to it. This wasn't Cena's best work, but at least he wasn't as campy with Laurinaitis like he was the week before Over the Limit. They established the extra stipulation to the No Way Out Steel Cage match nicely, but it didn't have much impact since they've always teased Cena getting fired, and nothing ever comes out of it. Cena slugging Big Johnny gives me the impression that the feud is finally over, but only time will tell.
Overall, a good show that did its best to promote No Way Out this Sunday and was certainly successful in that aspect. The action as a whole could have been better, but the promos were strong and certainly delivered. There was nothing terribly wrong with this week's broadcast, so it's worthy of a thumbs up in my opinion.
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