HomeResults - Wrestling2000sWWE: No Way Out 2002 Results | February 17, 2002

    WWE: No Way Out 2002 Results | February 17, 2002

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    No Way Out 2002 | Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    There’s a chance because no one believes in Chris Jericho as a champion that Stone Cold Steve Austin might have his number tonight. There’s no chance that Triple H is losing his WrestleMania Main Event Spot to Kurt Angle, but that’s a match that promises something. We also have The Rock against The Undertaker, so whatever way you look at it there are at least three “name” matches tonight to draw in the buy rate.  You can bet your bottom dollar though that Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall would have been taking credit for the bumper buy-rate (circa 575,000) as this was the WWE debut of the New World Order. As an aside, that was the third-highest buy-rate of the year for the WWE (behind only the Rumble and Mania itself).  It was also second only to the previous year’s PPV as the biggest buy-rate ever for a February PPV. But did the buyers get their money’s worth?  Let’s find out… It’s No Way Out 2002.

    We start, appropriately enough with the New World Order.  They are over.  And the promo, out of context it more than decent.  It’s just that within the context of Vince McMahon injecting a lethal dose of poison into the WWE to kill it makes no sense.  Our trio goes out of their way to insist that they are not here to kill the WWE but to help better it.  Sure the commentary tries to sell it as them being disingenuous and it perhaps is meant to swerve your minds from what is coming later on in the evening.  But if they were here at the behest of Vince McMahon to kill the WWE so Ric Flair can’t have it shouldn’t they at least have been more upfront about it? 

    No Way Out 2002 : Tag Team Turmoil Match
    Albert and Scotty 2 Hotty, Christian and Lance Storm, The Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) (with Lita), The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) (with Stacy Keibler), Billy and Chuck & The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq)

    For once this kind of match gets a decent amount of time (16 minutes or so) which wasn’t always the case two decades ago.  The teams involved are Scotty 2 Hotty & The Hip-Hop Hippo Albert, Christian & Lance Storm, The Hardy Boys, The Dudley Boys, Billy & Chuck and The APA.  Now some of those teams are better than others but it’s a fairly stacked tag team roster in 2002.

    Of course, we HAVE to get another round of Hardy’s and Dudley’s in this one (it was the law in the early 2000s that the WWE couldn’t go three shows or more without them clashing in some form or other I think) but at least that’s got out of the way in the middle.  We end with the APA getting some form of “revenge” on Billy & Chuck and in no way are we supposed to think that Bradshaw, in particular, doesn’t like those two based on their apparent sexuality…

    Overall the match is fairly boring but at the least none of the segments/matches within it outstay their welcome and there are storylines woven through it. Ric Flair is backstage and he doesn’t believe anything the nWo said earlier and that there are plenty of WWE guys willing to teach them respect.  The Undertaker pops up and tells Flair he should be keeping an eye on who’s coming after him.  Which is a tease for a Mania match between the pair…

    No Way Out 2002 : Rob Van Dam Vs Goldust

    The WWE has always brought back names (as daft as it might sound to suggest 2002 Dustin Rhodes was in some way an “old-timer” coming back to fill up the cards for one last run) so what you see in 2022 is nothing new.  There is no doubt though that a mid-card feud with Goldust was NOT what Rob Van Dam should have been doing at this time given he was about the only “outsider” to get himself over during the Invasion angle of 2001. The match goes too long at 11 minutes and Goldust controls far too much of it for a crowd who if they have to see RVD in mid-card matches like this at least want to see him do all his trademark moves.  At least they get them in the end as the comeback seals the win for RVD. 

    Stone Cold Steve Austin is backstage and he happens to run into the nWo.  Hall has a six-pack of Bud, Austin does his “what” thing and says he isn’t thirsty.  Hogan says they’ll let Austin through and that’s that. 

    No Way Out 2002 : Tazz & Spike Dudley Vs Booker T & Test
    WWE Tag Team Championship

    Booker T and Test were former champions and one of the greatest of all time.  Oh no, they weren’t.  They got a few weeks as champs amongst the Invasion stuff because titles changed hands every show at that time.  The fans don’t care and there’s nothing much on show to care about here.  It’s boring and only slightly amusing for Tazz winning via Tazzmission on Test (who lost because the referee pushed Test after Test himself had pushed the referee). 

    Backstage The Rock cuts a promo on The Undertaker.  We presume it’s an excuse for the two to meet another WWE superstar but it’s not.  It’s The Rock telling Taker he’s going to whoop his candy ass tonight. 

    No Way Out 2002 : William Regal Vs Edge – Brass Knuckles on a Pole
    Intercontinental Championship

    I feel like these two have been feuding for years at this point when in reality it’s only a few weeks.  This match stip comes around because Regal is the dastardly villain who always cheats his way to victory.  So here is Edge’s chance to turn the tables on him.

    What I do like about an otherwise fairly boring match is that Edge does indeed grab the Knucks and proceeds to hit Regal with them…only for Regal to illegally use another spare pair he had lying around to get the win.  If you don’t know that this WASN’T a set-up for Edge to take the title finally in his “hometown” Mania then I won’t spoil what’s coming up later for you. Kurt Angle cuts a promo on Triple H backstage and again it is just that.  Not that Angle was probably considered in the “nWo’s league” at this point by the people in power…

    No Way Out 2002 : The Rock Vs The Undertaker

    This is not a match that feels over-presented over time (in the way that countless other mixes of main event talent around this time seemed to always be at each other’s throats) so even two decades on there is a big match vibe about this one.  Even if it does ultimately prove to be a disappointment.  It’s not a bad match in any way but it does all seem to be a lot of builds whilst we wait for the screwy finish.  This time it’s Vince McMahon, followed by Ric Flair.  Perhaps the ending where Flair hits Taker with a lead pipe enabling Rock to get the win is a necessary evil to get us to Flair/Taker at Mania, but I’m not sure why the deadly rivalry between Flair and McMahon manifests itself here.  Surely with the hype the nWo involvement had, that’s where their interests should be lying?  As I say it’s a decent enough match but by no means an all-time classic. 

    Mr Perfect, fresh from being one of the final four in the Royal Rumble, is watching on from WWE New York.  I know they probably didn’t want to job him out or whatever and I know that the Perfect of 2002 is nowhere near the Perfect of 1990, but surely he against RVD would have been a better idea than RVD against Goldust. 

    No Way Out 2002 : Kurt Angle Vs Triple H
    Stephanie McMahon as Guest Referee

    There’s a great video package to set this one up even if the whole Triple H/Stephanie break up packed a good few months of storylines into about one and a half weeks.  This is my main problem with all of this, quite aside from there is no need to have Stephanie involved at all, beyond McMahon ego.  If you kept Stephanie off the TV you wouldn’t have to acknowledge their on-screen marriage to any great degree and could then have played on that AFTER Mania and set up their split and her picking someone to feud with HHH. 

    Stephanie was a nuisance/distraction in the early going but thankfully an inadvertent shot from Angle put her out (and fair play, she took a great bump here).  Of course, that means that we spend the middle portion of the match waiting for her to come back out.

    She does and she stops Tim White counting Kurt Angle’s shoulders down and when Hunter takes exception to this it allows Angle the opportunity to smash Trips with a  chair, hit the Angle Slam and get a shocking three-count that changes the destiny of WrestleMania X8.  For one night anyway. 
    And that’s the issue. It’s a fair match, nothing spectacular, but any storyline coming out of it is rendered irrelevant 24 hours later.  Which is fine, but makes a PPV match feel like filler in retrospect. 

    Backstage The Rock is shown and this IS a chance for the nWo to say hello.  Hogan wants a picture with “his son’s favourite wrestler” and whilst the Rock obliges he then tells Hall to stick it you know where and makes some truck noises towards Nash. 

    No Way Out 2002 : Chris Jericho Vs Steve Austin
    Undisputed WWE Championship

    Well, you could say that one benefit of Jericho being such a limp duck of a Champion is inadvertent that it was quite conceivable that he could drop the belt here and Austin could go on to Mania to defend against Triple H…sorry, Kurt Angle. 

    The problem is that in hindsight it was obvious that the nWo was going to be heavily involved in the finish so once again huge portions of the match just feel like we’re killing time until that eventuality. 

    And of course, the nWo does show up and they attack Austin, costing him the win rather than specifically helping Chris Jericho.  Post-match they attack Austin, with Hall doing most of the work as (we would find out) he would be working with Austin and Mania.  They spray paint nWo on his back to close the show. 

    There’s a curious entertainment value to this show but this is mainly the novelty of seeing the nWo trio of Hogan, Hall and Nash in a WWE ring for the first time as a faction.  Under closer inspection, it all makes little sense but we can’t have everything, can we.  The wrestling as a whole is rarely bad but by the same token is never anything approaching great.  It doesn’t help that the three big main event matches that close the show all end with outside interference and/or some form of a screw job.  Some of the pieces of the Mania chessboard are being moved into place here but there’s still something strangely anti-climatic about it all.  It’s by no means a show to avoid, but neither is it one to particularly seek out. 

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