Hello dear friends, welcome back to the series which embarks on a journey through the much loved Attitude Era, a period in wrestling where it was seemingly at its peak. We loved, we laughed we groaned we moaned and even sometimes cried and I am here to take you on a nostalgia trip while also criticizing and analysing the era of wrestling that you love more than your first born child. Ok maybe not that much but you get the point! With Battleground grabbing her attention, let me try to distract you with a review of 2000’s No Way Out. The main matches on the card include Triple H vs Cactus Jack in a Hell In A Cell with Foley’s career on the line and The Rock vs The Big Show for the right to face the WWF Champion at Wrestlemania. The stakes are high and there is no escape so let’s sink our teeth into WWF’S No Way Out!
Cactus Jack promo intertwined with footage of Triple H and classic Mick Foley’s most hardcore matches. Tremendous promo with Foley, we all know how good he was and he owns it in that opening promo package.
(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Chris Jericho © W/ Chyna vs Kurt Angle
Ah rookie Kurt Angle, I love it, Kurt is the European champion, he won the title from Val Venis on an episode of Smackdown. Angle could be a Eurocontinental champion, a prestigious honour held by only two other men before this night(If you are wondering, they are Jeff Jarrett and D’Lo Brown). Chyna is in the corner of Jericho as their friendship continues, both men cut promos, Jericho is hilarious as always. Loud Y2J chants as Kurt Angle does not approve, side headlock by Kurt and a shoulder block for good measure. Jericho hiptosses Angle so Angle slaps Y2J. Jericho clotheslines Angle, Angle counters Jericho with a drop toe hold. Jericho regains control with a back drop, Angle flies to the floor. Jericho keeps Angle grounded with a springboard dropkick. Angle is down and hurting but he recovers to slam Jericho into the steel steps. Jericho tastes the announce table and Jericho is sent into the ringpost, arm first.
Angle tries whipping Jericho into the steel steps, it backfires as Jericho climbs the steps and nails a moonsault. Jericho is crotched by Angle, belly to belly suplex and a pin, two count for the challenger. Right hands in the corner by Angle, suplex by Angle, two count for the challenger one more and Angle locks in a sleeper. Jericho battles back, backbreaker by Y2J, two count for the champion. Jericho is caught by Angle, german suplex and a two count for Kurt Angle. Angle locks in the sleeper, Jericho fires up but Angle cuts him off with a single arm DDT. More right hands from Angle, spinning heel kick from Jericho. One handed bulldog by Y2J, chops and a flying forearm, two count for Y2J. Hurricanrana by Angle is blocked, powerbomb by Jericho, cover and a two count.
Angle catches Jericho off guard, armbar by Angle, nice move but Jericho reaches the rope. Angle slam but Jericho kicks out at two, Kurt snaps and grabs a title from ringside, the referee tugs at Angle, the belt drops in the centre of the ring. Y2J locks in the walls of Jericho, Angle crawls and crawls, making it to the ropes. Jericho stomps Angle to the outside, chops on the outside. Angle rakes the eyes of Jericho and grabs a second belt. Angle swings for Chyna, Jericho bundles into Chyna and Angle, Chyna is hurt and the referee is taking care of Chyna. In the ring, Jericho suplexes Angle, Y2J attempts the lionsault but Angle uses the belt to smack Jericho in the face. Angle is your Eurocontinental Champion, good opener with Y2J being so over and Angle being so hated.
Winner: Kurt Angle over Chris Jericho thanks to belt shot!
(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) The Dudley Boyz vs The New Age Outlaws ©
The Dudleys were picking up serious momentum, the ECW attire was gone and they were putting women through tables to cheers instead of the intended boos. Now the backstory, Billy Gunn had injured his arm driving Bubba Ray through a table with the FameAsser. Bubba Ray was standing on the table while Billy was standing in the centre of the ring. In an impressive display of his ability, Billy leaped and reached Bubba’s head putting him through the table. Unfortunately, Billy came right down on his left arm, separating his shoulder so he was unable to compete. This would have major implications as The Dudleys would win their first titles on this night and Road Dogg would be teaming with X-Pac as his main partner for the rest of the DX run into the middle of the year. Billy is clearly hurt in this match, his shoulder is always hanging down in the match. Bubba and D-Von rip apart Road Dogg as per usual in Outlaw matches. Road Dogg tries a sunset flip on D-Von, D-Von clotheslines Road Dogg, D-Von chokes Road Dogg and makes the tag to Bubba.
Bubba chops and chokes Road Dogg, cover and a two count for The Dudleys. D-Von nails a spinning reverse elbow, Bubba tags in but gets distracted by Billy. Superplex by Road Dogg, Billy gets the hot tag, one handed, FameAsser with one hand. Bubba pulls out Billy Gunn and nails him with a lead pipe. D-Von and Road Dogg are in the ring, Road Dogg misses a punch and eats a 3D. Bubba and D-Von are the champions! It may not have been planned and it may not have been the way they wanted but Bubba and D-Von after 5 months in WWF are tag team champions. Fair play to The Dudleys who get their heads down and their mouths shut, removing the taste that the Public Enemy have left in the WWF’s mouth. Cannot believe Billy tried to do more with his bad arm but the match was thankfully brief. Billy would be removed from DX later in the night as he was no longer good enough for DX with his bad wing.
Winners: Dudley Boyz over New Age Outlaws following a 3D!
Mark Henry vs Viscera
Viscera had squashed Mae Young on Raw, Young was pregnant with Henry’s baby. Yep…. Ok recovered? Alright so Henry is going to be the piss out of Viscera for crushing his pregnant woman. Henry starts throwing haymakers as Viscera takes the pain. Henry smashes Viscera with a shoulder block, more rights. Viscera scores with a spinning heel kick, kicks to the spine. Viscera knocks Henry to the floor, Viscera manhandles Henry into the steel steps.
Samoan drop by Viscera, Mae Young is coming to ringside, belly to belly suplex by Viscera on Mark. Mae Young protects Henry, Viscera shoves Mae down, Henry saves Mae from a splash. Huge slam by Mark Henry and he saves Mae Young. What a stupid storyline but I like two guys hitting one another hard so I give it a pass. Poor Mark Henry though, he must have had some bad attitude to be put with such stupid storylines.
Winner: Mark Henry over Viscera via Slam!
The Hardy Boyz W/ Terri vs Edge & Christian
We cut to the back to see Kurt Angle celebrating all around the arena, Jericho has an interview with Lillian Garcia where Y2J says he will destroy Kurt if he keeps celebrating. Kurt would not heed Jericho’s warning and would later being attacked by Y2J and Chyna and placed in the back of Angle’s own car. We are also treated to Billy Gunn being attended to by EMTs. Terri Runnels has returned after being powerbombed through a table by The Dudleys Boyz. Terri has hired the APA for protection so good to see the start of that gimmick(who does not like the APA?). Edge and Christian are babyfaces as are The Hardys so it is an interesting mix. The APA come to ringside to look after Terri in case of a Dudley Boy attack. Edge jumps Jeff and the match begins, Jeff leapfrogs Edge and misses a whisper in the wind. Edge makes the tag, Christian eats a dropkick from Jeff, legdrop from both Hardys.
Matt stunguns Christian and back suplexs him. Slaps in the corner from Matt, Christian slaps back, slap to Jeff and dropkick to both Hardys. Uppercut by Matt, Matt tosses Christian to the outside and Jeff cheap shots Christian. Hardys are coming off heelish, poetry in motion and clothesline by The Hardys. Scoop slam and springboard moonsault by Jeff on Christian, two count for Jeff. Double front suplex like move by The Hardys, two count for Matt. Matt attempts a powerbomb, Christian tries countering, Christian succeeds and drops Matt with a neckbreaker. Jeff gets the tag from Matt but eats a boot from Christian. Tag to Edge, double clothesline and backdrop by Edge. Christian nails Matt on the outside, roll up by Edge on Jeff, two count for Edge. Christian smacks Jeff with right hands, Jeff eats a wheelbarrow slam. Edge and Christian put the boots to Jeff, Christian drop toe holds Edge into Jeff’s private parts.
Jeff battles back on Edge, Jeff and Edge exchange pins before Edge derails Jeff’s momentum with a vicious piledriver. Only two for Edge off the piledriver, sleeper hold by Edge. Jeff creates some space with a frankensteiner, Edge holds the boot of Jeff and drops him with a powerbomb. Christian is in, Christian rams Jeff into the turnbuckle, kick to the spine of Jeff, irish whip and a powerslam by Christian. Edge locks in another sleeper, Jeff fires up, Jeff and Edge grab one another’s hair and fall to the mat. Christian cheap shots Jeff while Matt drops an elbow on Edge. Jeff crawls and covers Edge but it is a long two for The Hardys. Jeff tries to tag Matt but eats a spinebuster, Edge climbs to the top rope, crossboy attempt is countered into a dropkick. Both teams make tags, Matt drops Christian and Edge, swinging neckbreakers and a sleeper slam on Christian. Jeff crossbodys Christian. Edge is thrown outside, Matt and Jeff nail their legdrop and splash combo on Christian. Edge saves the match for his team, The Hardys try for poetry in motion, Edge nails Jeff with a spear. Matt nails Edge with a twist of fate, Christian and Matt battle.
Inverted Atomic drop on Christian by Matt, Jeff was thinking Swanton Bomb, Terri shoves Jeff to the floor! Terris slaps Matt Hardy, unprettier by Christian and Edge & Christian win! Terri celebrates with Edge and Christian as the winning team look at her like what the hell is this about? Terri taunts for too long but The APA protect Terri as they were supposed to do. Hardys are laid out by The APA, Jeff takes a brutal dominator from Faarooq. That was a long match, it was fine nothing bad and Terri’s turn was definitely unexpected but these two teams would have better matches.
Winners: Edge & Christian over The Hardy Boyz via Unprettier!
Big Bossman W/ Prince Albert vs Tazz
Quick interview from Edge and Christian, they are going to Wrestlemania to face the tag team champions, Lillian Garcia interviews Big Show who is moaning about actually winning The Royal Rumble, we see footage of Big Show being screwed out of winning The Royal Rumble, The Rock’s feet did hit the floor first. Royal Rumble winners barely ever get to Wrestlemania without fighting for their place which they earned at the rumble.
To this match, Tazz oh Tazz, how far you fell in only one month after your debut, I have no idea why they are feuding, Tazz locks in a fujiwara armbar on the outside, we get in the ring where Bossman takes it to Tazz. Splash in the corner is countered by Tazz, huge clothesline, exploder suplex into the Tazzmission and moments later, Prince Albert interferes and we have a disqualification. Tazz fights and fights but it is too much as it is 2 on 1. DUD, it accomplished nothing and there would be no real retribution for The Human Suplex Machine who would find himself in the hardcore division.
Winner: Tazz over Bossman via DQ!
Kane W/ Paul Bearer vs X-Pac W/ Tori(No Holds Barred Match)
X-Pac had turned on Kane after months of teaming together, X-Pac had also stolen Kane’s girlfriend Tori which was kind of similar to what happened to Kane with Chyna. However, Chyna was not romantically linked with Kane, Kane was institutionalized but returned to one of the loudest pops in history which is a favourite of many Attitude fans. Kane was also a monster for his early years, Kane beat the WWF champion Triple H and Big Show for this shot at X-Pac. X-Pac also hit Kane with a flamethrower like the Chyna feud of early 1999. The WWF would try to make Kane relatable while also keeping him a monster and for the large part, they succeeded. Later it would not be smooth sailing so I love to enjoy Kane killing people. Kane had tombstoned Tori on Smackdown and Paul Bearer had returned, love me some Paul Bearer too.
Kane sprints to ringside and knocks X-Pac around the arena. They battle to the stage, Kane tries to ram X-Pac into the entrance cage, big boot by Kane and X-Pac is down. By ringside, Kane drops X-Pac on the guard rail, Kane grabs the steel steps, Kane aims for X-Pac’s head, X-Pac dodges and nails Kane with a ringbell. Paul Bearer drops X-Pac as he tried to hit Kane with a chair. Tori slaps Paul Bearer, Bearer chases poor Tori. Kane is up before X-Pac after being hit with the chair. Kane goes up top, X-Pac dropkicks Kane, kicks in the corner and bronco buster. Kane sets up, clothesline, right hands and an uppercut, Kane misses a big boot, X-Pac goes low with a dropkick, X-Pac takes down Kane and zeroes in on the leg. Kane with one leg, pushes X-Pac to the floor, right hands on the outside, In the ring, Kane misses a clothesline and X-Pac nails a spinning heel kick.
X-Pac attempts a crossbody, Kane caught him, low blow and an X-Factor by X-Pac. X-Pac knocks Bearer to the floor. Kane sets up immediately(awesome), clothesline from the top, chokeslam by Kane, Tori tries attacking Kane, tombstone on Tori, Kane grabs the steel steps. X-Pac dropkicks the steel steps into Kane’s face and covers the big red machine. Kane sets right up because he sells nothing because he is Kane! The finish was alright, it tied up the feud at 1:1. However, Kane should have killed X-Pac and ended it here and it seems they did the feud backwards.
They started with a steel cage match, then a no holds barred match and finally, a tag match at Mania. Anyways, it is fine but X-Pac is such a chickenshit heel and considering it was their third match on ppv in a row, Kane should have killed Mr. Waltman.
Winner: X-Pac over Kane by Low Blow & X -Factor!
Too Cool & Rikishi vs The Radicalz
Vanilla Midgets who never drew a dime! I am kidding this is awesome because Benoit Guerrero Saturn and Malenko are in the WWF. They came in with Cactus Jack but they turned on Jack, signing contracts with Triple H and Stephanie. Things started badly for the Radicalz as Eddie dislocated his shoulder immediately in his first match off a botched frogsplash. Rikishi’s ankle is taped due to assaults from Eddie, Saturn and Sexay begin the match, dropkick from Sexay, enzuigiri but Saturn tags Benoit. Benoit eats a bulldog from Grandmaster Sexay, tag to Scotty, double elbow with theatrics, Scotty irish whips Benoit, Benoit reverses and drops Scotty on the top rope.
Snap suplex by Scotty and a moonwalk, in comes Rikishi. Right hands to Saturn and Benoit, Benoit eats a clothesline and a stinkface. Malenko cowers on the outside, Benoit tries to recover from the stinkface. Rikishi attempts a Rikishi driver, Malenko kicks the leg, Malenko stomps the ankle of Rikishi. Saturn eats a side shuffle kick from Rikishi, Scotty is in, two handed facebuster and it is not Worm time, Malenko took out Scotty. Benoit is in and things just got intense, suplex and clothesline by The Rabid Wolverine. Snap Suplex, Malenko is in dropkick to the face by Malenko. Corner clothesline, double arm underhook suplex, Sexay saves Scotty from the pin. Backbreaker by Malenko, Perry Saturn drops his knees on Scotty from the top rope.
Sleep by Saturn, Scotty tries fighting back, frankensteiner by Saturn. Malenko is in, now Benoit is in, chops to Scotty. Scotty rolls up Benoit, two count and Saturn comes in. Front facelock by Saturn, Malenko tags in and scores with a calf kick and a knee into the face, crowd is huge into Too Cool, they do not stop with the chants as Scotty is beaten down. Benoit comes in and was attempting a shoulderbreaker but both men bang heads. Scotty tags Rikishi, right hands to all Radicalz, butt splash to both Saturn and Benoit. Rikishi driver on Saturn, Rikishi was thinking Banzai drop but no Scotty is in and it is Worm time. Malenko chop blocks Rikishi, Malenko and Sexay are on the outside, Rikishi drops Benoit with a belly to belly suplex. Grandmaster Sexay nails the hip hop drop on Saturn, Benoit nails a headbutt on Sexay.
Benoit and Scotty brawl, Too Cool and Saturn and Benoit fall to the floor. Only the legal men remain, Malenko and Rikishi. Rikishi rams Malenko into the ringpost and there is the Rikishi Driver and to add emphasis. It is Banzai drop time brother, Malenko is no more and we have your winners! That was fun, Too Cool and Rikishi are crazy over for a team that was running for little over 2 months, The Radicalz are all hard workers so the match was really good. To top it all off, we have the dancing which makes everyone happy!
Winners: Too Cool & Rikishi over Radicalz following Banzai Drop!
Big Show vs The Rock(Winner goes to Wrestlemania Main Event)
The Rock had won the Royal Rumble, all was right with the world. However, Rock did not win the Rumble..huh? Well Big Show had Rock on his shoulders and tried dumping him to the floor, The Rock held onto the ropes and Big Show fell to the floor. Rock’s feet hit the ground first so Big Show was correct, Big Show proved that Rock’s feet hit the floor. They would now battle to see who will go to Wrestlemania to face the WWF Champion. Rock and Big Show continued interfering in one another’s matches leading up to this match. Highlights include Chris Benoit beating The Rock on Raw, Rock being tossed through a window and Rock nailing the Big Show with a 2x4 laying the big man out cold. Rock talks trash and slaps Big Show, right hands by The People’s Champion.
Rock’s side Russian legsweep is blocked, Rock nails a floatover DDT. Two count, more right hands, irish whip is countered by Show, Rock is sent to the outside. Clubs across the back, headbutts by the 500 pound monster. Rock reverses Show into the steel steps, Big Show greets the barricade with his head. Show and Rock are in the crowd(so punching and no bumps etc, you know the drill). Show takes control with punches and slams, Show elbows The Rock. Rock fires back, but Show cuts The People’s Champion with a powerslam. Show steps on the throat of The Rock, Rock grabs some water and spits in the face of The Big Show.
Show sends Rock into the ringpost and back into the ring. Rock retaliates with a side Russian legsweep, DDT by The Rock. Two count for The Rock, sidewalk slam by Show, Show is frustrated by Rock not staying down for the three count. Show grabs a chair from ringside, Rock dodges and battles back, Rock is Irish whipped into the referee, Show nails a big boot, Show scores with the chokeslam. New referee, 1..2 Earl Hebnar pulls out the referee, Shane Mcmahon comes out to sort things, last time we saw Shane it was as a face against Stephanie and Triple H. Rock scores with The Rock Bottom, People’s Elbow?
No Shane Mcmahon smacks Rock with the chair, Big Show beats The Rock thanks to Shane Mcmahon. Shane and Big Show are an alliance? Well that was an ok match, nothing special and Shane coming back was nice but things quickly turned sour for Shane. Best thing to come from this was it gave you so many questions coming into Raw, why would Shane screw Rock and why are Big Show and Shane together?
Winner: Big Show over The Rock thanks to Shane Mcmahon!
(WWF Championship Match) Triple H W/ Stephanie Mcmahon vs Cactus Jack(Hell In A Cell Match)
Triple H had lit a fire in Mick Foley, he had pushed him too far so Cactus Jack came out, Triple H brawled with Cactus Jack and barely came out on top at Royal Rumble but now, it would be Hell In A Cell. No escape for Triple H against the man who nearly beat him to death and it is a match that Foley made famous. Cactus Jack’s career is on the line, lose and we will never see him again, win and Cactus will main event Wrestlemania. Cactus rolls to the outside in the beginning, looking confusingly at the cell door, it had be padlocked and then some to prevent Cactus Jack from leaving the cage.
Triple H tries gaining the upper hand on the challenger but Cactus has Triple H right where he wants him. Triple H takes facebusters, clotheslines and the cage in the early going of the match. Triple H changes the pace with a low blow, right hands by the champion, Jack knocks down Triple H, facebuster by The Game. Cactus backdrops Helmsley to the floor, Jack grabs a chair, Triple H blocks and hurls Jack into the cage. Jun Akiyama like knee by The Game sends Jack to the floor, Triple H hurls the steel steps onto Cactus’ head. Cactus begs Triple H for a chair shot, Triple H takes the bait. Cactus low blows The Game, both men get to their feet, side Russian legsweep on a chair, two count for the challenger.
Triple H and Jack trade right hands, Jack beats down the champion, Jack was attempting his signature knee, Triple H drop toe holds Foley into the chair. Clothesline to the floor by The Game, Jack’s head meets the Cell Wall. Triple H was looking for a pilediver but Cactus Jack catapults Triple H into the cell wall. Triple H is gushing blood everywhere, into the cage wall again and again, Jack is all over The Game. Headbutt by Jack, Jack grabs a chair and climbs to the second turnbuckle. Cactus Jack elbow on Triple H. Foley throws steel steps aiming for the champion, the steps miss and break the cell wall.
Triple H is sent outside by the challenger. Triple H is tossed onto the announce table, piledriver on the announce table/ Cactus begins climbing the cage, Stephanie claws down Cactus, Triple H walks into a right hand from Cactus. Cactus grabs a barbwire 2x4 from ringside, Triple H climbs into the crowd, wham barbwire to the face from Cactus Jack. Triple H begins climbing to the top to escape Cactus, Cactus follows the champion. Cactus is blocked by Triple H, right hands and barbwire to the face of Jack, Cactus falls through the announce table as Triple H looks on in shock, shaking his head to say this is one crazy son of a bitch! Cactus stumbles to his feet and climbs the cell wall, Triple H is waiting for Jack, barbwire across the back for Jack.
Barbwire to the ribs and back, this looks brutal by the way, Triple H poses instead of going for the win, it might cost him. Triple H walks into a low blow, right hands from Jack, the cage actually gives away in the corner and you can hear Triple H go oh shit, he could have fell far. Snap suplex by Jack on top of the cage, double arm DDT on top of the cell. Cactus picks up the barbwire and lights it on fire, that insane Cactus has a 2x4 barbwire bat on fire. Bam to the face of the champion and Cactus sets up for a piledriver. Triple H reverses Jack and Jack falls to the mat, the cage gives way and Jack lays motionless. Triple H, the heel champion, the evil champion looks on with shock and perhaps mercy as he cannot believe what he has done to Foley. Triple H drops down from the cage and kicks the hand of Foley.
Foley begins stirring, Triple H is in shock, right hand by Triple H, another but Jack is still alive. Pedigree time! JR begs Jack to kick out but damn it is over, Triple H is still your champion. What a match to go out on for Mick Foley, crazy to believe that at 34, yes only 34 what should have been his prime had to retire due to the accumulation of so many injuries. Foley left it all in the ring on this night, crazy bumps and drama, a beaten up goof, a man who never should have been a main eventer but due to his personality and his relatability, he climbed to the top of the mountain and is still one of the most beloved superstars of all time. A fitting end for Foley but plans would change as they usually do in wrestling. Hats off to Foley for an amazing match and a career.
Winner: Triple H over Cactus Jack following a Pedigree!
Overall, an average show from the WWF I would say for No Way Out. Opener was entertaining as was Rock and Show and of course, The Hell In A Cell Match. It was not as good as Undertaker vs Foley but no match could ever top that so that is unfair to even compare it to that classic. Low points were the three squashes like matches with Tazz and Bossman going for 45 seconds, Henry beating Viscera in several minutes and the tag team title match being a tag match due to Billy Gunn’s injury. Too Cool vs The Radicalz lifted the crowd after the matches I had mentioned but it was not a show of good to great matches so I would give it an average rating. Join me next time for WrestleMania 2000, the only Wrestlemania to feature one singles match on the entire card.. yep you just know it is going to be bad! See You There!