Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! 2003 is here and it's time for WWE's No Way Out. The road to Wrestlemania was in full-swing as Brock Lesnar gears up for his match with Kurt Angle by teaming Chris Benoit and Edge for a six-man tag vs Team Angle, The Undertaker returns to take on the man who put him on the injured list The Big Show and The Rock battles Hollywood Hulk Hogan in a rematch of epic proportions. On the Raw side of things, we have Scott Steiner vs Triple H in a rematch that cannot be worse than the Rumble match and the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin to do battle with Eric Bischoff. It's fair to say this is a stacked card with the return of the three biggest superstars the company had ever seen but will it live up to the hype? Let's find out!
Watching the Network version, no opening intro which is a little weird to be honest, Things get more interesting as The Coach's voice booms through my headset, JR hs a concussion thanks to the actions of one Eric Bischoff, Bischoff would smack a brick into JR's head on Raw to send a message to Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Chris Jericho vs Jeff Hardy
This is a strange one for the fact that it was meant to be Test vs Chris Jericho. Jericho had been thrown out of the Royal Rumble by Test and Jericho had smacked Stacy with a chair but Test missed his flight for a match and in comes Jeff Hardy for the pay per view match. Jericho shoves and irritates Jeff in the early going, massive slap from Jericho and Jeff punches and back drops Jericho. Jericho comes back with a clothesline, back suplex from Y2J. Jericho misses a corner splash and tumbles to the floor, corkscrew moonsault by Jeff. Split-legged moonsauly by Jeff for two. Huge chop from Jeff, Jericho powders to the floor. Baseball slide by Jeff, Jeff runs up the guard rail but Jericho dodges and Jeff is flapjacked onto the steel steps.
Jericho kicks Jeff in the ring, stalling suplex by Jericho with posing and a dropkick to the head. Small package by Jeff for two, dropkick by Jericho. Snapmare and reverse chinlock by Jericho, Jeff fights back but Jericho drags down Jeff by the hair, huge chops by Y2J. Jericho misses a splash and hits the ringpost hard, right hands from Jeff. Flying forearm, codebreaker by Jeff for two. Enzuigiri by Jericho, cover and a two. Modified bulldog by Y2J, Lionsault is blocked with knees. DDT by Jeff, two count for Jeff. Whisper in The Wind by Jeff for another two. Jeff misses a kick and Jericho has The Walls of Jericho, Jeff makes it to the ropes.
Jericho attacks Jeff with right hands, Jeff elevates Jericho to the apron. Jericho climbs to the top rope, Jeff belly to belly suplexes Jericho from the top rope. Swanton Bomb by Jeff, Jericho makes it to the ropes at two and a half. Small package by Jeff for two, right hands by Jeff. Jericho eats a massive dropkick, Reverse Twist of Fate. Jeff is looking for The Swanton Bomb, Jericho dodges and nails The Lionsault. 1....2... Jeff kicks out at two! Jeff slides out of a back suplex for two, Jericho nails a flashback neckbreaker for two. Jericho is on the top rope, Jeff crotches Jericho. Jeff looked for a hurricanrana, Jericho counters for a powerbomb and a Walls of Jericho. Jeff Hardy taps out as Jericho refuses to let go of the hold. Shawn Michaels makes the save, Christian helps Jericho. Sweet Chin Music to Christian.
This was towards the end of Hardy's run in the WWE and in a way, you can see it. It is as if the passion and the effort is not all at 100% for the match. It starts at slow and only picks up at the very end, I like both men but Jericho does not seem to have it in him to carry Jeff to an entertaining match. You could take out everything before the last two minutes as you only would be entertained by the last two. Funny to see babyface Michaels booed out of the building as we are in Montreal and The Screwjob still hurts to this day.
Winner: Chris Jericho over Jeff Hardy via Walls of Jericho!
(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) Lance Storm & William Regal (C) vs Kane & Rob Van Dam
Not entirely sure how RVD & Kane began teaming with one another, there were battling Triple H and every other heel on Raw so I guess it made sense to put the two together, Storm & Regal lost their tag team championships to The Dudley Boyz at Royal Rumble but the two regained the titles after help from Chief Morley.
RVD & Storm begin, side headlock and shoulder block by RVD. Storm blocks a monkey flip, RVD sweeps the legs and eats a spinning heel kick. Tag to Regal, RVD takes the arm. Irish whip into the corner, step-through heel kick and split-legged moonsault by RVD. Tag to Kane, elbow for two. Kane slams Regal and Regal is knocked out from the slam, poor Regal is out-cold and the referee steps in to help Regal make it to Storm. Military press slam by Kane, Kane smashes and clotheslines Storm for two. Tag to RVD, Kane slams Storm and RVD looks for Rolling Thunder. Regal pulls out Storm, the champions take a breather before RVD nails Storm with a tope con hilo. Slingshot leg drop by RVD for two, Storm pokes the eyes and tags Regal. RVD shoulder thrusts Regal, springboard thrust kick. Storm pushes RVD to the floor as RVD was signalling for The Five Star Frog Splash.
Half-nelson suplex by Regal, Kane makes the save. In comes Storm, right hands by Storm. Storm chokes the life out of RVD? Irish whip into a dropkick for two. Tag to Regal, multiple covers by Regal all for two. RVD tries for a sunset flip, Storm tags Regal and nails RVD with a huge boot to the head. DDT by Storm for two, snapmare and leg drop by Storm for two. Reverse chinlock by Storm, RVD rolls-up Storm out of a suplex, two for RVD. Spinning heel kick by RVD to Regal, tag to Kane. Sidewalk slams and clotheslines. Storm saves Regal from a Chokeslam by attacking Kane's mask. RVD tags into the match and nails Storm with a kick but Kane is blinded and nails RVD with a Chokeslam, Regal covers RVD for the win.
A decent tag match with nothing really standing out. Storm and Regal gel well together with their technical styles, they are easy to hate with their plethora of holds. RVD is a great babyface that the fans never fail to get behind and Kane is an agile big man who can move with the best of them. It was just really average, nothing sticks out in my mind as really good about the match. The heat segment was fine, the hot-tag was fine. It was all just fine, a good day's work for all involved.
Winners: Storm & Regal over RVD & Kane via Chokeslam!
Team Angle Promo
Kurt Angle rallies the troops as he tells Haas & Benjamin that there are going to wipe the floor with Lesnar, Edge & Benoit. Angle also mocks The Canadians and puts over the new tag team champions. Solid stuff from The WWE Champion.
Matt Hardy/Jeff Hardy Promo
Josh Matthews interviews Matt Hardy and his follower Shannon Moore, Matt tells Josh that he did indeed struggle to make the crusierweight limit to compete but Matt believs in achieving the impossible, that's what Mattitude is all about. Matt makes fun of Jeff losing and Jeff slaps the shit out of Matt.
(WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match) Billy Kidman (C) vs Matt Hardy W/ Shannon Moore
Billy Kidman is the cruiserweight champion, not appearing on pay per view since winning the campionship from Jamie Noble, it looks like the championship has very up and down booking. Anyways, Mattitude is hilarious and I am all in on the gimmick. Matt has a hammerlock, arm drag by Matt and jumping jacks by the challenger. Hammerlock by Kidman, Matt scoop slams Kidman. Arm drags by Kidman, right hands and a hurricanrana. Matt has Kidman on the apron and Matt Irish whips Kidman into the ringpost. Elbow to the throat by Matt, cover and two. Scoop slam and a fist drop for two, Kidman battles back with an Irish whip. Kidman lowers the head and Matt nails a neckbreaker. Straight-jacket hold from Matt, Kidman counters the side effect for a roll-up, two for Matt.
Matt chokes Kidman against the ropes, cover using the ropes for leverage and two for Matt. Front chancery from Matt, Kidman battles back but Matt nails what he calls a richochet. Matt grabs the leg but Kidman nails an enzuigiri. Right hands by Kidman, clotheslines and a Sky High for two. Kidman eats a huge clotheslines by Matt, second rope leg drop for two. Matt motions for The Twist of Fate, Kidman pushes off Matt and nails a dropkick. Plancha by Kidman, Kidman looks fora double axe handle but Matt blocks and looks for a Twist of Fate. Kidman jacknife covers Matt for two, Kidman smashes Moore off the apron. Side Effect by Matt for two, Kidman nails a bulldog using Moore. Shooting Star Press misses and Matt nails a Twist of Fate for two.
Matt has Kidman on the top rope, Kidman shoves off Matt. Shannon Moore grabs the leg of Kidman and Matt nails a Super Twist of Fate from the top rope and we have a new Crusierweight Champion as Matt Hardy has beaten Billy Kidman.
Good championship match from Kidman and Matt, bit of psychology in the back work by Matt, Matt uses the ropes for leverage a few times and Shannon Moore as a constant annoyance at ringside is good stuff. Would have liked a bit more offense by Kidman in this match but this was The Matt Hardy show and kudos to Matt Hardy for reinventing himself as Matt Hardy Version 1 and stepping out of his brother's shadow.
Winner: Matt Hardy over Billy Kidman via Super Twist of Fate!
The Big Show W/ Paul Heyman vs The Undertaker
Week after week, Big Show would avoid The Undertaker after Big Show arrived on Smackdown and established himself by hurling Undertaker off the stage. Undertaker returned at the rumble and it out for revenge, Show avoided Undertaker until the week before the pay per view and attacked The Undertaker. Now, when originally I looked at the card for No Way Out, I was surprised to see this match. The reason being that there would be a rematch at Wrestlemania in what was meant to be a tag match but became a handicap match. The reason I am worried is I predict Undertaker to win this and I know Taker wins at Mania so how is Show meant to battle for the championship after losing twice to Taker?
Undertaker attacks Show immediately, Taker loses control after Show rams Taker back first into the ringpost, Show tries continuing his dominace in the ring but Taker leg drops and elbows Show. Taker grabs a chair and Show punches the chair into Taker's face. Somps by Show, Taker boots Show and nails right hands. Show reverses an Irish whip in the corner, Show misses a splash and Taker tries a slam but Show falls onto Taker. Show looks to decimate the back with shoulder thrusts and a suplex for two. Cole and Tazz establish Taker cannot slam Show with his bad back. Elbows to the ribs by Show, Taker smacks Show with right hands on his knees. Show has been rocked but Taker runs right into a bearhug. Taker battles back with rights and lefts, Show nails a sidewalk slam to cut off Taker. Show hurls Taker to the floor, Show talks trash and headbutts Taker.
Taker is bleeding from the headbutts as is Show. Headbutt after headbutt, Taker stands and asks for more, right hands by Show and Taker retaliates. Taker tees off on Show in the corner, corner clothesline by Taker. Make it two, Taker wants The Chokeslam but Show counters with a headbutt. Taker ducks two clotheslines and nails a huge lariat, Taker has Show for Old School. Taker connects and both men try for a Chokeslam. The referee is knocked down, Taker nails a low blow and a running DDT. Two count for Taker, Show connects with a spinebuster. Snake eyes and a clothesline by Show, cover and two. Show was looking for a military press slam, Taker counters for The TCB. Here is A-Train, Taker nails his signature dive onto A-Train and Heyman.
Taker signals for The Tombstone, Show was playing possum and delivers a big Chokeslam. Show looks for the cover and Taker grabs a triangle choke on Show and chokes out Big Show, Taker wins the match. Taker wants to smash Show with the chair but A-Train saves Big Show.
That was a really good match by the two big men. It's shown right away that Taker is still a wounded animal, Taker cannot lift up the massive Show. Show takes his time, toying with The Deadman. Taker fights and fights but Show is too strong, Taker digs down deep and just when you think Taker is going to win the match, Show drops a massive Chokeslam, robbing Taker of his revenge. That's where it should have ended, right then and there saving the moment for Taker to get revenge against Show at Wrestlemania. However, Taker reverses and chokes out Show. Is there a need for a rematch? No but are we going to get one at Mania? Yes with A-Train for added fun.
Winner: Undertaker over Big Show via Triangle Choke!
Chris Benoit & Brock Lesnar vs Team Angle
Kurt Angle took out Edge earlier in the night along with his proteges Haas and Benjamin. Lesnar won The Royal Rumble while Benoit had a great match at the rumble with Angle, Angle is the lead heel on Smackdown and with Haas & Benjamin, this should be a fun match. Benjamin and Benoit begin the match, Benoit takes down Benjamin with a shoulder block and chops. Hard Irish whip by Benoit, right hands by Benoit. Benjamin goes low and tags Haas. Back drop by Benoit on Haas, tag to Lesnar. Lesnar stomps all over Haas, shoulder thrusts by Lesnar. Suplex by Lesnar, Haas is tossed across the ring and Lesnar wants Kurt Angle. Haas attacks Lesnar after an Angle distraction. Gorilla press slam on Haas & Benjamin, knees by Lesnar to the gut to Haas.
Angle attacks Lesnar from the apron, Angle is dragged into the ring but Benjamin nails a Superkick on Lesnar. Angle chokes Lesnar from behind, Lesnar rams Angle into the turnbuckle but Angle will not let go of Lesnar. Second time around, Lesnar smashes Angle's head into the turnbuckle. Tag to Benoit; Benjamin is ran over with clotheslines and a back drop. German to Angle, three German suplexes to Benjamin. Benoit motions for a Diving Headbutt, Haas distracts Benoit and Angle belly to belly suplxes Benoit. Lesnar chokes Angle at the apron but Benjamin makes the save. Haas is legal and stomps on Benoit, belly to belly by Haas for two. Tag to Angle, Haas attacks Benoit as Angle distracts the referee. Snapmare into a front chancery by Angle, Benoit school boys Angle for two. Series of pins by Benoit for two, German suplex by Angle. Cover and a two for Angle, Haas scoop slams Benoit and assaults Lesnar. Haas and Benjamin nail their leapfrog splash attack.
Benoit fires up with chops, Benjalin drop toeholds Benoit and holds onto the leg, Benjamin is kicked off and Lesnar is legal. Clotheslines and suplexes all around, shoulder thrusts to Haas. Benjamin saves Angle from an F-5, Benoit is in The Ankle Lock. Benoit reverses for a Crossface, Angle reverses into an Ankle Lock and Benoit counters for a Crossface. Haas & Benjamin save Angle. Benoit has Haas in The Crossfac, Lesnar F-5s Angle and Haas taps out to The Crossface.
That was a lot of fun, Angle is a great heel hiding behind his two proteges. Benoit works his ass off in that ring, Lesnar is an absolute beast. That hot-tag was ridiculous as Lesnar ran through everyone in that match. Haas & Benjamin were good too, the faith shown in them was well-deserved as they were as good as any team in the WWE at this point. Best match on the card so far, no doubt about it.
Winners: Benoit & Lesnar over Team Angle via Crossface!
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Triple H (C) W/ Ric Flair vs Scott Steiner
The rematch that nobody wanted, that's a bit harsh to be fair. The match was bad at the rumble but Big Poppa Pump could easily be an asset to the WWE and Triple H was running through the entire Raw roster, somebody had to dethrone The Game eventually right? Right? Anyways, Steiner earned the opportunity by defeating Chris Jericho, biggest part of the build-up to this match as Evolution was formed as Randy Orton, Batista, Ric Flair and Triple H came together to form the group. The two are nose to nose immediately, lock-up and arm stretch by Steiner. Top wrist lock from Steiner, right hand by Triple H. Steiner goes to the injured leg of Triple H, Steiner beats the piss out of Triple H's leg. Ten punches in the corner and a clothesline by Steiner, huge elbow and press-ups by Steiner.
Steiner clubs and rips at the leg of Triple H, elbows to the knees by Triple H. Triple H rakes the eyes but Steiner wallops the leg of Triple H. Exploder suplex by Steiner, figure four by Steiner. Flair rakes the eyes of Steiner behind the referee's back and Steiner decks Flair with a right hand. Triple H knocks Steiner off the apron into the steel steps, Triple H stomps Steiner to the floor. Flair chokes Steiner with his coat, Steiner is sent head first into the steel steps. Swinging neckbreaker by Triple H for two, right hands by The Game. Steiner battles back, Steiner misses a clothesline and Triple H nails a neckbreaker. Shoulder thrusts in the corner by Triple H, they battle in the middle of the ring. Steiner nails a massive belly to belly, clubbing blows by Steiner.
Triple H cuts off Steiner with a boot, roll-up using the ropes does not go right for The Game. Triple H tries to get disqualified but Hebnar will not ring the bell, back drop by Steiner. Chops and smashes by Steiner, huge messy spot in the ring before Steiner nails a belly to belly suplex. Steiner Irish whips Triple H to the floor, Triple H meets the ringpost. Right hands by Steiner, belly to belly and a two for the challenger. Steiner has Triple H on the top rope, Steiner nails a massive middle rope Samoan drop. Flair tugs the leg of Steiner, Steiner has The Steiner Recliner and Flair calls for Batista and Orton. Orton is decked as is Batista.
Flair is off the apron, Steiner blocks The Pedigree. Triple H is clotheslined to the floor, Orton is thrown to the floor and onto Batista. Flair, Orton and Batista have been ejected, Triple H wallops Steiner with the championship.1.....2.... Steiner kicks out at the last second. Pedigree by Triple H and Steiner stays down after The Pedigree.
Marginally, it is better than The Royal Rumble match. Psychology is weird with Steiner working the injured leg of Triple H, how would anyone cheer Steiner after that? Steiner has not been warmely received since day one in WWE, that's years of telling people WCW suck for you and the fact that Steiner was not in shape to wrestle with his foot. The match stinks, the finish is flat. You have Evolution, the championship to the head and after all that, Triple H still wins with a Pedigree. Raw has let me down on this pay per view big time.
Winner: Triple H over Scott Steiner via Pedigree!
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Eric Bischoff
In order to save his job, Bischoff wants to sign Stone Cold Steve Austin. Bischoff had been given thirty days or be fired, Bischoff was fired by Mr. Mcmahon but Austin gave his word to be at No Way Out and Bischoff has to take on The Texas Rattlesnake. WWE play up that Bischoff fired Austin by fax in WCW. Bischoff beats the piss out of JR to send a message to Austin, Austin is coming to No Way Out and it's curtains for Bischoff. JR makes his return for commentary for this match, JR is here to see Bischoff get beaten like a bitch.
Bischoff grabs the microphone and pleads for the match to be thrown out, Austin has heard enough as the glass shatters and it's ass kicking time. Biscoff continues pleading before Austin tackles Bischoff and unloads with a thousand right hands. Austin chokes Bischoff with his jacket and stomps the bejesus out of Bischoff. Bischoff is rammed into the turnbuckle, more stomping from Austin.
Bischoff rakes the eyes and kicks Austin, no effect on The Rattlesnake. Austin chops Bischoff on the floor and breaks a beer over his head. Austin has Bischoff in the ring, Stunner by Austin. Austin pins Bischoff and pulls up his hand at two, Stunner number 2. Cover and Austin pulls Bischoff's hand up again, looks like it is time for Stunner number three. Stunner number three and Austin wins the match as JR loses his mind on commentary.
It was entertaining and a memorable return for Austin. I am not sure it needed on pay per view but after Austin walked away, it seems like we would never see Austin again in the WWE. Overall, it was great to see Austin but wwe have seen it all before with Austin vs authority figures. No different from an ending on Raw.
Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin over Eric Bischoff via Stunner!
The Rock vs Hulk Hogan
Hogan vs Rock 2, the first match was once in a lifetime truly. The magic, the atmosphere, the electricity, that match is ageless and timeless. The roles have been reversed for this match, Hogan was the heel the first time around and now, Hogan is the babyface while The Rock is the heel. Hogan returned and Mr. Mcmahon was not happy to see Hulk Hogan, Mcmahon called in the help of The Rock. Rock spat in the face of Hogan on the Smackdown before No Way Out, Hollywood Rock is awesome. Rock had returned from making movies, had an attitude and was on fire during this time.
Rock tries jumping Hogan from behind, Hogan catches Rock with right hands and looks for the boot, Rock holds onto the ropes and powders. Hogan is on the floor with Rock, right hands by Hogan. Rock stomps Hogan in the ring, right hand floors Hogan. Rock tries ramming Hogan into the turnbuckle, Hogan blocks and slams Rock into the turnbuckle and nails Rock with a right hand. Rock lures Hogan in and snaps Hogan's head off the ropes. Rock calls for The Rock Bottom, Rock Bottom and Hogan kicks out at two. Rock tries on Hogan's rag and steals Hogan's belt. Hogan is whipped like a government mule, over and over The Rock beats on Hogan. Hogan powers up and clotheslines Rock, Rock is whipped with the belt.
Right hands by Hogan, Rock ducks a clothesline and nails a DDT. Stomps by The Rock, sharpshooter by The Rock. Hogan makes it to the ropes but Rock pulls Hogan to the middle of the ring. Hogan fades from the hold but at the last second, Hogan hulks up and pushes Rock to the floor. Rock clotheslines Hogan on the floor, Hogan's head is bounced off the announce table. Rock misses a chair shot, Hogan has the chair and The Rock is nailed in the back with the chair. The referee takes away the chair and Rock low blows Hogan behind the referee's line of vision. Spinebuster by The Rock, People's Elbow connects twice but Hogan powers out of The People's Elbow. Rock punches Hogan with no effect, Hogan nails right hands. Big boot and Hogan nails The Leg Drop. Cover and the lights go out as Hogan pins Rock.
The referee is down and there is a chair beside the referee. Here comes Vince Mcmahon, the referee slides The Rock the steel chair. Massive chair shot to the head by The Rock, Hogan is bleeding. Rock calls for The Rock Bottom, The Rock Bottom connects and the referee pops up to call for the pin.
WWE's first pay per view in Montreal since Survivor Series 1997 and we have yet anothe callback to The Screwjob. Well, I guess Vince just loves that finish and sticking it to people, it was an ok match. Hogan has not delivered since Rock vs Hogan nulber one, Rock did his best for Hogan to make it entertaining but it was not going to save the main event or the pay per view. At least it sets up Mcmahon vs Hogan for Wrestlemania which I would argue was one of Hogan's best WWE matches after his return from WCW.
Winner: The Rock over Hogan via Rock Bottom!
The Rock, Hogan and Austin were all on this pay per view but they could not save this show. I think on the Raw part of the show, it ranged from terrible to solid. Nothing sticks out in my mind, Jericho vs Hardy was sloppy as was The World Tag Team Title match, Steiner vs Triple H makes me never want to watch a Raw World Championship match ever again, those two have nothing with one another and Raw is going backwards if anything. Smackdown was a little better, Kidman vs Matt Hardy was good despite the fans not being super into Kidman, Big Show vs Taker was enjoyable but I still think Show should have went over. The three on two handicap match was probably the best part of the show and the two main events with Austin and Rock were passable but I have seen Austin beat the piss out Mcmahon so many times that beating Bischoff did no even feel different while a play on The Screwjob, that finish was old by 1998.