By RJ Marceau
Before we got Fastlane and Elimination Chamber in February leading into WrestleMania we got the show No Way Out. When I first started watching WWE in 2002 I was unable to watch Royal Rumble 2002 so I begged my dad if I could watch No Way Out 2002. With good grades in school and not getting my parents mad at me he allowed me to order this show.
He also enjoyed watching wrestling with me so that was another reason he didn’t mind ordering the show. This show was amazing when I was a kid and to this day I haven’t watched it back. So after almost 14 years I decided to watch this show and review it.
The NWO Made Their WWE Debut
When I first started watching the WWE back in 2002 I had zero idea who the NWO was. I know, one of the best factions of all time but I was new, give me a break. I obviously went on my computer and did research but that was after the show. Watching it back and knowing how iconic these guys were this was a great segment. This was who should’ve been in the original invasion angle but WWE failed to acquire them. The involvement of the NWO to start the show foreshadowed throughout the night who they would feud with going into WrestleMania X8. The vignettes they had with Stone Cold and The Rock were hilarious and definitely worth a view.
WWE Tag Team Turmoil: APA def. Billy & Chuck, Christian & Lance Storm, Scotty 2 Hotty & “The Hip Hop Hippo” Albert, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley with Stacy Keibler) and The Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt Hardy with Lita)
This match started with Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert vs. Christian and Lance Storm who contested a decent contest, with the Hardy Boyz eliminating Christian and Edge. The Hardyz and Dudleyz rejuvenated their feud in this match up with The Hardyz losing to Billy & Chuck after being attacked by the Dudleyz. Billy & Chuck and the APA contested a 4-5 minute contest with Bradshaw hitting Billy Gunn with an amazing Clothesline from Hell. The winner would go on to WrestleMania X8 to face the winner of Tazz & Spike Dudley vs. Test and Booker T who would later in the night face off for the WWE World Tag Team Championships.
Rob Van Dam def. Goldust
I honestly didn’t understand the point of this match other then Goldust attacking RVD two weeks prior on Raw. This match was nothing special and they didn’t feud at WrestleMania X8. RVD won this contest and would go on to WrestleMania X8 to face William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship. Goldust would go on to face Maven at WrestleMania X8 for the Hardcore Championship.
Tazz & Spike Dudley def. Booker T and Test
The WWE should look at this and see that they could push new tag teams and not stick with status quo. They had the Hardyz, Dudleyz and the APA who were all amazing tag teams but weren’t involved in the tag titles match at WrestleMania X8. I don’t think either of these teams were amazing but they are fresh which is better than the same old stuff. The match was decent for who was involved and was a fresh match.
William Regal def. Edge to Retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
This was a Brass Knuckles on a Pole match for the IC championship and the story was that Regal and Edge had the same chance to use the Brass Knucks. The match was entertaining especially with Regal pulling another pair of knucks from his trunks. Regal hit Edge with the brass knucks and defeated Edge to retain his IC title. Regal would go on to defend his title at WrestleMania X8 vs. RVD and Edge faced Booker T.
The Rock def. The Undertaker
The story behind this match was The Rock went on SmackDown and mocked the Undertaker for being eliminated by Maven. Undertaker would cost The Rock in the semifinals of the Undisputed Championship No. 1 contendership tournament. This match was good and it seemed that the Undertaker was going to use his lead pipe again but Ric Flair came down to stop him. He went on to hit the Undertaker with the pipe and The Rock hit the Rock Bottom to beat the Undertaker. Both men faced wrestling icons at WrestleMania X8 with the Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair.
Kurt Angle def. HHH to Go On to WrestleMania X8 to Face the Undisputed Champion
The WWE back in 2002 had stories for all these feuds. Instead of just putting two people in a match since they trade wins they all had stories. This story was based around Stephanie McMahon and HHH. Their relationship was diminishing and Stephanie wanted to renew their vows. HHH said no but Stephanie decided to lie to The Game and say she was pregnant. HHH found out she was lying and destroyed their wedding part 2. In the meantime, Vince gave Kurt Angle a match at No Way Out with HHH’s Royal Rumble win on the line. Stephanie was the guest referee. Let's just say the match was good but Stephanie was a terrible referee. When it seemed like HHH would win she attacked referee Tim White. Angle would eventually use a chair and hit HHH with an Angle Slam to pick up the win. They would face each other the next night in a rematch.
Chris Jericho def. Stone Cold Steve Austin to Retain the Undisputed Championship
The NWO made their debut earlier in the night and you had to figure they would make a statement on this night. The match between Jericho and Stone Cold was good but the NWO interference overshadowed the match due to the implications of WrestleMania X8. Austin got the short end of the stick by facing Scott Hall at WrestleMania. The NWO run in WWE was a disappointment since it only lasted a month but in that one month they were interesting. The next night they destroyed the Rock leading to Hogan running the Mack Truck into the ambulance.
This card, especially at the main event spots, was stacked with six future or current Hall of Famers. The WWE couldn’t come close to the magnitude or star power these shows used to provide but they provide better midcard and the quality of wrestling. This was my first ever WWE PPV and had a blast watching it back in full.
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