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Dark Pegasus Video Review: No Way Out 2002

June 18, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: No Way Out 2002  

No Way Out 2002
by J.D. Dunn

You’re a douchebag if you think Jericho was world chamionship material at this time. Austin deserved to be the Undisputed champion. Anybody who thinks differently is stupid. (MBD)

Tight logical argument aside, I always found it interesting that everyone, including me, considers Jericho’s title reign a financial and ratings failure. I’m sure this post summed up the feelings of many, so let’s just look at the numbers, shall we?

In fact, Jericho *increased* the average rating from the Austin (I use Austin’s title run as a baseline over the Rock because no one really cared about the WCW Title at this point, and Austin main evented more shows, but if you want to consider it the Rock/Austin Era go right ahead). The average rating for Jericho’s title run was 4.29. The average rating for Austin – 4.22. Not a big increase, granted, but consider this – if you give Jericho a break because Monday Night Raw just happened to fall on Christmas and New Years, causing a huge dip in ratings, then Jericho’s average rating goes up to a 4.5, a pretty big increase for a “failure.”

But, you might be saying, you can’t take ratings to the bank. Buyrates are the most important thing. Okay. Average buyrate during Steve Austin’s 2001 title reigns: 1.01. Average buyrate during Jericho’s 2001-2002 title reign: 1.51.

I feel like Chuck Todd.


Vince McMahon was embarrassed and humiliated when Ric Flair purchased half his company out from under his nose and then beat his brains in at The Royal Rumble. Disgraced and broken, Vince decided to kill the WWF rather than let Flair run it, so he introduced the nWo as “a lethal dose of poison” to kill the WWF.

  • February 17, 2002
  • Live from Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • The nWo comes out and drops some insider terms. They have “heat” with “the boys,” but Hogan, Hall and Nash are just “marks” like the rest of us. Ross is irate at how disingenuous the nWo are in sucking up to the crowd.
  • Opening Match, Tag Team Turmoil Contender’s Match:

    Scottie II Hottie & Albert vs. Christian & Lance Storm.
    This was during the time when the WWF pushed Lance Storm as a charisma-deficient automaton. Hard to believe that didn’t get over. Why would you accentuate his failings? I mean, every wrestler has some weaknesses. That would be like trying to get Hogan over by highlighting his technical skills. Anyway, Scottie hits the facebuster and goes for the Worm, but Storm breaks it up. That distraction allows Christian to hit the Unprettier at 2:56. 3/4*

    Christian & Lance Storm vs. The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita).
    This was like a **** Rock ‘n’ Rolls/Midnights contest shrunk down into less than four minutes. Christian breaks up the Twist of Fate, but a heel miscommunication allows the Hardyz to finish after a Swanton at 3:15. *3/4

    The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita) vs. The Dudley Boyz (w/Stacy Keibler).
    Yay. This matchup again. The Dudleyz storm the ring, but the Hardyz hit Poetry in Motion. They try it again, but D-Von yanks Jeff down by a handful of hair. Jeff plays face-in-peril, but the announcers talk more about Stacy Keibler. Jeff punches Bubba right in the Big Dick Dudley to block a senton. Stacy blocks the Twist of Fate but gets SPEARED by Lita. CHICKFIGHT! Bubba tosses Lita aside and hits Matt with the Bubbabomb. Lita comes back in with the Litacanrana. Matt reverses Saving Grace to a rollup for the win at 4:40. This was good for the time allotted. The Dudleyz are poor sports and give Jeff the 3D on the floor after the match. **

    The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita) vs. Billy & Chuck.
    The Hardyz are out of it, so Billy hits the Fameasser at 1:10. 1/4*

    Billy & Chuck vs. The APA.
    The APA turns it into a brawl early, but B&C doubleteam Faarooq to take over. He spinebusters Billy and gets the hot tag to Bradshaw who finishes the whole thing with the Clothesline from Hell at 4:15. This was completely pointless because all of the teams (outside of the first two) wound up wrestling each other for the titles at WrestleMania anyway. Besides that, why would you job a team you thought had potential (B&C) to a team who peaked three years earlier? *

  • Ric Flair bemoans the presence of the nWo in the WWF, but the Undertaker interrupts and glowers at him.
  • Rob Van Dam vs. Goldust.
    Goldust made a surprise return at the Royal Rumble and claimed to be “an admirer” of someone. That someone turned out to be Rob Van Dam. Talk about your clash of styles! Goldust tries his bunkhouse stampede brawling offense early, but Van Dam comes back via the power of gymnastics. You get the feeling that the WWF was trying to groom Van Dam by making him wrestle someone who had a more mainstream style, yet wasn’t good enough to carry him. Goldie gets a butt-butt, which was actually Iceman King Parsons’ finisher. Think about that one. Goldust bores everyone with a long chinlock. Van Dam comes back with Rolling Thunder, but the Five-Star Frogsplash misses. Goldust DDTs him but takes too long going for the Curtain Call. Van Dam hits a leg lariat and finishes with the Five-Star Frogsplash for the win at 11:03. Solid showing from Van Dam in what basically amounted to a superstars squash. Goldust gave him just enough to make it interesting, and I should point out that he was significantly slimmer back then. **1/2

  • In the back, Steve Austin refuses the nWo’s peace offering of free beer. Austin… turning down beer? Hey, wait a minute! That’s not Steve Austin! It’s the Fake nWo Steve Austin!
  • WWF Tag Team Titles: Tazz & Spike Dudley vs. Booker T & Test.
    This was during the post-Tag Team Triumvirate days when the WWE was throwing guys together for the tag team scene while waiting for new teams to coalesce. That’s opposed to today where they just throw guys together and don’t give a damn who has the tag titles. Spike plays face-in-peril thanks to heel nefariousness. He goes for the Dudley Dog and gets tossed to the floor. Booker gets the Ax Kick, but he stops to do the Spinaroonie (much to JR’s disgust), so it doesn’t get the pin. Tazz gets the hot tag and cleans house. Test scoops up his stubby little legs and covers, but the ref sees his feet on the ropes. CHEATER! Test and the ref get into a shoving match, allowing Tazz to catch Test with the Tazzmission at 7:16. The very definition of average. **

  • The Rock promises that the Undertaker will literally be a Dead Man.
  • Intercontinental Title, Brass-Knuckles-on-a-Pole Match: William Regal vs. Edge.
    Edge jumps Regal during the pre-match patdown, thus virtually ensuring that Regal has brass knuckles hidden somewhere. Edge goes up but gets yanked down. They take turns going after the brass knuckles, and Regal locks in the rope-assisted abdominal stretch. Edge tosses him to the floor and goes up, but Regal shoves him all the way to the barricade. Regal gives him a Butterfly Bomb on the floor. Back in, another one gets two, and Regal goes up for the brass knuckles. Edge crotches him, so Regal tries to powerbomb him to the floor. Edge counters to a huracanrana… sort of. That was ugly. Regal recovers the brass knuckles, but Edge catches him with the Electric Chair to send them flying. Regal kicks them away so Edge can’t get them. Edge gets two off the Edgeomatic and spears Regal. Instead of going for the cover, Edge goes out and picks up the brass knuckles. Regal sneaks a second pair out of his tights and nails Edge with them at 10:27. They didn’t really sell the stipulations, which is deadly in match where the fans don’t automatically buy into them. It was a bit sloppy too. **

  • Kurt Angle is confident he’ll beat Triple H. After all, he didn’t get his Olympic Gold Medals from a box of Lucky “freakin'” Charms.
  • The Rock vs. The Undertaker.
    The Undertaker thought that the Rock was disrespecting him, so they had a feud over it. See, that’s a perfectly good reason. Generic rock replaces Limp Bizkit, although you can see Fred & Co. on the big screen. As fine as the feud was, this match is disappointing. They’ve had decent matches before, but this was WAY too long with too much Undertaker offense. That’s not a knock on the Undertaker, but he’s just not a “whittle away at them” sort of guy, ya know. Taker dominates throughout with his “sadistically methodical” offense, which is part of the problem because Rock gets NOTHING for several minutes. Taker gets two off a DDT and throws a Taker-tantrum. It’s time to PICK UP THE PACE WITH A… bearhug. Rock hulks up and lays the smackdown on Taker. Taker cuts off the People’s Elbow with a chokeslam attempt, but Rock kicks him in the tombstones. Taker blocks a charge and hits the chokeslam anyway. That gets two. Taker goes out to his bike and tosses the ref into the steps. He finds a lead pipe in his bike, but Ric Flair runs down to keep him from using it. Taker knocks him away, but that allows the Rock to duck his swing and lock in the Sharpshooter. Vince McMahon runs down, so Rocky is morally compelled to go after him. No worries, though, because Flair nails Undertaker with the lead pipe. Rock finishes with the Rock Bottom at 17:24. Too long, especially considering it was just a backdrop for the Flair/McMahon feud. It did set up Flair vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania, but the overarching feud was Flair vs. McMahon anyway. The match itself threatened to get good before the interference. **

  • Drunken Mr. Perfect makes fun of all the patrons at WWFNY.
  • Recap of Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley going all Maury Povich on Triple H by telling him she was pregnant so he would agree to renew their wedding vows. That backfired big time as Linda stooged her out, and Hunter asked for a divorce.
  • #1 Contenders Match: Triple H vs. Kurt Angle.
    Hunter won the Royal Rumble, but Vince decided to be a dick and put him in a match with Angle with the #1 contendership on the line. Stephanie McMahon is your special referee after having had her Helmsley surgically removed. From his commentary, it sounds like Lawler might be willing to catch Hunter on the rebound, though. This match falls victim to the usual evil ref question, which is “Why don’t they just turn and say the babyface submitted?” Hell, it’s not for a title, and Hunter uses a closed fist. He could be disqualified. They get around that by having Angle accidentally clothesline her over the top, knocking her out of the match. Angle controls with a series of suplexes. He takes a spinebuster and bails out before Hunter can complete the comeback. Angle nails the ref just in case. That backfires, though, because he hits the Angleslam, and there’s no one to count. Stephanie runs back in, but she gives a normal count, so Hunter kicks out. Hunter shoves Kurt into Stephanie and hits the Pedigree. No ref, though. Hunter picks up Tim White, but then Angle knocks Hunter into him. The ref’s are taking more bumps than the wrestlers! Another Pedigree, but Steph takes out Tim White and stomps his nuts. Angle chairshots Hunter, hits the Angleslam and gets the win at 14:41. That, of course, set up Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. BWAHAHAAH! Nah, Hunter beat Angle just after this, rendering the whole thing moot. The match was fine, but it also showed that Angle was just some scrub and that the *real* feud that the WWF cared about was between Hunter and Stephanie. ***

  • In the back, the nWo gets a picture with the Rock for Nasty Nick Hogan. Hogan runs his mouth, though, thus engendering the verbal wrath of the Rock. That actually winds up being the highlight of the PPV, not only because it led to the Rock vs. Hogan, but because it summed up the ridiculousness of the Diesel gimmick in one line. “Hey, Big Daddy Cool Diesel. Errrrt, Errtt! Errrt, Errrt!”
  • Undisputed Title: Chris Jericho vs. Steve Austin.
    They flip each other off to let one another know where they stand. Austin chases Jericho around the ring, and they chop it out… FOREVER! Austin clotheslines him over the top and adds some chops of his own. Jericho sidesteps him and sends Austin into the post, though. They brawl up the aisle to the trucks, and Jericho gets sent into one of the trailers. Back to the ring, Austin crotches Jericho and delivers THREE SUPERPLEXES! Remember when one of those used to be Barry Windham’s finisher? Austin only gets two. Jericho goes low to cut off Austin’s momentum. More chops, and Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho. Austin blocks, and they brawl on the floor. That goes nowhere, so Jericho tosses him back in and hits a Lionsault. That sets up a bad sleeper from Jericho. Well, that’s just flawed from formula. He tries a leapfrog but gets powerslammed. Undeterred, Jericho hits a pair of Lionsaults, one of them actually good. Austin posts him, but Jericho no-sells. He’s no-selling on an Undertaker-ish level. Jericho counters the Thesz Press to the Walls of Jericho. Austin makes the ropes, so Jericho grabs the belt. The ref gets bumped as he tries to take it away from him. Austin spinebusters Jericho on the belt for two, and Jericho hits the Breakdown on the belt for two of his own. The ref gets bumped again, this time off a missed Jericho clothesline. Austin applies the Walls of Jericho, but there’s no ref. Stunner, but there’s no ref. The nWo runs in and gets their asses kicked by Austin. Finally, the numbers (and Scott Hall’s alkie breath) overwhelm him. That allows Jericho to get the win at 21:34. Again, another fine match ruined by A) too many ref bumps, B) outside interference, and C) being a match between two guys who were fighting as surrogates for another feud. ***1/4

  • After the match, the nWo jump Austin again and spraypaint him. It’s just like 1996 all over again! Actually, if the WWF knew how to book the nWo properly, they would have left *both* Austin and Jericho laying because what better way to destroy a company than by punking out their champion. Of course, like Angle, Jericho was just a scrub who happened to be keeping the title warm for HHH, so that couldn’t happen.
  • The 411: More a "mild nuisance" than "lethal dose of poison," the nWo became just another stable here rather than the groundbreaking separatists who wanted to rip apart the company and rebuild the company in their own image. It probably didn't help that the WWFnWo was based almost entirely on internet reputations and not the kayfabe version of the nWo that people actually recognized. See, the WWFnWo was evil because they killed WCW through backstage politicking, while the real nWo was evil because they attacked WCW wrestlers and hijacked the arena. People can actually relate to the latter. The final few matches were okay, but the repetitive booking (the last three matches all relied on interference and ref bumps) just killed the entertainment value.

    Thumbs down.

    Final Score:  5.5   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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