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Dark Pegasus Video Review: No Way Out 2003

July 19, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: No Way Out 2003  

No Way Out 2003
by J.D. Dunn

  • February 23, 2003
  • Live from Montreal, Canada.
  • Your hosts are Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and Tazz.

  • Heat Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia).
    Sylvain Grenier makes his debut as a ref here. This is sort of a #1 contenders match for the CW title. They have themselves a nice little Mysterio/Malenko match if Malenko were an extra from Deliverance. Rey hits lots of headscissors early, but Noble catches him with a press gutbuster. Rey reverses a surfboard and sets up for the 619, but Noble cuts him off with a back elbow. Rey comes back with a springboard crossbody. He sets up for the 619 again, but Nidia trips him up. Noble jumps Rey from behind, but Rey dropkicks him into Nidia and hits the 619. That sets up the Torito (huracanrana rollup) at 4:36. It’s too bad these two never really got the chance to do an extended feud. Then again, I could say that about Noble’s whole career. **
  • Opening Match: Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy.
    Jericho had Eric Bischoff ban Shawn Michaels from the building. Lawler says that the Montreal fans would want Shawn to be in the building since it’s the first time they’ve done a Montreal PPV since 1997. Coach: Why is that, King? Yeah, if anything had happened in Montreal on PPV in 1997 involving Shawn Michaels, surely we would have heard something about it. The fans are firmly behind Jericho. He controls early before missing a charge and posting himself. Jeff flies out on him with a springboard bodyblock. Jericho ducks the rail run, though, and launches Hardy into the steps. Back in, Hardy does the old Steamboat rollup off a slam. Jericho misses another charge and posts himself again. Come on. Get a *little* creative. Jericho’s Lionsault finds the knees, and Hardy gets two off the Whisper in the Wind. Jeff tries the splits legdrop, but Jericho counters to the Walls of Jericho. Jeff makes the ropes and catches Jericho going up. He slams him and hits the Swanton, but Jericho gets his foot on the ropes. Jeff reverses another Walls attempt to a small package for two. Jericho gets two off the Lionsault. Jericho gets two with a sleeper drop (and his feet on the ropes). He goes up but stops to mock Hardy and gets crotched. Jeff tries a huracanrana off the top, but Jericho counters to a powerbomb in mid move and turns it into the Walls of Jericho. That gets the submission at 13:00. Solid match with a surprisingly restrained performance from Hardy. ***

  • Jericho refuses to let go of the hold, so Shawn Michaels runs in and makes him. Jericho’s running buddy Christian jumps Shawn, and they doubleteam him. He makes his own save. The crowd reaction to Shawn is mixed.
  • In the back, Kurt Angle prepares Team Angle by telling them Canada is filled with a bunch of bitter losers.
  • Evolution arrives via limo. Look at those jackets. There wasn’t that much leather on the cow.
  • World Tag Team Titles: William Regal & Lance Storm vs. Rob Van Dam & Kane.
    Rob and Kane bonded over being buried by Triple H in the fall and became “an unlikely duo.” Coach: Montreal loves them some RVD who one year ago at No Way Out made his debut against Goldust. Say whaaaaat? Maybe he means Rob made his “No Way Out” debut, but then that would be about the most useless tidbit of information he could possibly impart. Speaking of news you can’t use, the theme song for the show is Evanescence’s breakthrough track “Bring Me to Life,” which was featured in the Daredevil movie. I bring it up only because I really recommend that you go check out the Director’s Cut of the film, especially if you’ve only ever seen the studio cut. It’s like a completely different film. Anyway, Rob and Lance do a nice little stalemate sequence. Kane nearly brains Regal with a bodyslam, forcing Storm to carry the match for a while. Storm avoids Rolling Thunder, but Rob follows him out with a pescado anyway. Rob looks to finish off a disoriented Regal, but Storm shoves him off the top. Rob plays face-in-peril for a while. Nothing happening. Kane gets the tag and cleans house, but Storm twists his mask to the side and shoves Rob into him. Kane can’t see, so he chokeslams Rob. Regal gets the pin at 9:15. Disjointed and sloppy in points. Storm looked good, though. **

  • In the back, Matt Hardy tells Jeff Hardy that he probably would have won out there if he was a follower of Mattitude and not I-magi-nation. Jeff slaps him and runs off to write poetry.
  • Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Matt Hardy (w/Shannon Moore).
    The joke is that Matt had to make weight in order to wrestle for the title. Hardy slams Kidman and does some jumping jacks to show how J-J-J-J-JACKED he is. Kidman lands on the apron off a hiptoss, but Matt tosses him into the post to take over. Matt works the back with a Goku-Raku Surfboard. He vertically splashes Kidman’s back, or in Tazz-speak “a yam-bag to the back, dere!” Kidman comes back with an enzuigiri. The Rydien Bomb gets two, but Matt blocks a charge. Tazz and Cole are glorious. Cole notes Matt was playing possum, and Tazz says, “That’s what Mattitude does! It makes you act like a possum!” Kidman blocks the Twist of Fate and sends Matt to the floor with a dropkick. He follows him out with the pescado. Back in, Kidman counters the Twist of Fate to a Jackknife Rollup for two. Shannon Moore tries to get involved, but it backfires as Kidman springs off him into a bulldog for two. The Shooting Star Press misses, and Matt is able to finish with the Twist of Fate at – NO! It only gets two. Matt finally finishes with the Super Twist of Fate at 9:31. Good finish. The match was solid, but Kidman never really connected with the audience. **1/2

  • In the back, Chris Benoit and Brock Lesnar find an unconscious Edge lying on the floor. We never did find out who was responsible for this because Edge was out for over a year, but it was implied to be Team Angle.
  • Recap of the Big Show trying to take out the Undertaker and then apologizing through Brian Kendrick, Brother Love and Kanyon.
  • The Undertaker vs. Big Show (w/Paul Heyman).
    Taker was destroyed by the Big Show, who was making his re-debut on Smackdown after being traded over from Raw. He took a few months off and started working in more MMA when he came back. None of that is actually evident early. He still does most of his brawling stuff. Show punches a chair back into Taker’s face. Taker tries to slam him but collapses. Show catches him in a bearhug to slow the match down. Yeah, it was getting way too exciting anyway. Taker battles back, prompting Tazz to shout, “Vintage Undertaker!” Taker hits a flying clothesline and goes Old School with the Ropewalk Forearm. Show goes low and nudges the ref. Taker returns the favor with his own low blow. Taker calls for the Last Ride, but Show shoves him into a spinebuster. Show gives Taker his own Snake Eyes (IRONY – only not really). Show picks him up, but Taker slips over into the Takin’ Care of Business and/or Taker Care of Business (which was Michael Cole’s indescribably stupid name for the Dragon Sleeper). A-Train runs down to distract Taker, but Taker wipes him out with the over-the-top tope. That allows Show to hit the chokeslam, but Taker turns it into the Triangle Choke at 14:08. The match was actually quite okay-ish, considering these two were at the valley of their respective careers. Taker cleanly beating Show even with the odds stacked against him made the rest of the roster look like a bunch of losers, though. **

  • After the match, A-Train hives Taker the Derailer to set up WrestleMania.
  • In the back, Stephanie McMahon promises to look after Edge while Benoit and Brock wrestle.
  • Elsewhere, Vince McMahon derails Eric Bischoff’s plan to have people interfere on his behalf tonight.
  • Handicap Match: Kurt Angle & Team Angle vs. Brock Lesnar & Chris Benoit.
    The faces toss Team Angle around to start, prompting a discussion on whether Lesnar or Brian Urlacher would win in a fight. Sadly, Brock didn’t make the Vikings or else we might have found out. Kurt refuses to tag in, but he grabs a chokehold on Lesnar from the outside. Brock is so powerful that he drags Kurt in. Shelton Benjamin adds a superkick, though, knocking Lesnar down. Right to his face too! Angle grounds him with a rear naked choke for a loooong bit. Brock eventually rams him into the buckle to escape. Benoit cleans house after a hot tag. Brock reaches in and pays back Angle with the sleeper. Charlie Haas breaks it up, though. The NUMBERS GAME overwhelms Benoit. Team Angle busts out the AWA Special. Benoit enzuigiris Shelton and tags in Brock. Brock goes for the F5 but gets dumped to the floor. That leaves Angle and Benoit. Angle with the Anklelock. Benoit reverses to the Crossface. Angle reverses to the Anklelock. Benoit reverses to the Crossface. Haas saves but takes the Crossface himself. F5 to Angle. Haas taps out at 13:18. Team Angle was surprisingly ahead of the curve, and it’s too bad they were broken up for what seems like a perpetual lower midcard push for Shelton Benjamin. Brock was at his peak here, hitting crisp moves and yet bumping around like a maniac. ***1/2

  • World Heavyweight Title: Triple H (w/Ric Flair) vs. Scott Steiner.
    ::shudder:: Sure, *this* gets a rematch on PPV, but the rematch to the ***** Benoit/Angle match is relegated to Smackdown. Steiner’s music opens with him saying, “Holler if ya hear me!” and the fans do indeed holler – BOOOOOO! One guy is saying, “Boo-urns,” though. Steiner goes after HHH’s leg and gets booed out of the building. HHH pummels him to a big pop. Huge “Steiner sucks” chant as he applies a figure-four leglock. Hunter gets caught using the ropes, so he shoves Earl Hebner. Earl considers disqualifying him, which is just what HHH wants. The fans cheer HHH for shoving Earl (for reasons that should be obvious if you’ve paid attention to wrestling matches in Montreal). Steiner hits the Super Fallaway Slam, but Flair yanks him off the cover. Randy Orton and Batista run down to help out, but Steiner tosses them around. Wow. How screwed up is that?! Earl tosses Evolution, and Steiner blocks the Pedigree. Flair distracts the ref while Hunter smashes Steiner in the face with the title belt. CLICHÉ~! It only gets two, but Hunter gives Steiner a Pedigree for the win at 13:01. Clichéd interference and spots, slug-like moves, sloppiness. Yep. This one truly had it all. 1/2*

  • Steve Austin vs. Eric Bischoff.
    This was part of the WWE’s bi-annual “We know the writing on Raw absolutely sucks so here’s a new direction” angle. Ratings tanked after the brand extension, so Vince combined the WWE again but kept the shows separate with General Managers. Ratings continued to flounder, so they opened up the checkbook for Steiner (bomb!) and begged Austin to come back (slightly less of a bomb). The problem was that they spent months burying Austin on TV for being a prima donna and refusing to job. It didn’t help that Austin was accused of smacking Debra around in real life. And I know Chris Benoit did worse, but really, is “Hey, I just punched my wife, I didn’t strangle her” an acceptable defense? Jim Ross rejoins the announce team, although how he sits down with a massive Austin-induced erection like that is beyond me. Austin is still hugely over with the Montreal crowd, though. He no-sells Bischoff’s one kick and kicks his ass all the way around the ring. He even throws one guy’s orange juice in Bisch’s face. Hey, that guy probably had to pay for that… and it was full! Back in, Bischoff kicks out of one Stunner (with help from Austin lifting up his unconscious arm). Austin gives him two more and finishes him off at 4:25. Jim Ross’ selling of the Austin win is so over-the-top that I’m nearly doubled over with laughter. Even Coachman can’t keep a straight face. And then they throw it over to Cole and Tazz, and THEY can’t even get through the intros to the next match without cracking up. Man, when Michael Cole is busting on your announce skills, it’s time to rethink your bromance. For those of us without man-crushes, though, this was only mildly diverting, but it was just more of “Austin vs. the evil authority figure,” something most fans tired of two years earlier. 3/4*

  • The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan.
    This is the debut of Rock’s awesome Hollywood entrance, and I believe this is the only time it was shown in full. Rock stalls a lot at first. Hogan tracks him down and pummels him (including the Rock’s own spit-punch!). Rock comes back with a Rock Bottom for two, puts Hogan’s bandana on, and whips Hogan with his own weightlifting belt. Hogan hulks up and steals his belt back. Rock gives him a DDT and locks in the Sharpshooter. Hogan powers up, and they take it to the floor. Rock misses a chairshot, and Hogan steals the chair from him. Grenier blocks Hogan from using the chair, allowing Rock to go low. SPINEBUSTER! He delivers TWO People’s Elbows, including one with the Hogan pose. Hogan hulks up, though. Big boot. Legdrop. ONE, TWO, THR-the lights suddenly go out. When they come up, Rock is out. Sylvain Grenier is out. Here comes Vince McMahon to jaw with Hogan. Grenier tosses Rock the chair, allowing him to nail Hogan and finish with the Rock Bottom at 12:35. Yes, it’s another play on the Montreal Screwjob. Not at all old. Not at all. The match was basically ten minutes of the Rock riffing on how outdated Hulkamania is. Fine by me, but not exactly epic like their first meeting. **1/2
  • The 411:  If you cut out the "money" matches, this is a decent show (well, keep Hogan/Rock II). Austin abusing Bischoff, while fun for people who hate Bischoff isn't something that belongs on a PPV. The World Title match was just horrible, a worth suck-sessor to their Rumble match. The atmosphere was great, but the actual matches – outside of the handicap tag – didn't live up to PPV status.

    Thumbs down.

    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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