wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK Rant For WWF No Way Out 2002

February 18, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK Rant for WWF No Way Out 2002

– Okay, gotta start out with props to Little Caesar’s Pizza for providing us with the weirdest moment of the night. We ordered pizza to go with the rapidly-circulating alcoholic beverages (although I abstained since I had to work this morning – I’m as shocked as you, trust me) but after an hour of waiting (and about half an hour into the PPV) no pizza was forthcoming. So they call me back and let me know that their delivery guy has DISAPPEARED after 90 minutes on the road with someone else’s order, and would a couple of free orders of Crazy Bread help ease the pain of waiting while they redid our order? Well, in fact the new order (from an apologetic new driver) came 30 minutes later as promised, along with a free bottle of Coke for good measure. By then certain people (John) were too drunk to really care, but I certainly appreciated the gesture and it’s nice to see some consideration of the customer. Of course, I usually tip the pizza guy pretty well out of courtesy for having such a shitty job, but in this case it was earned.

– Live from Milwaukee, WI.

– Your hosts are JR & The King.

– Opening interview: The nWo are out, complete with seizure-inducing black-and-white strobe effects. Oh my god, they’re going to destroy the WWF by making 10-year old Japanese kids go into epileptic fits! They make some “insider” shoot comments that are all the rage with the 13-year old dweebs who don’t remember them from WCW to begin with (although Nash warning Hall not to drink some beer with the boys had the room cracking up here). They promise to behave themselves and go right over the heads of the audience, until they’ve basically established themselves as Just Another Stable right out of the gate.

– Opening match, tag team turmoil: Scotty 2 Hotty & Albert v. Christian & Lance Storm. Someone’s really missing the boat here, as they need to have big flashing graphics like when you’d get my personal favorite, MIDGET MADNESS, on Coliseum Videos, except saying TAG TEAM TURMOIL! I mean, how tumultuous can it be if there’s no flashy graphics telling us so? If the nWo has taught me anything so far, it’s that production values count for everything. And doesn’t Christian’s status as a member of a tag team contradict his own theme song? And whatever happened to Jericho’s Horsemen, anyway? Were they afraid that acting as henchmen for a chicken champion would reduce Christian’s lofty status in the fans’ eyes or something? Scotty & Storm start and Scotty gets a rollup for two. Albert presses Storm and gets the GIANT SWING OF INTENSE DISCOMFORT on Christian, but it’s a two-minute match so there’s no real obligation or interest in selling it. Big boot gets two on Storm, but a dropkick gets two for Storm and the Canadian Mafia work Albert over. Scotty comes in with a superkick on Christian for two, but gets tossed. Albert misses a charge, but Scotty comes back with a W-O-R-M for Christian, only to get interrupted by Storm and hit with an Unprettier for the pin at 2:56. Just a bunch of spots held together by the proverbial chewing gum and dental floss. Ѕ*

– Storm & Christian v. The Hardy Boyz. Lita’s a MAN, baby. The Hardyz double-team Christian but Storm cheapshots Matt and legdrops him for two. Dropkick gets two. Matt stunguns Christian, tags abound. Jeff forearms Christian and legdrops Storm for two. Storm gets the half-crab, but heel miscommunication sets up the swanton for the pin at 2:50. You’d think they could learn something new to do with a couple of months off. Ѕ*

– The Hardy Boyz v. The Dudley Boyz. Big brawl, won by the Dudz. D-Von powerslams Jeff for two. Bubba does a weird submission move, and D-Von pounds away. Twisty elbow gets two. Jeff comes back as Bubba misses a senton, hot tag Matt. DDT for Bubba, and the yodelling legdrop gets two. Goofy double-team legsweep (correction: You’d think they could learn something GOOD) gets two on Bubba. Stacy & Lita have a catfight to waste time, allowing Bubba to Bubbabomb Matt. Lita cheats as usual, hitting her one move on Bubba and Matt cradles D-Von for the pin at 4:06. Dudz 3D Jeff on the floor after the match. These teams need a double-turn in the worst way. *1/4

– The Hardy Boyz v. Billy & Chuck. Since Jeff is out, Billy gets a quick Dumbasser on Matt for the pin at 0:33. DUD

– Chuck & Billy v. The APA. Brawl to start, and Faarooq shoulderblocks Chuck for two. Bradshaw hammers him, but Chuck gets the discus punch. What’s with the pigtails on Chuck? I mean, REALLY. Chuck walks into a blockbuster slam and the APA double-team him for two. Billy & Chuck respond with double-teaming of their own on Faarooq. Billy hits the chinlock, but gets spinebusted. Hot tag to Bradshaw, who tosses Chuck and finishes Billy with the Clothesline from Heck at 3:49. Um, the APA? The oldest team in the promotion and the ones who have constantly flopped as a draw since almost day 1? I mean, I have no great love for Billy & Chuck (in ANY sense of the word) but if they’re gonna waste our time with posedowns and wins to advance up the ladder, they’ve either gotta shit or get off the pot with this push. Otherwise you get another Hurricane, where the gimmick just ends up as the writers making inside jokes for their own amusement. Ѕ*

– Wrestlemania: The showcase of the immortals (except the ones who are dead from strategically ignored drug use or falling from the ceiling), where everyone in America is unemployed and thus has time to watch on portable TVs while staring meaningfully at the sky like they’re extras in a Michael Bay movie.

– Rob Van Dam v. Goldust. JR was making his usual cryptic comments in the Ross Report about Goldust, noting that he needs to “step up his aggressiveness”. Can’t be a hoss without that aggressiveness. Goldust aggressively attacks outside and they head in, where Rob gets a spinkick and the flippy-floppy shoulderblocks in the corner. Standing moonsault gets two. Goldust bails (aggressively) and stalls, but intensely. They brawl for a bit and amazingly the world doesn’t set on fire. Goldust gets an elbow off the apron to take over, and utilizes the BUTTBUTT OF DOOM back in the ring. I know there’s a 7-year statute of limitations in wrestling, but really do we need moves stolen from Iceman Parsons in 2002? They head up, and Goldust aggressively chokes him, using the ringpost for leverage. Okay, that was pretty neat. He catapults him into the ropes a couple of times, and hits the chinlock. But with PINACHE! That goes on a good aggressive amount of time, so Jerry starts busting out the Oklahoma jokes to fill time (“Did you hear about the guy in [insert region here] who froze to death at a drive-in theater? He went to go see “Closed For the Winter”.) Clothesline gets two, but RVD comes back with a backslide. This what we in polite society refer to as a “clash of styles” as a way to avoid calling it boring. JR usually calls it an “intensely physical confrontation”. RVD gets a leg lariat and a monkeyflip to set up a missile dropkick for two. Rolling Thunder gets two. Senton, but the frog splash misses. Goldust DDTs him for two, then takes forever setting up the Curtain Call, which is the calling card of the JTTS – overdramaticizing your marginal finisher. You ever see Steve Austin posing for 10 minutes before applying the Stunner? Rob misses a blind charge, but blocks the bulldog and finishes with the frog splash at 11:04. A little long for what they were going for, but mostly okay. Rob didn’t seem to have much interest in catching what Goldust was pitching here for some reason. **1/2

– Elsewhere, Steve Austin passes up free nWo beer. Well, that’s good, because it was probably POISON beer. It’d be just like Persephone, except that Austin would be drinking watered down American beer instead of eating pomegranate. And then he’d be like the nWo’s beer-slave for three months a year and he’d have to dye his hair to cover up the grey and stuff. And then Debra would have to find another main-eventer to siphon heat off of.

– WWF tag title match: Tazz & Spike Dudley v. Booker T & Test. I have awful visions of the Outsiders crushing the champions on next week’s Smackdown to set up a defense against the APA at Wrestlemania. Logic gap: The APA have to win the TAG TEAM TURBULANCE thing to get a shot, but T&T get one just by virtue of going 2/3 in singles matches against the champions without so much as teaming up since losing the titles months ago? Test hammers Tazz to start, but gets clotheslined. Spike comes in with a missile dropkick and cleans house, then reverses a slam into a rollup for two on Test. Test pounds him and T&T hits a double-team sidekick as Spike is YOUR stockbroker-in-peril. Test gets a pair of clotheslines but misses an elbow, so Spike comes back. Acid Drop is blocked and Booker lays in the boots outside, however. Axe kick and SPINAROONI get two. Spike gets a bad tornado DDT where it looked like they were discussing “War and Peace” while in the midst of doing the move, hot tag Tazz. He suplexes Booker for two, and just for the hot chick in Jay Bower’s bar in Tallahassee, it’s BONZO GONZO! Heel miscommunication puts Booker out, and Spike Acid Drops Test, giving Tazz a two. Test covers Tazz in the ropes and gets two, gets into a shoving match with the ref about it, and gets choked out at 7:17. Instant karma’s a bitch. Instant coffee’s even worse. Extended RAW match with a dead crowd. When the underdogs are now the favorites, it’s time to move the titles on. *1/2

– Intercontinental title, brass knuckles on a pole: William Regal v. Edge. I’m getting concerned about the lack of care Edge has been taking with his hair lately – really, without that, he’s just a big goofy guy with buck teeth. Even crazy badass babyfaces need to use conditioner, Adam – you think the secret to HHH’s success had anything to do with his repetitive moveset and boring interviews? No way, dude – IT’S THE HAIR. Now you all know the secret. The ref tries to check Regal for weapons, but Edge interrupts, which JR notes in a plot point that would be cute in a better match as written by better writers. Edge attacks and gets a suplex and backdrop for two. Regal makes the first climb for the knux, but gets dropkicked. You know, if we’re gonna be recycling retarded 80s gimmicks, I say drop this brass knuckles nonsense and go all the way by retreading Ted Dibiase’s dreaded BLACK GLOVE OF DOOM, which not only looked cooler, but forced fans to use their imaginations as to what could be devastating enough to both knock out an opponent and still fit in a little glove. It’s sportz edutainment! Edge for the gimmick but Regal stops him and they brawl out. They fight at the pole and an Edge dropkick gets two. Regal stomps him down and grabs an abdominal stretch to complete our little time warp. Edge dumps him and goes for the knuckles again, but gets bumped to the railing. Regal powerbombs him on the floor, and back in for the Regal Stretch. Edge is bleeding from the mouth, apparently having caught that most heinous of maladies: Ken Shamrock Disease. If contracted, victims will display the following symptoms:

1) Compulsion to bite down on condoms full of red liquid
2) A variety of roaming and unexplained internal injuries
3) Desire to engage in deep dicking with storyline sister
4) Inability to throw punches without blowing up and losing like a bitch.
5) Frequently being overshadowed by younger brother
6) Loss of temper at inopportune moments

If you think that you have Ken Shamrock Disease, contact a hospital ASAP and BY NO MEANS sign for a match against Don Frye. Regal gets two and climbs for the knuckles, but gets crotched. They try a powerbomb spot off the apron, but that turns into a trainwreck. Back in, they slug it out by the pole and Regal gets the knuckles, but Edge suplexes him down and they go flying. Edge-O-Matic gets two. Spear follows, and he retrieves the knuckles, but Regal finds another pair and gets the pin at 10:27. Wow, never seen Regal pin anyone with a pair of brass knuckles before. Time to reunite Edge & Christian, I think. **

– Rock v. Undertaker. Rock attacks and blasts away, but eats foot. Taker gets two. Choking follows, and Rock slugs back. He gets a sloppy neckbreaker, which Taker shrugs off and keeps choking. Oh, and punching, sorry, wouldn’t want to sell UT short. Sideslam gets two as JR calls the pace “sadisticly methodical”. That’s like a crime scene detective noting that a guy who’s been shot in the head 14 times is “a bit out of sorts”. We hit the chinlock to continue that methodical pace. More pounding, but the big boot misses. Rock drops him and they brawl. Taker crotches him on the railing and takes a breather. Into the crowd, as apparently countouts are suspended again tonight. I’ve never understood why they don’t just make a new rule to abolish countouts and thus have an actual storyline reason never to count anyone out – it’s not like you ever see that finish anymore anyways. Back in, Taker keeps up the pace, as he works a cover and pounds away. Back to the chinlock. DDT gets two. Onto another staple of methodically-paced matches, the bearhug. Rock comes back with the flying forearm and they slug it out. Floatover DDT and spinebuster, but a choke stops the People’s Elbow. Rock lays the smackdown, but gets chokeslammed for two. Taker retreats to the bike (after bumping the ref) and retrieves the DILDO OF DEATH, drawing Ric Flair out of the dressing room. Taker won’t sell. Back in, Rock gets the Sharpshooter, but now Vince comes in to get his allotted beating, as Flair nails Undertaker in the head with the giant black penis and Rock Bottom finishes at 17:25. It’s as though Dusty died and then rose from the grave to book this. Incredibly slow match with a gay overbooked screwjob finish where none was needed. *1/2 JR of course calls it “physically intense”. I call it “boring horseshit”. Rock is awesome, but Undertaker is getting into Nash-like proportions of dragging people down to his level.

– Mr. Perfect, drunk off his ass and making weird comments about ringrats, hosts WWF NY in his leather jacket.

– HHH v. Kurt Angle. Angle gets a pair of fast counts from Stephanie, but HHH punches him down. Angle slugs away, but HHH uses that stupid choke takedown and stomps a mudhole. Short-arm clothesline, but Angle suplexes him. Steph gets bumped already as HHH backdrops Angle and tosses him. Back in, neckbreaker gets two from Tim White. Angle hits the rolling germans for two. HHH bails, and back in Angle gets an elbow for two. Overhead belly to belly gets two. Another one getst wo. A third one gets two. He goes to the sleeper, which is a sure sign that the match is going nowhere if done this early. Angle keeps slugging away, but gets powerbombed out of the corner. They slug it out and HHH gets the high knee and a spinebuster for two. Is it a rider in the contracts now that every main eventer has to do a variation on the spinebuster? Facebuster gets two, and Angle bails. Ref is bumped (#2 on the match), allowing Angle to get a lowblow and Angle Slam. Steph bounces out for the near-fall, but HHH blocks the Anglelock and she’s bumped again (#3). HHH DDTs Angle, no ref. Tim White gets revived and bumped again (#4) so Angle grabs a chair. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE, so Tim White comes to, counts two, and he’s out again (#5!!!!) HHH goes after Stephanie like a moron, KICK WHAM CHAIRSHOT from Angle (okay, I made up the KICK and the WHAM but the last bit was accurate) and the Angle Slam finishes at 14:40. Silly me, I thought the point of doing a biased ref gimmick was to build up some suspense for a foregone conclusion and then have the babyface overcome the amazing odds to win in the end and thus not look like a huge fucking pussy. But hey, if HHH wants to be portrayed as a loser, more power to him. Someone’s gotta be the jobbers of the future. Match had nothing special between the 5 ref bumps and screwjob finish. **1/2

– Elsewhere, Rock atones for his shitty match by mocking the nWo and telling them where they can stick their camera. I would pay $30 with no complaints just to hear the Rock verbally abusing these goofs for two hours and then giving them all Rock Bottoms. “Hey, Big Daddy Cool Diesel…TOOT TOOT!” It’s funny because it’s TRUE.

– WWF title match: Chris Jericho v. Steve Austin. Dйtente to start. Jericho gets tossed and back in eats elbow. Austin starts chopping away and does the “what” spot with the turnbuckles to get the crowd going again. Suplexes set up more chops. Jericho comes back with a neckbreaker, and now HE starts chopping. What is this, a sidebet as to who can throw the most or something? Of course, Jericho has to throw 1.5 times more with the current exchange. He goes up, but gets caught and dumped. They brawl, more chops are exchanged. Back in, Austin works him in the corner, but misses a charge and bails. More chopping outside, as they brawl to the entranceway. Jericho eats trailer. Where’s Rey Mysterio when you need him? Back to ringside, more chopping. Jesus, we GET IT already. Back in, Jericho goes up and gets crotched. And superplexed. Twice. Okay, there’s just no call for that kind of excess. And a third one. Oh come on now, that’s just mean. Austin whips him from pillars to posts, but Jericho goes low. I think three superplexes to one shot to the nuts is a fair trade. He drops some elbows and chokes away. More chops. Okay, the point is made, they like chopping. Walls are reversed, so we go back to the chops because apparently every other transition move ever invented is in the shop today. Austin fights back with a stungun and elbow for two. Jericho dumps him and they brawl. Back in, more chops and an elbow for Jericho, but the Lionsault misses. We get another sleeper. Dang, Jethro, what’s up with the movesets tonight? You always know a match is dragging when they show the “Live!” graphic, cut to the crowd, and have JR recap the evening’s events. Austin comes back with a catapult, and a pair of clotheslines. Whiplash sets up a powerslam for two. Jericho comes back with a pair of Lionsaults for two, but the move is dead anyway. Back to the chops for a change, but he misses a charge. He gets a Boston Crab (which is supposed to be the Walls but Austin can’t sell that move properly due to his neck), but Austin makes the ropes. Jericho goes to Plan B and grabs his trusty belt, and wouldn’t you know, the ref is bumped. Austin spinebuster on the belt gets two. Stunner is countered to the Breakdown, for two. Cool spot. Ref is bumped again and Austin gets the Walls on Jericho, no ref. KICK WHAM STUNNER, no ref. And in the moment that surprised no one, the nWo comes out, gets beat up by Austin single-handedly, and then recovers as Hall gets a Six-Pack Stunner on Austin to give Jericho the cheap win at 21:33. Spraypaintage follows. Well, we’re already moving through 1996, so Ted Dibiase and Virgil should be joining shortly. I don’t mind when Jericho cheats outrageously of his own accord to retain the title, but having three guys beat up Austin to give him the win just demeans everyone. ***

The Bottom Line: Well, if you bought the PPV waiting for the big nWo payoff, HA HA. Better luck next time. The card certainly didn’t look like anything special going in, and it more than lived down to that expectation. Certainly having all the ref bumps and interference gay up the works in the “triple main event” didn’t help, either.

Obviously, the solution is going to be more McMahons. It always seems to be. “Booyah, brutha!”

Thumbs down, 4 life.


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Scott Keith

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