A2Z Analysiz: WWF No Way Out 2002 (Chris Jericho, Stone Cold Steve Austin)

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Bradley Center – Milwaukee, WI – February 17, 2002

Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash – the original New World Order, come out to start the show. Nash says that their reputation as company killing bastards is unwarranted. They just want a fair chance. Hall says that they’re just fans and want to hang out with the boys. Hogan gets a huge pop before he even speaks. He thanks Vince McMahon for giving them a chance, and has God bless McMahon, the fans, and America.

MATCH #1: Tag Team Turmoil

The winners of this mach get a World Tag Team Title shot at WrestleMania X8. First up is Scotty 2 Hotty & Albert versus Lance Storm & Christian. Hotty and Storm start the match. They start with some chain wrestling and Hotty quickly tags Albert, who press slams Storm and then delivers the Giant Swing to Christian. Storm and Christian double-team Albert to take him off his feet. That doesn’t last long as Albert clotheslines both Christian and Storm simultaneously before making the tag. Scotty dumps Storm to the floor and then superkicks Christian for two. The referee loses control. Albert and Storm crash to the floor and Hotty goes for the worm on Christian. Storm breaks it up and then Christian hits Hotty with the Unprettier to get the pin at 2:56.

The Hardy Boyz with Lita are up next. They charge the ring and quickly take both Storm and Christian out. Matt goes to the second rope for the legdrop but Storm knocks him down. Storm tags in and goes to work on Matt, hitting a dropkick for two. Matt comes back with a hotshot on Christian. Tags are made and Jeff is a house afire. Storm grabs him in the Half Crab and Matt breaks it up. Christian grabs Matt and Storm accidentally kicks his own partner. Matt then hits Storm with the Twist of Fate and Jeff follows with the Swanton Bomb for the pin at 6:12.

Next up is the Dudley Boyz, with Stacy Keibler. The referee has no control as everyone is brawling from the get-go. When the action slows the Dudleys are in control. D-Von hits Jeff with a powerslam for two. Bubba Ray tags in and goes to work on the leg. The Dudleys successfully isolate Jeff in their half of the ring. Jeff comes back and makes the hot tag. Matt hits Bubba with a DDT and hits D-Von with the legdrop off the second rope for two. The Hardys hit a Russian Legsweep/Side Effect combo on Bubba. They send D-Von to the floor. Matt goes for the Twist of Fate on Bubba. Stacy gets in the ring and Lita immediately follows to take her out. Bubba hits Matt with the Bubba Bomb but Lita then hits Bubba with the Litacanrana. Jeff follows Bubba to the floor with a ridiculous plancha. D-Von goes for the Saving Grace on Matt, but Matt slips out the backdoor and gets a schoolboy rollup for the pin at 10:52.

The Dudleys hit Jeff with a 3D on the floor just to be jerks. Billy & Chuck are the next team, and they take advantage and double-team Matt. It’s too much for the elder Hardy to overcome, as Chuck hits a Jungle Kick and Billy follows with the Fame-Ass-Er to get the pin at 12:21.

Finally the last team comes out and it’s the Acolyte Protection Agency, Faarooq and Bradshaw. The APA charges the ring and uses their power to take control. Billy and Chuck are able to cut off Faarooq and they isolate him. Faarooq comes back with a spinebuster on Billy. Bradshaw gets the hot tag and throws both of his opponents around. He hits Billy with the Clothesline from Hell for the win at 16:36. That was pretty fun up to the anticlimactic ending because both of those teams sucked, but the APA wouldn’t make it to WrestleMania without the Hardys and Dudleys getting into the title match anyway.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Rob Van Dam vs. Goldust

This was quite the thrown-together little feud. Goldust clotheslines RVD to the floor before the bell can even ring. Back inside RVD hits a spin kick and goes to work. RVD hits the cartwheel into a moonsault for two. Goldust takes a powder to regroup. He pulls RVD to the floor but that backfires as RVD throws him into the crowd. RVD hits the spinning legdrop on the guardrail. Goldust comes back and knocks RVD off the apron, and follows with an elbow off the second rope. Back in the ring Goldust hits a butt-butt for one. Goldust continues the abuse, keeping RVD off-balance with his unique offense. RVD comes back with a flurry including a backslide and a superkick. He hits a monkey flip and the superkick off the top rope for two. RVD follows with the Rolling Thunder. He tries the Five-Star Frog Splash but Goldust moves and connects with a DDT for two. Goldust tries the Curtain Call but RVD slips out and hits a spin kick for two. After some more back and forth RVD hits the step-over spin kick. RVD then goes up top and this time lands the Five-Star Frog Splash for the pin at 11:02. I though these two would not mesh at all but this was way better than I remember it being.
Rating: ***

MATCH #3: World Tag Team Championship Match – Spike Dudley & Tazz vs. Booker T & Test

Tazz and Spike have been the Champions since 1.7.02 and this is their sixth defense. Test and Booker attack right away, with Test stomping on Tazz in the ring. Tazz fires back with a clothesline and make the tag. Spike starts throwing dropkicks everywhere and traps Test in a sunset flip for two. Test cuts him off with a clothesline and makes the tag. Booker and Test isolate Spike and work him over in their half of the ring. Spike comes back and tries the Dudley Dog but gets shoved to the floor. Booker hits the Scissors Kick and then executes the Spinaroonie before covering. Thus he only gets two. Finally Spike is able to come back with a Tornado DDT and he makes the hot tag to Tazz, who hits a Northern Lights Suplex on Booker for two. Test grabs Tazz for Booker to hit him but that backfires. Spike hits Test with the Dudley Dog. Booker pulls Spike to the floor and tries to ram him into the post but Spike slips out and pushes Booker into the post. Meanwhile Tazz covers Test for two. Test tries to cover Tazz with his feet on the ropes but the referee spots him. While Test argues with the referee, Tazz grabs him in the Tazzmission and Test taps out at 7:16. That was a match more suited to TV. Tazz was obviously on his last legs as a wrestler by this point.
Rating: *½

MATCH #4: Intercontinental Championship Match – William Regal vs. Edge

Regal has been the Champion since 1.20.02, and this is his fourth defense. Edge attacks Regal on the floor and throws him into the ring to officially start the match. The challenger is on fire, looking to regain the title Regal took from him one month ago. They take it to the floor and Edge throws Regal into the crowd. Back in the ring Edge hits a dropkick off the second rope for two. Regal fights back and drops Edge’s midsection across the top rope. He uses an abdominal stretch but Edge escapes it and dumps Regal to the floor. Edge goes up for the brass knuckles and Regal pushes him all the way to the floor. Regal follows him out and hits a Tiger Bomb. Back in the ring Regal puts on the Regal Stretch and Edge grabs the bottom rope to break it. Regal hits another Tiger Bomb for a two-count. He goes up for the brass knuckles but Edge shoves him down and Regal falls crotch-first. Edge goes for the knuckles now but Regal pulls him down to the apron. Regal goes for a powerbomb off the apron and Edge tries to reverse to a rana but both guys just awkwardly fall to the floor. They fight back up around the knuckles and Regal is able to pull them down. Unfortunately for Regal, Edge is able to grab him in a belly-to-back suplex and the knuckles go flying. Edge goes for the knuckles and Regal kicks them to the floor. Instead Edge hits the Edge-o-Matic for two. Edge follows up with a Spear. Instead of going for a cover he goes for the knuckles and gets them. Before he can hit Regal with them Regal hits Edge in the gut and hits him with a second pair of knuckles he had hidden in his tights to get the win at 10:26. The Regal using brass knuckles gimmick was done to death, and these two had an endless series of matches despite having no real chemistry together.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: The Rock vs. Undertaker

Rock sprints to the ring and the fight is on. Undertaker cuts him off with a big boot for a two-count. It takes less than a minute or JR to call Undertaker “Booger Red.” Rock fires back with punches. He sort of hits a swinging neckbreaker. They get up and Undertaker fights back with punches and a sidewalk slam. He continues the abuse, slowly. Rock comes back and clotheslines Undertaker to the floor. He follows him out and clears off the Spanish Announce Table but Undertaker cuts him off. Undertaker drops Rock crotch-first on the guardrail. They take the fight out into the crowd, making the third match of the night to do so. Back at ringside Undertaker continues working Rock over. In the ring Undertaker uses a chinlock. Rock fights out with punches but Undertaker cuts him right off with a DDT for two. Undertaker uses a bearhug now. Rock fights out with more punches and a big clothesline. They trade more punches and Rock hits a DDT. Rock hits a spinebuster. He goes for the People’s Elbow but Undertaker pops up and tries a Chokeslam, which Rock breaks with a low blow. Undertaker perseveres and hits the Chokeslam on his next attempt and gets a two-count. He argues with the referee about the count and then goes outside to sit on his motorcycle. When the referee is like “what’s up?” Undertaker throws him into the stairs. Undertaker then grabs a lead pipe from his motorcycle and Ric Flair comes running out to stop him from using it but he gets punked out. Back in the ring Rock avoids the lead pipe and puts Undertaker in the Sharpshooter. Now Mr. McMahon runs out and argues with the referee. Rock pulls him into the ring and unleashes the fury on him. The referee gets distracted and Undertaker blasts Rock with the pipe. Undertaker goes for the Tombstone but Flair comes in and hits Undertaker with the pipe. Rock then hits the Rock Bottom for the pin at 17:25. Most of the match was punches and rest holds with the occasional bursts of energy. Undertaker was pretty bad at this point in time.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: Triple H vs. Kurt Angle; Special Referee – Stephanie McMahon

Angle gets a couple of quick rollups to start as HHH is distracted by the referee, who is blatantly cheering him on. HHH comes back with the choke takedown and stomps away in the corner. He continues slugging away and then Angle cuts him off with a suplex. Angle goes for a clothesline but HHH moves out of the way and he hits Stephanie instead! Stephanie took a pretty impressive bump all the way to the floor there. Meanwhile the match is still going on and HHH clotheslines Angle to the floor. Angle gets back in the ring and HHH hits a swinging neckbreaker. Tim White has assumed officiating duties and he counts two. HHH hits mounted punches in the corner. Angle comes back with three rolling German Suplexes. He stomps HHH down in the corner and out of the ring. Back inside Angle hits a back elbow for two. Angle follows with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Another one gets two again. HHH tries to come back but Angle cuts him off with a sleeper. Angle continues the abuse with mounted punches in the corner but HHH powerbombs his way out of that. Both men get back to their feet and HHH fires off some punches. HHH follows with the Harley Race High Knee. He follows with the Arn Anderson Spinebuster for two. He hits the facebuster for two and Angle retreats to the floor. Back in the ring Angle blatantly takes the referee out so he can hit a low blow. Stephanie runs back out to resume her duties but she can only count two, repeatedly. Angle pulls the straps down and locks on the Ankle Lock but HHH kicks out of it and takes Stephanie out in the process! HHH hits a DDT but there’s no referee to count. He tries to wake up Tim White but Angle takes him out again. Angle hits a release German Suplex and then goes outside to grab a chair. HHH ducks and hits the Pedigree, bur when White counts Stephanie drops an elbow on him and then kicks him square in the nuts. When HHH tries to hit his ex-wife with the Pedigree Angle hits him with the steel chair. Angle hits the Angle Slam and Stephanie makes the three-count, sending Angle to the main event of WrestleMania at 14:40. HHH had a rough time after he got back from his injury, and for whatever reason he and Angle never had great matches.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: WWF Championship Match – Chris Jericho vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Jericho has been the Champion since 12.9.01, and this is his seventh defense. They start slugging at each other and Austin gets the better of it so Jericho runs to the floor. Back in the ring Austin continues the beating. They trade chops with each other back and forth. Austin clotheslines Jericho to the floor and follows him out. The challenger appears to be having a good time as he chops away at Jericho and throws him into the ring post and the steel steps. Back in the ring Austin charges but Jericho sidesteps him and Austin strikes the ring post. The fight spills to the floor and Austin throws Jericho into the equipment trucks. Jericho fights back and they make it back to the ring. He goes up top and Austin knocks him down. Austin hits three straight superplexes but only gets a two-count. He continues working Jericho over, but the Undisputed Champion repositions the referee in order to hit a low blow and take control. It doesn’t last too long before Austin hits a Stun Gun and an elbow drop for two. Jericho throws Austin to the floor and throws him into the barricade and then slams his head off the announce table. Back in the ring Jericho misses a Lionsault but is able to lock on a Sleeper. Austin fights his way out of it and tries for a Walls of Jericho but settles on a catapult. He tries a Stunner but Jericho pushes off, so Austin hits a hard spinebuster instead. Jericho reverses an Irish Whip and hits the bulldog. He follows up with two Lionsaults for a two-count. Jericho charges into the corner but Austin avoids him and Jericho hits the ring post. Austin tries a Thesz Press but Jericho catches him and locks on the Walls of Jericho, but Austin is able to reach the ropes. Jericho goes to the floor and grabs the WWE Championship belt. When the referee tries to stop him from using it he gets bumped. Austin is able to hit his spinebuster on top of the title belt for a two-count. He goes for a Stunner but Jericho counters to the Breakdown on the title belt for a near-fall. Jericho goes for the bulldog but the referee gets bumped again. Austin locks on the Walls of Jericho and Jericho taps out but there is no referee. He releases the hold and hits the Stunner and the New World Order runs out. Hogan, Hall, and Nash beat Austin down and Hall hits a terrible Stunner. Jericho crawls over to get the pin at 21:33. Like Angle and Triple H, Austin and Jericho never had great singles matches together. This one was fine but lacked a spark, likely a result of Jericho being a lame duck Champion and the focus being on the nWo.
Rating: ***

Hogan, Hall, and Nash continue the beating after the bell and spray paint Austin’s back with their signature letters.

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