Hey, yo! For good or for bad, the nWo is finally back. Ringleader Hollywood Hogan and Outsiders Scott Hall and Kevin Nash returned to the World Wrestling Federation at last night’s No Way Out pay-per-view but didn’t quite make the impact you thought they would have given all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the trio in recent weeks. At each and every turn the trio was mocked though their interference led to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin losing the WWF World Heavyweight Title match to champion Chris Jericho in a humdrum main event which closed out an otherwise potent broadcast from the WWF. In predictable fashion, the nWo then beat on Austin after Jericho was awarded the win and spraypainted their logo on his back.
You’d almost think that the WWF was downplaying the nWo’s entry into the WWF based on what little trouble caused and airtime they were given at No Way Out. The interesting thing is that their real-life reputations for being egomaniacs, the rumoured concern within the WWF locker room that the nWo will steal spots away from other talent and the fact that it was people like them who helped ruin the now defunct World Championship Wrestling has been worked into the angle. The nWo kicked off No Way Out with an in-ring promo playing the humble we-just-want-another-chance, down-on-their-luck types.
“Now some people actually have used profanity and have said that the nWo are a bunch of company killing bastards. Speaking for myself and my two friends here, let me tell you something…that hurts our feelings,” said Kevin Nash wiping away an imaginary tear. “I mean what is it we’ve done? What awful thing did we do? I mean, all we want is a fair chance. A clean slate. We want the ability to come out and prove to you great fans not only can we do it but nobody does it quite like us.”
Scott Hall took the stick next beginning with his trademark…’Hey, Yo!’ which gained much applause. “We’re not the bad guys. Heck, we’re a bunch of marks. We’re fans. We just want the opportunity to work with some of the the boys,” said Scott Hall making light of his past personal problems while Kevin Nash waved that notion off. “The point is we don’t want any trouble because deep down we’re just like all of you,” he concluded.
As he took the mike, Hollywood Hogan got a chorus of thundering boos and cheers from the fans. Even a faint chant of “Hogan! Hogan!” could be heard.
“You know, Scott and Kevin, I couldn’t agree with you more. We are just like all of you out there. I mean, we might be a little richer and a little more famous but we are not here to kill the WWF. We are here to make it better,” said Hogan. “All we want to do is give the WWF fans exactly what they want and all we want from you is a chance but it is up to all of you out there and all the boys in the back if we get our chance. That remains to be seen but I can tell you one thing right now…in all sincerity there is one man who gave the nWo a chance and that was Vince McMahon,” concluded Hogan praising the WWF owner.
Later on in the show, the nWo made their targets known. They offered Steve Austin a six-pack of beer…which he refused to accept and approached The Rock for a photograph saying it was for Hogan’s son. A patient Rock stood beside Hogan for a snapshot. When Hogan made a rude comment about him while walking away, The Rock mocked their catch-phrases and told them where they could shove the camera.
As stated above, the only real devastation the nWo brought to bear was on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin during the closing moments of the main event. Featuring more chops than any match in the history of pro-wrestling, Austin and Jericho was an okay tussle acting as more proof that it is very unlikely that Canada’s Chris Jericho will headline WrestleMania unless the World Heavyweight Title match is downgraded in some manner or Jericho becomes a face in the four weeks leading up to the Big Show in Toronto.
After recovering from a spinebuster on the WWF World Heavyweight Title belt, Jericho reversed a Stunner from Austin and gave him a facebuster on it for a two count. Austin ducked a clothesline causing Jericho to hit the official instead. Austin put Jericho into his own finishing move — The Walls Of Jericho — and Jericho tapped out. There was no ref however to make the call. As Jericho took a swing with the belt trying to put a dent in it with Austin’s head, “Stone Cold” kicked him in the gut and Stunned him.
The nWo then invaded the ring beating Austin down. Scott Hall even dropped Austin with a Stunner of his own. Jericho stole the three count leaving the ring still the WWF World Heavyweight Champion. The nWo returned to stomp Austin.
The other half of the WrestleMania equation also brought about more questions than answers when all was said and done. With his soon-to-be “ex-wife” Stephanie McMahon as the guest referee in his match against Kurt Angle, the odds were stacked against Triple H as he fought to hold onto his WWF World Heavyweight Title shot at WrestleMania. Stephanie was taken out two minutes into the match when Triple H avoided a clothesline and Angle hit her. Stephanie fell over the top rope landing on the floor. As Triple H smiled and waved farewell, Steph was carried to the back by a group of WWF referees.
Stephanie would return about eight to ten minutes later only to be KO’ed once again. Triple H powered his way out of Angle’s Ankle Lock sending the Olympic champ into poor Steph. Triple H dodged a chair-shot from Angle driving him down with his Pedigree. Referee Tim White was about to slap a three count but Steph unloaded with a flying elbow drop on him. Ready to Pedigree Stephanie for her interference, Triple H had his back turned to Angle. Angle hit Triple H with a chair-shot across the back and head to score the pinfall. Following the match, Kurt Angle drove away in his car saying to a WWF crew member “If anyone asks where I am going say to them I am going to WrestleMania.” You sure are Kurt though we sincerely doubt you’ll hang onto that WWF World Heavyweight Title slot before you get there.
The next WWF pay-per-view is WrestleMania on March 17th.
WWF No Way Out 2002 Results
- The nWo cuts a thirteen minute promo.
Scotty Too Hotty – Albert versus Christian – Storm versus The Hardy Boys versus The Dudley Boys versus Billy – Chuck versus The APA (Tag Team Turmoil Match)
- The winner gets a shot at the tag team champs at WrestleMania. Christian lands a Twist Of Fate on Scotty to boot them. Storm and Christian are eliminated by the Hardys when Matt hits a Twist Of Fate and Jeff lands a Swanton Bomb on Storm. The Dudleys are kicked when Matt rolls D’Von up. Before they leave, The Dudleys give Jeff Hardy a 3-D on the concrete floor. This sets-up a win by Billy and Chuck over Matt Hardy when Billy executes the Fameasser on Matt. The APA notch the win as Bradshaw levels Billy with a Clothesline From Hell. Great action and fantastic pacing.
- Winners: The APA at 16 minutes and 39 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
- Ric Flair cuts a promo on the nWo saying that they disrupted everything when they arrived earlier in the day. He says the talent will teach them respect. That brings out a glowering Undertaker who says he has got his eye on Flair.
Goldust versus Rob Van Dam
- A kinda stagnant bout with fits and starts. Goldust and RVD’s styles really don’t mach too well though Dustin pulled some unique moves out of his bag of tricks. One had him sit RVD on the top rope then scoot outside so he could bend RVD backwards so the steel ring post was in his back. Coolness. RVD eventually wins with the Five Star Frog Splash though J.R. tells us that this feud is far from over.
- Winner: RVD at 11 minutes and 8 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- The nWo offers Austin a six-pack. He says he ain’t thirsty and throws it on the floor and stomps away.
Tazz and Spike (champions) versus Booker T., Test (WWF World Tag Team Title Match)
- Basically, Booker and Test annihilate Spike so he can hot tag Tazz in. Test pushes the ref. The ref pushes Test right into a Tazzmission. Test taps out.
- Winners: …and still WWF World Tag Team Champions…Spike and Tazz at 7 minutes and 19 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- In an interview, The Rock says that the Undertaker is going to learn what it is really like to be disrespected by The Rock. Today, Taker is truly a dead man walking.
Edge (challenger) versus William Regal (champion) (WWF Intercontinental Title – Brass Knuckles On A Pole Match)
- After being powerbombed on the floor, Edge comes up bleeding from his mouth. The announcers sell it as an “internal injury”. When Regal tries to powerbomb off the ring apron, he loses his footing and both tumble to the floor. Regal retrieves the brass knuckles at 8 minutes and 55 seconds. Edge catches him right away with a backsuplex to the canvass. The brass knuckles fall out of Regal’s hands and slide across the ring. The race is on as Edge and Regal crawl to the knuckles. Regal is able to kick them out of the ring. Edge goes out and grabs them. He is about to punch Regal in the head with them but Regal pulls another set out from his trunks. Edge takes a haymaker to the gut and head. Regal pins Edge so he can win the belt at WrestleMania in a cage match or something.
- Winner: …and still WWF Intercontinental Champion…William Regal at 10 minutes and 22 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Kurt Angle says in an interview that he doesn’t need Stephanie to win against Triple H. He is the better man. Tonight, Angle is gonna be Triple H’s daddy.
The Rock versus The Undertaker
- A wicked and wild brawl with some good old fashioned wrestling thrown in for good measure. At 15:02, the Undertaker grabs the lead pipe from his motorcycle parked at ringside. Ric Flair comes running out attacking Taker. Taker knocks Flair to the ground with a kick to the face. The Rock avoids getting clobbered with the pipe Spinebusting Taker and then wrapping him in the Sharpshooter. Vince McMahon arrives. The Rock pulls McMahon into the ring and starts beating on him. The Rock turns around. Taker latches onto his throat for a Chokeslam. Flair belts Taker in the head with the steel pipe. A Rock Bottom puts Taker away.
- Winner: The Rock at 17 minutes and 28 seconds .
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
Triple H Vs Kurt Angle (Number One Contender’s Match)
- Winner: Kurt Angle at 14 minutes and 42 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
Steve Austin (challenger) Vs Chris Jericho (champion) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion…Chris Jericho at 21 minutes and 35 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 8 / 10.