Written by: Adam King
Thursday, February 22nd, 2001
Taped (2/20) from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, MO
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Kurt Angle (10/22/2000)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho (1/21/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (1/21/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Test (1/22/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Raven (2/18/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcoming us and reminding us we’re just 72 hours away from No Way Out. However Cole feels that things could possibly explode tonight because The Rock teams with The Undertaker and Kane to take on Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian. Plus Jim Ross conducts a special in-ring interview with both Triple H and Steve Austin ahead of their big showdown.
~ Things kick off with Kurt Angle making his way to the ring to do the hard sell for his big WWF Title defense Sunday. Angle gets on the mic and says he’s taking a page from Edge & Christian and pose with his WWF Championship belt then asks the fans if they’re taking pictures thinking that’s the last time he’ll stand in the ring as WWF Champion. Angle says that picture won’t be a collector’s item and the fans will have to earn money mowing lawns and selling blood. Angle scoffs at The Rock’s so-called countdown, saying he’s beating the odds and keeping his title at the pay-per-view. Angle mentions the new WWF Music Vol. 5 CD which was released this week which has Rock’s mug on the cover and mentions how Rock has a song on the disc called “Pie”. Angle decides to play a snippet of it for the fans and we get clips of Rock’s recording session on the OvalTron with Angle asking what the “freaking heck” was that. Angle asks the fans if they enjoyed that song and if Rock is really the guy they want as the next WWF Champion. Once the fans respond Angle says that’s what he’d expect from a town that worships a cheater like George Brett. Angle calls the song a disgrace just like the man who recorded it and it’s not about baking pans and flour like we think. Angle then offers to play a real song, one he feels can be played as weddings and bar mitzvahs and is his greatest hit then proceeds to show some highlights of him beating Rock up set to his theme music. Angle feels that it’s good music and shows the video again before saying he’s done talking and now wants to let his actions speak for themselves. Angle says Rock can sing about pie all he wants but after tonight and after Sunday Rock will be signing a different tune. Angle even decides to borrow Rock’s “If ya smell..” bit as he finally wraps up the opening 10 minutes.
~ We then get a shot of Steve Austin arriving at the building. Maybe it’ll actually mean something as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find a limo pulling into some sort of building (not the arena) with some horses in the background.
~ Elsewhere Steve Austin is making coffee as clips are shown of him taking Stephanie out with the Stunner on Monday. We then cut to the Helmsleys’ dressing room and find Triple H and Stephanie both reacting to the replay we just saw. Triple H promises to make Austin pay for what he did but Stephanie pleads with him not to lay a hand on Austin now. Triple H tries to restrain himself as he tells her he doesn’t know what will happen during their face-to-face interview but if he does get himself suspended for six months then he’ll at least take Austin out for good.
- Jeff Hardy (w/Lita) vs. Rikishi
Both men lockup to start and Rikishi throws Jeff into a corner then Jeff fights back but gets shoved down. Rikishi hits a thrust shot to Jeff’s throat then whips him and Jeff attempts a Sunset Flip but can’t get him over. Rikishi goes for the sit-down splash but misses it and Jeff hits a dropkick followed by a somersault legdrop. Rikishi powers out of the pin so Jeff climbs to the top rope and leaps off but Rikishi catches him in a bear hug. Jeff tries to fight out of it but Rikishi hits him with a belly-to-belly suplex then stomps him down in a corner. Rikishi whips Jeff who tries to fight back but runs into a right hand and Rikishi follows it up with a headbutt. Rikishi trash-talks Jeff before hitting another headbutt then whips him into a corner and Jeff runs up the buckles then goes for this Whisper in the Wind but ends up missing it. Rikishi plants Jeff with a Samoan Drop and squashes him with the running butt splash in a corner then hits a superkick and the massive legdrop. Rikishi drags Jeff into a corner then climbs the ropes and hits the Banzai Drop and this one is emphatically over. (3:50) No, I don’t understand the reason behind this squash. DUD
Rikishi starts to leave but then stops and sees Lita coming in to check on Jeff Lita slides back out as Rikishi walks over to Jeff looking for another Banzai Drop. Lita climbs the buckles on the other side when Rikishi suddenly shakes the ropes causing Lita to tumble into a corner then gives her the stinkface. Matt Hardy finally runs out and manages to clear Rikishi from the ring but the damage has already been done. I think all that resulted from this was a match on the pay-per-view preshow that Rikishi won by DQ.
~ We then check in on the mystery limo as Cole informs us it’s in the building’s annex where a farm show is being held. Of course now the question is who’s in the limo? Maybe we’ll find out later in the show as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find William Regal complementing Trish Stratus’ outfit with Trish looking less than thrilled at him. Kurt Angle then walks up to them and tells Trish how it’s been great having her in his corner over the past few weeks but he doesn’t want to give Rock any excuse for losing on Sunday so he feels they should part ways. Regal feels that’s splendid since Trish can now accompany him permanently but Trish doesn’t seem as excited as him. Regal then asks Trish to be in his corner in his match with Test but Trish tells him that she has “other committments” and excuses herself from the scene. Angle tells Regal she really likes him with Regal agreeing.
~ Cole and Lawler wonder about those “other committments” as they hype Sunday’s three-way tag team title match by showing clips from Raw of Edge & Christian’s successful “Plan B” involving Undertaker, Kane and the Dudleys.
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews the Dudleys for their thoughs on their two opposing teams at the pay-per-view. Bubba Ray says Vince announced the three-way match last week and earlier tonight decided to make it a tables match before wondering how the other two tag teams made Vince mad enough to get put in a table match against the Dudleys. Bubba says E&C are five-time champions but this wouldn’t be the first time the “chair-swinging” freaks tasted tables. Bubba then says how Undertaker has often stood the ring and called it his yard but the Dudleys have just moved in. Bubba warns the other teams to bring all their chips to the table because they’re only playing one hand in Las Vegas and in the end it’ll be the Dudleys who take all. D’Von caps it off with “Testify”.
~ Elsewhere Johnathan Coachman interviews Jim Ross on being forced to moderate the Triple H/Steve Austin interview. JR points out that this was Vince’s idea and mentions how everybody is eager to see this issue settled in three days but fears that things could possibly explode in the ring once Austin and Triple H look each other in the eye. JR says if those two tear into each other with the zero tollerance rule in effect then Sunday’s main event is dead.
~ We then find Trish meeting with the mystery limo in the annex as she opens the door and talks to someone inside. Trish says she’s been waiting for this all night then climbs into the limo and closes the door as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we check in on the mystery limo and find the windows are now fogged over. Okay then.
- Hardcore Chaos #1 Contender’s Match
Cole explains the first man to score the pinfall will face Raven for the Hardcore Title at the pay-per-view. Raven comes out with his shopping cart of plunder and joins the announcers to provide some guest commenatry. Crash Holly is out first followed by Perry Saturn but Crash meets him on the ramp and nails him with his sign. Both men roll in the ring when Saturn whips Crash and hits a swinging fishermanbuster bridge for a two count. Steve Blackman comes out next and exchanges punches with Saturn then works him over with a trash can lid. K-Kwik comes in and goes after Crash and Blackmn is still attacking Saturn while Hardcore Holly joins the fray. Finally The Big Show joins the action since he’s had two incomplete matches with Raven over the past week. In the ring Hardcore nails Saturn with an electric chair while Balckman grabs a kendo sitck and nails Saturn. Crash climbs to the top rope and dives out onto Show but Show catches him and drops him onto the barricade. Show then turns toward the ring where Blackman nails him with a trash can and Hardcore adds in a tash lid shot. However Show just pulls both guys out to the floor and clotheslines them down then starts to climb in the ring. K-Kwik crotches Show on the ropes as he comes in then grabs a trash can but Show punches it into his face. Blackman hammers Show’s knee with nunchucks to bring him down while Hardcore wails on him with trash lids. Hardcore turns and cracks Blackman with a lid but that allows Show to come back and clothesline Hardcore. Show blocks a lid shot from Saturn and knocks him aside with a right then nails Blackman with a crescent kick. Show press slams Saturn over the ropes while K-Kwik tosses Blackman out then hammers Show with a lid. However that works as much as you’d expect and Show nails K-Kwik with the chokeslam and gets the three. (2:53) Pretty much what you’d expect. DUD
Raven immediately rushes the ring with a stop sign but Show kicks him down then lays him out with the Final Cut. Show then leaves Raven laying, even though he could have pinned him for the title right there with the 24/7 rule.
~ Jim Ross is shown making his way to the ring which must mean that big in-ring interview is coming up next. Elsewhere Triple H starts to head out when Stephanie again pleads with her husband not to lay a hand on Steve Austin. Stephanie reminds Triple H that the match is only a few days away and wants him to promise not to do anything stupid. Triple H responds by telling Stephanie that he can’t promise anything when it comes to Austin then heads out the door.
~ Back form break Jim Ross makes his way to the ring and gets on the mic saying how great its is to be in Kansas City and how everyone is looking forward to the epic battle on Sunday between two of the best in the business. JR reminds us of each fall as well as how Triple H wants to break Steve Austin’s spirit before breaking his bones and he has the unenviable task of interviewing both men. JR first wants to remind us of how this feud got here and we then get highlights of the Ausitn/Triple H issue from the hit-and-run at Survivor Series ’99 all the way to Raw. Once that’s done JR proceeds to being them out starting with Austin … but it’s Triple H making his way out instead. Triple H takes the mic from JR and agrees with what he said an epic match with filled more hatred than anything else and Austin will learn to fear him and respect him because he demands it. Triple H then says the fans may be expecting him to blow his shot by beating Austin down once he climbs in the ring but that’s not going to happen because he’s smarter than that and will wait until Sunday to get the job done. Triple H then points out how Austin felt the need to up the ante by putting his hands on Stephanie last Monday night and that did throw gas on the fire but it won’t make him lose his cool and get suspended for six months. Triple H says what it did was give him and answer …then he attacks Jim Ross and lays him out with the Pedigree! Austin runs out to the ring but Triple H just calmly walks away since Austin can’t touch him for three more days.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Triple H taking Jim Ross out in retaliation for Stephanie’s Stunner.
~ Cole and Lalwer then announce a four-way match for the Intercontinential Title has just been signed for Sunday which will see Chris Jericho defending the belt against Chris Benoit, X-Pac and Eddie Guerrero. Interesting.
- Chris Jericho & X-Pac vs. Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero
And apparently because of that match we get this one to hype it with two heels taking on a heel/face combo. Jericho and X-Pac enter separately aruge on who starts for them while Benoit and Eddie come out together. Eventualy it’s Jericho who’s starting against Benoit and the two lockup before Benoit gets in the first shots. Benoit goes for a whip but Jericho reverses it and hits an elbow then whips him into a corner and hits a chop. Benoit gets in his own chops then whips Jericho into a corner but Jericho drop toeholds him into the turnbuckle. Jericho slams Benoit then looks for a tag but X-Pac refuses it so Jericho brings his partner in the hard way. X-Pac shoves Jericho but Jericho decks him then heads out while Benoit stomps X-Pac down in a corner. X-Pac comes back with the spinkick then taunts Eddie to draw him in while working Benoit over with elbows. X-Pac whips Benoit into a corner and charges at him but Benoit sidesteps it and X-Pac straddles the buckle. Eddie tags in and connects with a dropkick then peppers X-Pac with shots before whipping him into a corner. Eddie charges but X-Pac tosses him over his head and onto the buckles then kicks him down in the corner. X-Pac readies for the Bronco Buster when Jericho tags himself in then whips Eddie and drops him to the mat. Jericho hits a double underhook into a backbreaker for a two count then hits some chops and goes for a whip. Eddie reverses it and Benoit trips Jericho from the floor allowing Eddie to connect with a dropkick to the head. Jericho rolls out to the floor but Benoit rams him into the barricade before tossing him back in the ring. Eddie gets a headlock and Jericho tries to inch toward his corner for a tag but X-Pac just hops off the apron. X-Pac then tries to come in and distracts the referee while Eddie and Benoit double-team Jericho in a corner. Eddie sets Jericho on the top rope then goes up for a huricanrana but slips off after Jericho grabs the ropes. Jericho nails Eddie with a missle dropkick but Edide is able to tag in Benoit who comes in with an elbwodrop. Benoit whips Jericho who hits a flying forearm and the two exchange shots before Benoit goes for a whip. Jericho comes back with a clothesline then gets in a shot on Eddie and hits Benoit with another clothesline. Jeircho decks X-Pac off the apron then whips Benoit and hits a hiptoss and follows it up with the bulldog. Jericho goes for the Lionsault but X-Pac kicks his face then Benoit slaps on the Crossface and Jericho taps.(5:05) At least we get one match with some decent action, even if it didn’t mean much in the long run. **
X-Pac and Eddie then start exchaning shots when Justin Credible comes in and nails Eddie below the belt. X-Pac finishes Eddie off with the X-Factor then he and Credible turn and nail Benoit with a double superkick. So out of all four participants in Sunday’s match it’s X-Pac who’s left standing. Anyone really surprised?
~ Ivory and The Kat are both shown heading to the ring for a Women’s title match as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find Kurt Angle watching Edge & Christian complaing about facing Undertaker and Kane again. Edge says he’s not taking the Last Ride again while Christian whines that Kane is already back up after a ConChairto. Christian then brings up them having to be in a table match at the pay-per-view when Angle finally decides to step in and ask E&C where are the cocky five-time champs he knows? Angle reminds his pals how they outsmated Taker and Kane and feels they’ll be fine tonight. Angle then tells E&C that after they win the belts on Sunday Team ECK will rule this company once again.
- WWF Women’s Title: Ivory © vs. The Kat
Is there anybody out there not expecting a run-in here? Kat takes Ivory down to start and rams her into the mat repeatedly then hits a suplex and kicks her in the ribs. Kat follows up with a moneky flip in a corner then goes for another one but Ivory grabs the ropes to prevent it. Ivory gets in her shots and throws Kat by the hair then scoops her up and spanks her before slamming her. Ivory has some words for Lawler then scoops Kat on her shoulders and hits something like a Falcon Arrow. Ivory then gets in another shouting match with Lawler but that allows Kat to sneak up and rip off Ivory’s shirt. However the RTC siren blares again and Kat looks out to see Bull Buchanan, Goodfather and Val Venis coming. Ivory chokes Kat with her shirt while Lawler senses that Kat is in trouble and decides to head out to save her. Lawler grabs a chair when he’s suddenly superkicked by a security guy that reveals himself as Steven Richards. Richards tosses Lawler in the ring and RTC commence with a 4-on-1 beatdown while Kat is forced to watch. The RTC whip Lawler into a corner and Goodfather hits the Ho Train then Buchanan nails him with an axe kick. Val climbs to the top rope and hits the Moneyshot on Lawler and Richards caps off with a DDT onto the chair. (~3:08) The RTC gives Lawler some parting words while Ivory makes sure Kat gets a good look at her fallen hero. And of course nobody knew at the time that would be Kat’s final WWF match. NR
~ Back from break we get a replay of the RTC interupting the Women’s title match and giving Lawler a beatdown. We also get footage of Lawler getting helped to the back by some officials during the break. I believe this is the time time both Raw announcers got taken out in one night.
~ Out in the arena Tazz makes his way out and is apparenlty going to replace Lawler at the commentary table. Folks, you might want to start getting used to seeing Cole and Tazz calling the action on Smackdown. Just sayin’.
- WWF European Title: Test © vs. William Regal
Funny how Regal dropped the title to Test last month because of an injury only for Test to disappear for reasons unknown. So here we have Regal’s rematch and we’re thinking he’s getting the belt back, right? Anyway Regal attacks Test from behind and gets in the first shots then goes for a whip but Test hits a clothesline and gets in his offense. Test whips Regal and hits a backdrop foillowed by a Blue Thunderbomb for a two count. Test stomps away at Regal and whips him into a corner but Regal rams him shoulder-first into the ringpost then peppers him with left hands. Hwoever we see Al Snow coming out to continue his campaign for Commissioner as well as try to wake up the crowd who seem bored by this title match. Snow tosses buttons into the crowd while we see Regal draping Test on the apron and clubbing him in the chest. Regal doesn’t seem thrilled to have Snow out during his match as he hits Test with a suplex that gets a two count. Regal then applies a chinlock but apparenlty the camera thinks we’rather see Snow handing out buttions instead. Back in the ring Regal whips Test and hits an elbow but Test starts fighting back and hits a pair of clotheslines. Test whips Regal into a corner and charges then eats an elbow but comes back with a sidewalk slam for a two. Test goes for a boot but Regal sidesteps and Test crotches himself on the top rope allowing Regal to fight back. Regal ties Test in the ropes and hammers away on him with forearms until the referee orders him to back off. The referee tries to free Test from the ropes while Regal has had enough of Snow and grabs him by the hair. However Snow pulls Head out and clocks Regal and Test follows up with a big boot for the pin to retain. (3:42) I imagine some were surprised Test was keeping the belt instead of jobbing it back to Regal. Snow’s antics took away from the match yet were also the only interesting part. DUD
~ Backstage we find Stephanie watching the mystery limo on a montior getting and digusted by what she’s seeing so she decides to show Trish who daddy’s little girl really is and heads out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a shot of the Kansas City skyline as Cole and Tazz remind us of our big main event. However the Dudleys suddenly make their way out with a table in hand for some reason and set it next to the ring. Bubba then spraypaints the words ‘NO WAY OUT’ on the table as Tazz feels it’s a punk card to their opponents.
~ We then cut over to the annex where Stephanie walks up to the mystery limo and finds the doors locked. Stephanie calls Trish out to face her when Trish jumps Stephanie from behind and rams her into the limo’s hood. Stephanie is down on the concrete floor as Trish gloats about setting her up before throwing her into a pile of hay. Trish then rams Stephanie’s face into horse manure and purs a bucket of brown liquid over her for good measure. Trish finally gives Stephanie some parting words and heads off leaving Stephanie gagging and crying in the hay.
~ The various main event participants are heading to the ring which means that match is next as we go to commercial.
- The Rock, The Undertaker & Kane vs. Kurt Angle, Edge & Chrsitian – No-Disqualification Match
Team ECK are out first and E&C acknowledge the Dudley’s table still at rigside with their message to them. Edge is ready to start for his team but when he sees it’s against Taker he tags Christian and flees from the ring. Christian climbs in, then decides he doesn’t want any of Taker either so he tags Angle and bails out as well. Taker settles this by bringing Angle in the ring and pounding away at him. Taker whips Angle but lowers the head and Angle kicks the face but Taker no-sells it. So Angle comes off the ropes but runs into a sidewak slam for a two. Rock asks for a tag when Angle cuts it off but Taker just shrugs off his blows and continues his assault. Taker whips Angle into a corner and clotheslines him then scoops him up for a powerslam but Angle slips out. Christian comes in but Taker catches him with a boot then nails Angle with a boot but misses an elbowdrop. Edge tags in and climbs to the top rope then leaps off but Taker catches him and hits a double chokebomb. Taker grabs Edge’s arm then walks the top rope and clubs him in the back before tagging Kane to take over. Kane whips Edge and nails him with a boot then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane decks Angle but Christian snaps Kane’s neck on the ropes then tags in and helps Edge with a double-team. E&C go for a double suplex but Kane counters it and suplexes both guys then hits Christian with a press slam. Rock finally gets the tags and wails away on Christian then whips him and hits an overhead belly-to-belly throw. Rock pops Edge then dares Angle to bring it and Angle is hesitant when Christian tries to blindside Rock. However Rock catches Christian and looks for a Rock Bottom but Angle saves him then hits Rock with a suplex.
Angle gets the legal tag (despite this being no-DQ) and stomps away at Rock then unloads on him with rights. Edge tags back in and hits Rock with a backbreaker that gets a two count when Rock starts to fight back again. Rock whips Edge but Edge comes back with a spinning heelkick for a near fall then tags Christian in to take over. Rock again rallies but Angle nails Rock from behind to stop that and Christian nails Rock with the Slop Drop. Christian covers Rock but Taker saves it so Edge tags in and dares Rock to fight back which he indeed does. Edge regains the advantage with a knee but Rock comes back with a Samoan Drop and both men are down. Edge makes the tag to Angle but Rock comes back and works him over in a corner then hits the Smackdown. Rock decks Christian then drills Angle with a DDT and covers but Christian recovers enough to make the save. Taker comes in and chokeslams Christian while Kane tosses Edge through the ropes then goes out after him. Rock and Angle are also duking it out on the floor while Kane and Taker take turns getting in shots on Edge. Meanwhile Christian is down in the ring when the Dudleys make their way back out and slide the table in as well. Bubba slams Christian and sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. The Dudleys set the table up then whip Christian looking for the 3D but Taker pulls Christian out to the floor. The Dudleys don’t like that interuption and head out to double-team Taker with Edge and Kane joining the fray. Rock and Angle both roll in the ring when Angle pounces on Rock and even mocks his “Just Bring It” motion. Angle goes for a whip but Rock counters and hits Angle with a spinebuster then puts him in the Sharpshooter. Angle is tapping out but Earl Hebner is occupied with the melee on the floor and doesn’t see the submission. Edge nails Rock form behind to break it up but Rock turns and knocks him over the ropes with the Smackdown. However Angle nails Rock with an Olympic Slam through the table and is able to grab the pin. Angle pins Rock! (9:20) Decent main event though the ‘no-DQ’ thing didn’t really come into play until the ending. Plus the finish pretty much tipped off the result of the pay-per-view. **
Angle pulls Rock from the wreckage then slaps on the Anklelock and Rock is screaming in pain and taps out. Of course we’re wondering if this means Angle will indeed retain on Sunday and go to Wrestlemania as the WWF Champion. But of coure we know what ususally happenes when a champion pins his challenger three days before the pay-per-view.
Conclusion: About what you’d expect from the go-home show for No Way Out: lots of talking and backstage segments as well as irrelevant matches all used to polish up the pay-per-view. As I said the matches were forgettable and seemed slopped together other than the decent main event and while Angle got to send his big message to Rock it also tipped off who was winning the title match. Overall you’re not missing much by skipping this episode and going straight to the pay-per-view so thumbs down.