No Way Out 2008
Date: February 17, 2008
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz, Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman
We’re on the Road To Wrestlemania and in this case, WWE is embracing the more is more philosophy. We have a pair of Elimination Chamber matches with the winners going on to the World Title matches at Wrestlemania. In addition, we have John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the Raw World Title, which should feel quite big. Let’s get to it.
The opening video talks about the Road To Wrestlemania going into a place that has no way out. We shift into a traditional Chamber video, as it continues to seem almost sentient given the descriptions.
We recap CM Punk vs. Chavo Guerrero for the ECW World Title. Guerrero cheated to beat Punk so Punk threw him in the Gulf of Mexico and is using his rematch here. As all great feuds go.
ECW World Title: CM Punk vs. Chavo Guerrero
Guerrero is defending and slaps him in the face to start, earning himself a kick to the head. Punk gets sent outside and tripped face first onto the apron to put him in some early trouble. Back in and Chavo hits a suplex, thankfully without an Eddie reference. A bodyscissors (you don’t see that one very often) is countered into a catapult but Punk’s GTS is countered into a hurricanrana.
Punk kicks him into the head and goes into the Eddie Dance/Three Amigos, which is pretty soundly booed, even to the point of the crowd chanting for Chavo in a weird moment. Another kick puts Chavo on the floor so Punk puts him on top. The super hurricanrana is blocked though and a frog splash retains the title.
Rating: C. They didn’t have time to do much here but this feud needs to wrap up already. There is nothing left for these two to do to each other and this was a pretty clear ending. Chavo needs a fresh challenger and there is nothing left for Punk to do in ECW. Punk is going to be fine moving forward, but I’m not sure who can go after Chavo right now.
We look back at Rey Mysterio hitting a springboard seated senton on Vickie Guerrero this week on Smackdown.
Mysterio said it was an accident but he isn’t apologizing to Vickie. Oh and he has a torn bicep but is wrestling anyway. Floyd Mayweather Jr. comes in for a pep talk, though the fans don’t seem impressed.
The Chamber is lowered.
Video on the Elimination Chamber.
Undertaker vs. Great Khali vs. Big Daddy V vs. MVP vs. Finlay vs. Batista
For the Smackdown World Title shot at Wrestlemania (and MVP’s US Title isn’t on the line) and inside the Elimination Chamber. Batista is in at #1 and Undertaker is in at #2 so they’re certainly starting big. They slug it out (duh) to start until Batista gets him into the corner for the shoulders to the ribs. That earns him a right hand over the ropes and it’s time to go fight on the steel. A face rake across the steel fires Batista up enough to knock Undertaker back inside, where Undertaker chokes in the corner. Undertaker stomps him down but an exchange of big boots gives us a double knockdown.
Big Daddy V is in at #3 to slam both of them down a few times. A headbutt knocks Undertaker out of the Chamber (that’s a new one) and he seems to be favoring his arm as a running splash against the wall crushes Undertaker back inside. Batista manages a spinebuster to V and Undertaker adds a DDT onto the Chamber to get rid of V (as pinfalls are now legal outside of the ring).
Great Khali is in at #4 and strikes away as the fans decide that the wrestler who is currently wrestling can’t wrestle. The chokebomb gets two on Undertaker and there’s the Vice Grip to Batista. With that broken up, Undertaker boots Batista in the face and chokes Khali out for the elimination. Undertaker rakes Batista against the cage until Finlay is in at #5. A missed big boot in the corner lets Finlay Celtic Cross Undertaker for two. Coach: “How is the Undertaker doing this?” Cole: “He’s the Undertaker.”
Finlay sends Undertaker into the cage wall for two but Undertaker knocks the other two down. MVP is in at #6….or at least he should be, as he stays in the pod. That’s not going to work for Undertaker, who drags him back in as Batista is up again. MVP uses a chain to knock down the monsters and Undertaker is busted open. Back up and Undertaker talks MVP to the top of the pod, where a super chokeslam brings him crashing back down. Finlay steals the pin to get rid of MVP and we’re down to three.
Undertaker misses a top rope elbow to Finlay though and here’s Hornswoggle to throw in a shillelagh. The shot to the head gets two on Batista but Undertaker is back up with a chokeslam onto the steel to Finlay for the elimination. Believe it or not, we come down to Batista vs. Undertaker for the title shot and they both have to pull themselves up. Batista is busted open as well and the big slugout is on with Batista hitting a quick Namesake Bomb for two.
For some reason Batista sees no problem with hammering down right hands in the corner, meaning the Last Ride gets two. Undertaker hammers away but gets clotheslined over the top and onto the steel. Batista follows as Undertaker seems to be favoring his arm so Batista tries a ram into the barricade. It’s just try because Undertaker blocks the contact and hits a Tombstone for the pin and the title shot.
Rating: B-. There were two options here so this got a lot more interesting once they got rid of the people who were there to fill in spots. Big Daddy V. and Great Khali were never going to be any kind of a serious threat, but unfortunately the US Champion isn’t anything resembling a threat here. Undertaker vs. Batista was good enough, but they went smart by keeping that part short. Solid enough match here, though it could have used a third potential winner, if there is such a thing on Smackdown these days.
Edge wants the Edgeheads ready to help him with Rey Mysterio, but Teddy Long comes in to ban them from ringside for the title match.
Maria and Ashley are at the Playboy Mansion in an effort to get Maria to pose. I’m sure that is still up in the air at this point.
Ric Flair vs. Mr. Kennedy
Flair is coming in with a bad knee. Kennedy shoulders him down and mocks the strut so Flair hits a chop and shows him how it’s done. That’s enough for Kennedy to smarten up and go after the knee to take over. The half crab goes on and a rather swearing Flair makes the rope, meaning Kennedy puts on the Figure Four around the post. The regular Figure Four stays on the leg but the rope is grabbed again. Back up and a Regal Roll gives Kennedy two but Flair is back with some chop blocks. Flair gets the real Figure Four on and Kennedy taps rather quickly.
Rating: C-. That felt like it could have been on a house show and that is rarely a good sign on TV. Flair gets to keep going and I don’t know if there was much doubt about him losing at No Way Out. They had put together a pretty nice feud on the way here but then the match was just kind of there. I’m actually a bit disappointed for once and that’s not something I was expecting from this one.
Finlay is getting his back worked on when Vince McMahon comes in and promises violence to Hornswoggle tomorrow.
We recap Edge vs. Rey Mysterio for the Smackdown World Title. Edge retained the title with help from Vickie Guerrero at the Royal Rumble so the rematch was set. Vickie was taken out on Smackdown, but it might not matter as Rey has a torn bicep, meaning this might not be so great.
Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Rey Mysterio
Edge is defending and the Edgeheads are barred from ringside. Rey backs into the corner as Edge certainly knows about the bad arm. A hurricanrana sends Edge into the corner and Rey has to use left handed punches which has to be so awkward. Edge shrugs them off and takes Rey outside for a whip into the steps. Back in and Edge slowly hammers away before a headscissors sends him down for a crotching against the post. A left arm DDT gives Rey two and the 619 connects but the arm gives out. Rey’s springboard is speared out of the air to retain the title fast.
Rating: C. I can’t possibly put this one on them as Rey could barely do anything. They went just over five minutes and that was probably agony throughout. It’s better than no match and they did play into the arm injury to make sense. Rey is probably going to be gone for a long time but he certainly tried on his way out.
Post match Edge leaves and….here is the returning Big Show, for the first time in over a year. Show is glad to be back and says he’ll be a champion again on Raw, Smackdown or ECW. He’s been champion at all of those places and he’ll do it again, but he isn’t here to make guarantees. Since he’s been gone he’s lost 108lbs and now he is a lot meaner. To show this, he goes outside and grabs Rey by the throat while taunting Floyd Mayweather Jr. at ringside.
Mayweather jumps the barricade and gets inside, with security and his entourage right behind him. Show drops to his knee in front of Mayweather, who fires off some crazy fast punches to bust Show’s nose. Mayweather sprints off and Show gives chase, with Shane McMahon of all people having to calm him down. Show leaves, unfortunately not asking Shane “which way did he go”. So there’s your Wrestlemania celebrity match.
Mike Adamle throws us to the recap video for Randy Orton defending the Raw World Title against John Cena. Back in October, Cena got hurt and had to forfeit the title, which Orton somehow got twice in one night. Cena then returned at the Royal Rumble and won the whole thing, but is cashing in his title match here instead of at Wrestlemania (which apparently you can just do).
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Cena is challenging and we even get an old school weapons check. An early small package has Orton a bit nervous and Cena rolls him up for two more to make it worse. The fans are a bit split here as Orton knocks him down and starts the stomping. More stomping puts Cena down in the corner and the referee is actually asking if he wants to give up. Does he not get the whole Cena thing?
Cena hits a bulldog and drops an elbow for two but Orton cuts him off with a clothesline for the same. The fans are split again as Orton punches him out to the apron, only to get caught with the top rope Fameasser for two. The FU is countered into an uppercut (which looked like an RKO setup) and there’s the circle stomp. We hit the chinlock until Cena powers up and initiates the finishing sequence. Orton slips out of the FU again though and bails to the floor.
Back in and Orton grabs the backbreaker before avoiding another Cena top rope Fameasser. Instead Cena grabs the ProtoBomb into the STFU, with Orton having to bail to the ropes. That’s enough to send Orton bailing to the floor, where he grabs his knee and demands a countout. Cena won’t be having that and walks right into the RKO on the floor. Cena beats the count back in….so Orton hits the referee for the DQ escape.
Rating: B-. The ending was there to set up the rematch, as I don’t think anyone is going to buy that Cena’s big moment is coming at No Way Out. It seems ripe for the setup of another match, with Orton getting rather annoyed at his plan not working. The match was good as expected between these two, but the ending might as well have been a To Be Continued sign.
Post match Cena grabs the STFU to choke Orton out.
HHH and Shawn Michaels are going to be cool with each other no matter what happens in the Chamber.
HHH vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Umaga vs. JBL vs. Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy
For the Raw World Title shot at Wrestlemania and Hardy’s Intercontinental Title isn’t on the line. Jericho is in at #1 and Shawn is in at #2, which should make for a nice four minutes. Feeling out process to start before they go with the hard chops into a pinfall reversal sequence. Jericho cuts it off with a clothesline so Shawn hits one of his own. The top rope elbow only hits Jericho’s raised knees but manages to block the Walls. Back up and the collide, with Umaga coming in at #3.
A double clothesline takes both heroes down and Umaga makes it even worse with a double Samoan drop. Shawn gets kicked out onto the steel but Jericho avoids a middle rope headbutt. That lets Shawn go up for the top rope elbow to the back and Jericho grabs the logical Walls. Shawn adds a Crossface but it’s JBL in at #4 to break it up for whatever reason. Some kicks to the face (including Shawn’s bloody one) have the good guys in trouble and Umaga gets up to help JBL with the beatdown (a JBL/Umaga alliance seems odd as Umaga with money would be….weird).
HHH is in at #5 and goes after everyone not named Shawn. A DDT gets two on JBL and Umaga is sent head first (and HARD) into the pod. The Clothesline From JBL drops HHH but Jericho Codebreakers JBL for the pin. Hold on though as JBL grabs a chair and knocks Jericho/HHH/Umaga silly, with Jericho being busted open.
Jeff Hardy is in at #6 to complete the field and starts fast by mule kicking Umaga into the corner. A Whisper in the Wind drops HHH and Shawn but Umaga is back up to knock Hardy down. The swinging release Rock Bottom plants Jericho before hitting a SCARY running hip attack to drive him through the pod. Somehow Jericho isn’t in multiple pieces as it’s a superkick into a Codebreaker into a Pedigree into a Swanton off the top of the pod to Umaga for the pin.
Then Shawn superkicks Hardy to give Jericho the pin, only to have HHH Pedigree Shawn to get us down to Hardy vs. HHH. Hardy starts fast with a DDT onto the steel and a backdrop sends HHH back inside. The Swanton misses though and a Pedigree gets….two. Ok that was a surprise. HHH grabs a chair but has to counter a Twist of Fate. That’s enough to set up the Pedigree onto the chair to finish Hardy (and kill the crowd) for the Wrestlemania title shot.
Rating: B+. This was a good bit better than the first one as it had more violence, better action, more plausible winners (Shawn and Jericho weren’t winning, but they were more likely than MVP and Finlay) and a better pace. HHH winning isn’t a surprise, but dang Hardy was over here and that was a pretty bad loss. The fans going quiet after the pin didn’t help, but like HHH wasn’t going to get his big win at some point.
Overall Rating: B. Obviously this show was all about the Chambers and Orton vs. Cena, all of which worked pretty well. There isn’t much on the rest of the show, but you can see a lot of Wrestlemania from here so they got the important stuff right. This wasn’t a show built around a bunch of small stuff but rather three big things, which is quite the shift, especially so soon after the Royal Rumble. You can see Wrestlemania from here though and that is a good thing to see.
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