By Big Red Machine
From February 23, 2003
WWE No Way Out 2003 (2/23/2003)- Montreal, QC
SHAWN MICHAELS IS BARRED FROM RINGSIDE: Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy- 7.5/10
Great opener with a cool finish that got the right guy over in the right way to build to WrestleMania. The post-match stuff was also good, and I was surprised by how well the crowd responded to HBK, seeing as how this was WWE’s first PPV in Montreal since the… um… incident.
KURT ANGLE GIVES CHARLIE AND SHELTON A PEP-TALK- awesome!
Heel Kurt Angle is SOOOO F*CKING GREAT! Also, they have an evil plan to get an “early advantage.”
WWE WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Lance Storm & William Regal(c) vs. Rob Van Dam & Kane- 6/10
Holy crap RVD is more over in Canada than the Canadian who carries a Canadian flag to the ring!
A basic but good tag team match with what I thought was a clever finish. Storm twisted Kane’s mask so he couldn’t see. Then, about fifteen seconds later, Storm shoved RVD into Kane, and the still-blinded Kane assumed this was a heel attacking him, so he reached out, found the throat, and chokelsammed him, not realizing it was his own partner.
JOSH MATTHEWS INTERVIEWS MATT HARDY- good stuff. Also, Jeff showed up and Matt was a dick to him, so Jeff slapped Matt. Matt wanted to fight Jeff, but Shannon Moore held Matt back, telling him it wasn’t worth it because it was now time for the…
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Billy Kidman(c) vs. Matt Hardy (w/Shannon Moore)- 6.25/10
SOMEONE HAS ASSAULTED EDGE BACKSTAGE!
THE UNDERTAKER vs. BIG SHOW (w/Paul Heyman)- 6/10
Very slow and plodding. Feels like it should have been a lot more for the time it got. I wasn’t happy with Taker using the low blow, and it was kind of hard to dislike A-Train for attacking Taker after the match because he was really just saving Big Show from a post-match attack.
EDGE MUST GO TO THE HOSPITAL- oh no. What does this mean for Brock and Benoit?
BISCHOFF & MORELY CONSPIRE EVILLY BACKSTAGE- Vince shows up and tells them that if anyone interferes, they will be fired on the spot.
HANDICAP MATCH: Chris Benoit & Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle & Team Angle- 8/10
Charlie Haas looks amazingly young for a man who was almost thirty-one. They had an awesome match and did a great job of keeping Brock and Angle apart to keep the Mania match fresh, while giving us the F-5 at the finish to let us know that Brock is definitely capable of beating Kurt when WrestleMania time comes.
WORLD HEAYVWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Triple H(c) (w/Ric Flair) vs. Scott Steiner- 6.25/10
VERY anti-Steiner crowd tonight, even though he’s the babyface. I guess they watched the last PPV. Steiner didn’t help matters by trying to rip off the bandages on Hunter’s injured knee and work it over. Things were good for a while, then just leveled off when we got the standard Evolution interference and the cheating finish.
“STONE COLE” STEVE AUSTIN vs. ERIC BISCHOFF- squash
HULK HOGAN vs. THE ROCK- DUD!
Wow. I had totally forgotten how lame and generic Rock’s 2003 heel music was.
Huh. That new referee looks a lot like Sylvain Grenier.
So first we got rather lame action with a lot of stalling and quite a few ridiculous non-DQs (in particular Hogan’s use of the chair). That would have made the match bad, but we couldn’t just have that. NOOOOO. Instead we had to get this utterly moronic finish where Hogan hits the leg drop (after kicking out of both the Rock Bottom and two consecutive People’s Elbows, of course) and goes for the pin, but the lights go out, and when they come back on, the ref is KOed and there is a chair in the ring. Then Vince comes out and distracts Hogan while the ref slips Rock the chair so he can hit Hogan and get the win. If they had this evil plan all along, why did they wait ten minutes before setting it into motion? And why oh why oh why would you do this as the main event. Yes, it was the biggest match on the card, but COME ON! No one wants to see this kind of ridiculous BS and especially as the main event. Yes, I know there weren’t any other viable main events (Bischoff vs. Austin was a squash and they probably weren’t about to put the World Heavyweight Title match on in the main event spot after Steiner’s terrible showing last month), but then just don’t do a finish with quite so much BS in it! Just having Vince distract Hogan so Rock can bonk him with a chair would have served the same purpose, wouldn’t it?
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Vince mocks Hogan.
A pretty bad PPV from the WWE. It started out well, but quickly fell off of a cliff after the Handicap match. Not recommended.