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The World's Greatest No Way Out Preview
by drqshadow on 2002-02-17

The World's Greatest No Way Out Preview

drq: Filled to the brim with enough pop-culture references and bizarre mind games to make even Goldust's head spin (not to mention twice as many lewd sexual gags), it's time once again for the World's Greatest PPV Preview Team to do their messy little deed. As usual, this solid chunk of writing proficiency is brought to you by Dave "Great Gigante's Ghost!" Spinosa and myself, "Mantaur's illegitimate man-child," drqshadow.

Well, it was almost becoming some sort of tradition. For the last couple years, the WWF's No Way Out card has been something of an unspoken favorite in the eyes of both the fans and the "smarts", showcasing both the storylines that will become a part of Wrestlemania's headlines and a string of matches worthy of one of the "Big Five" PPVs. Between Stone Cold's memorable first collision in a cage with Mr. McMahon, Chris Benoit and the Radicals' first PPV on the roster or Cactus Jack's first foray into the cell, there's always been something humongous to draw viewers in like flies to this otherwise-casual event. And once they've taken a glimpse at the main attraction, the undercard has made it a must-see. Granted, this year's No Way Out card is not missing that big, loud catch. The arrival of the nWo is an event of earth-shattering proportions, and you're a bold-faced liar if you say it hasn't cued the tingles to bounce their way down your spine, no matter how much you hate Hogan, Hall and Nash. No, the problem here doesn't have anything to do with the main draw.. more with the undercard and its ability to keep folks in front of their sets for a lengthy period of time. Do Edge and William Regal still have that much more to prove between the ropes? How about RVD and Goldust, can their very different styles mesh into a solid match, or will the clash of styles be too much to overcome. How about the Tag Team Title match? Are either of these teams even Title-calibur? Am I asking one question too many here? Maybe Dave's got something of an answer on his side of the coin... Spinner?


Hm. Looks like the naked Latin giant is MIA. I guess I'll just be flying solo this month. It's all good, though, as I'm certain Dave is so busy coding the new Oratory design's posting code that he forgot all about this week's PPV. In his stead, you'll be greeted with an image of El Gigante / Giant Gonzalez.. I'm sure the Spinner-man would've wanted it that way. And now, on with the show!

Women's Title Match
Jazz vs. Trish (?)


drq: One title I've really been surprised with these past few months has been this women's title. While the rest of the Federation is intently interested in the actions of Vince McMahon, HHH, Stephanie and the nWo, the Women's division has calmy begun a nice pace of its own and stuck to it. The ongoing feud between Jazz and Trish was strung along to perfection, with Jazz finally taking the gold we all knew she'd inevitably claim a few weeks back on RAW in convincing fashion. With a few more solid title defenses, she could really become the monster she's been cut out to be since day one. And, while Trish wasn't my first choice as champ, she played her role to absolute perfection.. I've got to hand that to her. If this one's actually on the card, it'll be unexpectedly good once again, with Jazz coming out of it intact. Let the squashes continue.
Winner: Jazz

#1 Contender's Match
Hardys vs. Billy & Chuck vs. Dudleys vs. Storm & Christian vs. APA vs. Scotty & Albert


drq: Hell. Leave it to the WWF to take Billy Gunn, stick him in a tired cliche of a gimmick with Chuck Palumbo, and make him actually somewhat watchable for a change. Now, I don't think I've ever been a fan of "Mr. Ass", whether he was occupying the gimmick of one half of the Smokin' Gunns or even Rockabilly himself. It just didn't work, because no matter how much of a natural athlete this guy supposedly was, he just froze when that red light came on. Maybe it's the fact this is an easy gimmick to nail, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing Gunn and Palumbo in the ring anymore... and it's not just to see how badly Billy will screw up this week. C'mon, admit it. Their promos have been hilarious, their mannerisms are dead on, and they've been winning all the important matches. The crowd loves to hate them, and they're actually serious competitors in the tag team title hunt. So what does all that add up to? A whole handful of factors the other teams in this little brawl don't have. Gunn and Palumbo are on fire, and if the WWF's keeping an eye on the pulse beating through their veins, they know these two are surefire draws for the Wrestlemania tag shot. Sure, it's tough to mark perennial favorites like the Dudleys and the Hardys out of the picture on a whim, but we've seen so much of those two teams over the last two years, their welcome has worn quite thin. It might be a stupid wager, but I'll take it. Homo and Phobia to go all the way.
Winners: Chuck and Billy

Intercontinental Title Match / Brass Knuckles on a Pole Match
Edge vs. William Regal


drq: This'll be the third month in a row for Edge and the Gentlemanly British scholar, and don't think the seams that were showing all those moons back at Vengeance haven't already burst by now. As I noted at that month's preview, both these guys have been floating directionlessly at the Intercontinental level for way too long. Both have tremendous potential, but for one reason or another haven't been able to capitalize with something worthy of a larger push. With Edge, they've tried and it hasn't worked. His new, serious, unstable personality seemed to be a step in the right direction at first glance, but hasn't really evolved any from that point of first contact. Sure, he's run in with an angry look in his eyes, but he's still the same guy who was running in with a smile on his face two weeks ago. What's there to make this Edge stand out from the old one? Regal.... well, Regal has never really recovered from the unveiling of his hideous new entrance music. And while there's every reason for this to be a solid clash in the ring, for some unspoken reason it's likely to crash and burn once again. Edge is my pick to take home the gold, but will it really make an impact on anyone at all? For both their sake, I really hope so.
Winner: Edge

Rob Van Dam vs. Goldust


drq: A raffle, under any other name, is still a raffle. There's really no telling where this one might go, whether it's to unforeseen heights as a tremendous psychological melding of styles, or to unimaginable depths as a horrid, horrid abortion of a match. The two men's styles aren't usually found in opposition of one another, Van Dam's extreme innovation and Goldust's bizarre mix of old school theatrics and over-the-top new school inversions. I'm not sure if that's because it's a foregone conclusion that the two will clash and create a sick match, or because nobody's ever really thought of it. Thus, this is an increasingly difficult one to predict. If these two will be meeting again at Wrestlemania, a victory for Goldust makes the most sense. After all, who's going to be interested in a rematch if they already know that RVD can put the gold weirdo away without breaking a sweat? However, if this is just a once-off deal, Van Dam needs the victory to get his momentum rolling again. So, where do I think it's all going? Let's just say it doesn't look like there's a line forming alongside "Mr. Monday Night" for the honor of his company one month down the line.
Winner: Goldust

Tag Team Title Match
Tazz & Spike vs. Booker T & Test


drq: I'm still having trouble swallowing Tazz & Spike as tag team champs, which doesn't bode well for the set of ECW alumni thus far. I dig the idea of both as short, underestimated badasses, but the push they've been receiving has actually worked to tear them down more than it has to build them up. While they've managed to retain the gold all month, they've come off as more fluke champions than anything else. Tazz locks in the Tazzmission early on, but always manages to have it countered, and Spike's "Dudley Dog" always seems to conclude with the smallest Dudley clutching his lower back on the floor. Still, while I see the gold removed from the hips of these two pretty shortly down the line, I don't see it done by the T&T duo. Booker's better suited in singles action anyway, and Test's only now getting used to his new character. The match could be something special if everyone comes ready to work, but I wouldn't count on anything.
Winners: Tazz & Spike

The Rock vs. The Undertaker


drq: Talk about a strange set of circumstances. Three months ago, to even think that the Undertaker's character would be more inspired, more entertaining and more fitting than the Rock's would be nearly blasphemy. Today, though, such a statement doesn't seem nearly as out of place. With the "People's Champion" badly in need of a shakeup and the Undertaker just hitting the crest of the wave created by his heel turn, there are a couple different ways this one can go. I'm predicting a Rock heel turn sometime in the next few months, but I don't see it going down here. After all, who's going to boo Maivia for beating down on one of the federation's top heels? No, I'd imagine if they're going to do it anywhere, the People's turn will go down on the big stage next month. So where does that leave this match? In a word, flat. The status quo isn't in any big danger of being destroyed here, and what we'll be left with is a decent, if predictable, matchup between two of the all time greats. We'll see some signature maneuvers, some foreign objects and a couple entertaining spots out on the floor, but nothing really moving one way or the other. And I'm seeing something along the lines of a Rock losing streak coming to the forefront here.
Winner: The Undertaker

#1 Contender's Match (w/ Special Guest Ref, Stephanie McMahon)
Triple H vs. Kurt Angle


drq: Easily the match of the night. With Angle simply owning the ring as he has over the last few weeks, and HHH still occupying that slot near the top of the list of modern workers, the only real variable here is Stephanie herself. It wouldn't be the first time a guest ref has ruined an otherwise-stupendous matchup, and there's little doubt it wouldn't be the last, either. The question here isn't whether or not she'll interfere with the finish, it's just how often she'll become physically involved. Will she be attempting to mend bridges with her old flame, or will that beastial roar from RAW turn into a downright feeding frenzy here on PPV? It's a tough call, with my instincts leading me to believe the latter. She isn't likely to side directly with Angle, though the Olympian may take things the wrong way, but she'll no doubt factor into the outcome of things, making an otherwise easy prediction just a little bit tougher. Even though the cards seem stacked against HHH, I really can't see an Angle / Jericho or Angle / Austin main event working right now. If Helmsley loses his shot here, he'll manage to regain it in the next couple weeks. In my books, though, he never loses it to begin with.
Winner: HHH

WWF Title Match
Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho


drq: I was really questioning the motives behind this one before this last week put all my apprehensions to rest. Jericho looked dynamite on RAW, collecting the most solid chorus of booes since turning heel in the WWF, and leaving one heck of a lasting image in fans' minds going into the PPV, standing atop Austin with a beer can emptying on the Rattlesnake's back. Sure, he turned back into a bitch for Smackdown, but for one fleeting moment we had a glimpse at greatness. For one second, he was the cocky, arrogant, annoying heel from WCW. The guy who, no matter how much you hated it, managed to kick all his opposition's asses and hold onto his gold. That's the guy I'd like to see more of, and that's the guy the crowd wants to really take a bite out of. If that's the Chris Jericho who comes out to work this Sunday night, we've got one hell of a road to Wrestlemania in front of us. Otherwise, Steve Austin's got a cakewalk to the glory. Yes, Jericho's in an interesting position, but certainly not an alltogether new one. He's headed into the event, the World Title around his waist, with almost nobody expecting a win out of him. Remind you of a certain Kurt Angle only one year ago? Does anybody here remember my prediction of that match? Anyone at all? Bueller? I went with the Olympian, and even though I was wrong, if I had to go back and do it all again, I'd still pick that gold medal wearin' jerkoff. What can I say? I like the underdog, and my choice in pre-Wrestlemania championship matches is a testament to that. Jericho wins it, and goes on to meet HHH in the World Title match they should've had 2 years ago.
Winner: Chris Jericho



drq: Couldn't have said it better myself, man... but I'll still give it the old college try. There are a couple key matches that are gonna make or break this PPV. No matter how good we all know Angle / HHH is going to be, there's a lot that could go wrong in the tag team title match. While the everything looks good for Austin / Jericho, can the same be said for Rocky / Undertaker? And where's the Goldust / RVD match going to figure into the scheme of things? Unlike the last couple years, which have been rock solid on paper, 2002's No Way Out is a highly volatile mix from top to bottom. This one could really rock the boxers or suck a whole carton of eggs, thanks to one make-or-break match. And, while it's tough to call an event like that, it's also just as tough to predict where it's all going at Wrestlemania... which is one occasion where I'm more than happy to just sit back and let the writers surprise me for a change.

until next time, we're out like lightning...
Spinosa and the Q

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