No Way Out 2006
Date: February 19, 2006
Location: 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
For the first time in a long time, we have a pay per view that has my interest. Smackdown has gotten a lot better in a hurry, but they need the big spectacular to make it work. With Wrestlemania coming up, this could be a great way to get the momentum going, and hopefully that’s what happens here. I’m sure Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton and Booker T. vs. Chris Benoit can help with that. Let’s get to it.
The opening video focuses on how everything leads to Wrestlemania and the World Title. Undertaker has chosen the right path (by destroying the ring) and Randy Orton has chosen the evil path (by issuing a challenge, which was accepted), but there is no way out. Other than winning the match I guess.
Cruiserweight Title: Cruiserweight Open
Gregory Helms, Brian Kendrick, Funaki, Kid Kash, Nunzio, Paul London, Psicosis, Scotty 2 Hotty, Super Crazy
Helms is defending and it’s one fall to a finish with no tags. The champ bails to the floor to start and everyone else brawls inside. London and Kendrick dropkick Scotty down and a mini tag match breaks out between the two of them and the Mexicools. The four of them head outside and it’s Kash slamming Funaki down. The moonsault misses though, allowing Helms to come in and stomp away.
That earns him a big group beatdown for a bit before everyone starts fighting everyone else. They start pairing off again with Helms hitting a TKO knee to the face for one on Scotty. Helms is sent outside and Psicosis misses him off a missed charge. Kash hits a slingshot hurricanrana to put Psicosis down on the floor, leaving London and Kendrick alone in the ring. That means a double dive so Helms comes back in for a missed Shining Wizard to Crazy.
Kendrick dives onto Helms for two with Crazy making the save, followed by London and Scotty doing the same thing. Scotty superkicks London to the floor and hits the Worm on Helms. Psicosis makes the save this time but gets hit with Kash’s Dead Level. Crazy breaks it up with a moonsault but Helms steals the pin on Psicosis to retain.
Rating: C. I’m never sure what to say about something like this as it’s more or less a battle royal with pins. They did have a story in there with everyone being against Helms and him managing to steal the pin to retain was a good way of going about things. It was a good choice for an opener, but it seems to be a way to hide the fact that the division has so little development.
Booker T. and Sharmell literally get on their knees to beg Teddy Long to let him out of the match with Chris Benoit. Long’s offer: have the match or forfeit the title.
Finlay wants a fight tonight and since he doesn’t have one, he kidnaps Krystal and brings her to the ring. Cue Bobby Lashley for the brawl with a low blow putting Lashley down. That brings out JBL and it’s time for the scheduled match.
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Bobby Lashley
Jillian Hall is here with JBL. Lashley is back up with a suplex to Finlay and stares JBL down, giving us a good shocked face from Layfield. Finlay is taken to the back and Lashley isn’t having any of this being sent into the buckle. A running shoulder works a bit better for JBL but Lashley strikes away and hits a backdrop. They head outside with Lashley sending him into the steps, shrugging off a clipboard to the back from Jillian, and hits an overhead belly to belly.
Back in and Lashley gets shoved right back to the floor, with JBL sending him into the apron. A top rope elbow of all things gives JBL two and a swinging neckbreaker puts Lashley down again. The rapid fire elbows set up a sleeper to keep Lashley in trouble for a good while. JBL goes up top for the shoulder but dives into a powerslam to start the comeback.
Four overhead belly to belly suplexes in a row have JBL busted open (How do you do that off a suplex?) and a t-bone suplex gets two. Cue Finlay to jump Tony Chimmel though, with the distraction letting Finlay hit Lashley with the Shillelagh. The Clothesline From JBL is good for the pin.
Rating: C-. This worked well enough, got JBL some heat back, and gave us a new feud with Finlay and Lashley. They’re getting something going with the midcard and if Booker could actually wrestle for a change, we might be in for some good stories. This was a perfectly fine midcard match and they even protected Lashley in the loss.
Here’s Batista for a surprise appearance. He talks about how special it is to come through that curtain every time. He’s here for the Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, and because he misses this so much. Finally though, he’s here because his torn tricep isn’t torn any longer. Sooner rather than later, he’ll be back and coming for the World Title.
Randy Orton comes up to Kurt Angle in the back because he didn’t like Angle saying he’d love to face Rey at Wrestlemania. Angle is focused on Undertaker though.
MNM vs. Matt Hardy/???
Non-title and the mystery partner is…..Tatanka, in one of the best “HUH?” moments of the era. The completely apathetic reaction to Tatanka tells you everything you need to know here. Matt and Mercury start things off with a Melina distraction letting Mercury take over. Hardy is right back with a wristlock into a legdrop on the arm. Tatanka comes in to play Jeff in a Spin Cycle but Mercury snaps Matt’s throat across the top. Melina gets in a slap to the face, which annoys Matt enough to hit a double neckbreaker.
The hot tag brings in Tatanka to clean house but another Melina distraction lets Nitro dive off the apron to take him down. Back in and Nitro hammers away on Tatanka in the corner and a double back elbow gets two. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Mercury grabs a neckbreaker for two instead. Tatanka clotheslines his way out of trouble and it’s Matt coming back in for the house cleaning. The middle rope elbow hits Mercury and the Side Effect drops Nitro. Everything breaks down and the Papoose To Go finishes Nitro.
Rating: D+. I know I complain a lot about the Tag Team Titles meaning nothing but after losing on Friday, the champs lose again here to Matt Hardy and Tatanka. Is this going to lead to a title change? Not likely, meaning that assuming we get the title match, it puts the champs at 1-2 in their three matches. How does that benefit anyone involved?
We recap Booker T. vs. Chris Benoit for the US Title. Booker/Randy Orton combined to beat Benoit in a Best of Seven series for the title but now Booker has to either face Benoit one on one or forfeit the title.
US Title: Booker T. vs. Chris Benoit
Booker is defending and has Sharmell with him. Hold on though as Booker says that there won’t be a match tonight because he’s forfeiting the title. Benoit calls him a coward so Sharmell slaps him in the face, with Booker jumping Benoit from behind to start things off in a hurry. Booker pounds him down in the corner as Cole thinks that this was a plan. Benoit gets in a suplex for a breather and chops away in the corner, followed by a baseball slide to the floor.
They head outside with Booker being sent into the steps, which is a perfect excuse for some goldbricking. It’s Benoit going into the steps again, setting up a kick to the face for two back inside. Booker goes amateur in a surprise and rides Benoit into a full nelson for a change of pace. A hammerlock is countered into a German suplex and they’re both down for a bit. Benoit can’t get the Crossface so Booker is back with a spinwheel kick for the delayed two.
The sleeper keeps Benoit in trouble until he suplexes his way to freedom. Booker is back with some suplexes of his own and a boot to the face cuts off Benoit’s comeback. Three Amigos give Benoit two but Booker is back with a side kick for two. A superplex gives Benoit two more, only to have Booker grab the Book End.
The Houston Hangover misses though and they’re both down. Sharmell’s distraction breaks up the Swan Dive attempt and now the scissors kick can connect for the big near fall. Benoit sweeps the legs though and tries the Sharpshooter but Booker kicks him away, knocking Sharmell off the apron in the process. The second Sharpshooter attempt doesn’t work so it’s the Crossface to make Booker tap.
Rating: B. These two always work well together and that is something that can always fit on a show like this, or any one for that matter. Benoit getting the title after everything that he has been through makes for a good story, and that’s the right idea with something like this. Now just keep the two of them apart for a good while, as we’ve seen this match enough lately.
Post match various people congratulate Benoit on his win, including Chavo and Vickie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio twice. Benoit wants Rey to beat Orton FOR EDDIE.
We recap Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton. Mysterio won the Royal Rumble and dedicated it to Eddie Guerrero, so Orton disrespected Eddie’s memory and got Rey to put up the title shot as a result. This involved more references to Eddie than at any point during Eddie’s World Title reign, making it one of the more sickening stories in years.
Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
The winner gets the Wrestlemania World Title shot. Orton powers him into the corner to start and then gets a takedown as Rey can’t get around the size early on. Rey gets in a hurricanrana to stagger Orton but a clothesline puts him down in a hurry. A knee drop hits Rey and a hard whip into the corner gets two more. Orton mocks the Eddie dance so Rey kicks him in the face and headscissors him to the floor.
A hurricanrana off the apron is caught though and Orton swings Rey arm first into the post for a nasty crash. Back in and Orton cranks on the arm, which looks a little weird on Mysterio. The powerbomb into a neckbreaker gives Orton two more and it’s back to the armbar. Rey is up with another hurricanrana but the arm gives out again. Orton takes him outside again to stomp the arm on the steps, allowing Cole to praise HHH for teaching Orton to be evil.
Back in and Rey manages an armdrag to the floor, followed by a drop toehold to send Orton into the middle buckle. Rey goes up top but has to sunset bomb his way out of an electric chair. A spinwheel kick sets up the Eddie dance and a springboard seated senton connects. Orton is busted open as Rey tries a springboard tornado DDT but the arm gives out.
Not that it matters as Orton takes it anyway for a weird visual. Rey goes up top but gets dropkicked out of the air, with one of the feet hitting the arm. The RKO is countered with a dropkick but the 619 misses and Orton grabs a rollup with rope for the pin and the title shot, destroying Rey’s soul in the process.
Rating: B-. It’s a bad sign when I’m glad that Orton won, but that’s how sick they’ve made me of hearing about Eddie. They’ve driven the idea so far into the ground and it has long since passed the point of interesting or heartwarming. I’m sure we’ll hear about it every chance WWE can manage to get it in, but the Eddie stuff was making me roll my eyes every time. The match itself was quite good though with the arm slowing Rey down and Orton feeling like he was just trying to reel him in the entire time.
Post match Orton says he’s going to the main event of Wrestlemania. Where is Rey going? Rey is crushed as he slowly walks to the back.
The announcers don’t know what to do.
Rey fights back tears as he apologizes to Chavo and Vickie. They’re Eddie’s family you see. No one else knows what to say to Rey as he walks to the locker room.
We recap Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker. Angle jumped from Raw to win the vacant title and then defeated Mark Henry at the Royal Rumble. Undertaker appeared at the end of the show to challenge for the title and we’ve got a dream match. It feels like one too and that’s an important trick to pull off. Undertaker is Undertaker and Angle is in Wrestling Machine mode. What more could you ask for?
Smackdown World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker
Undertaker is challenging and comes out last, including a pretty awesome shot where the camera cuts to behind him and we get the shot of the coat and hat. Throw in the classic silhouette and it’s one of the better, more intimidating entrances he has had in a good while. Undertaker charges at him but misses the big boot. Angle can’t get a German suplex and bails to the floor for an early breather. Back in and Undertaker grabs a headlock before getting one off a shoulder.
Angle fires off right hands in the corner but gets caught by the arm, setting up Old School. Snake Eyes looks to set up the big boot but Angle grabs a suplex for two instead. Another big boot misses though and Angle knocks him off the apron and into the barricade. Undertaker picks him up for the drive into the post and the apron legdrop gets two. Angle kicks his way out of the chokeslam and takes the leg out. Said leg is wrapped around the post and we go old school with the Hartbreaker.
Back in and Angle stays on the leg but Undertaker sends him outside again. The boot to the head rocks Angle again but the apron legdrop is countered into the ankle lock. Angle holds until seven, slides back in to break the count, then grabs the hold again. Back in and Angle twists the ankle but gets pulled into the triangle. That sends Angle to the rope for the break, followed by a crash outside as he’s messed up from the hold. Undertaker sends him into the timekeeper’s area but walks into the Angle Slam through the announcers’ table.
The referee gets to nine but Angle says don’t do it because he wants to win it in the ring. That’s fine with Undertaker, who sends Angle into the steps for a crash. Back in and Undertaker gets crotched on top, setting up the super belly to belly for two more. A big boot gives Undertaker his own two but the chokeslam is countered into the ankle lock. That’s reversed into the triangle choke, with is reversed right back into the ankle lock.
Undertaker fights up and grabs the chokeslam for a delayed two as we get extra serious. The Last Ride is countered into the ankle lock but Undertaker kicks him away. There’s the Angle Slam for two and Angle’s shocked face is as great as ever. They fight over the Tombstone until Angle grabs the ankle again, this time with the grapevine. Undertaker turns it over and breaks the grip but gets caught in the Angle Slam. The cover is pulled into the triangle choke for two arm drops but Angle flips over into a cradle to retain, half a second before passing out in the hold for a nice callback to their 2002 match.
Rating: A-. I can’t get over how nice it was to keep waiting on the interference/screwy ending and nothing ever happening. This would have been a place for Mark Henry to interfered but instead we got a great match that went nearly half an hour. This was an amazing match with both guys looking outstanding throughout. What made it work so well was how well they played off of each other and teased the submissions, while also going for the pins off big moves. This was always going to work and it was great throughout.
Post match Undertaker pulls him up and says he has Angle’s number to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was a very top heavy show with the three matches at the end being the only things that mattered. That works out well though as those three matches combine for over and hour of ring time and the weakest of all three was a perfectly good match. This was a rather strong show and if you do anything to make the first half better, it could have been approaching a classic. As it is, Undertaker vs. Angle is the match worth seeing, with the other two being worth a watch if you have the extra time.
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