No Way Out (2001)
|No Way Out (2001)|
Promotional poster featuring Kurt Angle
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||February 25, 2001|
|Venue||Thomas & Mack Center|
|City||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|No Way Out chronology|
No Way Out (2001) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It was the third such annual event and took place on February 25, 2001, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was presented by Weider Nutrition.
Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card, which featured a supercard, a scheduling of more than one main event. The first saw The Rock defeat Kurt Angle in a standard wrestling match, also known as a singles match to win the WWF Championship, despite interference by The Big Show. The other main event was a Three Stages of Hell match, in which Triple H defeated Steve Austin, two falls to one. The featured bout on the undercard was a Fatal Four Way match between defending WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and X-Pac, in which Chris Jericho was victorious.
The main feud heading into the show was between The Rock and Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship. At SummerSlam on August 27, The Rock defeated Kurt Angle and Triple H in a Triple threat match to retain the WWF title. In a rematch at No Mercy (2000), Kurt Angle beat the Rock for the WWF Championship. In the match, Rikishi interfered on Rock's behalf but accidentally nailed him with a savate kick, enabling Angle to finish off Rock with the Angle Slam. The following two months at Armageddon (2000), Angle pinned The Rock to retain the WWF title in a Hell in a Cell, also involving Steve Austin, Triple H, Rikishi and The Undertaker. On the January 1 episode of Raw Is War, The Rock lost a number one contenders match to Kane by countout after WWF Champion Kurt Angle interfered. A few days later on SmackDown!, Rock lost a non-title match to Angle by disqualification after nailing Angle with the steel chair. On the February 8 episode of SmackDown!, The Rock defeated The Big Show to become the number one contender to face the WWF Champion Kurt Angle at No Way Out. On the final episode of SmackDown!, WWF Champion Kurt Angle teamed with Edge and Christian against The Rock, Kane and The Undertaker in a six man Tables match. At the end, Angle's team won when Angle performed an Angle slam to The Rock through a table for the victory. After the match, he finished off Rock with the ankle lock at the close of the show.
Another main feud was between Steve Austin and Triple H which began at SummerSlam (1999) when Triple H, after failing to win the WWF title from Steve Austin in a Triple threat match, involving Mankind, decided to hit Austin with a steel chair and targeted his leg with it. Austin would get his rematch at No Mercy (1999) against Triple H but lost after The Rock accidentally struck him with a sledgehammer that was meant for Triple H. At the Survivor Series (1999), Austin was booked into a triple threat match for the WWF Championship that also included then-WWF Champion Triple H and The Rock. Instead, however, Austin was run down by a car in the parking lot. The Big Show would replace Austin in the match and would win the WWF Championship. What followed was neck surgery by Dr. Lloyd Youngblood and a nine-month rehabilitation with the car angle as his reason for leaving. In September 2000 at Unforgiven, Austin made his official return and tried to find out who ran him down at Survivor Series the previous year. On the October 9, 2000 episode of Raw Is War, Rikishi finally admitted to being the driver because "he did it for The Rock." The following Pay per view, No Mercy, Austin was back to face Rikishi in a No Holds Barred Match. During the match, Austin motioned he was going to drive his truck into Rikishi, who by that time was a bloody mess. Before he could, he was stopped by officials and the match was deemed a no contest. Austin was then arrested and was later bailed by Commissioner Mick Foley. During a handicap match against Rikishi and Kurt Angle, Triple H came down with the apparent intention of teaming with Austin. After clearing the ring, Triple H smashed his sledgehammer over Austin's head, and revealed it was actually him behind the whole scheme by paying off Rikishi to run Austin over, devised to shield the WWF Championship from Austin and end his career. At Survivor Series, Triple H had plotted to run Austin down again during their match (thus repeating the events of the previous year's Survivor Series) but his plot failed when Austin lifted Triple H's automobile with a forklift, then let it drop 20 feet. On the January 8 episode of Raw Is War, Austin challenged Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship. The title match ended in a no contest when Triple H interfered and struck Austin with a Steel pipe. At the Royal Rumble, Austin got back at Triple H by interfering and costing him the WWF Championship against Angle. Austin went on to win the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Kane.
Finally, on the February 5 edition of Raw Is War, Vince McMahon announced a Three Stages of Hell match between Steve Austin and Triple H at No Way Out to settle their differences. McMahon then instituted a "zero tolerance" decree and said that if either man attacked the other before No Way Out, Austin would lose his WrestleMania match and Triple H would be suspended for six months. After Austin signed his name on paper, Triple H struck him in the back of the head with the clipboard and assaulted him. He then revealed to an irate McMahon that he still had to sign the contract, which he then did. Although the two came close to attacking each other, they did not do so. The week before the event, Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley during Raw Is War, while Triple H performed a Pedigree on Austin's friend and Raw play-by-play commentator Jim Ross On SmackDown! as retaliation.
After No Way Out, Steve Austin set his focus back to the WWF Championship and the new champion, The Rock. Austin won the WWF championship at WrestleMania X-Seven from The Rock in a No Disqualification match after Mr. McMahon handed Austin a steel chair to hit Rock with. The following night on Raw is War, Austin and Triple H truly laid their differences to rest by teaming up and assaulting The Rock following a steel cage match The Rock had with Austin.
Triple H felt that after he'd defeated Austin, there was no one left in the WWF to beat and that he had deserved to be in the main event at WrestleMania. The Undertaker then told Triple H that he'd never beat him and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania, which was made official by WWF Commissioner William Regal after Kane threatened to throw Stephanie McMahon over a balcony. Undertaker would go on to defeat Triple H at WrestleMania and improve his record at WrestleMania to 9–0. Their feud continued, however, with Steve Austin at Triple H's side as The Two-Man Power Trip and Kane at Undertaker's side. The two teams would face-off at Backlash where Austin and Triple H would come out victorious.
- "No Way Out (2001) Venue". World Wrestling Federation. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
- "Steve Austin Bio". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
- Blackjack Brown (2001-01-28). "Stone Cold rumbles to Houston aiming to sell out Astrodome". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "No Way Out 2001 Results". World Wrestling Federation. Retrieved 2008-09-20.