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WWE PPV FLASHBACK - No Way Out (10 yrs. ago today): Stacked line-up includes Rock vs. Hogan, Austin vs. Bischoff, Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy, Taker vs. Big Show, Hunter vs. Steiner, Lesnar & Benoit

Feb 23, 2013 - 4:14:42 PM
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PWTorch Newsletter Flashback
WWE builds to WrestleMania 19 at No Way Out PPV


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- Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock II didn't live up to last year's stature as one of the all-time great spectacles, but it did serve as a transition into WrestleMania's Hogan vs. Vince McMahon match. It also played into one of the all-time most memorable spectacles in the industry's history - the 1997 Montreal Swerve of Bret Hart. The finish of Hogan-Rock played off of that incident. Near the end of the match, when Hogan made his superman comeback and hit a legdrop, the lights in the arena went out. When they came back on, the ref was knocked out. Vince McMahon walked out feigning surprise and ignorance, but then the ref slid Rock a chair, which Rock used to KO Hogan and scored the pin. McMahon celebrated with Rock and the ref afterwards for "screwing" Hogan out of the win. It was meant to be a sequel of sorts to the real-life controversy surrounding the finish of the Survivor Series '97 PPV, the last PPV in Montreal. Afterward, Vince revealed an anti-Hogan TV shirt and then ripped it off and posed.

-Steve Austin returns to WWE, beats Bischoff on PPV. Steve Austin received a huge ovation from the Montreal fans at the PPV when he made his first appearance for WWE since walking out on the promotion last summer. He defeated Eric Bischoff in the semi-main event. Austin told WWE.com that he's happy to be back in the company. "I definitely feel like I'm back home," Austin said in a Feb. 23 interview. "I wouldn't say there's tension in the air, but I wouldn't say I'm completely relaxed. I don't think anybody's completely relaxed. But I'll say I'm glad to be back... I'm getting a fine reception. There were a couple of people who either I pulled aside or they pulled me aside, and we kind of buried the hatchet with stuff that went on. Like I said, I did what I did, and so be it. Some people can understand that, and some people aren't going to understand that, that's just the way it is."

***

WWE NO WAY OUT PPV REPORT
FEBRUARY 23, 2003
LIVE FROM MONTREAL, QUEBEC
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR


Johnathan Coachman and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. They said Jim Ross wasn't there because of the attack from Eric Bischoff last week on Raw. They said he was backstage, but was taking it easy.

(1) Chris Jericho beat Jeff Hardy at 12:58 via tapout with the Walls of Jericho. Good opener. (***)

Backstage, Kurt Angle told Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas that Canada is filled with bitter and jealous people with no Olympic heroes of their own. He said if Canadians chant "you suck," it's just because they're upset because they'd rather be French. "I will be damned if the three of us team up for the first time and lose to a walking gorilla and two Canucks."

(2) William Regal & Lance Storm beat Rob Van Dam & Kane at 9:13 to retain the WWE Tag Titles. Good tag match ending when Kane mistakenly chokeslammed RVD, who was upset afterward. (**1/4)

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed Matt Hardy about his upcoming match. Matt talked about how he lost ten pounds in two weeks, then he saw his brother Jeff a few feet away. He walked up to him and lectured him that he should have remained a Mattitude follower. Jeff slapped Matt. Shannon Moore slapped Matt back for retaliating since his match was next.

(3) Matt Hardy (w/Shannon Moore) pinned Kidman at 9:30 to capture the WWE Cruiserweight Title. Good match, but not a show-stealer by any means. Moore interfered near the end. (**1/4)

Backstage Edge was found knocked out on the floor. A number of people checked on him, including Chris Benoit. Tazz and Cole at ringside said they'd update viewers on his condition later. They then snuck in a quick plug for WrestleMania.

(4) Undertaker beat Big Show (w/Paul Heyman) at 14:30 via tapout. Some very slow spots at times, the finishing sequence was good. A-Train interfered in the end, but Taker still won with submission holds. (*1/4)

They showed Edge being stretchered out of the arena in a neck brace as Stephanie McMahon checked on him.

Chief Morley and Eric Bischoff discussed how he was going to approach his match with Steve Austin. Bischoff appeared cocky. Then Vince McMahon walked into the room and told Bischoff he was impressed with his karate demonstration. He said now he sees it as a fair one-on-one match and anyone who interferes will be fired on the spot. Bischoff no longer looked quite so cocky because his plans were spoiled by McMahon's decision.

(5) Chris Benoit & Brock Lesnar beat Team Angle when Haas tapped out to Benoit's Crippler Crossface at 13:20. The first Lesnar-Angle action was underplayed by the announcers. The quality you'd expect from these five. (***1/4)

(6) Triple H (w/Ric Flair) beat Scott Steiner at 13:02 to retain the WWE Title. Better than last month's match, but still short of an average match. Steiner is just so limited in what he can do. Hunter used the title belt to KO Steiner for the pin. (*3/4)

They showed wrestlers sitting backstage mocking Bischoff as he approached the entrance tunnel to face Steve Austin. A video feature then aired on the Bischoff-Austin situation.

Jim Ross walked out and got a big ovation. He said he came to see someone get their ass kicked. Bischoff then walked to the ring and said that Steve Austin could still settle this with him without violence. Austin then came out to his music. When Bischoff said they should let bygones be bygones, Austin tackled him to start the match.

(7) Steve Austin pinned Eric Bischoff at 4:28. Austin just beat up Bischoff, gave him two Stunners and pinned him. Afterward he gave him two more Stunners.

(8) The Rock beat Hulk Hogan at 12:10. Hogan looked slower than last year. They didn't attempt to do much, but they told the story they needed to tell without embarrassing themselves due to lack of conditioning.

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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