TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE No Way Out 2007

nwo_07

WWE: No Way Out
February 18, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Staples Center

The current Smackdown champions are as follows:
World Heavyweight Champion: Batista (11/26/2006)
WWE United States Champion: Chris Benoit (10/13/2006)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Paul London & Brian Kendrick (5/21/2006)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Gregory Helms (1/29/2006)

Your hosts are a sickly Michael Cole and a drunken JBL.

  • The Hardy Boyz & Chris Benoit vs. MNM & MVP

JBL says he’ll have to learn Spanish to get next to Melina just moments after deriding Smackdown for having a Spanish announce team. Mercury gets owned by the Hardy Boyz to start until Matt gets cornered on the wrong side of town. When MVP misses an elbow drop, Matt grabs him and tags Benoit. That’s Bad News Bears for MVP as Benoit lights him up with chops. He heads over to tag out to MNM, but they drop to the floor not wanting anything to do with Benoit right now. Benoit runs over MVP with a running clothesline and a Snap Suplex for two. Tag to Jeff, he picks up where he left off with Nitro. Jeff chases Nitro out to the floor and gets pulled off the apron into the barricade by Mercury. Back inside, MNM maintains control of Jeff in their corner with chinlocks. Nitro sets him up in the corner, but Jeff knocks him back to the mat and hits the Whisper in the Wind before tagging in Matt. He hits the running bulldog/clothesline combo on MNM. Side Effect to Nitro! Cover, 1-2-NO! While Mercury runs interference, MVP sneaks up behind Matt and gives him a back suplex. Tag to MVP, he hits the BALLIN’ elbow drop for two. Back to Mercury, he pulls in Matt for a short-arm clothesline for another nearfall. The heels continue to work on Matt’s neck until he makes the hot tag to Benoit. He slams MVP and squashes him with a Snap Suplex to Mercury. When Mercury gets caught for a German Suplex, he grabs hold of Nitro for a DOUBLE GERMAN SUPLEX. Cole says he’s never seen that before. Anyways, that pops the crowd. Mercury is left all alone for Poetry in Motion, TWIST OF FATE, SWANTON BOMB, and the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT. MVP makes the save though. While MNM and the Hardy Boyz head out to brawl, MVP tries to jump Benoit with his US title belt. Benoit ducks and yanks MVP in for the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! Nitro breaks up the hold before MVP can tap. MNM go for the Snapshot on Benoit, but Matt helps out and Benoit maneuvers Mercury into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE for the immediate tapout. (14:20) Originally this was supposed to be a rematch of the ladder match from Armageddon, but got scrapped since Vince decided to break up MNM – again. He actually decides not to break up the Hardyz just yet and gives them a run with the tag titles starting the night after WrestleMania on RAW. Nevertheless, a fine opener and there weren’t any major risks of someone’s face exploding this time. ***

Vickie Guerrero tells Kristal that she’s been doing a lot of soul-searching and “the opportunity they talked about” is close to happening.

Elsewhere, Finlay makes fun of the Leprechaun for being scared of Little Boogey. Holy crap, the Leprechaun can talk! Finlay tosses him into a little dumpster, which unfortunately contains Little Boogey.

  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cruiserweight Open Challenge

Scotty 2 Hotty (1) vs. Daivari (2)

Daivari dominates but misses a Stinger Splash. Scotty hits the Bulldog and the WORM for the win at 1:40. WHAT?! They move Daivari over to ECW and then pull him back to use him in the cruiserweight division and then job him to a part-timer?

Gregory Helms (c) (3) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty (1)

Not much of note happens before Helms hits a CODEBREAKER to eliminate Scotty in 2:04.

Gregory Helms (c) (3) vs. Funaki (4)

JBL says you don’t put the fate of the company on “flippy-flop” guys. Well, except for that whole “Summer of ’06” period. Funaki storm the ring and tries a flying crossbody, but Helms rolls through with a handful of tights at 0:29.

Gregory Helms (c) (3) vs. Shannon Moore (5)

Three Count EXPLODES~! Moore attacks early but takes a uranage backbreaker for two. He comes back with a flying neckbreaker, but Helms catches him with a double-underhook superplex. CODEBREAKER finishes Moore in 2:00.

Gregory Helms (c) (3) vs. Jimmy Wang Yang (6)

It’s like WCW 2000 all over again. Yang gets a standing moonsault for two. He misses one off the top and lands on his feet only to eat a clothesline by Helms. Yang pops up and rolls up Helms with a hurracanrana to eliminate him and ensure we have a new Cruiserweight champ in 1:50.

Jimmy Wang Yang (6) vs. Jamie Noble (7)

Now the Yung Dragons EXPLODE~! Helms is a poor sport and gives Yang the Eye of the Hurricane on his way out. Noble hops on top and gets two. JBL is irate about Helms being screwed out of his title as Jamie applies a cobra clutch. Yang gets out of it but posts his own shoulder. Noble rolls him up with a handful of jeans but only gets two. Yang runs right into a jumping legline for two. He takes Yang up for a superplex, but Yang shoves him off and hits the moonsault press in 3:44. YANG HAS WON!

Chavo Guerrero (8) vs. Jimmy Wang Yang (6)

Oh wait, nevermind. Chavo is a surprise entrant – hence “Cruiserweight Open” instead of “Gauntlet.” Chavo stomps Yang down in the corner. Jimmy hits a flying heel kick and backdrops Chavo to the floor. He flies off the top with a dive, but Chavo cuts off a missile dropkick with his own dropkick. Chavo gets the Three Amigos and goes up for the Frog Splash, but Yang cuts him off. Chavo cuts off the moonsault press and avoids the twister press as well. FROGSPLASH! CHAVO HAS WON! (17:51 total) Ladies and gentlemen, Chavo Guerrero has become *your* WWE cruiserweight champion for the fourth time. Disappointing end to the reign of Gregory Helms though since winning the belt back at Royal Rumble 2006 without having a single memorable title defense. Sad state of affairs, but the cruiserweight division as a whole is just months away from being scrapped anyways. ** for the whole thing.

In the back with Kristal, John Cena promises to work with Shawn Michaels and set their differences aside. He will fight as hard with Shawn Michaels as he will against him at WrestleMania.

  • The Boogeyman & Little Boogey vs. Finlay & Little Bastard

That’s right – he’s still not called Hornswoggle yet. He hides under the ring before the match. Boogeyman dominates early and lets Little Boogey work over a prostrate Finlay. Little Bastard has had enough and picks a fight with Little Boogey to a HUGE pop. Actually, it’s just a distraction to allow Finlay to boot Little Boogey in the face. AWESOME. Finlay gets caught with a small package, but then applies a short-arm scissors. I see what you did there. Little Bastard pulls Little Boogey under the ring and when Finlay tries to follow, the Boogeyman attacks him. Boogey actually rebounds off the ropes like Dean Ambrose and headbutts Finlay in the gut. He hits a bad Stinger Splash and tosses Little Boogey on Finlay – like a mini rocket launcher. Little Bastard makes the save and drops the shillelagh in the ring on his way out. Finlay knocks Little Boogey out with the shillelagh and gets the win. (6:46) Well at least the right team went over. This was awesome, but probably for all the wrong reasons. *½

Now we hear Shawn Michaels’ side as he meets with Kristal. He doesn’t trust Cena, but he’s going to make sure he makes it to WrestleMania.

  • Kane vs. King Booker (w/Queen Sharmell)

This all stems from Kane eliminating Booker at the Royal Rumble and ruining his comeback plans. Booker jukes and jives for a bit before Kane tracks him down and destroys him with the usual brawling. He hits a backbreaker and a big boot before clotheslining Booker to the floor. Booker comes back on the outside by sending Kane to the steps and hitting a Missile Dropkick back in the ring for two. Booker slaps on an armbar for a bit and cuts off Kane’s Flying Clothesline with a dropkick. He follows up with the Hook Kick for two. Kane slugs his way back, but they collide for a double KO spot. Kane blocks a suplex and hits one of his own. Booker misses the Ax Kick and gets clotheslined. Kane pummels away in the corner, delivers the Side Slam, and hits his Flying Clothesline. Sharmell distracts ref Charles Robinson while Booker is able to recover and hit a Harlem Sidekick. Kane doesn’t care about Harlem Sidekicks though and goozles Booker for the CHOKESLAM to pick up the win. (12:40) An above average Kane match. Booker did a great job making him seem as scary as he could without losing credibility. **¼

More time with Kristal. Batista promises that Smackdown will beat Raw tonight, but that troublemaker Kristal shows Batista footage of Taker chokeslamming him.

  • WWE Tag Team Championship: Paul London & Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Deuce & Domino (w/Cherry)

Speaking of long-running title runs without a single important title defense. This is our first look at Deuce & Domino (and Cherry) on the Ten Years After series. They are basically rejects from the movie Grease. If they want to be heels, they need theme music that sounds more like rockabilly and less like doo-wop. No one is scared of someone who walks out to the American Graffiti soundtrack. Anywho, the tag champs have their working boots on tonight as they fly around the ring and knock the challengers to the floor. Deuce jumps London from behind to take over as Cole calls them “bullies.” Domino hits a weird gutwrench Tiger Bomb, but Kendrick makes the save. Deuce and Domino work London’s back and hit a HUGE double backdrop. The fans don’t care much, but they get a small “Cherry” chant. Eventually, London flips off a backdrop and dives into a tag to Kendrick. Kendrick gets two off a backslide but runs right into a clothesline. Deuce and Domino set up for a Doomsday Device, but Kendrick ducks and rolls up Deuce for the win, which I’m sure is an old Rockers finish. (8:10) This was fine, but it’s hard for people to get into the Smackdown tag division these days when nobody is allowed to get over. **½

They do a profile piece on ECW world champ Bobby Lashley.

Back with Kristal, Mr. Kennedy calls Bobby Lashley and the people from Los Angeles “phony wannabes”. I love it. Bobby Lashley confronts him and slaps him around. This was great until Lashley showed up.

  • ECW World Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Mr. Kennedy

Kennedy attacks Lashley during his entrance and immediately fails. They brawl to the ring as Lashley is in total control. Lashley is already putting these people to sleep. Cole has almost lost his voice. Eventually, Kennedy will rake the face to escape a Torture Rack and dropkicks the knee to put the big guy down. Kennedy hits the Face Wash for two. He applies a Reverse Figure Four. I do like that hold. Lots more knee work. FFWD. JBL blathers on and on because Cole’s voice is gone. The crowd is booing this match. KENTON BOMB hits knees. Lashley starts throwing suplexes. A backbreaker on the shoulders gets two and the crowd cheers hoping Kennedy wins this one. The ref gets knocked out. Kennedy grabs a chair and whacks Lashley once, but he NO-SELLS and sort of hits Kennedy with the chair for the DQ. (15:26) I think Kennedy is the man and he actually did the best he could with a TERRIBLE opponent, but Lashley wasn’t ready to be this high up the card. Not to mention a DQ finish in an ECW WORLD TITLE MATCH? Give me a break. Lashley continues to beat Kennedy up the aisle with the chair with some really bad-looking shots. They tried to make him look like an angry black man, but the drama just wasn’t there. You just had fifteen minutes of no heat and this didn’t do anything to help. ¾*

The Miz comes out to host the WWE Diva Talent Invitational. HOO-RAH. The contestants are Extreme Expose (Layla, Kelly Kelly, and Brooke) from ECW who dance, Jillian Hall from Smackdown who sings badly, and Ashley from RAW who takes off a negligee to show us the Playboy bunny pasties on her boobies. Guess who won!

  • John Cena & Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker & Batista

Interesting idea here to put the driving WrestleMania feuds in a tag match to see what transpires. No real strong advantage here for the first seven minutes or so. Every conceivable combination gets some time in the ring. It’s all masturbation though until Taker THROWS Shawn over the top rope to the floor. To make matters worse, Batista drops Shawn’s face on the steps. Back inside, Taker gets two. They keep Shawn cornered as best they can until he lands a big DDT on Batista. Hot tag to Cena, he hits Batista with the Throwback and the Flying Famouser for two. Taker saves, but Cena clotheslines him out. Protobomb sets up the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Batista. He wants the FU, but in comes Taker to boot Cena in the face. Shawn sends Taker back out to the floor and dives off the apron, but gets caught and driven into the ringpost. Meanwhile, Batista looks for the Demon Bomb, but Taker throws Shawn back into the ring, who clips Batista to shut down the whole operation. Now they get some heat off Batista working a front headlock. Batista starts bleeding from his left eye. Not sure how though. Weird moment as both Cena and Batista stagger in their opposite corners. They both get punched, but Cena basically NO-SELLS Taker’s soupbone right and applies the STFU on Batista. Taker saves the day with a boot to the face. Tag to Michaels, he hits the Flying Elbow. Batista ducks Sweet Chin Music and hits Shawn with a Black Hole Slam. Hot tag to Taker, he goes SOUPBONE CRAZY! Total domination here. He wants to chokeslam both guys, but gives Shawn to Batista for a Spinebuster, and settles for just a Chokeslam on Cena. Taker calls for the end, but then Batista pulls him in for a Spinebuster! BOOOO! Batista steps out of the ring and watches on from the floor. As Taker stands up, Shawn delivers SWEET CHIN MUSIC which knocks him for a loop, but the FU finishes him off. (22:11) This was fine, but it had untapped potential where you could have gotten crazier with the finishing sequence. In the middle of all that chaos, then have Batista hit the spinebuster on Taker out of nowhere. But hey, you wouldn’t want WrestleMania to look weak by comparison to your lead-in PPV. ***¼

Final Thoughts: Nothing to go out of your way to see unless you love experiencing the Road to WrestleMania. Of course, the big thing was Batista turning on the Undertaker which made sense. Some head scratching booking decisions otherwise though. I’ll go with a thumbs down for No Way Out 2007.

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