WWE: No Way Out
February 17, 2008
Las Vegas, NV
Thomas & Mack Center

The current WWE champions are as follows:
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (10/7/2007)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy (9/3/2007)
World Tag Team Champions: Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes (12/10/2007)
WWE Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix (10/7/2007)
ECW Champion: Chavo Guerrero (1/22/2008)
World Heavyweight Champion: Edge (12/16/2007)
WWE United States Champion: MVP (5/20/2007)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Miz & John Morrison (11/16/2007)

Read along if you have the WWE Network!

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole & Jonathan Coachman, and Joey Styles & Tazz.

  • ECW Championship: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. CM Punk

That was “championship fiesta” was freaking hilarious and I actually loved the build to this match. However, Punk looked so strong that there’s no way he’s leaving Las Vegas with the belt. Chavo slaps Punk to start, but YOU DON’T SLAP A MAN. Punk then gets booted to the floor. Back in, Chavo kicks him around a bit and delivers that nasty back suplex to set up a body scissors. Punk escapes with a catapult and starts his comeback. Chavo boots away the running high knee in the corner, but charges into a powerslam for two. Guerrero counters the GTS with a headscissors and lands the TORNADO DDT (!!) for 1-2-NO! If this were 1998, it’d be over. Punk gets a nearfall off a step-up enziguri. Now he wants to mock Los Guerreros with the Three Amigos, which gets booed. When Chavo blocks the third suplex, Punk sends Chavo into the corner and delivers the running high knee and the bulldog for two. Guerrero uses the ropes to avoid the GTS, but ends up on the apron and gets head kicked to the floor. Back in, Punk covers for two. They battle up top, but Punk crashes and burns when he tries a headscissors, leaving Chavo to hit the FROG SPLASH for the win. (7:16) Big pop for Chavo which I didn’t expect. This one felt rushed, but that’s fine because they have wrestled a ton on TV the last couple months and there’s plenty of more interesting stuff happening tonight. Time to do something different with Punk now, which we will be seeing at WrestleMania 24. **

Backstage, Rey Mysterio is doing an interview about his torn bicep with the great Mike Adamle when FLOYD “MONEY” MAYWEATHER stops by to shoot the breeze.

  • Smackdown/ECW Elimination Chamber: The Undertaker vs. Batista vs. Finlay vs. MVP vs. The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) vs. Big Daddy V (w/Matt Striker)

Winner of this match gets a world title match at WrestleMania 24. The fact that Big Daddy V and the Great Khali fit in their respective pods with no problem is a little disappointing to me. Batista and the Undertaker – the best rivalry of 2007 – meet to begin this thing. They go back and forth brawling with each other for the first five minutes. They boot each other down just as the first pod opens. Looks like the lighting was a little screwy because it bounces around after the buzzer until it lands on Big Daddy V. This match needed a pick-me-up and I don’t think BDV was that guy to make that happen. He runs the ring for a while. At one point, Taker receives a headbutt and tumbles out the door onto the floor. Whoops. Guess WWE bought the ClapCo D29’s for their Elimination Chamber doors. Once Taker gets back in the chamber, he stays over by the door to regroup. Bats receives an avalanche, but slips away from the Samoan Drop and picks up Big Daddy V for the Spinebuster. As BDV heads to the ropes, Batista clotheslines him out for Taker to drop him with a DDT on the steel. Bats covers BDV and gets the three-count to send him to the showers at 9:08. NOW WHO WILL BE NEXT?

It’s Khali. Couldn’t they have mixed it up a little? Worker/Freak/Worker/Freak? Crowd is immediately on Khali for not being to “wrestle”. He grabs Taker for a TREE SLAM and covers him for 1-2-NO! Khali puts Bats in the HEAD VICE, but Batista is too powerful and escapes to SPEAR him down. Taker then boots down Batista, boots Singh off the chamber, and then puts Khali in the HELL’S GATE to submit him at 12:36.

So now the freaks are gone. This match should pick up now, right? Finlay is the next one to be released from their pod, but Taker is HOT and doesn’t mess around with him. He misses a corner charge though and Finlay gives him the CELTIC CROSS for 1-2-NO! If I’m Finlay, I’m hooking both legs and getting all the leverage I can there. He goes after Batista and takes a catapult into the chain linked wall. With Finlay down, Bats and UT go back to fighting. Once Taker gets winded clotheslining Batista down, Finlay goes to steal the pin only getting a nearfall on Bats. Finlay then goes after Taker tossing him onto the steel for some pod violence. To take control, Batista tosses Finlay into the ringpost and puts him up top for a suplex for two. Time for MVP to be RELEASED. Taker is there to meet him and unloads on him. Bats goes back to brawling with Taker. In comes MVP to take him down with kicks. Finlay gets choked down with MVP’s bling. He punches on Taker with the chain, but takes a moment to pose before trying to pin him. Yep, Taker is busted open now. He tries to rope a dope MVP and scares him up to the top of a pod. Real smart, pal. Taker is glassy eyed (more so than usual) and gets tossed by his throat down to the mat. Finlay covers MVP and gets the pinfall to eliminate him at 22:31.

Taker comes off the top trying an elbow drop on Finlay, but Finlay moves. EVERYONE IS DOWN. Next thing we know, Hornswoggle’s head pops up in the corner and he hands Finlay a shillelagh. Before his plan finishes off Bats and Taker, Bats picks him up for the DEMON BOMB. Finlay whacks him on the forehead as he goes up! He covers Bats for 1-2-NO! Holy crap. He then runs over to Taker, but gets goozled and taken over the ropes onto the STEEL with a Chokeslam. That’s going to do it for Finlay at 24:13.

Now both guys are busted open. Great shot here as they are on opposite sides of the chamber. You would think the crowd would be split and ready to see this showdown, but they are 100% behind Taker. They slug it out, but Bats wins that battle with a DEMON BOMB. Cover, 1-2-NO! Taker comes out of the corner with the LAST RIDE. Cover, 1-2-NO! Time for the TOMBSTONE, but Batista escapes and sends Taker out onto the steel. He sends Taker into the chain link wall like a battering ram. He tries again, but the momentum takes them back into the ring where Taker hits the TOMBSTONE for the win. (29:27) Great finish although it was pretty clear who was going to win. This definitely picked up after the literal ton of dead weight was gone. ***

In the back, Edge is a little nervous about facing the Undertaker, but he doesn’t want to look passed Mysterio. Teddy Long interrupts and bans Hawkins and Ryder from ringside tonight, playas.

We catch some footage of Ashley and Maria at a Playboy Mansion party. They even get some face time with a corpse in a cigar jacket.

  • Ric Flair vs. Mr. Kennedy

I like the idea of Kennedy trying to hurt Shawn Michaels by trying to end Ric Flair’s career. Shoulderblocks and struts all around to start. MVP and Kennedy have done a number on Flair’s left knee, which is where the story goes. Kennedy wants to beat Flair with the Figure-Four and does all he can here to do just that. Flair makes the ropes, but then Kennedy gives him the Finlay Roll for two. He tries a second one, but Flair slips out and clips the knee. Kennedy kicks away the Figure-Four and pulls Flair’s tights into a rollup to give the crowd quite a view for 1-2-NO! Shinbreaker connects, but Kennedy pulls Flair into an inside cradle for two. When that doesn’t work, Flair is able to get the FIGURE-FOUR on him after all for the tapout. (7:14) This wasn’t bad considering how limited Flair is at this point, which just further puts over the fact that it had to be a worker like Shawn Michaels to work with him in his final WWE match coming up. Flair cuts a promo after the bell and lets everybody know that he is the winner, that he is still Ric Flair, and that he will NEVER RETIRE. WOO! He’ll always be the man. We have another Ashley sighting here. **¼

Backstage, Vince McMahon finds Finlay to taunt him while he’s getting iced down. What Finlay suffered tonight is nothing compared to the tough love Vince will show his bastard son Hornswoggle in a cage match – tomorrow night on RAW!

  • World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

Naturally, Edge goes after the injured arm. The ref offers to call the match, but Rey’s a trooper. Edge ties Mysterio in the tree-of-woe, but misses the charge and crotches himself. Rey hits a Tornado DDT and a 619, but he can’t capitalize. He tries a springboard move, but Edge spears him out of the air for the win. (5:28) If nothing else, you have to give Rey credit for gutting it out here. *½

Next thing we know, the BIG SHOW returns. He’s looking much slimmer than the last time we saw him at the end of 2006. He talks about being a champion in WWE again. He’s lost 108 pounds and he’s faster, meaner, and ready to be back. As the trainers try to help Rey Mysterio back to the locker room, Big Show goes down to the floor and goozles Rey right in front of Rey’s pal Floyd Mayweather. He brings Rey into the ring. Mayweather has to be held back by his posse. Once Big Show lifts Rey up into the air, Mayweather gets away from his boys and hops in the ring. WWE agents and whatnot get in between them. As things seem to have calmed down, Mayweather steps to Big Show and gets shoved back. To give Mayweather an even chance, Show gets down on one knee. Before he can finish a sentence, Mayweather is right there to rock him with a right hand. He gets a few more shots in and BIG SHOW IS PISSED. Mayweather and his crew all scatter as Show jumps the rail and runs after them. Shane McMahon appears out of nowhere to get in front of Show and calm him down. Show is BLEEDING all over the place. Pretty standard stuff until that punch. Holy crap. Mayweather caught him GOOD, ladies and gents. Show’s nose looks to be shattered.

  • WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena

Cena cashes in his WWE title shot at WrestleMania to get his hands on Orton six weeks early. Crowd is JACKED and completely split for this one. Orton kicks around the challenger to start, but Cena comes back with the bulldog and tries to get a quick win. Orton tries to keep things slow with a straight right hand. He poses, but Cena rolls him up for two. Orton connects with a clothesline and continues his methodical gameplan. He really soaks in the audience here. Cena surprises him by snapping his neck on the top rope and coming back with the Flying Famouser, but only gets two. Orton blocks a charge in the corner and goes back to work. Cena pops up with a try at the FU, but Orton elbows him away and delivers the Garvin Stomp. Orton pounds the pecs and covers Cena for two. Cena avoids the jumping knee drop, but misses a corner charge. The Inverted Backbreaker gets blocked by Cena, but Orton is able to grab the DREADED CHINLOCK. Cena milks it a little bit and powers out. Here come the shoulderblocks. There’s the Protobomb and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. FU gets countered again as Orton retreats to the floor. Cena follows him out for a slugfest teasing a double countout. They both roll back into the ring at the count of nine. Orton finds the Inverted Backbreaker, but sells his leg and takes too long to cover Cena for a two-count. Cena tries to come back with another Flying Famouser and misses. Orton slithers to ready himself for the RKO, but Cena counters to another Protobomb to set up the STFU. When Orton reaches the ropes, he rolls to the floor and tells the ref to count him out because he’s hurt. That draws Cena to the outside, so Orton pounces on him for an RKO ON THE FLOOR. Cena makes it back in the ring at the count of nine. ORTON CANNOT BELIEVE IT. Cena wants some more of Orton. Since he doesn’t have to beat Cena, Orton reaches over and slaps the ref for the controversial DQ. (15:49) Justifiably pissed off, Cena grabs Orton and gives him an FU and applies the STFU to tap him out. When you consider this match on a macro level, the Cena-Orton rivalry is long and arduous. It’s not always satisfying, but it is the defining rivalry of this era. Considering the context though and looking a short ways ahead, it does add some intrigue for the upcoming WrestleMania main event. ***

In the back, Triple H and Shawn Michaels agree that there will be no hard feelings after tonight.

  • RAW Elimination Chamber: Shawn Michaels vs. JBL vs. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga

The winner goes to WrestleMania for a shot at the WWE title. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels – who will go on to have the feud of the year in 2008 – start us off trading nearfalls. No heat as nobody believes one could pin the other at this point. Shawn tries his signature comeback, but the Flying Elbow hits knees. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but lands on his feet. The Walls of Jericho gets blocked and Shawn attempts his Inverted Figure-Four, but Jericho counters to an inside cradle. They wind up knocking each other out as our first pod gets opened to bring out UMAGA. Here we see the difference between a good big man and just a big man as we saw earlier when Big Daddy V or the Great Khali appeared. HBK and Jericho try and double team him, but Umaga winds up grabbing both of them for a DOUBLE SAMOAN DROP. YES. He continues to rule the ring pounding and squashing on Michaels and Jericho. Umaga misses a flying headbutt to Jericho though. HBK flies in and lands the Flying Elbow to Umaga. Jericho and HBK then apply a WALLS OF JERICHO/CROSSFACE combo, but Umaga WILL NOT DIE! In comes JBL, he runs over Jericho and HBK. By the way, Shawn Michaels is busted WIDE open. JBL tosses out HBK to Umaga while he works over Jericho. Now I’m just imagining a program with Umaga and Shawn Michaels. Triple H is next out of a pod. He runs wild on the heels Umaga and JBL. He goes SPINEBUSTER CRAZY and then DDTs JBL for a nearfall. Umaga gets thrown face first into a pod. Jericho sneaks up behind Triple H for the bulldog, but misses the Lionsault. Triple H looks for the Pedigree, but JBL blasts him with a CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL. Next thing JBL knows, Jericho wipes him out with the CODEBREAKER for the three-count at 13:46.

Pissed off at the world, JBL gets a chair and kills everybody dead before he makes his exit. Now Jericho is busted open. Shawn looks half dead over in a corner. FINALLY, Jeff Hardy enters the match and runs wild on everybody. He hits Whisper in the Wind on both HBK and HHH at the same time – if you can believe that. Umaga cuts him off with a crescent kick and drills Jericho with the Black Hole Slam. HHH gets put in the tree of woe. Shawn takes the Ray Stevens corner bump up over Triple H and falls to the steel. With Triple H still in place, Umaga comes after him with the leaping headbutt. Jericho takes the BUTTALANCE INTO THE POD for the HOLY SHIT moment. Back in the ring, the match immediately goes south for Umaga as he takes everybody’s finisher (including a Swanton Bomb off a corner pod) to send him to the showers in 19:46.

Shawn drills Jericho with SWEET CHIN MUSIC and Hardy covers him for another three-count at 19:55.

We’re down to Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Jeff Hardy. Jeff hits Shawn with the TWIST OF FATE, but then Triple H heaves Hardy over the top rope and PEDIGREES HBK for a three-count at 20:26.

And then there were two. The last time these two met Jeff Hardy was the winner. A slugfest winds up out on the floor where Hardy sends Triple H into the mesh and then DDTs Triple H! Now HHH is busted open. He then throws Helmsley into the steel mesh a whole bunch more. They tease a Pedigree, but Hardy backdrops Triple H back into the ring. The SWANTON BOMB misses. Here comes the PEDIGREE. Cover, 1-2-NO! Holy crap. Triple H brings one of the chairs JBL brought inside the chamber over. He wants a Pedigree, but Hardy low blows him instead. A Twist of Fate on the chair fails as HHH shoves him down on the chair. Now there’s a PEDIGREE ON THE CHAIR. Good night, everybody. (23:56) Much like the earlier Chamber match, this was a mere formality. Jeff Hardy may have missed out on a WrestleMania main event spot, but he got a much more *special* honor by kicking out of the Pedigree, which there can be no greater honor than that. The match was significantly better than the earlier one considering the talent, but I don’t care for the quick eliminations. The final HHH-Hardy period probably could have gone on a little longer, but they may have been short on time. ***½

Final Thoughts: The show was an easy watch, but there’s nothing really to recommend about it. It just felt like they were putting on a show because they had to fill the February slot, not because they actually had anything interesting to put out there. The last Chamber match was pretty good, but it’s not enough to definitely recommend the show based on that alone. Thumbs slap dab in the middle on No Way Out 2008.


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