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.
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 by 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 2000 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 teammed 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 title then during the latter event, he won the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Kane. On the February 5 episode of Raw Is War, during the contract signing segment WWF Chairman 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 warned that if Triple H and/or Austin lays a hand on one another before No Way Out, Triple H gets suspended for six months and Steve Austin loses his WrestleMania title shot. After Austin signed his name on paper, Triple H nailed him from behind with the brief case and stomped on him. McMahon then reminded him that he has been suspended but he stated that he has yet to sign his name on the contract and did it anyway. On the final episode of Raw Is War, Austin nailed Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley with the Stone Cold Stunner on the same week on SmackDown!, where Triple H performed a Pedigree on Austin's friend and Raw play-by-play commentator Jim Ross.
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 The Two-Man Power Trip would come out victorious.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Rikishi defeated Matt Hardy by disqualification (03:50)
- The Big Show defeated Raven (c) to win the WWF Hardcore Championship (04:20)
- Chris Jericho (c) defeated Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and X-Pac in a Fatal Four-Way match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship (12:17)
- Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley defeated Trish Stratus (08:28)
- Triple H defeated Steve Austin in a Three Stages of Hell match (39:27)
- Steven Richards defeated Jerry Lawler (05:32)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (c) defeated Edge and Christian and The Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker) in a Tables match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship (12:04)
- The Rock defeated Kurt Angle (c) to win the WWF Championship (16:53)
Other on-screen talent
- No Way Out 2001 Official website
- No Way Out 2001 at CAGEMATCH.net
- No Way Out 2001 at Online World of Wrestling
- No Way Out 2001 on WWE Network
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