No Way Out 2002 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The event took place on February 17, 2002 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The biggest storyline for No Way Out was when Vince McMahon revealed that he would unleash the New World Order (nWo) upon the World Wrestling Federation. McMahon said he wouldn't bring the nWo out if Ric Flair handed over his 50% ownership of the WWF, however, Flair refused.
After defeating Kurt Angle on the January 28, 2002 episode of WWF Raw, Stone Cold Steve Austin earned a match at No Way Out for the Undisputed WWF Championship against champion Chris Jericho (who defeated Steve Austin to become the 1st Undisputed Champion at Vengeance). Jericho had just retained the title against The Rock at the 2002 Royal Rumble. Afterwords, he successfully defended the title again against Maven on the same night where Austin became the #1 Contender. Jericho and Austin spent the weeks before No Way Out getting back at each other, including a segment where Jericho knocked out Austin and poured beer all over him. On the February 14th edition of WWF SmackDown!, Austin nailed Jericho with the Stone Cold Stunner then poured beer all over him in retaliation.
After winning the 2002 Royal Rumble, Triple H was guaranteed a shot at the Undisputed WWF Championship at WrestleMania X8. Kurt Angle, who felt that he should have won the Royal Rumble instead, challenged Triple H to a match at No Way Out with his WrestleMania title shot on the line. Triple H accepted, but was also having trouble with Stephanie McMahon, his on-screen wife, outside the ring. Stephanie demanded that they renew their wedding vows on the February 11, 2002 episode of Raw, because she was pregnant with their child. This was later revealed as a trick, and the doctor that Stephanie had brought in to verify her pregnacy was fake. On the night of the ceremony, Triple H exposed the truth, and declared an end to their on-screen marriage. Three days later, on the February 14, 2002 episode of WWF SmackDown!, Stephanie announced herself as the guest referee in the match between Triple H and Kurt Angle at No Way Out.
On the January 24, 2002 episode of SmackDown!, The Rock mocked The Undertaker for his quick elimination by Maven during the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble. The Undertaker's interference led to The Rock losing to Kurt Angle in the Semi-finals tournament to challenge for the Undisputed championship at No Way Out. On the February 4, 2002 episode of Raw, during a tag team match, The Undertaker grabbed a steel lead pipe from his motorcycle and nailed The Rock in the head with it, allowing Chris Jericho to score the pinfall win. Three days later on SmackDown!, The Rock retaliated by hitting him with a chair and helping Maven win the WWF Hardcore Championship; however The Undertaker performed a Tombstone Piledriver on The Rock onto the hood of a limousine in revenge. A match was made between the two at No Way Out.
After his win over Steve Austin, Chris Jericho aligned with Stephanie McMahon (who he was arch enemies with for the past couple of years), in an attempt to take down Triple H, who had won back his title shot on the episode of Raw immediately following No Way Out. Jericho lost the WWF Undisputed Championship to Triple H at WrestleMania X8, and also failed to win a rematch on the March 25 episode of Raw, in the process forcing Stephanie to, in storyline, leave the WWF per the pre-match stipulation. The feud with Triple H continued, and Jericho would get revenge a month later when he interfered in Triple H's championship defense against Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Backlash 2002 and cost him the title. The two would feud in the following weeks until Judgment Day 2002, when Triple H defeated Chris Jericho in a Hell in a Cell match.
The nWo set their sights on Steve Austin and The Rock. Austin wrestled and defeated Scott Hall at WrestleMania X8, while The Rock wrestled and defeated Hogan at the same event. Afterwards, Austin would continue to pursue the Undisputed title, and The Rock left for three months to make another film. Hogan was kicked out of the nWo after WrestleMania and, as mentioned above, later challenged Triple H for the WWF Undisputed Championship at Backlash and won it, tying him with Austin and The Rock for the record for most WWF Championship wins (which at that time was six and has since been broken twice; John Cena currently holds the record with 11). Scott Hall defeated Bradshaw at Backlash, but was released less than a month later. Kevin Nash injured his biceps shortly after his debut and was relegated to a non-wrestling role within the nWo until July, when he suffered a torn quadriceps tendon in his first match back and missed the remainder of the year.
Spike Dudley and Tazz would lose the WWF Tag Team Championship to Billy and Chuck shortly after No Way Out. Billy and Chuck would soon go on to successfully defend them at WrestleMania X8 against The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, and The APA in the four teams elimination match.
William Regal would go on to defend the WWF Intercontinental Championship against Rob Van Dam at WrestleMania X8, where Van Dam would get the first of six career reigns as Intercontinental Champion. After losing to Regal at No Way Out, Edge would enter a very short feud with Booker T, which included Edge's first singles win at a WrestleMania event. After losing to Van Dam at No Way Out, Goldust entered the Hardcore division, where he would win the WWF Hardcore Championship nine times.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Diamond Dallas Page (c) defeated The Big Boss Man by disqualification to retain the WWF European Championship (03:19)
- The APA defeated Lance Storm and Christian, Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert, The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff), The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), and Billy and Chuck (14:05)
- Rob Van Dam defeated Goldust (11:06)
- Tazz & Spike Dudley (c) defeated Booker T & Test to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship (07:17)
- William Regal (c) defeated Edge in a Brass Knuckles on a Pole match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship (10:25)
- The Rock defeated The Undertaker (17:25)
- Kurt Angle defeated Triple H with Stephanie McMahon as the Special Guest Referee (14:40)
- Chris Jericho (c) defeated Steve Austin to retain the Undisputed WWF Championship (21:34)
Other on-screen talent
- No Way Out 2002 official website
- No Way Out 2002 at CAGEMATCH.net
- No Way Out 2002 at Online World of Wrestling
- No Way Out 2002 on WWE Network
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