No Way Out 2008 was the ninth annual No Way Out professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on February 17, 2008 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It starred wrestlers from the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands.
The main match on the Raw brand was an Elimination Chamber match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXIV. Triple H won the match after last eliminating Jeff Hardy. The predominant match on the SmackDown brand was Edge versus Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Championship, in which Edge won after spearing Mysterio in mid-air. The primary match on the ECW brand was Chavo Guerrero versus CM Punk for the ECW Championship. Guerrero won the match and retained the title after pinning Punk following a frog splash. The predominant match on the Raw brand was Randy Orton versus John Cena for the WWE Championship, which Cena won after Orton disqualified himself. The featured match on the undercard was an Elimination Chamber match to determine the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXIV.
The event had 329,000 buys, up on the No Way Out 2007 figure of 218,000 buys.
The event featured six professional wrestling matches on the card. The event starred wrestlers from the Raw, SmackDown and ECW brands – storyline expansions of the promotion where employees are assigned to wrestling brands under the WWE banner. Wrestlers portrayed either a villainous or fan favorite gimmick, as they followed a series of events which generally built tension, leading to a wrestling match.
The main feud on the Raw brand heading into No Way Out was between Randy Orton and John Cena, with the two battling over the WWE Championship. At the Royal Rumble, Cena made a surprise return, entering as the thirtieth participant. Cena went on to win the match after last eliminating Triple H. The following night on Raw, Cena told Orton that he couldn't wait until WrestleMania and decided to cash in his title opportunity at No Way Out, which Orton accepted.
The main feud on the SmackDown brand was between Rey Mysterio and Edge, with the two battling over the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio won a Beat the Clock Challenge on the January 4 edition of SmackDown, defeating Edge with 90 seconds to go, to earn a title shot at Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, Edge retained the title after his on-screen lover, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, interfered by receiving an attack for Edge by Mysterio. This distracted Mysterio and allowed Edge to Spear Mysterio in mid-air, which allowed Edge to retain his title. On the February 1 edition of SmackDown, Theodore Long, who was acting as the General Manager due to Guerrero's scripted injury, assigned a rematch between the two at No Way Out. Mysterio was injured at a live event overseas on February 13, but still chose to compete in his match.
The main feud on the ECW brand was between CM Punk and Chavo Guerrero, with the two battling over the ECW Championship. On the January 22 edition of ECW, Guerrero defeated Punk to win the title after Edge interfered. The following week on ECW, while Guerrero was celebrating his victory, Punk, dressed as a Mexican guitarist, hit Guerrero with his guitar. On the February 5 edition of ECW, Punk demanded a rematch against Guerrero for the title. Guerrero accepted the challenge for No Way Out. On the same night, ECW General Manager Armando Estrada scheduled the first ever Gulf of Mexico match, in which Punk defeated Guerrero.
Other matches on the Raw brand included an Elimination Chamber match, where the winner would receive a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, and a "Career Threatening" match between Mr. Kennedy and Ric Flair, where Flair would be forced to retire from wrestling if he loses. The other match on the SmackDown brand was another Elimination Chamber match, where the winner will receive a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania.
Before the event aired on pay-per-view, Kane defeated Shelton Benjamin by pinfall, after delivering a chokeslam. The first match that aired was the ECW Championship match between CM Punk and the champion, Chavo Guerrero. In the beginning, the two wrestlers exchanged control of the match until late into the match, where Punk kicked Guerrero's head, causing him to fall from the ring apron to the outside. Back in the ring, Punk set Guerrero up for a Hurracarana from the top turnbuckle, but Guerrero countered the attempt by holding the ropes, causing Punk to fall to the ring mat. Guerrero immediately hit a Frog splash, and pinned Punk to retain his title.
The next match was the SmackDown!/ECW Elimination Chamber match between The Undertaker, Batista, Big Daddy V (with Matt Striker), Finlay, The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh) and Montel Vontavious Porter. Batista and Undertaker were selected to start the match. Undertaker gained control of the match early after tossing Batista over the top rope onto the chamber's steel surface. In the ring, both men were knocked down by hitting a big boot to each other. The third entrant, Big Daddy V, then entered, and dominated both The Undertaker and Batista for some time, until Batista hit him with a massive Spinebuster, and The Undertaker hit a DDT onto the steel floor of the chamber. Batista capitalised and pinned Big Daddy V to eliminate him. The fourth entrant was The Great Khali, who also dominated upon entering, but was eliminated when he submitted to Gogoplata submission hold. The fifth entrant was Finlay, who gained the advantage over Batista by tossing him into the steel chains of the chamber, and over Undertaker by delivering a Celtic Cross to him. Finlay also slammed Undertaker's head into the bullet-proof glass of the one of the pods and breaking it, and also causing Undertaker to start bleeding. The sixth entrant, MVP, was attacked by Undertaker when his pod was opened. MVP used a steel chain as a weapon on the other three competitors, until he climbed to the top of a pod. Undertaker followed and delivered a chokeslam to MVP from the top of the pod onto the ring,which caused MVP the match as Finlay pinned MVP and eliminated him. Later, Hornswoggle passed a shillelagh to Finlay from under the ring, which he used on both Batista and Undertaker. He was soon eliminated by Undertaker who pinned him after a Chokeslam from inside the ring onto the steel floor of the chamber. The final two men were Batista and Undertaker. Batista gained advantage after delivering a thunderous Batista Bomb, but Undertaker kicked out which led to Batista tossing Undertaker into the chamber's steel chains. Undertaker however, retaliated and countered a powerslam attempt on the outside, bringing both men in, and delivered a devastating Tombstone piledriver and pinned Batista, winning the match and earning a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV, which he also went on to win.
The third match was a "Career threatening" match between Ric Flair and Mr. Kennedy. In this match, had Flair lost, he would have had to retire from professional wrestling. Throughout the match Kennedy worked on Flair's injured leg, but in the end, Flair was able to trip Kennedy into a Figure four leglock, forcing Kennedy to submit. Thus, Flair won the match and avoided retirement.
The next match was a World Heavyweight Championship match between Rey Mysterio and the champion, Edge. Throughout the match, Edge worked on Mysterio's injured biceps, which affected Mysterio's offense. Mysterio, however, was able to retaliate as he hit a Tornado DDT on Edge for an unsuccessful pinfall attempt. Later in the match, Mysterio hit Edge with a 619, but failed to capitalize due to his biceps. He then tried to hit Edge with a Springboard Splash, but Edge speared Mysterio in mid-air, and pinned him to retain the title. After the match, The Big Show made a surprise return to the company, where he cut a promo on his recent weight loss (over 108 pounds) and future plans of becoming a champion again. After doing so, The Big Show began to taunt professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who was in attendance and Mysterio's close friend. As The Big Show threatened to give Mysterio a chokeslam, Mayweather jumped over the security wall and entered the ring to confront The Big Show. The Big Show then got on his knees to allow Mayweather to punch him, which Mayweather did with a combination of punches, which caused The Big Show to bleed from the nose and mouth. Mayweather and his crew fled the ring, and then through the crowd, where Shane McMahon stopped The Big Show from chasing them.
The next match was for the WWE Championship between champion Randy Orton and challenger John Cena. At the beginning, both men controlled the match by their turn, until late into the match, Orton started targeting Cena's surgically-repaired right pectoral muscle. Later, Orton feigned an injury outside the ring and ordered the referee Mike Chioda to count him out. When Cena came to check Orton's "injury", Orton delivered an RKO to Cena outside the ring. Orton got back in the ring and the referee started to count Cena out. Cena got back into the ring on a nine-count, but Orton purposely slapped the referee in the face and got himself disqualified. As a result, Orton lost the match but retained the title. After the match, Cena delivered an FU to Orton, and applied the STFU.
The main event was between Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Umaga in the second Elimination Chamber match of the night. The first two superstars to start the match were Jericho and Michaels. They fought each other until Umaga entered, and dominated. Some of the highlights were Umaga performing a double Samoan Drop on Jericho and Michaels, and later, hitting his Samoan Wrecking Ball to Jericho into one of the pods' "bullet-proof" glass. The next superstar to enter the match was JBL, who dominated the other three competitors for some time until he got eliminated by Jericho after a Codebreaker. After his elimination, JBL brought two steel chairs into the chamber to attack Jericho, Michaels and Umaga before leaving. Triple H entered the match next. Soon, every superstar hit their finishing moves on Umaga, with Jericho hitting the Codebreaker, Michaels performing Sweet Chin Music, Triple H executing the Pedigree, and Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb from the top of a pod. Jericho took advantage and pinned Umaga to eliminate him. Hardy then eliminated Jericho soon after a superkick from Michaels. Later, Triple H eliminated Michaels after hitting a Pedigree, following a Twist of Fate from Hardy. The final two men were Triple H and Hardy. They battled for about five minutes until Triple H delivered a Pedigree on Hardy, but failed to score the pinfall. Triple H tried to use a steel chair but Hardy retaliated, and attempted to deliver a Twist of Fate. Triple H countered the attempt by pushing Hardy into the steel chair. Finally, Triple H delivered a Pedigree to Hardy onto the steel chair and pinned him to win the match, earning a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.
The following night on Raw, John Cena demanded a rematch for the WWE Championship. General Manager William Regal made a non-title match for later that night between Orton and Cena, where if Cena won, he would be included in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV. Triple H was assigned to be the guest referee. Cena won the match after executing an FU to Orton, thus changing the match at WrestleMania to a Triple Threat match. After the match, Triple H delivered a Pedigree to both Orton and Cena. At WrestleMania, Orton defeated both Cena and Triple H to retain the WWE Championship.
Also on this episode of Raw, The Big Show challenged Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to a match, which Mayweather accepted. The match was announced the following week to be scheduled for WrestleMania. The two met at WrestleMania, in a No Disqualificaion match, which Mayweather won.
The feud between Rey Mysterio and Edge ended when, on the February 22 edition of SmackDown, Mysterio said that he needed surgery, and would be out of action for seven weeks. Edge then entered a feud with The Undertaker, as to Undertaker being the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge and Undertaker met in a World title match at WrestleMania, in which Undertaker defeated Edge to capture the World title, and to keep his undefeated streak intact.
On the February 25 edition of Raw, 2008 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Ric Flair challenged Shawn Michaels to a match at WrestleMania. Michaels accepted after some reluctance, knowing that due to a previous announcement from WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon the next match Flair loses would result in a forced retirement for Flair. Flair also said that "it would be an honor for him to retire at the hands of Shawn Michaels." At WrestleMania, Michaels defeated Flair, and Flair retired from professional wrestling.
A Triple Threat match was made on ECW, where the winner would be the number one contender for the ECW Championship between CM Punk, Shelton Benjamin and Elijah Burke. Punk went on to win the match. One week later, on the March 4 edition of ECW, Punk fought Guerrero for the title, but lost the match. Guerrero, however, would go on to lose the ECW title to Kane in just 8 seconds at WrestleMania XXIV.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Kane defeated Shelton Benjamin
- Chavo Guerrero defeated CM Punk to retain the ECW Championship (7:12)
- The Undertaker defeated Batista, The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh), Finlay, Montel Vontavious Porter, and Big Daddy V (with Matt Striker in an Elimination Chamber match (29:28)
- Ric Flair defeated Mr. Kennedy (7:13)
- Edge defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. (5:27)
- John Cena defeated WWE Champion Randy Orton by disqualification. (15:49)
- Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Umaga, Chris Jericho, and Jeff Hardy in and Elimination Chamber match. (23:54)
Elimination Chamber entrances and eliminations (SmackDown/ECW)
|Elimination #||Wrestler||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||Big Daddy V||Batista||Pinfall after a DDT on the steel floor from the Undertaker.||9:07|
|2||The Great Khali||Undertaker||Submission with a Gogoplata||12:38|
|3||MVP||Finlay||Pinfall after a Chokeslam from Undertaker from the top of a pod into the ring.||22:31|
|4||Finlay||Undertaker||Pinfall after a Chokeslam onto the steel floor.||24:11|
|5||Batista||Undertaker||Pinfall after a Tombstone Piledriver.||29:28|
Elimination Chamber entrances and eliminations (Raw)
|Elimination #||Wrestler||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||JBL||Chris Jericho||Pinfall after a Codebreaker||13:44|
|2||Umaga||Chris Jericho||Pinfall after Sweet Chin Music from Michaels, Codebreaker from Jericho, Pedigree from Triple H and a Swanton Bomb from Hardy||19:45|
|3||Chris Jericho||Jeff Hardy||Pinfall after Sweet Chin Music from Michaels||19:57|
|4||Shawn Michaels||Triple H||Pinfall after a Twist of Fate from Hardy and a Pedigree.||20:25|
|5||Jeff Hardy||Triple H||Pinfall after a Pedigree on a steel chair.||23:54|
Other on-screen talent
- No Way Out 2008 Official Website
- No Way Out 2008 at CAGEMATCH.net
- No Way Out 2008 at Online World of Wrestling
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