No Way Out (2004)
No Way Out (2004) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on February 15, 2004 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. It was presented by THQ's MX Unleashed. It was the sixth event produced under the No Way Out name and starred wrestlers from the SmackDown! brand.
|No Way Out (2004)|
Promotional poster featuring Eddie Guerrero
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||February 15, 2004|
|City||Daly City, California|
|No Way Out chronology|
The event is best remembered for the main event, which saw Eddie Guerrero defeat WWE Champion Brock Lesnar to win the title, his sole world championship before his death in 2005. In the undercard, Kurt Angle defeated The Big Show and John Cena in a Triple Threat match to earn a title match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XX. Furthermore, Chavo Guerrero defeated Rey Mysterio.
No Way Out grossed over US$450,000 ticket sales from an attendance of approximately 11,000 and received 350,000 pay-per-view buys, and was instrumental in helping WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $11.9 million compared to the previous year. Like the event, the DVD received favorable reviews.
The event consisted of eight professional wrestling matches with wrestlers involved in pre-existing scripted feuds, and storylines. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or fan favorites as they followed a series of tension-building events, which culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers belonged to the SmackDown! brand – a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees to a different program, the other being Raw.
After winning a 15-man battle royal (a match in which participants are eliminated until one person remains as the winner) on the January 29, 2004 episode of SmackDown!, Eddie Guerrero earned the right to challenge for the WWE Championship at No Way Out against the champion, Brock Lesnar in a standard wrestling match, also known as a singles match. Outside the storyline with Guerrero, Lesnar was involved in a staged rivalry with Goldberg, a member of the Raw program. The feud between Lesnar and Goldberg began at the Royal Rumble, WWE's previous pay-per-view event which involved both brands. Lesnar interfered in the Royal Rumble match, a 30-man battle royal, attacking and eliminating Goldberg from the match. On the week of January 26, 2004, Lesnar and Goldberg conducted promotional in-ring segments on respective episodes of Raw and SmackDown!, in which they insulted each other. The following week on an episode of Raw, as a result of the rivalry extending between the two programs, General Manager Steve Austin gave Goldberg the option of attending No Way Out by giving him a front-row ticket. That Thursday on SmackDown!, the storyline between Guerrero and Lesnar was enhanced when they began a brawl after an in-ring interview segment.
On the February 5, 2004 episode of SmackDown!, the General Manager Paul Heyman scheduled a Triple Threat match between The Big Show, Kurt Angle and John Cena for No Way Out. The winner of that match would face the WWE Champion at WrestleMania XX for the title. The rivalry continued to develop the following week, when Angle was scheduled to team with Guerrero to face The Big Show and Lesnar, though the latter was portrayed as being unconscious backstage. Cena then replaced Angle in the match and defeated the opposition with Guerrero.
In February 2004, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio produced "Crossing Borders", which was No Way Out's official theme song. In this storyline, Chavo Guerrero became jealous of the attention Mysterio garnered as a result of recording the song. Therefore, Heyman promoted a match between the two at No Way Out for the WWE Cruiserweight title during the February 5, 2004 episode of SmackDown!. The following week on SmackDown!, Mysterio was accompanied by Jorge Páez, a professional boxer and childhood friend of Mysterio who appeared in his "Crossing Borders" music video, to his match against Tajiri. Mysterio defeated Tajiri but was attacked by Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero, Sr. after the match until Paez intervened and helped Mysterio.
Sunday Night HeatEdit
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Hugo Savinovich (Spanish)|
|Ring Announcer||Tony Chimel|
After Sunday Night Heat, the pay-per-view began with a handicap match - a tag team match in which a team of two wrestlers face a team of three. WWE Tag Team Champions Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty defended their titles against The Basham Brothers (Doug Basham and Danny Basham) and Shaniqua. During the match Hotty attempted a worm on Shaniqua, but Shaniqua countered by clotheslining Hotty. The challengers had the advantage until Hotty clotheslined the Bashams, causing them to flip over the top ring rope and into ringside. Afterwards, Rikishi delivered a Samoan drop. Rikishi then covered Shaniqua to retain the championships.
Next was a Singles match, in which Jamie Noble was blindfolded as he faced his storyline girlfriend Nidia. Nidia would take advantage of Noble's inability to see by performing antics that caused him to fall. Eventually, Noble was able to apply the guillotine choke on Nidia. Noble won the match after he forced her to submit with this move.
The third contest was a tag team match, in which The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) faced the APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq). At one point, Bradshaw performed a Clothesline from Hell on Haas. Benjamin then delivered a superkick to Bradshaw and pinned him to gain the win for his team. After the match, Goldberg was seen arriving at the arena and being escorted to his seat by arena security. In the ring, General Manager Paul Heyman gave a promotional in-ring segment on how SmackDown! was the better program over Raw. Lesnar would come down to the ring to promote his match and to insult Goldberg. As part of the storyline, Goldberg immediately jumped over the barricade into the ring, where Lesnar performed a spear on Goldberg however he recuperated and delivered a Jackhammer to Lesnar. Goldberg was then escorted out of the arena by security.
This altercation was followed by a match between Hardcore Holly and Rhyno. Before the match began, Holly and Rhyno brawled on the entrance ramp, before they entered the ring. Once there, Holly executed a superplex, though, as they recuperated, Rhyno delivered a Gore that caused Holly to roll out of the ring. Afterwards, Holly delivered an Alabama slam for the pinfall.
Main event matchesEdit
In the fifth match Rey Mysterio (managed by Jorge Paez), defended his WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Chavo Guerrero (managed by his father Chavo Guerrero, Sr.) During the fight, Mysterio performed a 619 on Guerrero, leading to an attack by Paez on Guerrero, Sr. The referee ordered Paez backstage. Both fighters wrestled inconclusively until Mysterio delivered a second 619. During the second sequence of the move, Guerrero grabbed Mysterio's legs and achieved a position with his shoulders spread so as to win both a pinfall and the WWE Cruiserweight title.
The following match was the triple threat match between United States Champion Big Show, John Cena and Kurt Angle, with the winner facing the WWE Champion at WrestleMania XX. For the duration of the match, The Big Show, who stood at 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m) and weighed 500 pounds (230 kg), used his body size to his advantage as he squashed, or easily and quickly performed moves on, Cena and Angle. Thereafter, Cena delivered an FU, while Angle threw Big Show out of the ring with an Angle Slam. Angle then applied an ankle lock on Cena, forcing him to submit. As a result, Angle won a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XX.
The main event featured Brock Lesnar defending the WWE Championship against Eddie Guerrero. The build up to the match had highlighted the confidence and physical dominance of the champion against the technical skill, intelligence and resilience of the challenger; controversially, Guerrero's real-life issues with and recovery from drug addiction were referred to, both as a sign of the challenger's demons, and his resilience. As predicted by the build-up, Lesnar used his size advantage over Guerrero throughout the match. As Lesnar attempted an "F-5", he knocked down the referee. Lesnar then attempted to take advantage of the referee's state, as he went to retrieve the WWE title belt to hit Guerrero. Meanwhile, Goldberg came down into the ring and delivered a spear to Lesnar. Because the referee was incapacitated, Guerrero could not be disqualified for Goldberg's interference. As Goldberg retreated, Guerrero countered Lesnar's 2nd F5 into a DDT on the title belt while the referee regained consciousness. Guerrero kicked the belt out of the ring to prevent the referee from seeing it and performed his Frog splash to pin Lesnar and win the WWE Championship from him.
At WrestleMania XX, WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero defeated challenger Kurt Angle via pinfall and retained his title. John "Bradshaw" Layfield, portraying a new character after the semi-retirement of his tag team partner Faarooq, challenged Guerrero for the WWE Championship and defeated him at The Great American Bash to win the title. Guerrero failed to recapture the title from Layfield in a steel cage match on SmackDown!. After Guerrero's death in November 2005, WWE held Tribute Shows on Raw and SmackDown! During these programs, No Way Out was the main highlight of Guerrero's career, as it was where he won his only World Championship. John Cena began a rivalry with The Big Show over his WWE United States Championship and, at WrestleMania XX, Cena defeated Show to win the title. Goldberg and Lesnar continued their rivalry, leading to a match promoted at WrestleMania XX, in which Goldberg defeated Lesnar. After their match, Goldberg and Lesnar left the company, although Lesnar would make his return in April 2012 and Goldberg made his return in October 2016.
Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero's storyline over the WWE Cruiserweight Championship also continued, culminating in a battle royal match at WrestleMania XX involving other wrestlers. Guerrero last eliminated Mysterio to retain his title in this match. After the Draft Lottery, a mock sports draft lottery in which wrestlers switched programs, Rico was drafted to SmackDown!, while Shelton Benjamin was drafted to Raw, in the process splitting up The World's Greatest Tag Team. Afterward, Haas and Rico won the WWE Tag Team Championship from Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty on SmackDown!
The Cow Palace arena usually can accommodate 13,000, but the capacity was reduced for No Way Out 2004. This event grossed over $450,000 from an approximate attendance of 11,000 which was the maximum allowed. It also received 350,000 pay-per-view buys. No Way Out helped World Wrestling Entertainment earn $43.7 million in revenue from pay-per-view events versus $31.8 million the previous year; Linda McMahon, then CEO of WWE, confirmed this statement on June 21, 2004 in a quarterly financial report. The event received mostly positive reviews. Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section described the event as "Smackdown! [giving] us our money's worth last night but they also set up what's probably going to be the best match at Wrestlemania." Kevin Sowers from PWTorch described the main event between Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar as "one to remember for a long time." The event was released on DVD on March 16, 2004. After its release, the DVD received a rating of 8.5 out of 10 points by IGN.
|1H||Akio, Sakoda and Tajiri defeated Billy Kidman, Paul London and Último Dragón||Six-man tag team match||05:35|
|2||Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty (c) defeated The Basham Brothers (Danny Basham and Doug Basham) and Shaniqua||Handicap match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||08:16|
|3||Jamie Noble defeated Nidia by submission||Singles match||04:23|
|4||The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) defeated The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq)||Tag team match||07:21|
|5||Hardcore Holly defeated Rhyno||Singles match||09:54|
|6||Chavo Guerrero (with Chavo Classic) defeated Rey Mysterio (c) (with Jorge Páez)||Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship||17:21|
|7||Kurt Angle defeated John Cena and Big Show by submission||Triple threat match to determine the #1 contender to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XX||12:18|
|8||Eddie Guerrero defeated Brock Lesnar (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship||30:07|
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