place at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 20th, No
Way Out featured the first ever "Barbed Wire Steel Cage" match in
WWE history. Since it was also the final pay-per-view before WrestleMania XXI,
we're also treated to a match between Kurt Angle, the only wrestler to every win
a gold metal, and John Cena to determine the number one contender for the WWE
Championship belt at WrestleMania.
While I really do like some of the wrestlers on
this brand [Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Big Show], most
of the running time of 2 hours and 42 minutes seemed to be wasted on
inconsequential things that alternated between fluff [the Diva Competion[s] and
predictability [the Undertaker, etc].
Here's the card along with my thoughts:
WWE Tag Team Championship Match [the Bashams vs. Rey
Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero] - the Bashams have come a long way since
their psuedo-S&M days with Shanequia. Since joining JBL's
"Cabinet", their wrestling has improved and they're a tighter tag
team [the "let's switch places to fool our opponent and the ref"
schtick is kinda tiresome, though]. Eddie Guerrero is as good as he's ever
been and Rey, well, while Rey might not have the height or humongous build
that most wrestlers do, he bounces around the ring and makes a great partner
with Eddie. It's a shame they're currently in the process of breaking them
Carlito Talks To Theodore Long In His Office
Rookie Diva Evening Gown Competition -
THIS is a shining example of one of the reasons i'm not that big a fan of
the weekly SmackDown! shows. Unlike Raw, since none of the Divas on
SD! can wrestle, fans are subjected to ridiculous "matches" such
as these that are even insulting to T&A fans.
WrestleMania 21 Trailer - Pulp Fiction Spoof
- This trailer features Eddie Guerrero and Booker T. doing their best
John Travolta and Sam Jackson impressions.
Booker T vs. Heidenreich - As
i've commented before, once Booker T. got "drafted" to SmackDown!,
I really didn't care that much for his character. However, up against
Heindenreich, it's the lesser of two evils.
Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio Celebrate In Their
6-Man Elimination Match For the WWE Cruiserweight
Championship [Funaki vs. Paul London vs. Shannon Moore vs. Akio vs. Spike
Dudley vs. Chavo Guerrero] - Taking into account who was eliminated
first, which I won't spoil for you, I really didn't care for this match at
all. Shannon was much better when he was Matt Hardy's protégé, Spike is
more interesting when he's with his brothers and Funaki is slightly amusing
on the mic.
- A WrestleMania 17 clip showing highlights from a Battle Royal featuring
the Bushwhackers, Duke Droese, the Iron Sheik, Earthquake, Goon, Doink,
Kamala, Repo Man, James E. Cornette, Nikolai Volkoff, Freebird Michael P.S.
Hayes, One Man Gang, Tugboat, Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love, Sgt. Slaughter
and Gobbly Gooker.
Rookie Diva Talent Competition - Yes,
you read that right, "talent". Needless to say, it's a short
Undertaker vs. Luther Reigns - Nowadays,
the Undertaker actually LOSING a match "clean" is as likely as me
winning the lottery.
WrestleMania 21 Trailer - Basic Instinct Spoof
- This trailer features Chris Jericho, Chris Benot, Christian grilling
Stacy Keibler in one of the funniest WrestleMania trailers the WWE produced.
Rookie Diva Competition In the Ring
- Though I could care less, I won't spoil who the "winner" was
since, having to sit through this makes us all losers.
Tournament Finals - No. 1 Contender's Match For the WWE
Championship At WrestleMania 21 [Kurt Angle vs. John Cena] - This was a
well wrestled match between the two. Then again, Kurt's talented enough that
he could make one of the "Divas" look like a great wrestler.
Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match For the WWE Championship [JBL
vs. Big Show] - While I appreciated the back-n-forth between Show
and JBL, the resolution was kind of lame. Actually, it wasn't "kind
of", it WAS lame.
They've also included two promos that were previously seen on the weekly
broadcasts to hype this event:
- Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match For the WWE Championship
- No Way Out Press Conference 02/15/05 [1m 12s] I've
said this before, but it's a shame they still choose to edit these
conferences instead of showing them in their entirety.
Sunday Night Heat extras:
- Kurt Angle Interview
- Michael Cole & Tazz Explain the Rules Of the Barbed Wire Steel Cage
- René Duprée & Kenzo Suzuki vs. Charlie Haas & Hardcore Holly
- So, Vince parades the Divas out three different times, and has Haas
wrestling on Sunday Night Heat instead. Make sense? Nah.
Listed as "DVD Exclusives" are:
- the Cabinet Walks JBL To the Trainer's Room
- Fozzy Music Video
- Behind the Scenes Fozzy Music Video - the WWE Experience 01/16/2005
- Initially, I was wondering why this featurette and the Fozzy video was
on a SmackDown! brand DVD. Turns out, Fozzy's song "Enemy" is the
official theme for No Way Out.
For the amount of content on the disc, this was an fairly good transfer. It's
presented in the full frame 1.33:1 ratio and the majority of the time, the picture is sharp. Colors
are bright and there were only slight instances of compression artifacts.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my
living room while I was watching it. You're also given the option of watching
the disc in Spanish.
Conclusion: There were only two matches I would feel comfortable
admitting in a court of law that I actually "enjoyed". With the
exception of the WrestleMania spoofs, which hopefully will be included on the
forthcoming WrestleMania XXI DVD release, everything else struck me as filler.
While the disc presentation is up to the WWE's usual standards, the material
isn't. This bad boy gets a Rent It.