Friday, 14 September 2007

WWE No Way Out 2006 - PPV Review

The road to Wrestlemania 22 continues, with Smackdown’s regular February pay-per-view, No Way Out, this month emanating from Baltimore.

The pre-show edition of Heat featured Simon Dean losing a squash match to the Boogeyman. As I didn’t see Heat, I can’t offer an opinion on this one, although it’s pretty obvious how the Boogeyman won, and what happened afterwards.

The pay-per-view began with another one of those Cruiserweight mass brawl thingies, like the one we had last month at the Royal Rumble, but this time involving all the Cruiserweights from the roster. Surely the creative team could have come up with a better way for Gregory Helms to defend his Cruiserweight title. Do they have so little faith in a Helms/Kid Kash match? Anyway, tons of action, lots of guys flying around, Scotty 2 Hotty did the worm, but Helms escaped with his title after pinning Psicosis just short of the ten minute mark. Not bad, but I’d have preferred to see Helms v Kash.

In his office, General Manager Teddy Long hears please from Booker and Mrs. T for more time off. Old Teddy refused, saying that if Booker didn’t defend his title tonight he would lose it.

Backstage, Kristal is interrupted by my main man Fit Finlay. Hey, I know he’s only Finlay here, but he’ll always be Fit to me. Anyway, Finlay goes looking for a fight, and drags Kristal to the ring, only for the black Goldberg, Bobby Lashley, to interrupt. An impromptu match begins, before Lashley’s real opponent for the night, JBL arrives on the scene. As Fit is ushered backstage, Bradshaw and Lashley begin their match, and both men, especially Lashley, look good. However, Fit returns to the scene a short time later, clobbers Lashley, which sets up JBL’s clothesline from hell. Lashley tastes defeat in singles competition for the first time. A damn lot better than JBL’s previous pay-per-view outing against the Boogeyman.

We then get a surprise guest, as former World champion Batista comes down to the ring. To say the guy was over with just about everyone would be an understatement, and it was great to see the big man again.

Backstage, Randy Orton tells Kurt Angle that when Batista finally returns, he will be the champion.

Tag-team action follows, as champions MNM take on Matt Hardy and his mystery partner in a non-title match. The mystery partner turns out to be none other than Tatanka, still on the comeback trail. The guy looked good, and he worked well with Hardy as all four men put on a good match, even though the crowd wasn’t really into it at all. Hardy and Tatanka got the win, as they both unleashed their finishers on Mercury and Nitro, with Tatanka getting the pin, and possibly a future tag title shot.

The fourth match of the evening almost never happened. Booker and Mrs. T came down to the ring, and Booker called out Teddy Long saying that he was going to forfeit the title because of his ongoing injury problems. After handing the title to Teddy, Booker went to leave, only for Chris Benoit to grab the microphone and call Booker a coward. His passions stirred, Booker returned to the ring, and the match was on. A good enough match here between two men who know each other really well, but this may have been harmed by the fact that we’ve seen these two against each other so much in the past few months, and that probably hurt the crowd reaction a great deal. After nearly twenty minutes of action, Booker tapped as Benoit first applied the sharpshooter, and then switched over to the crossface to become the new United States champion.

Backstage, various faces congratulate Benoit on his title win, including Rey Mysterio, and Chavo and Vicky Guerrero. Pat Patterson was also there. How long has he been back with the company? Afterwards, Rey is given encouragement by Chavo and Vicky for his upcoming match.

Then it’s time for the number one contender’s match, as Rey Mysterio takes on Randy Orton. Hey, I’m not the only one a little annoyed with the way they handled this feud, am I? Anyway, the match seemed a little slow to get off the crowd, but after Orton launched Rey into the ring post, things seemed to take off a little, But even with everyone, including announcers Taz and Michael Cole, Rey couldn’t pull it off. After missing a 619 attempt, Orton got the pin with a roll-up and the help of the ropes.

Backstage, a dejected Rey tells Chavo and Vicky that he let them down.

Main event time next, as Kurt Angle defends his World title against the Undertaker, and this was a great improvement following the awful World title match as the Royal Rumble last month. Although they’ve met countless times before, Angle and Taker put on a great match, worthy of it’s spot on the card. I must admit I had my doubts about this one, but both guys proved me wrong. Some great back-and-forth submission counters, Angle using his ankle lock and Taker using the triangle choke, saw Angle gain the pin near the thirty minute mark. As Taker applied the triangle choke, Angle rolled him up for the pin. A good way to end a good match, with the Undertaker telling Angle that he wasn’t finished with him as the show came to an end.

In conclusion - definitely better than last month’s disappointing Royal Rumble offering. It’s not often that I find myself enjoying every match on a pay-per-view, but this was the case with No Way Out. Nothing negative to say about this one folks.