No Way Out 2005: Angle vs. Cena and a Barbed Wire Steel Cage

No Way Out 2005
Date: February 20, 2005
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Taz

Not much to say here. It’s a Smackdown show and we’re in the very last stages of JBL’s title reign as he would lose to Cena at Mania. Other than that we have Cena vs. Angle which is probably for the Mania title shot. I really with they could come up with something more interesting than that, which I guess they have with the Chamber matches. There’s nothing else to talk about in the intro so let’s get to it.

Oh I almost forgot: the main event is a barbed wire steel cage match for the title with JBL vs. Big Show.

The video is about being trapped in the cage and there being no way out. Glad to see them be inventive with these things.

We look at the cage during Cole’s intro and there are certainly no barbs on it. It’s a regular cage with the barbed wire along the top where you climb over. There are no visible barbs there either.

Smackdown Tag Titles: Rey Mysterio/Eddie Guerrero vs. Basham Brothers

The brothers have the belts here. This is the beginning of Eddie’s last major feud with Rey which ended at Summerslam. He would feud with Batista a bit before dying. The Bashams are JBL’s secretaries of defense. Eddie vs. Danny to start us off. Tazz calls Rey a jaguar. That was rather odd. The challengers beat up on the Bashams for a bit as you know that other than a screwy finish there was no way the titles weren’t changing here.

Eddie gets in some trouble and can’t bring in Rey. The Bashams work him over as we talk about the main event some. Ah there’s Rey as things naturally start going faster. Rey gets his bulldog and Cole thinks it’s a DDT. Seriously does he even pay attention? Some twin magic has Rey in trouble again which Cole says is fine due to it being a family tradition.

Rey’s bumping has always been straight up awesome and this is no exception. He makes even basic moves look like he’s being destroyed. Mysterio hits a BIG moonsault to take Doug down for two but he still can’t tag. Crowd isn’t really that into it as I guess they know the formula at this point.

We get a weird bit about Eddie and tag ropes which is supposed to be funny I guess and I do not get it at all. Big double team move that sends Rey down face first and then it turns into a comedy/acrobatic segment with Rey diving all over the place and finally getting a tag. The Bashams beat down Eddie a bit and hit what is more or less a double chokeslam for no cover.

Rey gets back in and it’s a big brawl. Eddie goes to the floor and grabs a title belt but Rey stops him as does the referee. Was there a point to that? He goes for the Frog Splash but rolls through. Doug thinks he crashed (in the words of Marvin the Martian, “where’s the kaboom?” Isn’t that kind of a problem?) and gets rolled up for two. A belt shot from Eddie in all the confusion gives them the belts. Odd ending sequence there.

Rating: C. Not bad but absolutely nothing we haven’t seen a dozen times a year. Rey and Eddie would open Mania in a one on one match which was pretty good. This wasn’t much of a tag match but at least the right team won and at least they had some history so it wasn’t a totally random pairing. Nothing special at all though but the fifteen minutes it got went by fast.

Teddy talks to a producer and says that when Batista gets here (he was debating which brand to come to for his Royal Rumble win title match) to give him whatever he wants. Carlito and the wife of a member of the board comes in and says they hope he signs Batista. It’s a way for Carlito to get Teddy fired which was his big thing. If Teddy doesn’t sign Batista he’s fired apparently.

There is a Smackdown Diva Rookie of the Year contest tonight. Apparently there are enough rookie Divas on Smackdown to warrant a contest and we’re determining it in late February. Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie are the hosts. The first event is an evening gown contest and the first is Joy Giovanni. It makes me want to play Pokemon if nothing else.

Second is Rochelle Loewen who was in Playboy. There’s nothing to this as they walk to the ring and then the next person comes out. Third is Lauren Jones and again no one knows who she is. The hosts don’t like Lauren. The last is Michelle McCool who you may have heard of. The hosts are at the announce table too. This was about as big of a waste of five minutes as you could ask for. Oh and there are two more competitions.

Ad for Mania which is the Hollywood campaign that I always loved. They put some thought into these and they came off far better than most others. This one is Pulp Fiction with Booker T as Samuel L. Jackson and Eddie as John Travolta. I think you know the scene that they’re doing. Booker hands the guy a pair of Mania tickets rather than a gun. They accidentally shoot the guy anyway.

Heidenreich vs. Booker T

No real backstory here other than Heidenreich needed a feud after Taker got done beating him up. This was made after Smackdown apparently when Booker thought Heidenreich was laughing at Booker after a loss. He reads a poem before the match which isn’t very good. It’s kind of hard to get into this as it’s about as thrown onto the card as you could want a match to be.

Basic match to start and Jon (not typing that whole name out every time) talks to himself and hits himself in the head. Pretty back and forth here as Booker hits him a good deal but can’t drop him. Jon wasn’t an invincible guy which more or less took away any fear he would instill in anyone else. Well that and when he raped Cole. Jon takes over and gets a key lock as this is rather uninteresting.

Booker makes a comeback but gets kicked in the face to stop that. And now back to the same hold as he had on before. Booker makes another comeback and hits a superkick to set up the Spinarooni. Jon is sent to the floor where he grabs a chair and blasts Booker in the throat with it for the DQ.

Rating: F+. It was too long, it wasn’t interesting, there was no story, the ending sucked and the wrestling was boring. Why in the world was this on a pay per view? Heidenreich was a pretty big misfire if there ever has been one as he never was interesting or a threat to anyone really. This was a great example of how worthless he was.

Post match Heidenreich covers Booker because he’s insane. Moving on.

Eddie and Rey are celebrating with random faces when Cena comes in. Eddie wants to talk to him alone and offers a nice thing saying if he doesn’t beat Angle it would be understandable. This is a big night tonight because if Cena wins he goes to Mania which is the point of everything. Eddie sounds like he’s about to cry. He says not to tap because it would tick Angle off and that’s Cena’s chance. In other words Cena, you’re not good enough to beat Angle yourself, so make him beat himself. Nice guy that Eddie. No idea what the point of this was.

Cruiserweight Title: Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Akio vs. Spike Dudley vs. Funaki vs. Shannon Moore

This is a Cruiserweight Open. The idea is a gauntlet match by random draw and the winner is the champion. Everyone comes out in random order and will stand at ringside rather than coming down the aisle. The first pairing is Paul London and Funaki who is champion coming in. Nothing special at all here as they go back and forth a bit. Chavo tries to come in but Spike (the former champion and a heel) drills Funaki in the back and London gets to roll him up for the pin.

Funaki hits Spike so London gets him and we’re down to four in less than two minutes. Shannon Moore is in at #4. More basic stuff here with nothing special going on. Shannon whips London into the corner chest first a few times. London hits two moves, a back elbow and the 450, to get the pin. Wow I hate these matches.

Akio (Jimmy Wang Yang) is in at #5. He beats on the tired London and hooks a chinlock in a freaking cruiserweight match. London has had maybe four moves total in his three wins. London gets a swinging neckbreaker off the top and both guys are down since there isn’t really any difference in how either guy lands. We get the double count and Akio doesn’t make it. I have NEVER seen anyone lose that way before.

So it’s Chavo vs. London for the title. London gets beaten down even more but hits a Dragon Suplex for two. This is probably about over which is what makes this even stupider. London makes a real comeback, hammering away with everything he’s got. A Dropsault gets two and then Chavo rolls him up with the ropes for the title. Chavo was in the ring less than three minutes.

Rating: F. I can’t stand these things. The champion got pinned in less than 100 seconds and the longest “match” was less than three and a half minutes. The pins are WAY too fast to be realistic and you can’t get into any pairing. Also London getting in nothing before the very last match was very stupid. I can’t stand these things and this as no exception.

We see a clip from Smackdown where Batista destroyed JBL’s limo after it almost ran him over on Raw. Show and Batista wanted to go after JBL but he ran away.

Show is worried about the cage. Or maybe he wants to eat a small animal, like a cow.

We actually get a graphic from Tazz explaining that you can win the cage match by pin, submission and escape. Apparently there won’t be access through the door.

Wrestlemania Recall: THE GIMMICK BATTLE ROYAL! That might be the best Mania match of all time ever.

Time for round two of the Rookie Diva stuff. This is the talent competition. They have to reintroduce the contestants. There are only six matches on the card and yet they have to pad it out with THIS? There wasn’t something better to do than to put SIX Cruiserweights in the same match? Joy goes first and her talent is massage so she rubs Torrie’s back. I feel like I’m watching outtakes of NXT.

Rochelle tells jokes. They suck.

Lauren, who is SHORT, dances. Not bad but in essence she strips.

Michelle’s talent is slamming Dawn who has run her mouth the whole time. I’m cracking up at this: a person’s special talent in a competition about being the best in a wrestling company was WRESTLING. WHAT A CONCEPT!

JBL tells Josh that he’s not scared. Who would have guessed Josh is still on the payroll and JBL isn’t? He talks way too long as it’s very clear they’re trying as hard as possible to fill in time.

Luther Reigns vs. Undertaker

No story here. Reigns is part of Angle’s team and they don’t like Undertaker. That’s it. Reigns was just a big power guy that was pretty generic to put it mildly. Mark Jindrak is out there with Reigns. And so much for that as he gets thrown out. This is more time wasting if you didn’t get that. Is there a reason why we had six matches on this card? We get a clip from Smackdown where Reigns hit Taker with a camera just after he beat Jindrak.

Taker is only 12-0 at Mania here so you know it’s a long time ago. Basic striking contest to start and guess who wins there. Reigns gets the turnbuckle pad off but Taker blocks the shot into it. This is your standard big man vs. big man match here. Reigns goes back first into the buckle as I’m kind of surprised Taker is staying in control this long as it’s not something you often see.

Apron legdrop has Luther in real trouble. Ah there’s the low blow to get Taker in trouble so he can make his traditional comeback. His head goes into the buckle and it’s the same spot that got hit by the buckle. Basic power stuff focusing on the head by Luther here as nothing special is going on here at all. There is ZERO heat here as the fans know that Luther isn’t going to win and we’re just waiting for Taker to make his comeback.

Taker gets a jumping….double axe handle to take over. What the heck? When does he do ANYTHING but the clothesline there? Snake eyes are blocked and a big boot takes Luther down. The fans flat out do not care. Chokeslam hits but Tombstone is countered into a reverse DDT. Cole SCREAMS at us that it was a swinging neckbreaker which was Reigns’ finisher and he looks like a total idiot because of it.

Taz calls it the same thing. Seriously are they THAT stupid? He goes for the actual move and Taker counters into a DDT. The Tombstone ends it seconds later. Sweet goodness those announcers are idiots.

Rating: D+. Totally by the book match here which we’ve seen a thousand times from Taker. Reigns never really meant anything at all and would be gone relatively soon and never heard from again. Taker beating up muscle guys who hit their finishers on him is about as standard as you could want from him and this was no exception. Boring match but I’ve seen worse.

Teddy is worried that Batista isn’t here yet.

We get another Mania ad, this one from Basic Instinct with Benoit and Jericho interrogating Stacy. Stacy smokes and makes lesbian jokes about her and Trish which give Jericho and Benoit some, ahem, issues. Christian, who means nothing at this point, is there too. Mae and Moolah come in and flash the interrogators.

Time for the final round of this nonsense. Dawn won’t come out for this one. This is the swimsuit round and they come out to Candace’s music. Joy comes out in a jersey and the others in robes. I don’t think I ever remember seeing Michelle in a swimsuit. Joy is wearing little shorts over a thong and won’t take them off. Rochelle trips but catches herself.

Lauren’s is too big as this isn’t going anywhere at all other than, say it with me, WASTING MORE TIME. Michelle looks good but nothing that special. This is just stupid. Rochelle probably looks best. We poll the audience while we wait on the votes to be tallied. They like Joy, who is the hottest looking overall, best. Joy DOMINATES, getting 65% of the votes. Lauren gets 6%. Rochelle, Joy and Lauren were gone in a few weeks, making this even MORE pointless if that’s possible.

We recap the #1 contender’s tournament where the finals are tonight. In order, Booker beat Eddie, Cena beat Orlando Jordan, Taker and Dupree had a draw and Angle beat Rey, sending him to the finals. Cena beat Booker, setting up Cena vs. Angle for the spot in the title match at Mania. There’s a short thing about Angle vs. Cena too as you can see the star in Cena about to explode.

John Cena vs. Kurt Angle

Cena is the second hottest thing in the world at this point just after Batista. He’s US Champion here also. Angle doesn’t get much of a big hometown pop which says something about his heat gathering abilities. Angle takes him to the mat to start as they’re going to have a lot of time to work with here. He gets a pretty bad belly to belly into what can best be described as a reverse chickenwing which looked pretty awesome.

Cena makes a comeback and knocks Angle to the floor and is booed LOUDLY. They brawl onto the announce table with Cena in control. Release Fisherman’s Suplex gets two. I think the back in the ring aspect was a given there. Angle avoids the FU and hits the floor for a breather. You can see the look in Cena’s eyes and it’s awesome.

He beats Angle down in the corner but Angle reverses and hits a release German into the buckle which was a cool looking spot. We go to a body scissors and Angle loudly calls spots to Cena. I love little things like those for some reason. Angle wrestles him down every time and Cena responds by just punching him. Angle rolls the Germans for two. Cena gets up and hits a spinebuster for two.

FU is reversed into a sunset flip and then a belly to belly as Cena is in trouble again. Angle Slam is reversed and Cena gets a DDT for two. Tazz isn’t sure if Cena winning would be an upset or not. FU is blocked again into the ankle lock and Cena is in big non-trouble as he reverses, sending Angle to the floor. He gets the top rope Fameasser as Angle is getting in for two.

Angle charges at Cena but walks into the FU for a LONG two. Kurt kicks him in the knee and goes after the leg. Angle Slam hits after some submission holds get Angle nowhere. Ankle lock goes on and Cena is in the middle of the ring. Gee do you think he’ll tap? How can you get away with pulling a guy back to the middle after he has the ropes already? I’ve never gotten that.

And Angle shoves the referee down for no adequately explained reason. He grabs Cena’s chain off the corner which is apparently Cena’s pride and joy. Screw that US Title thing. FU hits and amazingly enough that gets the pin as the referee was down before that. Cena winning was a legit surprise here as I think it was still a huge upset. He would lose the US Title to Jordan before the PPV. Yes, Orlando Jordan beat John Cena for a title.

Rating: B. Solid match here but it never quite got into that high gear to make it great. Cena’s match would get about 10 minutes while Angle would have a classic with Shawn that went over twenty. Still though this this was rather good and both guys were working out there. I think that Cena had more skills than Batista but Batista was flat out bigger at this point. Solid match though but I wonder how much of that is because of Angle.

Batista still isn’t here.

The cage is lowered. We need to have a general spam discussion match on PPV one time.

The recap of the main event match talks about Jindrak and Reigns costing Show the title at the Rumble. Show wanted it one on one so we got this. Batista is mentioned here too but not how he fits in here. A lot of this is the same stuff from the earlier package.

Smackdown World Title: JBL vs. Big Show

Basic stuff to start as JBL takes Show down with a flying tackle. He goes up but is afraid of the barbed wire. He tries a cross body and guess how well that goes for him. They’re staying away from the wire so far and it’s just a basic match for the most part here. Show is busted open after eating some cage. Bradshaw in full control here.

He rips the tag rope off the corner and chokes away with it. Show hits something like a superkick to put JBL down. Does Cole have Show’s measurements tattooed on the inside of his eyelids? He can snap those things off like they’re nothing. Powerbomb by Show and JBL is in trouble. The fans chant RVD who was hurt at the time.

Cole says the cage is a carnivore. Why do steel structures always have to have lives of their own in this company? Show gets a slingshot (Cole says monkey flip) into the cage. Here’s Jordan to climb the cage. The Bashams cut through part of the cage but Teddy comes out, saying to leave. Jordan manages to slip some bolt cutters to JBL who pops Show with them and adds the Clothesline From Hell for two.

For some reason there’s more or less no reaction for the kickout from the world champion’s finisher. Chokeslam hits for two as well which gets kind of a reaction but nothing huge. Another chokeslam is blocked though as JBL kicks the little Shows and adds a boot to the face. The door is closed and locked and isn’t eligible for escaping.

Bradshaw climbs up and uses the bolt cutters to cut through some of the wire. Show gets up and knocks them out of his hand. JBL is slammed into the cage a few times as the wire has more or less meant jack so far in this match. Show grabs him by the throat and chokeslams him through the ring, prompting a pretty weak holy expletive chant.

Show finds a safe spot and climbs down but he’s not sure what to do. Some things never change I guess. Instead Show pulls on the chain and lock which he rips apart with his bare hands. Well why mess with what works? He opens the door and climbs to the floor as JBL is declared the winner and still champion. While Show was wasting all kinds of time, JBL climbed through the hole in the ring and hit the floor first to retain. I love that ending because JBL followed the rules perfectly and Show’s reliance on power cost him.

Rating: D+. I REALLY wasn’t impressed here. If this was a regular cage match then it’s ok I guess but the barbed wire was just stupid. It did a total of nothing other than acting as a deterrent I guess, which a regular cage would have done just as fine or a cage with a top on it. This was a waste of time for the most part and didn’t work that well at all. Weak main event.

The Cabinet, JBL’s crew, comes out for the big beatdown and Batista comes out for the save. He’s in his gear of course. Don’t you travel like that? JBL tries to leave but Cena stops him. Apparently Cena vs. JBL is already made, which makes the signing of the contract totally pointless. Cena gives him a spinebuster onto the equipment. Apparently it’s either Cena vs. JBL or a triple threat. Yeah because I’m SURE they would let HHH have the night off right?

Overall Rating: D. This was bad. The Cena/Angle match is good and there’s some ok stuff elsewhere on the card, but the vast majority of this stuff is fast forward time. These split branded shows were just awful and this is a great example. They had SIX matches and had to give three different segments to the rookie Divas and nothing happened with them but they got about 15 minutes total. I hated this PPV but the Rumble and Mania were both good so they were allowed to have a bad show I guess. Take a pass here and find the better Cena/Angle matches elsewhere.


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