The 2004 edition of No Way Out took place on February 15th, at the Cow Palace, in San Francisco, California. It was presented by THQ’s MX Unleashed, and boasted an attendance of 11,000, which equated to $450,000 in ticket sales. It also saw 350,000 PPV buys. All in all, the event was instrumental in raising WWE’s pay-per-view revenue by $11.9 million dollars, as compared to the previous year.
This took place when the company was split into two brands: Raw and SmackDown. The biggest stars of Raw were men like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, and so on, and so forth. As the flagship show, they were awarded the flagship performers.
SmackDown, on the other hand, had all the workhorses. There was Kurt Angle, a young John Cena, Big Show, The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas), Edge, Rey Mysterio, and, of course, the stars of this particular show: Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero.
Now. Before I go any further, here is the full card for the show.
- (DARK MATCH) Tajiri, Akio, and Sakoda vs. Billy Kidman, Paul London and Último Dragón
- Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty (c) vs. The Basham Brothers (Doug Basham and Danny Basham) and Shaniqua in an Intergender two-on-three handicap match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
- Jamie Noble vs. Nidia (w/ Jamie Noble blindfolded)
- The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) vs. The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq)
- Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno
- Chavo Guerrero (with Chavo Classic) vs. Rey Mysterio (c) (with Jorge Páez) for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
- Kurt Angle vs. John Cena vs. Big Show to determine the challenger for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XX
- Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar (c) for the WWE Championship
Here’s the deal: I brought up the card, so that I can tick the matches off, one by one, and get to Latino Heat and The Beast Incarnate.
- I bet this was actually a lot of a fun. Only those who were in attendance will ever know.
- I wasn’t huge on this. Thankfully, it’s quick and painless, clocking in at less than 8:16.
- This was hilarious. Jamie Noble was always great to watch. It’s also the second match to feature a “Tough Enough” winner (Shaniqua won season two).
- I can’t hate on The World’s Greatest Tag Team versus The APA. Not possible.
- See number four. Rhyno vs. Hardcore Holly is very tight butthole.
- For me, this match is completely ruined by the hilarious reason they had it: Chavo was jealous of Rey, because the Master of the 619 got to record No Way Out’s theme. Seriously, that’s what kicked everything off. Even though he actually won the Cruiserweight gold here, I’m sure there’s still a part of Chavo’s psyche that is torn up by the fact that he didn’t get to record this certified banger.
- This was fire. There’s no way around it. The second best match of the night. Angle ended up winning, earning the right to face the winner of the next match at WrestleMania XX.
- See below.
Eddie Guerrero versus Brock Lesnar is a match that worked perfectly, at all times. From the buildup, to the night of the execution, it was truly perfect. Eddie was fresh off finally getting clean from drugs and alcohol. He had brushes with sobriety before, but always fell back down that particular rabbit hole. Not anymore. It seemed he actually defeated his demons.
During the buildup, Brock Lesnar, ever the heel, went after that aspect of Eddie’s personal life. It made for captivating television. Eddie allowed himself to be completely vulnerable, in front of millions of people.
After that promo, people were chomping at the bit to see Eddie take the title away from Brock. Once the opening bell hit, the people in attendance were at a fever pitch. They were with the two competitors, every step of the way.
The psychology is so tight. Brock is the dominant one in the ring, but Eddie uses everything at his disposal to stay in it. Luckily, Latino Heat had the help of Bill Goldberg, who was entrenched in a rivalry with Lesnar, all his own. After some incidental contact, the ref went down, allowing for the former WCW World Heavyweight champion to hit the ring, and spear the fuck out of The Beast Incarnate.
Still, the Man Who Would Conquer the Streak was able to pull himself off the mat, and set Eddie up for another F-5, which was swiftly countered into a DDT. As it happens, Eddie managed to drive Brock’s face into the WWE Championship that Lesnar himself brought into the ring.
Hoisted by his own petard and what not.
Eddie was famous for Lying, Cheating, and Stealing, so obviously he had no problem winning like this. He promptly hit the top rope, and delivered a Frog Splash. He then pinned The Beast for a three count, winning the WWE Championship!
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Courtesy of WWE.com.