Date 27 February 2000
|City Hartford, Connecticut|
Venue XL Center
|Tagline(s) Let the Game Begin.
The Road to WrestleMania Continues...|
Theme song(s) "On the Tracks" by Derek Todd Sorensen
Location XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Other Instances No Way Out (2012), No Way Out (2009), No Way Out (2008), No Way Out (2007), No Way Out (2006)
No Way Out (2000) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which took place on February 27, 2000, at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut. It was presented by PhoneFree.com. It was the first event produced under the No Way Out name, although it was preceded in 1998 by an event named No Way Out of Texas.
The main event was a Hell in a Cell match, a match where the ring and ringside area was surrounded by a 20-foot-high roofed steel cell between WWF Champion Triple H and Cactus Jack; Triple H won the match to retain his championship. The featured bout on the undercard was a standard wrestling match, also known as a singles match, for a championship match at WrestleMania 2000 in which The Big Show defeated The Rock.
The event featured eleven professional wrestling matches with outcomes predetermined by WWF script writers. The matches featured wrestlers portraying their characters in planned story lines that took place before, during and after the event.
The main feud going into No Way Out was between Triple H and Cactus Jack fighting over the WWF Championship inside a Hell in a Cell. The feud started after Triple H defeated his father-in-law Mr. McMahon at Armageddon in a No Holds Barred match and also winning the WWF title from Big Show on Raw Is War only a few weeks later. These events would start the McMahon-Hemesly Era with his wife Stephanie McMahon. Mankind would rebel against this new era and would receive attacks from D-X and Triple H. Mick Foley would drop the Mankind character to Cactus Jack. At the Royal Rumble, Triple H and Cactus Jack would fight in a Street Fight match for the WWF Championship, which was won by Triple H. The next night on Raw Is War, Triple H would grant Cactus another chance at the title at No Way Out and that the match can be any kind he wants. Cactus would later decide that the match would be a Hell in a Cell. Triple H said that it was deal only if he would put his career on the line, which he would agree to. Over the next few weeks, Triple H would start predicting that he would end the fifteen-year career of Mick Foley.
Another feud heading into No Way Out was between The Rock and Big Show over who should get the chance to face for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania 2000. The feud began at the Royal Rumble in the Royal Rumble match, The Rock and Big Show were the last two competitors in the match both trying to throw each other over the rope. Both wrestlers fell out of the ring hitting the floor, with The Rock hitting the floor first, but the officials thought Big Show hit the ground first, making The Rock the winner of the Royal Rumble. The next night on Raw Is War, Big Show complained that it was no fair that nobody saw what happened so he got evidence and sent it to Triple H, who would later make a match between The Rock and Big Show at No Way Out where the winner would get a WWF Championship title shot at WrestleMania.
Before the event began and aired live on pay-per-view, an episode of Sunday Night Heat, one of WWE's secondary television programs, was shown on USA Network. In an interview live in the arena, Michael Cole interviewed Paul Bearer regarding the upcoming Kane vs X-Pac match later that night.
After Sunday Night Heat, the pay-per-view began with a singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship with Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle. Both Angle and Jericho wrestled inconclusively in the beginning, including an attempt by Jericho to force Angle to submit by applying the Walls of Jericho, but Angle grabbed the ropes surrounding the ring, which forced Jericho to break the hold. While the referee Tim White was (kayfabe) unconscious, Jericho attempted to hit Angle with a Lionsault, but was hit in the face with the Intercontinental Championship belt. Angle then covered Jericho for the pinfall, winning the Intercontinental Championship. Following the match, referees White and Hebner argued over the conclusion.
The following bout was a tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship, where the champions, the New Age Outlaws (the Road Dogg and Billy Gunn), defended their titles against the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von). Throughout the match, both teams performed many offensive maneuvers, though The Dudley Boyz were able to gain the upper hand when Bubba Ray struck Billy Gunn with a lead pipe on the outside of the ring and did the 3D on Road Dogg inside the ring. Bubba Ray then covered Road Dogg to win the WWF Tag Team Championship for his team.
The third contest was Viscera versus Mark Henry in a standard match. Henry started the match and managed to bring Viscera down, but then Viscera retaliated with a spinning heel kick and got the advantage. Viscera crashed Henry against the ladders on the outside and performed a Samoan drop and belly to belly suplex, until Mae Young interfered on behalf of Henry. Viscera pulled her down to the mat and tried to splash her, but Henry countered with a spear and scoop powerslammed him. He then pinned Viscera for the win.
The next match was a tag team match where Edge and Christian faced the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff), who were escorted by Terri Runnels. Prior to the match, Terri had (kayfabe) hired the Acolytes Protection Agency (Bradshaw and Faarooq) as protection, and they were at ringside throughout the match. Both teams attempted to gain the advantage throughout the contest, and Edge and Christian ultimately gained it when Terri turned on the Hardy Boyz, pushing Jeff off the top rope as he attempted his finisher called the Swanton Bomb. As Matt questioned her, Terri slapped him and Christian struck Matt from behind and pinned him for the win. Following his loss, the Hardy Boyz attempted to pull Terri into the ring, but the APA attacked them.
The fifth contest was a standard match between Tazz and The Big Boss Man. Soon after the match began, Tazz applied the Tazzmission to Boss Man in an attempt to make him submit, but Prince Albert interfered and attacked Tazz, causing a disqualification. As Tazz was the one attacked, the victory was given to him. Following the match, Prince Albert and Boss Man assaulted Tazz in the ring.
Main event matches
The next match was X-Pac, escorted by Tori, versus Kane, escorted by Paul Bearer, in a No Holds Barred match. X-Pac and Kane wrestled extensively on the entrance ramp including X-Pac throwing Kane into a steel cage, and Paul Bearer interfered often, attacking X-Pac. X-Pac gave Kane an X-Factor but he recovered. Kane then chokeslammed X-Pac followed by a tombstone piledriver to Tori. The match ended when X-Pac dropkicked the steel ring steps into Kane's face and covered him for a pin.
The seventh match on the card was a six man tag team match where Too Cool (Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Grand Master Sexay) faced The Radicalz (Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn). Both teams performed many offensive maneuvers throughout the match, but Too Cool gained the upper hand when Rikishi delivered a Banzai Drop to Malenko. This was followed by a cover for the pin.
The featured bout on the undercard was The Big Show versus The Rock for a championship match at WrestleMania 2000. During the match, referee Tim White was knocked out, and upon recovering he was involved in a fight with fellow referee Earl Hebner, causing referee White to not count the pin when the Big Show covered the Rock, while Shane McMahon came down to ringside. The Rock then delivered the Rock Bottom, one of his finishing manoeuvres, and was attempting to perform the People's Elbow on his fallen opponent, when McMahon hit the Rock with a steel chair. The Big Show then covered the Rock and got a pin.
The main event was a Hell in a Cell match for the WWF Championship, in which WWF Champion Triple H defended his championship against Cactus Jack, with the added stipulation that if Jack lost he would have to retire from professional wrestling. The match began inside a structure of metal surrounding the ring and ringside area. Throughout the match, many weapons were employed, such as steel chairs and a 2x4 with barbed wire wrapped around it (the 2x4 was also set on fire later in the match). When the ring steps were repeatedly thrown against the wall of the cell, it tore open and Cactus Jack jumped through it to the outside of the cage. The men fought first on the announcers' table with Jack piledriving Triple H on it, and later both men wrestled on the top of the cage. While on top of the cell, Cactus Jack attempted a Piledriver, but the move was reversed and Triple H backdropped him onto the cell roof. The move broke the cell roof and Cactus Jack fell through to the mat below, buckling the surface of the ring. After Jack stood up again, Triple H performed the Pedigree on him. He then covered Cactus Jack for a successful pin to win the match.
After The Rock lost against The Big Show, they continued their feud through the next month onto the March 13 edition of Raw Is War in a match where if The Rock lost, he must leave the company. Shane McMahon was made special guest referee, and during the match, Shane hit The Rock with a steel chair and tried to get The Big Show to cover him. Vince McMahon made his return by running into the ring, hitting his son, and allowing The Rock to perform a Rock Bottom on the Big Show and cover him for the pin and win back his WWF Championship title shot against Triple H at WrestleMania. On the March 16 edition of SmackDown, Shane McMahon came out and announced that the match would be a Triple Threat match (a standard match with three participants) also including the Big Show, to which Vince then came out and announced that he would be in The Rock's corner. Following this match taking place on a Raw Is War preceding WrestleMania 16, Linda McMahon appeared and announced that the match occurring at WrestleMania would instead be a Fatal Four Way Elimination (a match with four participants where three must sequentially be eliminated via pinfall or submission) with Mick Foley whom Triple H had retired, filling the last spot. At WrestleMania 16, Triple H defeated the three other men and thus retained his WWF Title. Both Vince and Shane McMahon betrayed the wrestlers they were backing and joined Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's faction, while Linda remained with Foley. The Rock received a rematch at Backlash 2000 and defeated Triple H, thanks to the help of Linda McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The two would also have an Iron Man Match (a match lasting sixty minutes where the victor is the performer with the most decisions at the end of the time limit) with Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee, which saw Triple H regain the title after Michaels disqualified The Rock due to interference from The Undertaker giving Triple H the deciding decision. They would finally end their feud at King of the Ring 2000 in a Six-Man Tag Team Match in which the participant on the Rock's team who gained the victory would be named champion. The Rock would have both Kane and The Undertaker on his team, while Triple H had Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon. The Rock would win his fifth world championship after pinning Vince.