WWF No Way Out was a 2002 professional wrestling event put on by the World Wrestling Federation. It was the 3rd No Way Out event, the 2nd event of 2002 and the 146th event overall in the alternate WWF timeline. Emanating from the University Arena (also known as The Pit) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the main event was a WWF title match between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Other matches included a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Title as Maven took on both The Undertaker and Kane, a tag team title match as the team of Test and Spike Dudley challenged The Dudley Boys in a Tables Match, and a Women's Title Triple Threat match between Trish Stratus, Lita and Jazz.
This event is also notable for marking the WWF return of Hulk Hogan, after over a ten year absence, as well as the return of Shawn Michaels. While neither wrestled at the event, both would be involved in angles that would set up matches for both at Wrestlemania.
After defeating Triple H in a No Disqualification match at the Royal Rumble, Stone Cold Steve Austin had earned to right to face WWF Champion at No Way Out. However, the anticipated rematch from the previous year's Wrestlemania was overshadowed by the impending announcement that the special host of Wrestlemania 18 would be named right before No Way Out, with the news eventually breaking (much to the shock of everyone) that Hulk Hogan would make his return to the WWF after a 10 year absence. Hogan's first official appearance at an event would be at No Way Out, which for some reason bothered Austin, as The Rock constantly compared the two high ranking draws for the company. As for Triple H, he was promising a surprise of his own, hinting that his former faction of Degeneration-X was about to reform.
The Undertaker was initiailly supposed to defend the Intercontinental Championship against his brother Kane at the event. However plans changed drastically do to the interference of Sting, who had made his shocking return in the Royal Rumble match and immediately targeted the Undertaker. Sting's arrival had shocked the Deadman to the point where rookie Maven had managed to eliminate the Phenom from the match, to everyone's amazement. Undertaker sought revenge on an episode of Smackdown, beating Maven down from pillar to post, only for Sting to once again appear, distracting Undertaker long enough for Maven to score the surprise victory and win the Intercontinental title. Now the rookie was faced with the tough task of staring down not only The Undertaker, but also his brother Kane, who was on his own quest for vengenace against the Deadman and also seeking Intercontinental Title gold.
At the Royal Rumble, the Dudley Boys had barely held on to their tag team titles by virtue of surrendering a disqualification win to the duo of Test and their brother Spike Dudley. However, their attempt to stave off Spike's challenges wouldn't end so easily, as Spike and Test agreed to team up once more and face the Dudley's in their signature match, a Tables match.
The confrontation between Lita and Trish Stratus, the two most popular women's wrestlers in the WWF at the time, at the Royal Rumble had been spoiled by the interference of Jazz, who caused the match to end in a No Contest. With the Women's Title at stake, all three ladies would face each other to be crowned the best female wrestler in the company.
|Pre-Show||Jerry Lynn d. Kidman by Pinfall||Singles Match||9:00|
|1||Edge d. William Regal by Pinfall||Singles Match||13:20|
|2||D'Lo d. Mark Henry by Pinfall||Champion vs. Champion Match for the Hardcore and Television Championships||14:32|
|3||Mr. Perfect & Eddie Guerrero d. The Big Show & Kurt Angle by Countout||Tag Team Match||11:00|
|4||Maven (c) w/Al Snow d. Kane & The Undertaker by Pinfall||Triple Threat Match for the WWF Intercontinental Title||15:00|
|5||The Dudley Boys [Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley] (c) d. Test & Spike Dudley||Tables Match for the WWF Tag Team Titles||10:32|
|6||Trish Stratus (c) d. Lita & Jazz by Pinfall||Triple Threat Match for the WWF Women's Title||13:00|
|7||The Rock (c) d. Stone Cold Steve Austin by Pinfall||Singles Match for the WWF Championship||18:20|
Hulk Hogan's timely distraction, costing Austin the WWF title, would lead to their clash at Wrestlemania X8. It would be the keystone of a Wrestlemania headlined by "old vs. new" matches, which also included Sting facing The Undertaker, Mr. Perfect facing Kurt Angle, Triple H facing Shawn Michaels and Alundra Blayze facing Trish Stratus (allegedly, The Steiner Brothers were originally scheduled to face The Dudley Boys as well, but weren't signed due to Scott's status as a top star in WCW). However, the main event of the show would still be Chris Jericho vs. The Rock for the WWF title. The Hardcore Title would be retired into the Television Title (which would itself be retired into the Intercontinental Title shortly after Wrestlemania), consolidating champions. Al Snow would turn on Maven at the Smackdown following No Way Out, costing him the IC Title to William Regal and leading to a match between Trainer and Student at Mania. Outside of Wrestlemania, The Big Show suffered a severe neck injury during the tag team match that required extensive surgery, leading to him being gone for over a full calendar year.