Taped on February 12th from the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, AR, with Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler calling the action, unless otherwise noted. Sunday Night Heat was only taped for an International audience this week, with the following results: Diamond Dallas Page pinned Christian, Jazz pinned Mighty Molly, Rikishi pinned the Boss Man, and Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert defeated the Dudley Boyz when Albert pinned Bubba Ray. In a dark match, Leviathan pinned Randy Orton. John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted, appeared in front of the crowd to hype the upcoming show with an unsolved case concerning the murder of two wrestling fans.
Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley make their way to the ring, more than 5-minutes since the start of the broadcast. Yes, 5-MINUTES of the wedding recap (and Smackdown into, of course). Vince says to anyone who thinks he would abandon his daughter during these difficult times, they are all wrong. You can always count on Vince when the chips are down for his family and friends in time of need. Stephanie lied to everyone, but she didn't do anything everyone here doesn't do every single day. "Oh come on, you're telling me you people don't lie? I see a capacity crowd full of liars!" Lawler quips this is Bill Clinton's hometown, the biggest liar of all. The crowd tries drowning him out with a chant of A-hole. Triple H committed the cardinal sin when he struck Stephanie. This Sunday, Triple H will pay when he loses his opportunity to challenge for the Undisputed Title at WrestleMania. Stephanie says her perfect plan was ruined by her mother. She'll deal with her later, but tonight she will take it out on her soon-to-be ex-husband. She says Hunter didn't show her enough attention or respect, forcing her to do what she needed to. She hasn't let him in the house for a couple of days and he "made" her go through their family photos and she ripped them up. She destroyed the video tapes he's studied and tried to emulate. She even burned his childhood scrapbooks. Vince tries to get the train back on the tracks by announcing a tag team match tonight. Kurt Angle and the Undertaker against Maven and Triple H. Cole cries that this isn't fair. I don't know, he's the Hardcore Champion, so that's one-up on the rest of the participants. Stephanie promises a special Valentine's Day surprise.
Booker T and Test are talking strategy about Booker's match tonight against Spike Dudley. They break out in laughter and Test lets us know that they'll have a chance to become 3-time Tag Team Champions at No Way Out.
The Godfather is standing by to announce he has a 2-for-1 special for his escort services, only good for Valentine's Day. It's presented like a commercial and feels like a waste of 30-seconds. I'm assuming his business isn't doing so well if he's trying to sell two ladies for the price of one.
Ric Flair interrupts Chris Jericho strutting through the halls and wants to see Jericho in his office. Jericho asks why they can't meet in his office, but Flair won't humor him. We replay Jericho's assault on Austin from Monday Night. Flair offers Jericho the chance to leave right now, because when Steve Austin gets here, he'll tear Jericho up. Jericho isn't afraid of Austin, and suggests Austin isn't here because he's the one that is afraid. Maybe he's upset with the creative team and is late out of protest. Jericho says Flair was quivering like a scared little girl when he shared the ring with the Undertaker. Jericho changes his mind and decides to leave, but Flair changes his mind too and books Jericho in a non-title match against... KANE. I LOVE THAT RUNNING JOKE. Hopefully Kane fills that role for a few weeks.
Billy and Chuck have gifts for each other for Valentine's Day. Bradshaw and Faarooq look on with disgust, with Bradshaw joking that he hopes Faarooq didn't get him anything for Valentine's Day.
Steve Austin and Debra are here. I can only guess who is pitching for Debra to get screen time in 2002. When we return from the commercial, Steve Austin makes his way to the ring for what I'm sure is another lovely promo where he rambles a lot as the crowd chants "What" every 3 seconds. Austin says he's stunned a lot of people, flipped a lot of people off, drank a lot of beer, and raised a lot of hell. Tonight, he's going to talk about something he never talked about in his life... He's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and he's a drug addict. His drug of choice is the World Wrestling Federation Championship. He needs to be the Champion and will do anything to get those belts, like turn heel in Houston in front of 67,000 people and begin the downward spiral of mainstream popularity for professional wrestling. OK, I made that up. He details what will happen at No Way Out and promises to hit the Stunner on Chris Jericho with some stink on it.
Steve Austin and Chris Jericho have an awkward moment together in the dressing room. Austin splatters beer across Jericho's face and tells him that Jericho's belts will be his at No Way Out.
The Dudley Boyz want to know why Booker T and Test have a shot at the Tag Titles. They've been a team ONCE for three months, but they haven't gotten a rematch yet. BUBBA RAY BRINGING LOGIC. Christian and Lance Storm interrupt, wanting a shot at the titles as well. Flair cuts them all off and announces TAG TEAM TURMOIL at No Way Out. The winner goes to WrestleMania against the Champions. It'll be all these men, along with the APA, Billy and Chuck, Scotty and Albert, and the Hardy Boyz.
Mr. McMahon and Stephanie are backstage, rehashing some of the same material we heard from them earlier in the night. The Undertaker, looking a lot like "Mean" Mark from WCW, comes in and can't help but enjoy the quiet with the Rock out of the way. He promises to bust Maven up as Kurt Angle interrupts. He apologizes for knocking Stephanie down last week, because that was fully intended for Triple H. He promises to make Hunter suffer and shatter his dreams of becoming Undisputed Champion.
Angle cuts Maven off and holds him open for Taker to get a free shot. Taker taunts Hunter while Angle works Maven over on the floor. Back inside, Taker with an elbow drop but Hunter saves at two. Taker rolls snake eyes and comes off the ropes with a big boot. Angle misses the moonsault, but recovers in time to prevent a tag. Hunter comes in anyway and hits Angle with a DDT. Maven completes the slow crawl, making the hot tag to Triple H. He runs wild on Angle with clotheslines and pounds away on Undertaker with right hands. High knee to Angle and a neck breaker to Taker. Angle cuts him off with a knee to the midsection but a back body-drop is countered with a face-buster. Taker with a big boot to interrupt the Pedigree. Maven with a missile dropkick to Angle. Taker dumps Maven out and gives him the Last Ride through the announcer's table. Back in the ring, Angle with the German suplex series. Hunter blocks the third and we get heel miscommunication. Hunter sets up for the Pedigree on Taker, but Angle interrupts with a chair shot, drawing another Disqualification at 9:05. Angle continues the assault and Taker adds a Chokeslam. Ric Flair runs in to prevent Undertaker from braining Hunter with a chair and gets a big boot for his troubles. Taker teases a Last Ride on Flair, but Vince and Stephanie come out to make an announcement. Vince wants Flair to make it to No Way Out because it's on his conscience that the nWo will inflict the poison in the WWF. Oh, and Stephanie will be the special referee for Triple H vs. Kurt Angle at No Way Out. Match was fine, but ended up being meaningless fluff for the post-match announcement.
Final Thoughts: I cannot stand watching this Triple H/Stephanie rivalry. Hunter isn't an all-time awful babyface, but Stephanie has "turn off the TV" heat from me at this point, and there's nothing they can do to change my mind. I'll give the creative team credit, they're trying to make people care about Austin challenging Jericho at No Way Out. Austin's still a lame-duck challenger, but there's some momentum now after the match was made with the cheap "Austin won a mini-tournament" setup. Almost every segment had something to do with selling No Way Out, even if it meant a bunch of DQ finishes and rush job matches, but I'll take that over some of the recent TV coming out of the Royal Rumble.
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