No Way Out
“Hell in a Cell is other people”
“So is Soylent Green”
“This is the word fat people would say when they're in a hallway!”
No Way Out is a professional wrestling pay-per-view produced by the WWE. The first No Way Out was produced in 1944, making it one of the longest running pay-per-view events in professional wrestling history, next to the Great American Ho-Down. It was first held in the Vieux-Colombier in Paris, France. No Way Out is probably best known for being the first pay-per-view to feature the now famous Hell in a Cell match, a match type invented by legendary promoter Jean-Paul Sartre.
No Way Out is a unique pay-per-view in that it only features one match, the Hell in a Cell. It is also unique in that it lasts forever, which is considerably longer than the next longest pay-per-view, The Great American Bash. No Way Out 1944, in fact, is still going on, with no clear winner. This is because the Hell in a Cell match has no time limit, be it in the rules of the match or in the rules of time and space. This very pay-per-view event also has the only match that can be shown on this PPV, the Steel Cage Rampage match.
Hell in a Cell
The Hell in a Cell match involves three wrestlers and one referee. Like The Royal Rumble, participants enter at different times, each escorted into the ring by the referee. After each participant enters the ring, the only entrance is shut and locked until the next participant arrives. In the ring are all manner of weapons, including chairs, tables, sofas and pillows. Though the first two wrestlers do grapple in an attempt to get an upper hand, the match has only truly started, and can only be won, once all three competitors have entered, and have been locked in, the ring.
Unlike a traditional wrestling match, victory cannot be achieved by pinfall, submission, disqualification, count out, knock out, escape, retrieving an item with a ladder, smashing your opponent through a table, calling shotgun, getting your opponent's nose, beating the Elite Four or the Master Hand, Killing Vince Mcmahon, or realizing that it was all a dream. In fact, victory is near impossible, so the rasslers end up groping and booty raping each other for hours on end...for our enjoyment!
After a certain time limit, the locked entrance is again opened, allowing the wrestlers a chance to escape.
No Way Out 1944 lead up
In the storyline leading up to No Way Out 1944, all three wrestlers had angered the general manager, God. In order to sufficiently punish the wrestlers, God devised the Hell in a Cell match. Though the wrestlers had heard of the match type, they didn't really know what to expect. In the final episodes before the pay-per-view, God played mind games with the participants, feeding them false information about the ways they were going to be tortured. As a result, the wrestlers and the audience were wholly unprepared for the actual gruesome nature of the Hell in a Cell.
- Christian - Four weeks prior to No Way Out, Christian was in a four way tag team match with his partner Edge. When Edge and Christian started to fall against heavy fire from the other tag teams, Christian deserted Edge to fight the battle for himself. Christian's cowardice caused Edge to lose the match and become severely injured, which angered God, who thought that it was a disgrace to have such a cowardly wrestler on the roster. He put Christian in the Hell in a Cell match so he would have to deal with his cowardice.
- Victoria - Victoria thought she would do well with a tag team partner. However, all the wrestlers that she was interested in tagging with already had tag team partners. This did not bother Victoria, though, who used seduction and confusion to gain a tag team partner in Trish Stratus. This angered God, who thought that Victoria should have left existing tag teams alone. He booked Victoria in the Hell in a Cell match, making her one of the only women ever involved in such a vicious match type.
- Ric Flair - Ric Flair was a founding member of the faction Evolution with friend Triple H. Together, they brought Randy Orton into the wrestling business. Flair, however, did not take the faction seriously and fought Randy Orton in a retirement match in the pay-per-view preceding No Way Out, forcing Orton into retirement. Triple H, devastated by Flair's betrayal and the loss or Orton, also retired. God, who thought of Triple H like a son, was furious and put Flair in the match.
- Jonathan Coachman - Jonathan Coachman, or Coach, was selected by God to be the referee for the match. Not having anything else to do, he accepted.
- WordGirl - She can only huff John Cena in the cell, but since John Cena has yet to be in a HIAC match, WordGirl's useless then.
No Way Out 1944
The pay-per-view started with an announcement to the audience to turn off their cell phones and thanking them for attending. After this short announcement, the Hell in a Cell match began.
Jonathan Coachman escorted the first participant, Christian, into the room and promptly locked him in. After a few minutes of Christian sizing up his available weapons, the door opened again, this time with Coach and Victoria. Coach did not remain in the ring for long, and exited securing Christian and Victoria in the ring. After some light grappling for position, the third participant, Flair, entered. Coach again secured the door and the first Hell in a Cell match was officially underway.
As with most triple threats, the wrestlers immediately attempted to form alliances that would offer them a strategic advantage. Because he was the most experienced wrestler, both Christian and Victoria wanted him on their side. Unfortunately for Victoria, Flair was a misogynist and he refused to help Victoria. This gave the alliance of Christian and Flair a huge advantage. Just when Christian and Flair were about to win the match, however, Christian becomes convinced that he must ally himself with Victoria to win for himself. Victoria, however, has no interest in helping Christian.
Christian, realizing that no end to the match is likely, screams "Hell in a Cell is other people!"
The match continued and still does continue, but the pay-per-view feed cut shortly after Christian's declaration.
Response to No Way Out
Critically, No Way Out was very well received. Independent wrestling promotions everywhere started doing their own Hell in a Cell matches. The No Way Out concept thus moved internationally, being produced in many different languages.
Wrestling fans, however, were dissatisfied with the pay-per-view. They thought that it was ludicrous to charge pay-per-view prices for a single match. To complicate that complaint, many felt that the match itself was not very good. They were upset that no finishers were applied, and the closest thing to a finisher was Christian's declaration. The general consensus from the wrestling community is that No Way Out needed more action.