No Way Out 2005

| Date: February 20, 2005
| Venue: Mellon Arena | City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
| Attendance: 9,500 | Buys: 240, 000

| tweet me: @BastionBlogger

Tonight there will be no way out for John “Bradshaw” Layfield as he defends his WWE Championship against The Big Show inside a barbed-wire steel cage. It’s the first time this match type has ever happened in the WWE and it’ll be very interesting to see how it plays out. This match was made after Layfield beat Big Show and Kurt Angle in a triple threat match at The Royal Rumble to retain his title. Bradshaw pinned Kurt with help from his Cabinet and so Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long made the match between Layfield and Big Show for No Way Out there and then. Since then it has been Big Show out-numbered on a weekly basis trying to get the better of the WWE Champion. Layfield even managed to sucker Big Show into an attack, pretended to be shot by a tranquiliser dart in Japan but it was all a trap and the Cabinet attacked. Tonight these two experienced big men meet in a match that could have huge Wrestlemania implications.

Speaking of Wrestlemania, a number one contenders tournament has been taking place on Smackdown with the winner of the tournament to get a shot at the WWE Championship at the biggest event of the year. It’s worth noting that Batista is still yet to make his decision on which World title he will compete for at Wrestlemania so the winner of this tournament would enter a triple threat match should Batista choose to go after the WWE Championship. Batista has been invited to tonights show. In any case, John Cena has got to the tournament final after beating Orlando Jordan and Booker T. Kurt Angle beat Rey Mysterio in the first round and then got a bye to the final after The Undertaker and Rene Dupree drew their match due to Kurt and his crew. So tonight John Cena and Kurt Angle go one on one with the winner getting a shot at the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 21.

The WWE Tag Team Championships will be on the line tonight as The Basham Brothers take on Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero who have been teaming up a lot as of late. This follows their battles with one another. The Cruiserweight Championship will also be defended as champion Funaki has to defend against 5 other men in a gauntlet style match. Those other men are former Cruiserweight champion Spike Dudley, Shannon Moore, Akio, Paul London and Chavo Guerrero Jr. Also tonight The Undertaker battles Luther Reigns and don’t be surprised if a match is added between Heidenreich and Booker T after they got into it on Smackdown last week. Oh and there’s also a Smackdown diva competition which should be terrible. Let’s get to it.

On Sunday Night Heat before the event, Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas defeated Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki.

The show kicks off with a video package hyping the first ever barbed-wire cage match for the WWE Championship. Michael Cole then welcomes us to No Way Out 2005, he’s joined by Tazz.

The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny) (c) vs. Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero – WWE Tag Team Championship Match

It’s a first meeting between these two teams and a first time Eddie and Rey have teamed up on pay per view. Eddie has a 1-1 record at No Way Out PPV’s Mysterio and The Basham’s all have a 0-1 record at the event. Doug and Danny are sporting new jackets for the event. They look pretty terrible. Actually they look better from the back. Eddie and Danny Basham kick off the match and Eddie executes some nice chain wrestling to take Danny down. Guerrero won the WWE Championship at this event last year. He tags in Mysterio who flies in and hits a kick, shoulder charge, snapmare and legdrop for the first near fall of the night. Danny tags in Doug and there’s some illegal double teaming from the champions. Mysterio hits a nice arm drag and tags in Guerrero who hits a reverse elbow and some right hands.

I like the Bashams, they feel like a throwback and a proper tag team. Eddie hits a hurricanrana but Doug hits a shoulder charge and tags out to Danny. Danny is a big guy, he’s bigger than Eddie and the Basham applies a chokehold. I don’t see the need to put the titles on Rey and Eddie unless it’s to get them on the Wrestlemania card. Eddie gets out of the choke and looks to tag out but Danny tags Doug and stops Guerrero from making the tag. Doug hits a big right hand to the jaw of Eddie and then a powerslam for a two count. The dominatrix gimmick feels like a long time ago for these guys now. Doug misses with a move off the top and Eddie tags out to Rey who hits a cross body for a near fall. Mysterio hits a bulldog for another near fall, broken up by Danny. The Bashams make an illegal switch as the referee is distracted with Guerrero.

Some quick tags between the Bashams now as they double team Rey Mysterio. Danny applies a full nelson, shaking Mysterio around as he does so. Danny turns the full nelson into a reverse bear hug but Rey elbows his way out of it. Bizarrely The Bashams have a better win percentage on pay per view than Eddie and Rey. Far less matches though. The tag team champions drop Mysterio on the top rope for a near fall. The tag team championships have been successfully defended on the last 4 No Way Out PPV’s. Mysterio hits a nice moonsault but can’t keep the momentum. Danny applies a head vice and then a sleeper which Mysterio gets out of but Doug on the outside hits a cheap shot. Danny tags in Doug and they hit a double team move for a two count. Danny is tagged back in and Rey manages to leapfrog and crawl through legs before rolling and tagging in Eddie Guerrero!

Guerrero takes apart both Bashams, taking both men down with head scissors and arm drags. All four men break loose but Danny quickly disposes of Mysterio. The champions then hit a double spinebuster on Eddie for a two count. The Bashams attempt a double suplex but Mysterio saves his partner and Eddie rolls Danny up for a two count. Eddie then leaves the ring and grabs a tag team title but Rey runs over and tells him to put it back. In the ring the Bashams switch but Eddie drops the title and goes to the top only to roll through the frog splash. Eddie pretends he’s hurt himself and then rolls up Danny for a two count. Danny Basham then tosses the tag title to Eddie and Eddie tosses it to Doug. The referee takes it back and throws it out of the ring, meanwhile Mysterio hands Eddie the other tag team titles and he smashes Doug with it! Eddie then hooks the leg and gets the three! Eddie and Mysterio win the WWE Tag Team Championships. Not what I would have booked but we’ll see where it’s going. New tag team champions tonight!

Rating: 6/10

Teddy Long is backstage, happy with how the night has begun. He tells a runner to look after Batista when he arrives tonight. Carlito then shows up with someone who looks like an older Stephanie McMahon. Apparently she’s married to someone on the board of directors. She enjoyed the first match and heads back to her seat. Carlito says that Teddy Long’s future could be on the line if he doesn’t sign Batista to Smackdown.

Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie are out to host the first round of the rookie Smackdown diva competition 2005. Torrie and Dawn jump on commentary. I have no idea how Dawns boobs are staying in her top. Didn’t Dawn kill Torrie’s dad? Glad they’ve got over that. The first round is an evening gown competition. Joy, Rochelle, Lauren and Michelle all come out in their evening gowns. Joy has had a good role on Smackdown recently as Big Show’s special friend. Michelle McCool has been training some of the superstars in yoga. They just step into the ring and stand there. You have to vote on your favourite.

Booker T vs. Heidenreich

It’s a first PPV match between these two men. Heidenreich is yet to pick up a PPV victory and makes his No Way Out debut tonight. Booker T has a 0-1 record at No Way Out events after previously losing in a tag team title match with Test to Spike Dudley and Tazz. Heidenreich performs a poem before the bell. This match was made because Heidenreich laughed at Booker T following his loss to John Cena. This actually feels like quite a big match as both men have had a decent push as of late. Heidenreich plays his character well. He hits a knee and a few right hands to ground Booker T. He follows that up with a clothesline for the first near fall of the match. Booker hits him trademark back kick and then lands some chops and right hands in the corner. Heidenreich gets back into it with a reverse elbow and the two men battle to the outside where Booker T smashes Heidenreich into the ring steps.

Booker rolls Heidenreich back into the ring and then follows him in and hits a chop and a superkick for a two count. Heidenreich hits a powerslam and then a big clothesline before throwing Booker T into the ring post. Heidenreich hits a clothesline for a near fall and then applies a high key lock as the crowd break out in a “Booker T” chant. Booker gets out of that but runs into a big boot which earns Heidenreich a near fall. He then goes back to the high key lock. I did think Heidenreich would be involved with Snitsky, Kane and Undertaker at Wrestlemania but they’ve all been kept away from each other as of late. Booker gets out of the key lock and hits a spinebuster. The two men then slug it out and it’s advantage Booker T as he hits a couple of clotheslines and a thrust kick to the jaw. Booker spineroonie’s in the middle of the ring and then attempts his trademark scissors kick but Heidenreich ducks it. Booker goes for the book end but Heidenreich gets out of that as well.

Heidenreich attempts a clothesline but Booker T side-steps it and sends his opponent out of the ring. Booker follows him out but Heidenreich blasts him with a steel chair to the throat! The referee calls for the bell and this one is a disqualification victory for Booker T! Heidenreich continues to look for his first PPV victory but he rolls Booker back into the ring and pins him, demanding a pinfall but this one is over! Back and forth match, no major quality but it wasn’t awful. This rivalry to continue?

Rating: 4.25/10

Backstage the runner we saw earlier is getting the lock room ready for Batista.

Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio are celebrating with Scotty 2 Hotty, Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly. John Cena then shows up and congratulates the new tag team champions. Eddie asks for some time with Cena and says that he knows what he’s going through. He wishes Cena luck for his match with Kurt Angle later. Eddie believes that Kurt could put him in the ankle lock tonight but he tells Cena not to tap. Kurt will get frustrated and make mistakes. Cena takes the advice on board.

Funaki (c) vs. Shannon Moore vs. Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Akio vs. Spike Dudley – Gauntlet Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Funaki vs. Paul London

The Cruiserweight champion Funaki starts the match against Paul London. I like London a lot. Both men make their No Way Out PPV debuts tonight. Lots of chain wrestling in the early going, London hits a reverse elbow and a mule kick before missing with a splash in the corner. Funaki hits a bulldog for a two count. Spike takes a cheap shot at Funaki and London rolls him up and gets the 3!

Paul London vs. Spike Dudley

Spike gets involved right away but Funaki nails Spike with a kick on his way out! London pins him and Spike is out of here!

Paul London vs. Shannon Moore

Moore gets involved and takes down London a couple of times, hitting lots of quick pinfalls. Shannon Moore makes his No Way Out debut tonight. London rolls Moore up for a near fall. Shannon hits a big right hand and then a couple of hard Irish whips. Moore then attempts a corkscrew moonsault but London gets out of the way and then heads to the top and hits Shannon Moore with a 450 splash which is enough for the 3!

Paul London vs. Akio

Akio hits London with a hard clothesline for a near fall. This is a No Way Out debut for Akio. Neither of these men have been Cruiserweight Champion before. Akio executes a tarantula type move on the ropes and then gets a near fall. Akio applies a sleeper and then an enzeguri for a two count. Akio goes back to work on Londons arm, locking on an arm bar. London gets out of the armbar but Akio hits some big chops in the corner and then pops London on the top rope. Akio attempts a superplex but London fights him off and then hits a swinging neckbreaker off the top! The referee counts both men down with Chavo counting along with him. Paul London gets back to his feet but Akio doesn’t and the referee eliminates Akio!

Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero

It’s the final two men now. Chavo has a 1-0 record at No Way Out events. He covers London a few times for near falls. Chavo attempts a slam but London rolls him up for a two count. Chavo goes right back to work, hitting some stomps and right hands. Chavo attempts a neckbreaker but Paul hangs on to the to rope and Chavo hits the mat. London hits a full nelson suplex for a two count and then Hulks up! London hits a back body drop and a dropsault for a two count. Chavo gets back into it throwing London into the corner but London rolls Chavo up only for Chavo to roll London up and hang on to the ropes and get the 3 count! Chavo wins the match and wins the Cruiserweight Championship!

This was a quick match, lots of fast paced action as everyone wanted to get their stuff in. Chavo wins the match and the title but Paul London was the star of the match.

Rating: 6/10

There’s a shot of Big Show backstage thinking about his WWE title match. Michael Cole and Tazz then take us through the rules of the barbed-wire steel cage match.

There’s a Wrestlemania Recall from Wrestlemania 17 with The Iron Sheik winning the gimmick battle royal.

Round two of the rookie diva competition. The girls are now wearing more casual clothes. Torrie and Dawn are in the ring and explain that the divas will be showing off their special talent. Joys talent is massaging and takes off her top to massage Torrie Wilson. Torrie enjoys it but Dawn Marie isn’t happy. Rochelle is up next and milks it on the mic. She then tells a terrible joke and Dawn tells her to stop. Lauren does a dance. Dawn still isn’t happy. Michelle’s talent is to hit Dawn Marie with a powerslam. I wonder who’s going to win this…

Josh Mathews is backstage with John “Bradshaw” Layfield. JBL isn’t happy about his match tonight but he knows what he’s getting himself into. Layfield is willing to go through it all for his WWE Championship. JBL claims to be a Wrestling God.

The Undertaker vs. Luther Reigns

This is a big match for Luther Reigns. Undertaker goes into this match with a 1-2 No Way Out record. Mark Jindrak is sent to the back which means Luther Reigns won’t be getting any help in this one. Luther has a very unique look and I’m starting to warm to him a little. Undertaker lays into Reigns early with lefts and rights but makes the mistake of lowering his head which allows Luther to hit some lefts and rights. Undertaker gets back into it with a big boot which earns himself a near fall. The dead man then hits his old school axe handle from the top rope and then hits a modified DDT for a near fall. Undertaker intimidates the referee causing him to run out of the ring and that allows Luther Reigns to take off one of the top turnbuckles. Luther tries to smash Undertaker into the exposed turnbuckle but Undertaker fights him off and lays in some boots in another corner.

Luther explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and then attempts to Irish whip Undertaker into the exposed corner but Undertaker reverses it. Undertaker then hits Reigns with an elbow as he lays over the side of the ring and follows it up with a legdrop on the apron. Back in the ring and Luther Reigns hits a low blow that the referee doesn’t see. He then bounces the back of Undertakers head off the exposed turnbuckle. Reigns hits a suplex for a near fall and then hits a couple of knee drops and stomps. This would be the biggest win of Luther Reigns’ career if he were to win this match. He hits Undertaker with a powerslam and then drops an elbow for a two count. Luther applies a single leg crab but Undertaker gets out of it and hits a clothesline. Undertaker hits a big boot and then looks to hit a clothesline but Reigns takes him down with a spear and then a fist drop.

This match has been a slow one. Reigns attempts a neckbreaker but Undertaker fights out of it. Undertaker then hits his trademark clothesline and a follows it up with another clothesline in the corner. Undertaker looks to hit snake eyes but only get as far as the ropes so drops him on the top rope before nailing Reigns with a big boot. Undertaker then hits a chokeslam and scoops Luther up for a tombstone but Reigns nips down and hits his trademark inverted neckbreaker. Reigns makes the cover but Undertaker kicks out. Reigns attempts the neckbreaker again but Undertaker counters it into a DDT and then hits the tombstone for the win! It was a predictable result but it was the right result. Undertaker beats Luther Reigns tonight.

Rating: 4.75/10

Teddy Long is backstage still awaiting Batista.

Torrie Wilson is back out to host the final round of this diva competition. This round is the bathing suit competition. The girls strut their stuff. Michelle does a backflip. Torrie polls the crowd and Joy and Michelle get the biggest cheers. They then show the results from the website and Joy wins with 65% of the votes. Kind of expected really being that she’s been a pretty big part of Smackdown programming as of late.

There’s a video package next showing Kurt Angle and John Cena’s journey to the finals of the number one contenders tournament.

John Cena vs. Kurt Angle – Number one contendership match for the WWE Championship

These two men have met once before on PPV and that was at No Mercy 2003 when Kurt beat Cena. Kurt has a 3-2 record at No Way Out PPV’s which includes last years edition where he beat Big Show and John Cena in a triple threat match to become number one contender to the WWE title. That was Cena’s only previous match at this event. Cena is of course the United States Champion but won’t be defending that title tonight. Cena beat Orlando Jordan and Booker T to get here whilst Kurt just beat Rey Mysterio and then got a bye to this match. Kurt has been in the Wrestlemania main event both of the last 2 years and lost both of those matches to Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero respectively. Kurt takes Cena down early and applies a headlock which Cena gets out of but angle knocks Cena right back down. Kurt hits a belly to belly suplex and then goes back to the headlock.

Cena gets out of the headlock and applies a headlock of his own but Kurt gets out of it, hits a drop toe hold and then quickly hooks a front facelock. Cena gets out of it and then clotheslines Kurt out of the ring. There’s a few boo’s as we are in Kurts hometown. Cena throws Angle over the announce table and lays into him behind the desk. Back in the ring and Cena hits Angle with some right hands, a big boot and a clothesline. Cena then sets Angle up for the FU but Kurt escapes and rolls out of the ring. Back in the ring and Cena lays into Angle with right hands and stomps. Angle ducks a clothesline and then German suplexes Cena into the turnbuckle. Kurt hits a suplex for a one count and then a backbreaker for a near fall. Angle hits a snapmare and then applies a body scissors. Cena gets out of it but Kurt hits him with three German suplexes and pins Cena who gets his foot on the bottom rope.

Kurt applies an STF but Cena gets out of it and hits a big shoulder charge. The two men get to their feet and slug it out until Cena hits a couple of clotheslines and a reverse elbow. Cena hits a spinebuster for a near fall and then a side suplex for another two count. Cena then sets up for another FU but Angle rolls down with a sunset flip for a near fall. Angle is then first up and hits a belly to belly suplex before attempting the Angle slam but Cena nips down and hits Kurt with a DDT for a two count. Cena tries for the FU but angle rolls through again and this time applies the ankle lock! Cena quickly gets out of it by sending Kurt out of the ring. Kurt slowly gets back into the ring and Cena hits a legdrop on Kurt as he’s getting back in. Cena hits a big boot to the jaw of Angle and then hits him with the FU! Cena hooks the leg but Angle kicks out!

Kurt kicks Cena in the kneecap and then goes to work on Cena’s ankle before taking him down with a chopblock. Angle smashes Cen’a ankle into the ringpost a couple of times and stomps away at Cena’s injured ankle. Kurt then hits the Angle slam and locks on the ankle lock! Cena gets to the bottom rope but Angle pulls him back to the centre of the ring. Cena manages to get to the bottom rope again and as the referee attempts to break the hold he gets knocked out! Kurt grabs John Cena’s chain and wraps it around his knuckles but Cena charges into him and hits Kurt with an FU! Cena hooks the leg and the referee slowly comes round and counts the 3! John Cena beats Kurt Angle tonight and goes on to the Wrestlemania main event! Great match between these two.

Rating: 7.75/10

We go backstage and there’s still no sign of Batista. The cage is getting lowered now, the main event is up next.

John “Bradshaw” Layfield (c) vs. The Big Show – Barbed-wire cage match for the WWE Championship

This is the second ever singles match between these two men. The first match was at Insurrextion 2002 when Bradshaw beat The Big Show. Big Show has a 2-2 record at No Way Out PPV’s whilst Bradshaw has a 2-1 record. Layfield goes right for Big Show but quickly get dropped to the mat. Show hits an Irish whip and then repeatedly smashes JBL into the cage. Big Show hits a big chop and then knocks JBL down with a big right hand. Layfield keeps trying to block Big Shows attempts a throwing him into the cage but ends up getting taken down to the mat. Bradshaw hits a big shoulder charge to take Big Show down and follows that up with a neckbreaker. JBL climbs the cage and surveys the barbed-wire, decides he can’t go over it and dives down at Big Show but gets caught. Big Show hits a fallaway slam for a near fall. Big Show hits a big right hand and then a big chop which takes JBL down to the canvas. Layfields arm is bleeding which is presumably from the barbed-wire. Layfield hits a thumb to the eye and climbs the cage again but hops down and runs right into Show.

Big Show hits a suplex but runs into a big boot. Layfield then throws Show into the side of the cage which knocks him down. Layfield climbs the cage again as we get a shot of Big Show who is bleeding from the head. Bradshaw hits a shoulder block from the top rope and then lays in some stomps. Layfield hits some right hands, chops and drops an elbow for a two count. JBL takes off one of the tag ropes and chokes Big Show with it. Show fights JBL off and hits him with a big kick before hitting him with a powerbomb. The WWE Champion is now bleeding from the face and Big Show throws him into the side of the cage a couple of times. Big Show hasn’t been WWE Champion since December 2002. He slingshots JBL into the side of the cage. Orlando Jordan and The Basham Brothers then show up, Jordan tries to get into the cage and The Bashams have bolt cutters!

Teddy Long is out and tells Orlando and The Bashams to get to the back. They’ve left the bolt cutters though and JBL grabs them and nails The Big Show in the face with them! Layfield then hits a clothesline from hell but only for a near fall! JBL attempts another clothesline from hell but Big Show grabs him and hits the WWE Champion with a chokeslam! One of these men will be facing John Cena in the Wrestlemania 21 main event. Big Show lost to Cena at last years Wrestlemania. Show motions for a chokeslam but Layfield hits him with a low blow and then a running boot for a two count. JBL grabs the bolt cutters again and climbs the cage to try and cut the barbed-wire! Layfield does a bit of cutting and then drops the bolt cutters outside of the cage. Big Show goes up with JBL and smashes his face into the support beam at the top of the cage. Big Show then chokeslams JBL from the top rope all the way through the ring!

John “Bradshaw” Layfield is a bloody mess, lying in a hole where the mat was. Big Show, who is also a bloody mess, steps down from the ropes and tries to kick open the cage door. Why doesn’t he just pin JBL? Big Show busts the chain on the door and snaps it in half! Show opens the door, climbs through the ropes and out of the door! The bell rings but Tony Chimmel announces that JBL has won the match! JBL is shown crawling up the aisle! Big Show goes after JBL, rolls him back into the ring and lays into the WWE Champion in the ring. Orlando Jordan and The Bashams return and take out Big Show. Batista’s music then hits and out runs The Animal! Batista takes out The Cabinet, hitting Doug Basham with a Batista Bomb! Layfields escapes up the entranceway but out comes John Cena! Cena throws Layfield into some television equipment and then hits a spinebuster!

Rating: 7/10

Well, that was No Way Out 2005. It wasn’t terrible to be honest, not too great either but even an average pay per view at the moment seems like a victory. The show started pretty well with an enjoyable enough tag team match. Plenty of fun, mainly from Eddie Guerrero who truly is a superstar. I don’t mind Eddie and Mysterio as tag team champions but to tell you the truth I would rather the belts were on The Basham Brothers. Guerrero and Mysterio don’t need them but one thing I’ve grown to understand is that teams win the tag team titles to show that they are good friends. Decent enough match though and The Bashams are in a much better spot now that they’re running with JBL.

Booker T got a disqualification victory over Heidenreich which is fine. It doesn’t hurt Heidenreich much, I think it actually hurts Booker T more. Both men seem to be floating a bit with no real direction. Chavo Guerrero won the Cruiserweight Championship following a great effort from Paul London, who was the real star of the match. I guess this is the Cruiserweight title feud going forward with London a popular babyface. Funaki and Spike seem to have had their run and they might just blend into the background now. Akio and Shannon Moore could be future stars of the division. Undertaker beat Luther Reigns in a fairly straight forward match. Is it wrong that I quite like Luther Reigns? He has a hell of a unique look. I’m not really sure where he fits in but he could silently rise up the card in a similar way to Batista if they book him correctly.

John Cena and Kurt Angle put on a great match with the Wrestlemania main event at stake. Kurt tried to cheat but his character has definitely changed since he returned at Summerslam. He’s more of a wrestling machine now than he ever was. John Cena is the man for the future though and he got the win over Kurt and goes on to the Wrestlemania 21 main event. Really good match between these two. Then in the main event John “Bradshaw” Layfield defeated The Big Show in a match with a really unique ending. I really liked the finish actually, with Big Show chokeslamming Layfield through the ring and JBL crawling through the ring to win. It definitely looked like Big Show won the match. An interesting match between two men who probably didn’t make the most of the stipulation but it’s another big win for JBL none the less. A very average show stolen by Kurt Angle and John Cena.

Overall Rating: 59.58/100 (ranked 65th out of 176)

Match Of The Night: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle
Worst Match Of The Night: Booker T vs. Heidenreich
Surprise Of The Night: Paul London’s effort in the Cruiserweight Championship match
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: John “Bradshaw” Layfield
No Way Out 2005 Will Be Remembered For: The barbed-wire steel cage match and finish

One thought on “No Way Out 2005

  1. This is the final WWE PPV appearance for Luther Reigns, who after this PPV would engage in a shitty variation of the tag-team breakup angle with Mark Jindrak, make up numbers in the DVD-exclusive battle royal at WrestleMania 21, and job to Big Show before requesting his release from the company, which was fulfilled on May 11, 2005.

    According to Luther, the reason he requested his release was due to creative differences with Paul Heyman, as Heyman originally planned to have him and René Duprée moved to Raw to perform as a tag-team. Luther instead wished to form a stable with Christian and Tyson Tomko with Christian as the leader of the stable. However, Heyman repeatedly dismissed the idea and Luther instead negotiated his release.

    After leaving the WWE, Luther went back to wrestling on the indy circuit until his retirement from the ring in September 2006, appeared in films such as True Legend, Spring Break ’83, and Let’s Be Cops, as well as being listed in the 2016 concussion lawsuit against WWE.

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