Kurt Angle vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship
History was the key word when Kurt Angle and The Rock met for the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2001. The previous year, Angle began his meteoric rise to the top when he won the Intercontinental Championship at No Way Out just three months after his WWE debut. As for The Rock, he had headlined WrestleMania in 1999 and 2000, and was looking for the three-peat in 2001. After beating Big Show to become No. 1 Contender, The Rock's final hurdle was to defeat the man who took the WWE Championship from him four months earlier at No Mercy 2000.
The champion dominated early in the match, and was able to lock The Rock in the Ankle Lock, but the challenger managed to escape. Eventually, the referee was knocked unconscious, and Big Show made an appearance to Chokeslam both combatants. Angle was able to take advantage, locking on the Ankle Lock again, but the challenger would not quit. Rock made his comeback and hit the People's Elbow, but the champion shocked the crowd by kicking out before the three-count.
The champion would then remove one of the turnbuckle pads, and The Rock was sent crashing into the exposed steel turnbuckle. Angle hit the Angle Slam, but this time it was The Rock's turn to kick out of his opponent's finishing maneuver. An incensed Angle charged a recovering Rock, but in a twist of irony, was sent into the exposed steel turnbuckle himself. Two Rock Bottoms later, The Rock scored the pinfall to win his sixth WWE Championship and go on to face Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania X-Seven.