Royal Rumble 2003

Summary: It was a Jekyll and Hyde show. Some of it was so bad it was beyond comprehension, with the Triple H-Scott Steiner match leaving me feel violated and dirty for having watched it. The fact that it was followed by a genuine all-time classic is remarkable, and indeed that Benoit-Angle match perhaps feels even better because of what precedes it. It is one of my all-time favourite matches, perfect WWE wrestling in many respects, and doesn’t go over the top with finisher after finisher like many “classic” WWE bouts from later years. It builds logically, there is a storyline within the match, and the last five or six minutes are something else. It has everything, and I love it. Usually the Rumble match itself makes or breaks these cards, whereas this year it felt merely perfunctory. It existed because it has to exist, and it was designed to get Brock Lesnar over for his title match at WrestleMania. Other than that, and setting up Michaels-Jericho, not a great deal happened. A card worth seeing only for the legendary Angle-Benoit match, but you can pretty much skip the rest.
Verdict: 58

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