Royal Rumble 2003

| Date: January 19, 2003
| Venue: Fleet Centre | City: Boston, Massachusetts
| Attendance: 15, 338 | Buyrate: 585, 000

The Royal Rumble, one of the “big 4” pay per views and this one will be a big one despite having the worst buyrate of a Royal Rumble PPV since 1998. Triple H is on the poster and that’s because he defends the World Heavyweight Championship that he won back from Shawn Michaels at Armageddon. Scott Steiner was the man who had to decide which brand to sign with and a shot at Triple H at the Rumble confirmed that he would sign for Raw. Since then, most of the build has been based around who has the better physique. The two have had push up contests, pose-offs and even an arm wrestling match. Tonight the two square off in Scott Steiners first WWE PPV match since Royal Rumble 1994.

The WWE Championship will also be defended as Kurt Angle defends the belt he won at Armageddon against Chris Benoit. Chris Benoit earned an opportunity at the title by beating The Big Show in a number one contenders match. Kurt Angle aligned himself with Paul Heyman and revealed that he used Brock Lesnar to win the WWE title. Brock would injure Kurt by F5ing him into the ringpost and since then Paul Heyman has bought in Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin as “Team Angle” to defend Kurt going into this show. Paul Heymans other client The Big Show will also be in action as Heyman challenged Brock Lesnar to take on Big Show with only the winner entering the Royal Rumble match. This’ll be a rematch from Survivor Series and the crowd will be right behind Lesnar.

The other match representing Smackdown will be Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie. Dawn Marie recently got married to Torrie’s father Al, both wearing nothing but their underwear. However on the honeymoon Dawn Marie wore Al Wilson out so much that he had a heart attack and died. Tonight Torrie looks to get revenge for Dawn essentially killing her father. Also tonight Lance Storm and William Regal, who won the World Tag Team titles from Booker T and Goldust, defend against The Dudley Boyz who they have recently been feuding with. Val Venis, now going under his real name Sean Morley, has been appointed chief of staff to Eric Bischoff and the tag team champions have done everything they can to get on side with Bischoff and Morley. The Dudley Boyz would save Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler in a match with the tag champs and so this match was made.

And besides those five matches we will of course have the Royal Rumble match itself. This year we know all 30 participants (well 29 + either Lesnar or Big Show).  There will be 15 participants from Raw including the likes of Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Kane and 15 from Smackdown including Eddie Guerrero, Edge and the returning Undertaker. We also know that Shawn Michaels will be the number one entrant in the match, much like he was in 1995. Chris Jericho wants to do everything that Michaels has and after winning a battle royal he demanded that he be made the #2 entrant. Everyone else will be random as always. IT’s my favourite match of the year so let’s get to it.

On Sunday Night Heat before the show Spike Dudley defeated Steven Richards.

A video package kicks us off hyping, first hyping the Royal Rumble and then soundbites from the various superstars saying how much they want to be in the Wrestlemania main event. It’s a really good package actually and gets you excited for Wrestlemania. Michael Cole then welcomes us to the pay per view which means we’ll be kicking off with a Smackdown match!

Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show – Winner enters the Royal Rumble Match

This is a rematch from Survivor Series when Big show beat Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship. Big Show has fought at the last 3 Royal Rumble PPVs, losing in 3 Royal Rumble matches, whereas Brock Lesnar is fighting at his first Royal Rumble PPV. The crowd are right behind Lesnar as both men try to out-power each other in the early going. Lesnar drives Big Show into the corner with his shoulder and then tries for a belly to belly which Big Show counters the first time but Brock hits it the second. Lesnar hits a second belly to belly sending Big Show across the ring. Show makes sure a third doesn’t happen and instead throws Lesnar out of the ring. Back in the ring and Big Show stomps away at Lesnar and hits him with some heavy chops.

Lesnar avoids a splash in the corner and then hits Big Show with a German suplex which gets him the first near fall of the night. Heyman grabs the leg of Lesnar which distracts him long enough for Big Show to take him down with a boot. This match only lasted 4:18 at Survivor Series, it’s gone longer than that already. Big Show hits a side slam and then motions for the chokeslam but Lesnar rolls him up. Brock then hits a belly to belly and Paul Heyman is up on the apron. Lesnar brings him in the ring the hard way and then puts him on his shoulders for an F5 but Big Show is up and he chokeslams Lesnar in the middle of the ring. Show hooks the leg but Brock kicks out! Heyman can’t believe it.

Big Show sets up for another chokeslam but Lesnar nips down, pushes Big Show into Heyman and then hits the F5 on Big Show! Lesnar hooks the leg and that’s all she wrote! Lesnar wins the match and goes into the Royal Rumble.

Rating: 6/10

Terri Runnels is backstage with Chris Jericho. Terri asks Jericho why he chose number two in the Royal Rumble and Jericho says he didn’t choose number 2, he had to have number 2. Jericho is confident that he’ll be winning the Royal Rumble.

Lance Storm & William Regal (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) – World Tag Team Championship Match

It’s a first 2 on 2 match between these 2 teams on pay per view. This is the fourth Royal Rumble event in a row that The Dudley Boyz have been in tag team action. They lost to The Hardy Boyz in a tables match in 2000, beat Edge and Christian in 2001 and lost to Tazz and Spike Dudley in 2002. Regal has a 1-1 record at Royal Rumble PPVs and Lance Storm a 0-1 record. Bubba Ray and Lance Storm kick things off and it’s Bubba with the early advantage. Bubba tag in D-Von who is wearing some jazzy yellow and green pants. He hits his reverse elbow on Storm but Lance hits a jawbreaker and tags in Regal. D-Von takes Regal down with a powerslam and drops an elbow for a two count.

Regal avoids a splash in the corner and knocks D-Von down with a clothesline. Both of these teams were involved in the fatal four way elimination match at Armageddon but they were the first two teams eliminated. Regal tags in Storm who hits an elbow on D-Von for a two count. Two former ECW wrestlers here. Storm tags in Regal who beat Edge for the Intercontinental Championship at the 2002 Royal Rumble event. Quick tags between Storm and Regal now. Storm applies a neckvice and then a sleeper which D-Von gets out of and then tags in Bubba Ray! Bubba lays into both tag team champions, hits them both with a splash in the corner and then a sidewalk slam on Lance for a near fall. Bubba hits Storm and Regal with his trademark jabs and then the Bubba Bomb on Storm for a two count.

D-Von tags in and the challengers hit the Wassup Drop! They then hit a double flapjack on Storm for a near fall. Bubba and D-Von set up for the 3D but Chief of Staff Sean Morley heads to the ring and distracts the referee. Regal comes at The Dudleyz with the brass knucks but they hit him with the 3D! D-Von grabs the brass knucks and lays out Lance Storm with them! D-Von hooks the leg and he gets the 3! The Dudley Boyz win the match and the World Tag Team Championships! For those keeping score, 9 of the last 10 title matches on PPV have resulted in a title change.

Rating: 6.25/10

Video package is up next for the first ever step-mother vs. step-daughter match.

Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie

This is a rematch from No Mercy 2002 where Torrie beat Dawn pretty conclusively in a match that surpassed my expectations. Torrie has won 4 of her 5 PPV matches going into this, so a great record. Dawn Marie has wrestled twice on PPV, both times Torrie Wilson has been on the opposite side of the ring and both times Dawn has lost. Dawn Marie walks out with a back veil on. She attacks Torrie before the bell as the referee asks Torrie if she wants to go through with the match. It’s amazing they’ve got this match in pay per view but no Women’s title match. Torrie throws Dawn Marie from one side of the ring to the other and slingshots her straight into the mat. Torrie goes for a German suplex for Dawn hangs onto the ropes and locks on a fujiwara arm bar!

Dawn Marie gets the first near fall of the night and then goes to work on Torrie’s left arm. Dawn hits a flapjack and then both girls go for something and end up crashing heads. That looked painful. Torrie backslides Dawn Marie who kicks out. Torrie hits a couple of arm drags and then Irish whips Dawn who springboards off the second rope and hits a clothesline. Swinging neckbreaker from Torrie and she hooks the leg and gets the 3! Torrie Wilson wins the match and continues her great PPV streak.

Rating: 4.5/10

Stephanie McMahon is backstage and bumps into Eric Bischoff and Randy Orton. Stephanie wishes the best to Eric who she thinks will be getting fired within 30 days. Both GM’s say they have a bombshell to drop. Stephanie says blood is thicker than urine, Bischoff says money is thicker than blood.

There’s a Sean O’Haire promo, I love his new gimmick, the Devil’s Advocate. He’s not telling you anything you don’t already know.

There’s a VT hyping Triple H and Scott Steiner.

Triple H (c) vs. Scott Steiner – World Heavyweight Championship Match

It’s not only a first tim meeting between these two men but it’s a first WWE PPV appearance for Scott Steiner since the 1994 Royal Rumble event. Triple H has a 3-4 record at Royal Rumble, Scott Steiner has a 1-1 record. Triple H has Ric Flair with him as you’d expect and the champ is wearing red trunks as which you would not expect. Scott Steiner goes into this match with a 66% win record on PPV, having won 4 of his 6 WWE PPV matches. Jim Ross incorrectly says that Scott Steiner hasn’t made a Royal Rumble event appearance in 9 years. Steiner was the #1 entrant in the 1994 Royal Rumble match, Triple H was the #1 entrant in the 1996 Royal Rumble match.

The two men slug it out in the early going and it’s Steiner with the first knock down. This is Steiner’s first match since returning to the WWE. He hits some chops and right hands in the corner. Steiner then gorilla press slams Triple H in a very impressive show of power. Triple H heads to the outside and Steiner meets him out there and knocks him down with a clothesline. Steiner rams Triple H into the ringpost and then into the barricade. It would be very cool to see the Steiner Brothers back together. Back in the ring and Steiner hits a suplex for a two count. Steiner locks on a Boston Crab but Triple H gets to the ropes. At this stage I have no idea what the Raw Wrestlemania main event is going to be, unless they go with Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels again. Steiner locks on a bear hug and Triple H screams in agony.

Triple H gets out of the bear hug but Steiner hits him with a belly to belly for a two count. Steiner then locks to set up for the Steiner Recliner but Ric Flair drags Triple H out of the ring! Great work Naitch. Back in the ring and Triple H hits a big boot on Steiner. It’s advantage Triple H now as he throws Scott out of the ring and into the steps. Back in the ring and Triple H hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Triple H distracts the referee allowing Flair to choke Steiner. Triple H then hits another neckbreaker for a two count. Ric Flair gets involved again and Triple H then looks to hit a Pedigree but Steiner counters it and slingshots Helmsley into the top turnbuckle before hitting a belly to belly. Triple H counters a powerslam and hits Steiner with a neckbreaker for a near fall.

Triple H hits a suplex and then goes up to the second rope but Steiner catches him and hits a belly to belly suplex. This match truly is belly to belly suplex vs. swinging neckbreaker. Steiner hits a couple of clotheslines, a back body drop and three belly to belly suplexes. The crowd are starting to boo the offence in this match. Steiner hits another belly to belly and gets a near fall. Steiner looks for a tiger bomb but he botches it, falls over and the crowd boo even more. Triple H decides to leave the ring and head back up the entrance ramp with Flair but Steiner is in pursuit. Triple H tries to attack Steiner with his belt but Steiner grabs it and smashes it into Triple H’s face busting him wide open. The two men battle around the ringside area with Steiner smashing Triple H off anything he can find.

Back in the ring and Steiner decides to do some press ups. Flair wants the match stopped because Triple H is busted open, brilliant. Triple H then throws the referee out the ring! Earl Hebner thinks about disqualifying Triple H but then decides against it! Steiner hits Triple H with a spinning belly to belly suplex but that just gets him a 2 count. Ric Flair distracts the referee allowing Triple H to hit a low blow. Helmsley then grabs a sledgehammer from under the ring and blatantly smashes Steiner with it! The referee calls for the bell this time and disqualifies Triple H. Triple H attempts to lay into Steiner after the match with his sledgehammer, much like he did to Shawn Michaels, but Steiner fights him off and then locks on the Steiner Recliner. Half a dozen referees, Eric Bischoff, Tony Garea and Sgt Slaughter manage to break the hold but it’s Scott Steiner with the big win tonight, albeit by disqualification.

Rating: 5/10

There’s a video package up next for Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. Benoit beat Big Show for his title match, Kurt has Team Angle behind him.

Kurt Angle (c) vs. Chris Benoit – WWE Championship Match

These two men last met on PPV at Unforgiven last year in a match that Chris Benoit won. This is their 7th PPV match against each other, they’re currently tied at 3 wins a piece. Kurt has a 1-2 record at Royal Rumble PPV’s, Benoit has a 0-1 record. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin flank Angle but they get in Benoit’s face before the bell and three other referee’s come out and eject them from ringside. Expect lots of wrestling in this match. Benoit applies a headlock in the early going and attempts to grab Kurt in something else but the champion exits the ring. Back in the ring and Benoit hits a dropkick but Angle locks on a sleeper which Benoit is quick to get out of. Benoit applies a leg lock but Kurt gets to the ropes. Kurt rams Benoit into the ring post which gives him the advantage.

These two men were WWE tag team champions together a few months ago. Kurt hits a suplex for a near fall. Benoit hits some brutal chops and then lays into Kurt with right hands and a boot before taking Kurt down with a clothesline. Benoit has never been WWE Champion. He hits some chops and knees but Kurt hits him with a suplex, dropping Benoit on the top rope. Benoit then hits a DDT on Kurt on the apron, rolls Kurt in the ring and gets a near fall. Benoit heads to the top and dives off but Angle rolls out of the way of his headbutt. Benoit locks on a Sharpshooter but Angle gets to the ropes. Benoit hits a side suplex for another near fall. Angle hits a big belly to belly suplex as Benoit came at him at pace. Angle then throws Benoit out of the ring.

Outside the ring and Angle drops Benoit on the barricade. Back in the ring and Kurt hits a suplex for a near fall. He then hits a snapmare before applying a rear chinlock. Benoit gets out of it but Kurt hits a suplex and once again locks on the rear chinlock. Benoit gets out of it and then both men knock each other down with clotheslines. Both men get to their feet and it’s advantage Benoit as he hits four German suplexes. Benoit then heads to the top for his trademark headbutt but Angle flies up to the top rope and hits a belly to belly from the top turnbuckle. Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Benoit counters it into a Crippler Crossface! Benoit screams at him to tap but angle gets to the ropes. Benoit then applies an ankle lock, pulling Angle away from the ropes but angle reverses it into an ankle lock of his own. Benoit gets out of it and counters it into a crossface.

Kurt reverses the crossface into a cover but Benoit rolls it back into a crossface! Angle manages to roll through and hit an Angle Slam! Kurt makes the pinfall but Benoit kicks out. Angle locks on an ankle lock but Benoit gets out of it and rolls Kurt up for a two count. The two men take it in turns to hit German suplexes and the crowd are loving it. Benoit goes up top and hits his flying headbutt. He’ll do himself some damage doing them. He’s not quick enough to make the cover so Angle kicks out. Angle hits an inverted powerbomb, dropping Benoit face first on the top turnbuckle before hitting an Angle Slam which Benoit kicks out of! Benoit then locks on a crossface from nowhere but Kurt reverses it into an ankle lock! Benoit kicks out of it multiple times but Kurt keeps going back to the ankle lock. Eventually Benoit has to tap out. Kurt Angle wins the match and retains his WWE Championship. Kurt celebrates with Team Angle and after they have gone Benoit gets a standing ovation.

Rating: 8.75/10

Rob Van Dam is backstage warming up when Kane shows up. Kane says RVD has been a great tag team partner but he won’t hesitate to eliminate him tonight. Van Dam says that’s cool because he’ll do the same.

The 2003 Royal Rumble Match

Here we go. My favourite match of the year. We already know the #1 and #2. Shawn Michaels is out at number one, just like he was when he won the match in 1995. He would also win the match in 1996, only Stone Cold Steve Austin has won the match more times than Michaels. #2 is Chris Jericho but out walks Christian dressed up as Jericho! Jericho then appears behind Michaels and attacks him with a low blow. Jericho lays into Shawn Michaels and then grabs a steel chair and smashes Michaels right in the face with it. It’ll be a new entry every 90 seconds this year. Michaels is bleeding from the forehead. #3 is on his way. #3 generally ALWAYS goes out first. Chris Nowinski makes his way out and leaves Jericho to lay into Michaels. It’s a PPV in-ring debut for Nowinski. Well, when it actually gets in the ring it will be. Jericho continues to lay into Shawn Michaels and jumps him over the top rope to eliminate him from the match. Shawn Michaels, one of the favourites, will not be winning the 2003 Royal Rumble match.

#4 is Rey Mysterio making his Royal Rumble debut and looking for his first ever PPV victory. He’s the first Smackdown guy in the match. Mysterio hits a big facebuster on Jericho but Jericho gets back into it. Jericho nearly eliminates Mysterio who hands on to the ring post and then springboard dropkicks his way back in. Nowinski then finally makes his way into the ring. #5 is Edge who is another favourite from the Smackdown side. He takes both Chris’s down. And then Edge and Mysterio clear the ring (not eliminating Jericho and Nowinski) before going at each other. Mysterio misses with a 619 and then nearly eliminates Edge with a hurricanrana! Edge has lost matches at 4 Royal Rumble events. Edge was in the 1999 and 2000 Royal Rumble matches. #6 is Christian who looks very happy with himself. Christian hugs his brother Edge and says they should team up but Edge hits him with a spear! Nowinski slips back into the ring and nearly eliminates Edge and Rey Mysterio. The former WWE Tag Team Champions then go up top and hit a double dropkick on Nowinski, Edge pretty much lands on his face.

Rey Mysterio hits a bronco buster on Nowinski. They are in the ring with Edge and Christian. Jericho is also about and #7 is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero Jr. Mysterio hits Chavo with a 619 and a West coat Pop. He then hits a 619 on Christian and a West Coast Pop on Chris Nowinski before hurricanrana’ing out of the match. Jericho then clotheslines Mysterio eliminating him from the match! #8 is Tajiri who makes his Royal Rumble debut. Tajiri knocks down everyone with kicks. Christian tries to eliminate Tajiri but fails. We’ve now had 4 from Raw and 4 from Smackdown. #9 is Bill DeMott who represents Smackdown. DeMott is the former Hugh Morrus. He and Jericho slug it out whilst Christian and Chavo go at it in one corner. DeMott then chokes Edge on the top rope and Jericho hits Tajiri with right hands. DeMott has been getting a push as of late.

#10 is Tommy Dreamer who joins Edge, Christian, Chris Jericho, Chavo, Tajiri and Bill DeMott. Dreamer brings in a trash can full of weapons and lays into everyone with kendo sticks! Dreamer and Edge then take it in turns to beat DeMott with kendo sticks which is enough to eliminate Bill DeMott from the match. Christian and Chris Jericho then lay into Tommy Dreamer with trash can lids before throwing him over the top and out of the match. Tajiri takes down Chavo and Christian with handspring elbows before locking a tarantula on Jericho. Jericho manages to counter it and push Tajiri out of the match. #11 is B² who runs is and is pretty much eliminated straight away by Edge. Edge then eliminates Chavo. Edge nearly eliminates Jericho but Jericho skins the cat and eliminates both Edge and Christian. 

Jericho is left on his own in the ring now with a huge gash on his head courtesy of a kendo stick shot from Tommy Dreamer. 12 is Rob Van Dam who gets the crowd on their feet. Van Dam is making his second Royal Rumble appearance. Van Dam lays into Jericho with kicks and rolling thunder. The reset button has been hit on this match. #13 is Matt Hardy who is joined by Shannon Moore. Hardy hits Van Dam with a side effect and then he and Jericho double team RVD. Van Dam avoids Jericho and then knocks both men down with clotheslines and kicks. The numbers are too much though and Jericho hits a bulldog but misses with a lionsault. Van Dam hits a spinning heel kick and heads up top to hit the 5 star frog splash! #14 is Eddie Guerrero who I would love to see win the match but he won’t. Guerrero goes after RVD and then Matt Hardy. Jerry Lawler has missed saying “Latino Heat”. Four very athletic superstars in the ring right now, four of my favourites actually. Eddie hits a frog splash on Van Dam and then Matt Hardy its twist of fate on Guerrero.

#15 is Jeff Hardy who races down to the ring. Matt wants to team with his brother but Jeff hits him with kicks and a big clothesline. 5 great superstars in the ring now. Jeff throws Matt over the top but Shannon Moore stops Matt from falling off the apron! Jeff hits twist of fate on Matt and then heads up top to hit the Swanton Bomb but Shannon Moore lays across Matt and Jeff hits them both with the Swanton! #16 is Rosey from 3 Minute Warning, he’s joined by Rico. Rosey is a big old unit and he lays into Van Dam. Jeff nearly eliminates Matt. Rosey then goes after Jericho who has been in the ring since the bell rang. #17 is Test who emerges with Stacy Keibler. Test hits clotheslines on Jericho and Rosey ad then a pump handle slam on Matt Hardy. This is Tests 4th Royal Rumble match. #18 is John Cena who comes out rapping. He raps for pretty much the whole 90 seconds until Rob Van Dam throws him in the ring. #19 is then Charlie Haas.

Charlie Haas goes after Matt Hardy whilst John Cena lays into the man he’s been feuding with as of late, Eddie Guerrero. The ring is starting to fill up now. Test and Matt Hardy go at it whilst Charlie Haas tries to get the better of Rosey. Van Dam and Jeff Hardy go at it in the middle of the ring and then Jeff springboards to the top rope and Van Dam pushes him out, eliminating Jeff Hardy from the match. #20 is Rikishi who won’t be winning this match. Rikishi has been in 8 Royal Rumble matches, more than anyone else in history. Rikishi takes everyone down with kicks until it’s just him and Rosey. Shannon Moore gets between them and Rosey lines him up and Rikishi splashes them in the corner. Rosey then clotheslines Rikishi. #21 is Jamal also representing 3 Minute Warning. Jamal goes right for Rikishi but Rikishi takes him down with a splash in the corner and then a stink face!

Jamal lays into Rikishi and chokes him in the corner. #22 is Kane who’s best finish is runner up in the 2001 Royal Rumble match. Kane takes down anything that moves and even chokeslams Rico. Kane then backbody drops Rosey eliminating him from the match before chokeslamming both Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore. Kane nearly eliminates Jericho who hangs on to the ring post. #23 is Shelton Benjamin who makes his PPV debut tonight. Eddie Guerrero applies a sleeper to Rikishi. #24 is Booker T who makes his second Royal Rumble debut. Hmmm that’s not a thing. Booker T goes right for Kane and hits him with a scissors kick.  Booker takes down Matt Hardy and then gives us a spin-er-oonie. Booker eliminates Eddie Guerrero. Shelton Benjamin and Chris Jericho go at it. Jamal has Test on the ropes. #25 is A-Train who runs down to the ring. He hits John Cena with a baldo bomb then a backbreaker on Shelton Benjamin. I thought they were supposed to be friends.

Rikishi has Jericho over the ropes but he can’t eliminate him. Shawn Michaels then re-emerges from the back! he goes right for Jericho and takes down Matt Hardy and John Cena whilst he’s at it. Tes then eliminates Chris Jericho! #26 is Maven. This is a second Royal Rumble match for Maven who eliminated The Undertaker last year. Maven goes after Kane, a decision he regrets as Kane lays into him. #27 is Goldust who returned at last years Royal Rumble event. Goldust goes after Team Angle, taking them down. He then hits Maven with shattered dreams! Those two men met at last years Wrestlemania. Team Angle then team up to eliminate Goldust. Booker T lays into Charlie Haas. Rikishi and Albert go at it. Team Angle then eliminate Booker T. #28 is Batista who has been on an absolute roll as of late. Batista takes John Cena down with a big clothesline and the same to Jamal. Batista and Test hook it up and Test hits the fellow big man with a full nelson slam. Test nearly eliminates Batista and then hits a running boot but Batista ducks it and Test eliminates himself from the match. Batista then eliminates Rikishi. 

#29 is Brock Lesnar who lays into his former partner of Shelton Benjamin. Brock Lesnar then eliminates both members of Team Angle and Matt Hardy! A-Train and Batista double team Brock Lesnar whilst Jamal tries to eliminate Rob Van Dam. A-Train hits a big pump kick on Batista. #30 is The Undertaker who is returning to the WWE and wrestling in his 99th PPV match. One of these men will be main eventing Wrestlemania. The Undertaker, Maven, John Cena, Kane, Jamal, A-Train, Batista or  Brock Lesnar. Undertaker eliminates John Cena and Jamal. Maven then dropkicks The Undertaker and think he’s eliminated him from the match again! Undertaker chokeslams Maven and then eliminates him from the match. A-Train hits Undertaker with a baldo bomb and Kane chokeslams Lesnar. There’s only 6 men left in this one. Van Dam takes down A-Train. A-Train gets up and RVD and Kane double clothesline A-Train eliminating him from the match. They then take down Batista and Kane lifts up Van Dam to throw him into Batista but Kane dumps RVD over the top and out of the match!

It’s the final four now. Kane, Batista, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. Four big men. Undertaker and Brock Lesnar square up but Batista and Kane blindside them. Undertaker Batista down with a clothesline as Brock lays into Kane. Batista hits a spinebuster on Undertaker and then double teams Lesnar with Kane. Lesnar hits Batista with a belly to belly and then Lesnar hits an F5 on Kane! Lesnar and Undertaker square up and they slug it out. Undertaker knocks down Lesnar with a big boot. Brock goes for an F5 but Undertaker slips down and tries for a Tombstone which he hits! Undertaker then eliminates Batista with a clothesline. Undertaker offers Kane his hand and then as Kane turns his back, Undertaker eliminates him. Batista comes back in with a chair but Undertaker sees him coming and disposes of him. But Brock Lesnar comes from behind and eliminates The Undertaker to win the match!

It’s a big Royal Rumble win for Brock Lesnar. Undertaker gets back in the ring and tells Brock to go to Wrestlemania and win the title.

Rating: 7/10

And that was the 2003 Royal Rumble event. 6 matches including the Royal Rumble match itself. It kicked off with Brock and Big Show to decide who went into the Royal Rumble and thankfully it was Lesnar that won (like you ever doubted it). It was only two minutes longer than their previous encounter and it wasn’t the best match in the world but it served its purpose. It looks like Big Shows main event run is officially over. He’ll probably go on to feud with Undertaker who he put out of action last month. The Dudley Boyz then beat William Regal and Lance Storm for the tag team titles which I was a little surprised by. The tag titles on Raw are getting passed around like a hot potato at the moment. I’m guessing The Dudley Boyz will hold the belt until Wrestlemania where they lose them to 3 Minute Warning.

Torrie Wilson bear Dawn Marie which had to be the result as Dawn killed Torrie’s father. Their match was better than I expected, Dawn always surpasses my expectations in the ring. I’m guessing this puts an end to this feud and they can them put it behind them and move on. Torrie Wilson has a very impressive PPV win record at this point. Scott Steiner beat Triple H by disqualification which suggests that the feud continues. It’s a bit of a shame because the match was pretty awful for a World Heavyweight title match. I reckon they go on to No Way Out and end it with a gimmick match. Kurt Angle then beat Chris Benoit in a fantastic match. It was perfect for this pay per view and both men got a standing ovation. Not sure whether this leaves Chris Benoit but I can only see Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit for Wrestlemania.

Lesnar did of course go on to win the Royal Rumble. The Rumble was a fun way as it always is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better start to a Rumble what with Christian coming out dressed as Jericho allowing Y2J to attack Shawn Michaels and throw him out. The match came down to 4 big men in Kane, Batista, Undertaker and Lesnar. There was a show of respect between Undertaker and Lesnar which confirms Lesnars face turn. Bring on Wrestlemania.

Overall Rating: 62.5/100 (ranked joint 36th out of 147)

Match Of The Night: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Worst Match Of The Night: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie
Surprise Of The Night: The Dudley Boyz win the tag team titles
Worst Booking Of The Night: The Dudley Boyz winning the tag team titles
Superstar Of The Night: Brock Lesnar
Royal Rumble 2003 Will Be Remembered For: Brock Lesnar winning the Royal Rumble match

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