Friday 10 March 2017

WWE Royal Rumble 2003 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Review! It’s 2003 in the WWE, 2002 was a strange year with the focus drifting away from Rock and Austin, Hogan coming and going and the rise of Brock Lesnar. 2003 could be a great year for the WWE but it could also be a bad year, you never know with this company. Anyways, it is Royal Rumble time. The first of the big four of the year, The Rumble is always kickass and this year should be no different. On the undercard, we have Kurt Angle vs former partner Chris Benoit for The WWE Championship and Scott Steiner against Triple H for The World Heavyweight Championship. Will the year kick-off with a bang? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

We have a lot of superstars talking about The Royal Rumble and the opportunity of headlining Wrestlemania, it adds so much to the importance of the pay per view and it gets you hyped up for the event. It is a little touch but it works so well, 15 superstars from Raw and Smackdown. The Road to Wrestlemania starts tonight! Stage design is simple, similar to The Smackdown stage and Summerslam stage from the year prior, not a bad thing though as I remember it clearly.

The Big Show W/ Paul Heyman vs Brock Lesnar (Winner is in The Royal Rumble)

Big Show defeated Brock Lesnar for The WWE Championship thanks to Paul Heyman, Lesnar gained revenge by helping Kurt Angle win The WWE Championship from Big Show, Lesnar and Show battle for the coveted number thirty spot in The Royal Rumble. Show shakes off Lesnar with ease, lock-up and Show shakes off Lesnar for a second time. Lesnar spears Show into the corner, Show pushes away Lesnar but Lesnar comes right back with shoulder thrusts. Show headbutts out of a belly to belly suplex but Lesnar catches Show the second time.

Lesnar throws Show for a second time, Show blocks the third suplex. Show throws Lesnar to the floor, elbow in the corner and stomps by Show. Chest slap by Show, Show tosses Lesnar across the ring. Show misses a corner clothesline, Lesnar nails a massive German suplex. Two count for Lesnar, Heyman grabs Lesnar’s leg and Show takes control with a massive boot. Sidewalk slam by Show and Show calls for The Chokeslam. Show grabs Lesnar, Lesnar counters with a roll-up for two. A fourth belly to belly suplex, Lesnar hurls Heyman into the ring. Lesnar goes to F-5 Heyman but Show saves his manager with A Chokeslam. 1…2… Lesnar kicks out of The Chokeslam. Lesnar blocks The Chokeslam, F-5 by Lesnar. 1..2..3. Lesnar is going to The Royal Rumble Match.

That was short and sweet, Lesnar throws around Show to big reactions from the crowd, Show gets to dominate Lesnar for portions of the match. Lesnar delivers The F-5 which takes a scary amount of power and Lesnar picks up Show with such ease. Good opening match that sets up the idea of Lesnar winning The Royal Rumble.

Winner: Brock Lesnar over Big Show via F-5!

(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) The Dudley Boyz vs Lance Storm & William Regal ©

Booker T & Goldust had their moment at Armageddon by winning the tag team championships but unfortunately, Storm & Regal would win the championships in the weeks that followed, Storm and Regal were unbeaten in tag team matches before Armageddon so I guess we should have seen it coming but it still sucks to see Booker T & Goldust treated in such a way. Bubba & Storm start with a lock-up, Storm works the arm before Bubba grabs a side headlock, shoulder block and hiptoss by Bubba. Storm chops and punches Bubba in the corner, Bubba battles back with right hands and chops in the corner. Spinebuster and heel hold by Bubba, Regal is knocked down with a right hand from Bubba.

D-Von is legal, elbow by D-Von. Jawbreaker by Storm, Regal tags in and eats a scoop slam from D-Von. Elbow for two, D-Von misses a corner clothesline and Regal nails D-Von. Exploder suplex by Regal for two, tag to Storm. Tag to Regal, knees to the head and a front chancery, D-Von begins battling back but Regal nails a monkey flip. Neck vice from Storm, transition into a sleeper. D-Von tags Bubba, clotheslines to Storm. Cheap shot to Regal, back body drop on Storm. Regal is whipped into Storm, corner splash by Bubba. Bubba sends Regal to the floor, sidewalk slam and German suplex to Storm for two. Bubba nails Regal with a right, Bubba Bomb on Storm but Regal makes the save.

What’s Up Headbutt on Regal, flapjack on Storm. Storm kicks out at two, Bubba calls for The 3D. Here is Chief Morley, Regal has his brass knuckles. 3D on Regal, Morely is knocked off the apron. D-Von nails Storm with the brass knuckles and D-Von pins Storm and The Dudleys win the match.

A good match with a hot finish with a tonne of different things going on, I have to question the title change so soon after Storm and Regal win the titles, maybe there are bigger plans for the two but I felt this was so rushed and not in a good way. Perhaps a little on the short side but I think the match did not overstay its welcome.

Winners: The Dudley Boyz over Regal & Storm via Brass Knuckles!

Nathan Jones Promo

Nathan Jones is coming soon, from spending time in an Australian prison to the WWE. That did not work out for WWE.

Dawn Marie vs Torrie Wilson (Step-Mom vs Step-Daughter)

Dawn Marie was in love with Al Wilson, they got married after Dawn had been torturing Torrie, Al was killed off in storyline after having too much sex with Dawn Marie. Ridiculous stuff, Torrie and Dawn fought at Al’s funeral. This is right out of soap opervaille and Wrestling is like an exaggerated soap opera so in a weird way, it is not out of place. Dawn would knock out Torrie at the funeral, Dawn had manipulated Torrie into coming to her hotel room and seducing Torrie and releasing the tap to the public. Dawn is introduced as Dawn Marie Wilson. Dawn blames Torrie for the death of Al, Dawn might be one of the most sadistic heels in WWE history when you think about the whole thing.

Torrie and Dawn are emotional before the match begins, Dawn attacks Torrie from behind, massive slap from Dawn. Kick by Dawn, Torrie takes down Dawn with a massive spear, hair-toss by Torrie. Irish whip into the corner, catapult by Torrie. Torrie eats some elbows and Dawn rolls into a Fujiwara armbar. Dawn works the arm of Torrie, cover and a two. Dawn continues the attack on the arm. Irish whip into a forearm by Dawn, flapjack by Dawn. Irish whip into the corner, headbutt and both women bang heads. Backslide by Torrie, hiptoss by Torrie. Another hiptoss, Irish whip into the corner but Dawn counters for a middle rope clothesline. Dawn lowers her head off an Irish whip, Torrie nails a boot and a swinging neckbreaker for the win.

That was alright, I have seen worse from the women of WWE and it’s really not that bad. I am not going to come out and call it good but they did not embarrass themselves.

Winner: Torrie Wilson over Dawn Marie via Swinging Neckbreaker!

Eric Bischoff/Stephanie Promo

Bischoff has threatened to be fired from Vince Mcmahon, Bischoff has thirty days to change things up or it will be curtains for Bischoff. Bischoff and Stephanie both promises surprises on their shows, Bischoff would bring back Stone Cold Steve Austin and Stephanie would bring back Hogan & The Rock.

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Triple H © vs Scott Steiner

Scott Steiner entered the WWE at Survivor Series, signed with Raw and declared his intentions to become champion. Triple H was intimidated by Scott Steiner, Triple H tried to make fun and mock Steiner but Steiner continued to get the better of The Game. WWE did a good job of making Steiner look like a legitimate threat to Triple H with Steiner coming out on top in his confrontations with the champion. Referee Earl Hebnar calls Scott Steiner & Triple H to the middle of the ring and lays down the law.

Trash talk to start off, slugfest begins the match with Steiner flooring Triple H. Chop by Steiner, right hand by Triple H. More chops and rights, Steiner clubs and beats down Triple H in the corner, huge right floors The Game. Military press slam by Steiner, Triple H powders to the floor. Clothesline on the floor by Steiner, more right hands by Steiner. Steiner shoves Triple H back first into the barricade, suplex from the apron into the ring by Steiner for two. Chop by Steiner, hard Irish whip. Triple H reverses an Irish whip but Steiner knocks Triple H with a boot and a Boston crab. Triple H counters Steiner with a facebuster but it has no effect on Steiner, bearhug by Steiner. Triple H rakes the eyes but gets caught for a belly to belly suplex, two count for Steiner.

Steiner applies The Steiner Recliner but Flair pulls out Triple H. Triple H knocks down Steiner with a boot, Triple H sends Steiner into the steel steps. Swinging neckbreaker for two, Flair chokes Steiner with his jacket. Steiner misses a clothesline and Triple H scores with a neckbreaker for two. Choke with the rope by Triple H, Flair cheap shots Steiner for good measure. Hard Irish whip, Triple H looks for The Pedigree, Steiner catapults Triple H into the corner and nails a t-bone suplex. Steiner goes for a powerslam, Triple H slides out for a neckbreaker and another two. Triple H is on the middle rope and walks into a belly to belly suplex. Right hands by Steiner, clotheslines by Steiner and a back body drop. Belly to belly suplex, make it three.

Another belly to belly for two, a terrible looking tiger bomb for two. Triple H catches Steiner with a boot, Steiner crotches Triple H. Top rope superplex by Steiner, Flair grabs Triple H and tries to leave the arena. Steiner attacks both Flair and Triple H, Triple H tries whacking Steiner with his belt but Steiner blocks and shoves the belt into Triple H’s face. Triple H is bleeding, belly to belly suplex. Triple H tries leaving through the crowd but Steiner gives chase and Triple H is in the ring. Steiner mocks Triple H with press-ups, Triple H throws the referee to the floor, Triple H has tried to be disqualified, counted-out and the match called off due to TKO but Steiner nails another belly to belly suplex for two.

Flair is with the referee, low blow and a roll-up for two by Triple H. Triple H goes for the sledgehammer, Triple H smacks Steiner with the sledgehammer. Steiner grabs the hammer and roughs up Triple H. Steiner Recliner on a bloody Triple H, Steiner stands tall.

That was awful, Steiner was not in peak physical condition upon being signed by the WWE, Steiner’s ankle was messed up and Steiner blows up minutes into this match. There is no flow, it’s dull and a chore to get through. You have multiple false-finishes that the crowd crap on and it ends with a DQ finish after a sledgehammer shot to the ribs, it was an awful championship match, one of the worst I have ever seen. Crowd turned on it almost instantly and there was no getting the fans back after that, it was awful.

Winner: Scott Steiner over Triple H via DQ!

(WWE Championship Match) Kurt Angle © vs Chris Benoit

Angle won the championship at Armageddon by defeating The Big Show, Angle turns heel on the following Smackdown by siding with Heyman. That is bizarre, I mean why would Heyman side with the man that beat his champion, why would Show not kick the shit out of Heyman? Anyways, this is the introduction of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin to the main roster as Team Angle. A lot of history between Benoit and Angle, the former tag team champions and quite possibly, the two best wrestlers in the company at this point. Team Angle are ejected immediately from the arena, Angle is all alone against Benoit.

Side headlock and a shoulder block by Benoit, Angle leaves the ring and regroups after a sharpshooter attempt due to Angle’s heavily braced knee. Side headlock by Benoit, right hand by Benoit. Irish whip, Angle reverses and applies a sleeper, Benoit slips out with an arm drag. Dragon screw and Benoit tries for a sharpshooter, Angle hurries to the ropes. Angle kicks Benoit’s ribs and throws Benoit into the ringpost. Angle clubs and attacks the neck of Benoit, snap suplex for a two. Right hands in the corner by Angle, Benoit chops back hard. Right hands by Benoit, Angle eats a boot and Benoit clotheslines Angle in the back of the head, knee to the ribs for two. Chops by Benoit, hard Irish whip and more chops from Benoit.

 Irish whip, Angle counters and hangs Benoit on the top rope with a front suplex, Benoit hotshots Angle. Benoit and Angle are on the apron, Benoit DDTs Angle on the apron. Cover and two, Benoit is going up top but Angle dodges The Diving Headbutt. Benoit slides out of an Angle Slam, sharpshooter by Benoit. Angle reaches the rope, back suplex by Benoit. Cover and two, Angle recovers to drop Benoit with a belly to belly suplex. Benoit is hurled to the floor, Benoit is dropped onto the barricade. Short-arm clothesline by Angle for two, snapmare and a rear chokehold. Benoit wriggles free but Angle belly to belly suplexes Benoit. Back suplex and a two for the champion, another chinlock from Angle. Benoit is battling back, huge knockdown in the middle of the ring.

Right hands by Benoit, chops and an Irish whip. Hard knockdowns, back body drop. German suplex 2x, Angle nails one of his own and it’s back to Benoit for German suplex number three, Angle catches Benoit before a Diving Headbutt by running to the top rope and nailing a belly to belly suplex. Angle Slam is slid out of, Crippler Crossface by Benoit. Angle makes it to the ropes, Benoit pulls back Angle for an Ankle Lock. Angle rolls out for his own Ankle Lock, Benoit counters for a Crippler Crossface. Angle counters for a cradle pin, two count for Angle. Benoit has The Crippler Crossface again, Angle rolls through for an Angle Slam. Cover and Benoit kicks out at two and a half. The straps are down, Ankle Lock time.

Benoit rolls through, Angle tries for a German suplex, Benoit counters for a victory roll and a two, Benoit German suplexes Angle, Angle suplexes Benoit and Benoit answers with one huge German suplex that turns Angle inside out. Benoit climbs high, Diving Headbutt. 1…2… Angle kicks out! Benoit tries for The Crossface, Angle rolls through and smacks Benoit’s face into the top turnbuckle, Angle Slam and Benoit kicks out. Benoit has The Crippler Crossface for a fourth time, Angle rolls through for an Ankle Lock. Benoit cannot kick off Angle, Angle grapevines the leg and it is all over for Benoit. Benoit has to tap and the crowd gives both men standing ovations.

That was awesome, wrestling at its finest. Two strong characters, a simple story between two wrestlers wanting to be the best, great story-telling and psychology. The selling was perfect, the drama, the twists, the turns and the false-finishes were fantastic. The drama was a ten on the scale, it was great. That finishing stretch was ridiculously awesome, there are not enough words for how great this match was, on so many levels, it kicked ass. Go see the pay per view for this match because this was the two best in the company tearing it up on the biggest stage in the world.

Winner: Kurt Angle over Chris Benoit via Ankle Lock!

Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match

The winner main events Wrestlemania challenging for his brand’s respective title. Two men begin the match, a new participant enters every 90 seconds and eliminations occur by throwing a superstar over the top rope and both feet touching the floor. A simple concept that never fails to kill an hour and be fun. I will break it into blocks of 5 so it is easy to follow for you reading along.

Entrants 1 to 5

Shawn Michaels is number one, Michaels had won from number one before and apparently, Mr. Mcmahon made Michaels number one for this rumble. Number two is Chris Jericho, Jericho picked number two because he wants to batter Michaels, Christian appears on the stage and Jericho attacks Michaels from behind, low blow by Jericho. Jericho beats the piss out of Michaels, Michaels is wiped out with a chair and tossed over the top rope.

Shawn Michaels has been eliminated by Chris Jericho!

Number three is Chris Nowinski who watches Michaels be eliminated by Jericho, number four is Rey Mysterio. Mysterio dropkicks Jericho and nails a beautiful hurricanrana. Pop-up facebuster by Mysterio, Nowinski remains on the floor. Clothesline by Y2J, Jericho tries pressing Mysterio over the top, Mysterio survives to springboard dropkick Jericho. In comes Edge at number five. Flying clothesline and Spears by Edge to the two heels, Mysterio nails a diving hurricanrana. Jericho and Nowinski end up on the floor, Edge and Mysterio decide to fight one another. Mysterio and Edge almost eliminated one another but both survive, Edge drills Mysterio with a powerbomb.

Entrants 6 to 10

Number six is Christian, Christian hugs Edge and plans to reunite the team. Edge Spears Christian right away, Nowinski almost eliminates Edge & Mysterio, Nowinski eats a double dropkick and I believe Edge crushes Nowinski’s face which leads to Nowinski wearing a mask for a while. Number seven is Chavo Guerrero, Chavo spinebusters Mysterio. Mysterio drills Chavo with The 619, 619 to Christian too. Mysterio hurricanranas Nowinski over the top rope before Jericho clotheslines Mysterio to the floor.

Chris Nowinski has been eliminated by Rey Mysterio!

Rey Mysterio has been eliminated by Chris Jericho!

Number eight is Tajiri, kicks galore for everyone. Chavo and Jericho attack Edge, Tajiri pairs off with Christian. Number nine is Bill Demott, forgot he was not a trainer by this point, he was actually part of The Smackdown roster. Demott clubs at everyone in the match. Number ten is Tommy Dreamer who is bringing some weapons into the match, very similar to The Royal Rumble of 2001. Kendo stick shots for everyone in the match, Demott is pin-balled by Edge and Dreamer. Edge eliminates Demott with a shot to the head. Dream is knocked over by Jericho and Christian before Jericho knocks over Tajiri who tries The Tarantula.

Bill Demott has been eliminated by Edge!

Tommy Dreamer has been eliminated by Jericho & Christian!

Tajiri has been eliminated by Chris Jericho!

Entrants 11 to 15

Number eleven is B2, B2 runs wild for a second before Christian dumps over the former Bull Buchanan, Chavo is elevated onto the apron by Edge and Edge Spears out Chavo before Jericho dumpes over Edge and Christian.

B2 has been eliminated by Christian!

Chavo Guerrero has been eliminated by Edge!

Edge & Christian have been eliminated by Jericho!

RVD is here at number twelve, RVD runs through all his signature spots before Jericho rakes the eyes, chops by Jericho. Catapult by RVD, Jericho almost falls over for a third time. Number thirteen is Matt Hardy, Matt drops RVD with a side effect, Jericho and Matt team up against RVD. RVD clotheslines Matt, spinning heel kick to Jericho, pumpkick to Matt. Modified bulldog by Jericho, RVD dodges The Lionsault and another spinning heel kick by RVD. RVD nails The Five Star Frog Splash. Number fourteen is Eddie Guerrero, RVD monkey flips Eddie. Matt scoop slams RVD, Frog Splash by Eddie. Matt nails Eddie with A Twist of Fate, number fifteen is Jeff Hardy. Jeff nails Matt with flying clotheslines and almost eliminates Matt but Shannon Moore helps Matt survive.

Entrants 16 to 20

Shannon Moore tries saving Matt, Jeff Swanton Bombs onto Matt and Shannon. Number sixteen is Rosey, Rosey headbutts RVD. RVD attacks Rosey with shoulder thrusts but Rosey nails RVD with a huge thrust kick. Jeff almost throws over Matt, Matt hangs on barely. Number seventeen is Test, Test clotheslines and slams everything in sight, pumphandle slam on Matt. Number eighteen is John Cena, Cena raps on his way to the ring. RVD comes to the floor and stomps Cena. Number nineteen is Charlie Haas, Haas attacks Matt in the corner. Ring is filling, everyone is sitting in corners, not doing a whole lot in the ring.  Jeff Hardy tried for a Whisper in The Wind but RVD pushes off Jeff to the floor, number twenty is Rikishi.

Jeff Hardy has been eliminated by RVD!

Entrants 21 to 25

Rikishi squishes Matt and Shannon in the corner, Rosey attacks Rikishi with a massive clothesline. Number twenty-one is Jamal, superkick to Rikishi. Rikishi dodges the second superkick, Rikishi superkicks Jamal and scores with The Stinkface. Jamal and Rikishi hammer one another in the corner, number twenty-two is Kane. I have a feeling the ring is going to empty in a second. Kane elevates Rosey to the floor, Double Chokeslam to Shannon Moore and Matt Hardy.

Rosey has been eliminated by Kane!

Number twenty-three is Shelton Benjamin, everyone is pairing off in corners. Number twenty-four is Booker T, Scissors Kick to Kane. Flapjack for Matt, Spinaroonie by Booker. Eddie Guerrero is dumped to the floor by Booker.

Eddie Guerrero has been eliminated by Booker T!

Number twenty-five is A-Train, Baldo Bomb to Cena. Derailer to Benjamin, Baldo Bomb to RVD, Rikishi floors A-Train with a superkick. HBK returns to the ring and causes Jericho’s elimination as Michaels distracts Jericho which allows Test to throw over Jericho.

Chris Jericho has been eliminated by Test!

Entrants 26 to 30

Number twenty-six is Maven, Maven is manhandled by Kane. Ring is full of superstars, something must be coming down to wipe out everyone. Number twenty-seven is Goldust, Goldust nails Maven with Shattered Dreams but Haas and Benjamin eliminated Goldust and Booker T.

Booker T & Goldust have been eliminated by Haas & Benjamin!

Number twenty-eight is Batista, Batista knocks down whatever is in his way before Test decides to try and throw out the beast, Test tries A Big Boot and Batista lowbridges Test. Rikishi is clotheslined over by Batista.

Rikishi & Test have been eliminated by Batista!

Number twenty-nine is Lesnar, clotheslines for everyone. Lesnar hurls over Hass and Benjamin before F-5ing Matt Hardy onto Team Angle.

Team Angle & Matt Hardy have been eliminated by Brock Lesnar!

Number thirty is The Undertaker, making his return after Big Show through The Deadman off the stage. Undertaker clotheslines over Cena, next is Jamal. Maven tries to dropkick Undertaker over again but Undertaker throws over Maven after a Chokeslam.

Cena/Jamal/Maven have been eliminated by Undertaker!

Kane Chokeslams Lesnar, Kane and RVD team up to take down Batista A-Train runs through RVD and looks to powerbomb Kane. RVD saves Kane and the duo eliminated A-Train. Kane goes to press RVD onto Batista but Kane wants to win the match so RVD is thrown to the floor, being betrayed by Kane.

A-Train has been eliminated by Kane & RVD!

RVD has been eliminated by Kane!

Undertaker and Lesnar square up to one another, Batista and Kane interrupt, Taker pummels Batista. Batista spinebusters Undertaker, Kane and Batista team up to attack Lesnar. Lesnar battles back, F-5 to Kane. Another face-off from Taker and Lesnar, right hands by both men. Lesnar wins the slugfest but Taker boots Lesnar. Taker slides out of The F-5, Tombstone Piledriver by Taker. Taker clotheslines Batista over the top rope. Kane and Taker look to team up, Taker double crosses Kane and throws Kane over but here comes Batista with a chair. Taker smacks Batista with the chair but Lesnar sneaks up on Taker and dumps out The Deadman.

Batista has been eliminated by Undertaker!

Kane has been eliminated by Undertaker!

Winner: Brock Lesnar via Eliminating The Undertaker!

That was a good and enjoyable rumble, no surprise returns but a lot of spots that were fun in the fans’ eye. From setting up feuds like Jericho vs Michaels, to Maven thinking he had eliminated Undertaker to face-offs like Jeff vs Matt, Shannon Moore doing all he can to help Matt Hardy stay in the match. Jericho was the star at the rumble, certain points were boring but that is a staple of every rumble, it is never non-stop action. Lesnar winning was no surprise, Lesnar was a great heel and his turn was just as successful and to see Lesnar and Angle go out at Wrestlemania will be a treat.

WWE’s Royal Rumble of 2003 was a mostly positive show for the company and a good start to the year, it had one awful match in Steiner vs Triple H. The matches before the two title matches were on the short side, the women did not stink up the ring, Lesnar vs Show was good for the time allowed and I think The Dudley Boyz vs Storm & Regal could have been better with more time but it was still fine, Angle vs Benoit was so many levels of awesome. I cannot do it justice, you should just watch the two of them steal the show and the rumble was enjoyable with a lot of spots I enjoyed and perhaps a predictable winner but a winner that the fans were happy with which is more than you can say for the last few years. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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