Saturday, January 16, 2016

Royal Ramble: 2003

So, for reasons that are beyond me, I decided to go back and revisit this 2003 iteration and hopefully offer some more timely observations and whatnots, since the original write-up comprised a hodgepodge of "vintage" 2003 commentary and then-contemporary reflections. For those wondering, you can find the original write-up here, but that will no longer be linked on the menu page. Expect a similar treatment as I occasionally go back to revisit previous PPVs... at least the ones I still have access to.

Anyway, the only noteworthy things I seem to recall about this show is Brock Lesnar winning his only Royal Rumble match and the horrible World title match... and, oh yeah, it's also boasted the original Suplex City, Bitch as orchestrated by then-mayor and master of the English Language, Scott Steiner.

Yes, this will be fun.

Opening match features Brock Lesnar defeating the Big Show to earn himself a spot in the only Royal Rumble match that Brock Lesnar has competted in. For what it was, this was fine. I don't recall my impressions regarding their more recent encounter (Royal Rumble 2014, I believe), but given my relative apathy towards anything Brock-related these days, more than likely, I didn't care.

The Dudley Boyz defeated World Tag-Team champions William Regal and Lance Storm to win the tag-team titles. It's funny that reading my older 2003 predictions, I didn't really show much regard for these matches and I often assumed this wouldn't be the case in 2015... yeah, well, I didn't show much regard for this match in 2015, either. Unfortunately, this was during a sad stretch in WWE where, outside of a few shining gems that were found on Smackdown, there was more shit sliding off the wall than there was stuck there.

Torrie Wilson defeated Dawn Marie in... well, I guess I should elaborate a bit. The backstory behind this match involved Al Wilson, Torrie's father (was it? I don't remember) dating and eventually marrying Dawn Marie (yes, the same Dawn Marie who was in ECW and was still quite a nice looking lady in 2003). Last I recall, Al Wilson died of having too much sex... it is as absurd as it sounds. I hated this in 2003 and was expected a re-enactment of the Big Show-Big Bossman segment where one of them would riding a closed casket. By 2012, I sorta mellowed out of it and watching this match in 2015, this was... well, it wasn't very good. I'll tell you that much. Made for nice eye-candy, yes, but a picture is worth a thousand words, boys.

Scott Steiner defeated World Heavyweight Champion Triple H via disqualification. For all intents and purposes, this was an outright horrible match for the ages. It sucked balls from beginning to end in 2003, it sucked lemons, limes, whatever in 2012, and in 2016, it sucked in more ways than one could decipher. Steiner was supposed to be this new big bad babyface to challenge HHH (that's your first mistake right there), but the crowd just turned on him when all he could in the match was a bunch of suplexes. And yet over a decade later, someone delivers nothing but suplexes and it's suddenly the greatest thing in the universe. Fuck that noise and fuck you stupid people for popularizing such a fucking moronic tagline!

Breathe. Relax. Think happy thoughts... but let's get this over with first, shall we?

Do you want to know the sad thing? These two got another match at the following month's No Way Out PPV... and from what little I recall, that one was even worse, if that was even possible. You'd think the second time around they'd deliver a better match, but for fuck's sake, man...

WWE Champion Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit to retain the title. It goes without saying these guys worked extremely well together and end up producing some excellent wrestling matches. For all intents and purposes, this is pretty much the only real high point of the show and it's probably available on a DVD compilation somewhere that was published before 2007... for obvious reasons.

The Royal Rumble match... other than Brock Lesnar's victory and the scuffle between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho that would lead to their excellent Wrestlemania XIX encounter, not much to say here.

This iteration of the Royal Rumble is almost completely forgettable and if you have somewhat conflicting feelings in regards to the WWE Title match, then there's no real reason for you to watch this thing. Everything ranged from forgettable fare to meat missile sucking tendancies. It's not the worst show WWE ever put out, but it's not that far off, either.

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