Seems like there's a strong undercurrent of devoted SmackDown fans these days, who use the show as a refuge against the "mainstream" Monday Night Raw. This is in spite of the fact that both shows are two arms of the same corporate body, but alas. Such resolute sentiment for the "underdog" brand dates back to the first brand split, when SmackDown was deemed the superior wrestling show, while Raw was the red-tinted dung pile that Triple H presided over. SmackDown had the "SmackDown Six", while Raw just made viewers sick.
To watch the 2003 Royal Rumble, you'd understand why fans thought that way. The Raw World title match pitting Triple H against Scott Steiner was an unfettered disaster, while Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit's WWE Championship match was quite possibly the company's best match of 2003. Romulus and Remus had less distance between them than the Rumble's pair of World Championship bouts did.
Though the Rumble was primarily a heater for WrestleMania 19 (Brock Lesnar wins the Royal Rumble match, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho's issues escalate), those World title matches more often than not come to define the show, and the company as a whole in 2003: sometimes it's really bad, but sometimes you're reminded why you're a fan.
Here are ten facts about the 2003 Royal Rumble you may not have known.
Justin has been a wrestling fan since 1989, and has been writing about it since 2009. Since 2014, Justin has been a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine. Justin also writes for History of Wrestling, and is a contributing author to James Dixon's Titan series.