When people think of Eddie Guerrero in 2004, the championship victory against Brock at No Way Out is the first thing that comes to mind, followed closely by the WrestleMania victory over Kurt Angle, and perhaps the championship celebration on the first Smackdown after his No Way Out triumph.
But none of this would be possible without the Smackdown Royal Rumble.
Smackdown star Chris Benoit won the 2004 Royal Rumble and then immediately jumped to Raw the very next night. Out of spite for Benoit's departure, General Manager Paul Heyman held his own Royal Rumble on the January 29 episode of Smackdown with the winner to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at No Way Out.
It featured the same 15 superstars that represented Smackdown at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, with the exception of Hardcore Holly taking the spot of an injured Matt Morgan, and Eddie Guerrero, who took the place of the brand-switching Benoit.
Earlier in the night, however, Eddie was beaten up backstage by an unknown assailant (later revealed to be Chavo Guerrero), but he still made it out for the Rumble, and lasted to the very end, finally eliminating Angle to win the Rumble and earn a shot against The Next Big Thing.
It signalled to the WWE audience that the office had faith in Eddie to be champion, and was not only an underrated moment in Eddie's ascension to the top, but it was also the most underrated moment in Smackdown history.