Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Monday, 21 March 2022

PPV REVIEW: WCW Wrestlewar 1991

February 24, 1991
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona

You have to give World Championship Wrestling credit where it’s due. For all the company got wrong during their time, they did a fantastic job in generating interest around the War Games match at WrestleWar 1991.

At least they did for this writer.

In my recent Clash of the Champions 14 review, I talked about how the whole event was essentially one long promotional vehicle to advertise WrestleWar.

I must admit, it worked on me.

By the time I’d finished watching Clash 14, I was more eager to watch this show than any other wrestling event I’ve seen in ages.

Without further ado then, forgive me if I cut this intro short and get right down to Phoenix, Arizona to see if WrestleWar ‘91 was an event worthy of the hype.

It's Time for WrestleWar

Our show tonight began with an ariel camera granting us some beautiful and dramatic shots of the Arizona mountains as a Tony Schiavone voice-over told us that the state would play host to WrestleWar, an event Schiavone actually made it to sound like a legitimately huge deal.

I mean it, I know it’s fun to rag on Mr. Greatest Night in the History of Our Sport and his propensity for hyperbole at the height of the Monday Night Wars, but Schiavone sounded truly genuine here.

That, combined with those fantastic ariel shots made this a really good PPV opener. That itself was surprising because most of WCW’s PPV openers sucked.

Anyway, cutting live to the arena, Schiavone repeated himself about how important tonight was, only this time he was on camera.

The current AEW announcer then hyped the War Games match before running down the rest of the card and, honestly, at this point in our review, I’m genuinely excited about what’s to come.

With his run down complete, Big Tony passed over to our announce team, Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes.

[side note, I’ve been doing this for so long now that every time I write ‘Jim Ross,’ I automatically start to write ‘and Jerry “The King” Lawler’ right after it.]

JR and King The American Dream also expressed their enthusiasm for War Games and with that, it was onto our opening contest.

World Championship Wrestling Six-Man Tag Team Championship
WCW Six-Man Champions Ricky Morton, ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich, and The Junkyard Dog vs. The Big Cat and State Patrol (Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker & Lt. James Earl Wright)

At first, all of my enthusiasm for WrestleWar ‘91 went right out of the window.

Even with big stars like Ricky Morton and The Junkyard Dog involved, this just didn’t seem like something I was going to care about at all.

Not even the fact that this was for the short-lived six-man title did it any favours, as the champions didn’t even have a single title belt between them which made it feel like any other match.

Then, things finally got underway and I was pleasantly surprised.

Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a bad burner or anything and I’m never going to suggest that you go out of your way just to watch it, but it was a perfectly serviceable opener in which all six men turned up to work.

The result of their cumulative efforts gave us a bout which did its job, entertained and kept things more interesting than it possibly had any right to.

After a decent 10+ minutes action, things broke down into a free-for-all and, in the midst of the chaos, Morton snatched a pinfall to help his team retain their WCW Invisible Title.
Your Winners and Still Six-Man Champions: Ricky Morton, Tommy Rich, and JY

Somewhere out in the arena, Tony Schiavone congratulated Alexandra York on the recent success of The York Foundation.

Having joined York’s enterprise back at Clash of the Champions 14, Terry Taylor stood behind the future Marlena as she boasted about her successful company and her plans to recruit more wrestlers.

With the mic then pointed at him, Taylor put himself over with a decent promo which proved that his time in the York Foundation was the most interesting Terry Taylor would ever be in his whole career.

Wrapping things up, Terri told us that she predicted a win for her man against Tom Zenk in less than 15 minutes and 28 seconds before Other Terry added his own one-word prediction: 


Brad Armstrong vs. Beautiful Bobby Eaton

As Brad Armstrong made his way to the ring, JR told us that the grappler had a younger brother currently fighting in Operation Desert Storm.

Hmm, wonder whatever happened to that kid?

Meanwhile, Bobby Eaton was billed -as always- as hailing from The Dark Side, something which always amused because it seemed so at odds with the rest of his character.

The two immediately went at it in a flurry of fast-paced, back-and-forth offence that made you believe this was going to turn into one hell of a match.

Before long, however, the babyface Armstrong slapped an armbar on his opponent, followed it up with another armbar, and then, just to spice things up, went right back to the original armbar.

For this writer, it felt like the match went from super exciting to mind-numbingly tedious in the snap of a second.

Things didn’t look like they were going to get any better when Eaton turned things around and applied a chinlock.

Thankfully, things did pick up again and we got a spirited build to the finish that resulted in Eaton picking up the win courtesy of the Alabama Jam.

The beginning and end of this match were good, but that middle but made me totally tune out and I could never get back into it.
Your Winner: Beautiful Bobby Eaton

After a quick commercial for our next PPV meeting with WCW, Superbrawl, Ross and Rhodes put over the upcoming WCW/NJPW Supershow and an upcoming exhibition match which was designed to promote that show.

Miss A & Miki Handa v. Mami Kitamura & Itsuki Yamasak

The four women involved in this match were met with near silence as they walked to the ring, the only sound being Dusty making fun of his inability to pronounce their names and then commenting on how good they looked in their outfits.

It’s to each of their credits though that they very quickly won over the crows and had JR and Dream taking them very seriously thanks to a stellar-performance in the ring.

Seriously, this was a strong match that turned an apathetic crowd into ardent supporters of the four wrestlers involved and was a compelling watch from start to finish.

After a tremendous effort, Miss A rolled up Itsuki Yamasak to score the fall.
Your Winners: Miss A & Miki Handa

Elsewhere in the arena, Missy Hyatt announced that she was going to be the first woman to ever conduct an interview from inside the men’s locker room, an achievement that she first claimed was a stand for women’s equality but later admitted was just a chance to find a “babe.”

Nature Boy Buddy Landell vs. The Natural Dustin Rhodes

The last time we saw Dustin Rhodes here on Retro Pro Wrestling, he was teaming with his daddy back at the 1991 Royal Rumble

Here, he and Buddy Landell had the worst match on the card so far.

There was nothing technically wrong with it, it was just incredibly bland.

Though the two did have parts of the small crowd on their side for most of the match, it was a very uninspired affair that felt more like they were there to fill time than to genuinely entertain.

After a few minutes of mediocre action, Dustin picked up the predictable win.
Your Winner: Dusty Rhodes

Backstage, Missy Hyatt got all excited about finding herself a babe as she became the first woman interviewer to go inside a women’s lockeroom.

Her excitement soon dwindled when all she found was Stan Hansen in his undies who spat tobacco at her and yelled at her to leave.

Out in the arena, Tony Schiavone found Missy’s misfortune hilarious, but the whole thing was kind of stupid.

The Royal Family (Jack Victory & Rip Morgan) vs. The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

Jack Victory and Rip Morgan were supposed to be a Royal Family, but came out in medieval garments that made them look like old-worldly servants while medieval flute music played as their theme.

Maybe they really were royalty, albeit royalty with access to a Delorean which accidentally took them back a thousand years.

Meanwhile, Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong had dropped the ‘Wild-Eyed Southern Boys’ name and become The Young Pistols, no doubt in an attempt to get rid of the whole confederate flag gimmick they’d been working in the past.

After the opening moments of exciting action, the arena lights went out, prompting the two teams to spend a few minutes wrestling under a spotlight.

If you want to know the truth, it actually looked pretty cool.

The actual match was cool too.

The Young Pistols put their speed and agility against The Royal Family’s brute power to give us a bout which, though certainly not spectacular, was very entertaining with nary a dull moment in sight.

The heels dominated for much of the contest, but at the final moment, the good guys reversed Victory & Morgan’s double face buster attempt to score the win.
Your Winners: The Young Pistols

Out somewhere in the arena, Diamond Dallas Page made his PPV debut in an interview with Tony Schiavone.

In a compelling promo, Page put his gift of the gab to work in putting over The Fabulous Freebirds and how they were going to”drop Doom like a bad habit” when the two teams met in the ring.

The future Hall of Famer then turned his attentions to Doom's manager, Teddy Long, and began ranting about how the opposition’s manager had a peanut head.

Naturally, this brought out Long, who told off Page and promised that Doom would reign supreme later tonight.

This was a pretty damn good segment.

It’s interesting that Long and DDP were such strong characters that neither Doom nor The Fabulous Freebirds needed to be in a segment that was supposed to be about them.

No Disqualification Match
Terry Taylor (w/ Alexandra York) vs. The Z-Man

Despite being a babyface, The Z-Man got almost as many boos as Terry Taylor as the two made their way out for a No Disqualification match that failed to take advantage of such a stipulation in anyway.

Look, I like Tom Zenk. Even though there are plenty of people who will tell you that Z-Man was a goof who deserved to be booed, I think he had a certain role to play and played it well.

Likewise, Terry Taylor was a genuinely interesting character for the first (and perhaps only) time in his career as he took on the role of ‘The Computerised Man of the 90s.’

I’d even fairly enjoyed their outing together at Clash 14, but this felt like a wasted opportunity.

The only reason for the No DQ rule was that both men had beaten the other via disqualification in previous outings so now they were going to settle the score once and for all.

It was a good concept for a match that was ruined by the fact that -other than a split second where Taylor choked his opponent with a cable ok the outside- nothing happened to make this unlike any other generic singles match.

That’s not to say it was a bad match. It wasn’t all that interesting, but it wasn’t terrible or anything, but it just seems a shame to promote a no DQ match and not take advantage of the opportunity to do something different.

Still, this was WCW in the 90s, so I shouldn’t be too surprised, nor should I be surprised that the company would give Alexandra York a computer that didn’t turn on and then give us multiple shots which clearly showed her typing into a computer that wasn’t switched on.

It was kind of dumb, but it did give me the opportunity to say something interesting about this otherwise run-of-the-mill match, as did the appearance of Nikita Koloff.

Koloff had last been seen on PPV two years ago at Wrestlewar '89, but tonight he was in the crowd with The Great Muta and Hiro Matsuda, both of whom were in town to promote the WCW/NJPW super show.

Back to our match, after a competent but boring match, Z-Man looked to have the victory only for Ms. York to distract the official.

The referee (who JR liked to tell us was a rookie at every opportunity) refused to stop arguing with York, even when Z-Man told him that he needed him to count the fall.

The ref refused, instead focussing his efforts purely on The York Foundation leader, but the second Taylor rolled up his opponent with a handful of tights, you can bet your sweet ass that the ref was right there to count the fall.

It was a dumb end to a dumb match between two decent performers who probably deserved better.
Your Winner: Terry Taylor

After the match, Ross and Rhodes hyped an upcoming appearance by El Gigante on Paul E. Dangerously’s Danger Zone interview segment.

“I tell ya, I’ve seen El Gigante training. I’ve seen him running, I’ve seen him hiding!” Exclaimed Dusty, who apparently didn’t seem to realise that telling fans that a babyface had been “running and hiding” was probably not a good idea.

Let’s Get Racist!

Speaking of things that weren’t a good idea, Dangerously then made his way to the ring and immediately began a racist tirade against illegal immigrants and Latin people in general.

El Gigante then sauntered to the ring, where the goal was for Heyman to put over the big man as the special referee for an upcoming cage match between Sting and Ric Flair.

Instead, the future WCW boss simply amplified the racism before Gigante had enough and destroyed Dangerously with a body slam.

I get that this was of it’s time and everything, but this segment really didn’t age well and I doubt was all that well-received at the time.

Let’s Promote the Japan Show!

If Clash of the Champions XIV had been one long promotional vehicle for tonight’s show, WrestleWar ‘91 was itself shaping up to be a promotional vehicle for the big. NJPW/WCW crossover.

Up next, Schiavone told us us that WCW’s “Rolling Thunder ‘91 Tour” would be working its way to Tokyo Egg Dome where Sting would face The Great Muta.

As the former TV champion stood by, Hiro Matsuda told Schiavone that he (Muta) would beat Sting.

It wasn’t much of a promo and, to be honest, didn’t really get me very excited about watching the big Egg Dome show.

Maybe this next match would:

Stan ‘The Lariat’ Hansen vs. Big Van Vader

This match was awesome.

Unlike anything else in WCW (or the WWF for that matter), the bout saw Hansen and Vader throw wrestling protocol right out of the window and just absolutely beat the living shit out of one another.

They brawled around the ring, they took it to the outside and threw chairs at one another, Vader dropped Hansen on the guard rail before Big Stan threw Big Van into the ring steps, then the whole thing went back in the ring again.

At some point, however, the ending did become predictable. Things were so out of control that it seemed like only a matter of time before referee Randy “Pee Wee” Anderson called for the double DQ finish.

The ending was inevitable, but that didn’t detract away from what was a great match that this fan would have happily seen go a lot longer.
Double DQ

Thankfully, we did get more from these two as Vader went to the top and destroyed Hansen with an impressive top rope clothesline before Hansen battled back and choked Vader with his bull rope.

The two brawled all the way to the back and that was that.

Before the next match, JR told us that we were going to hear more about Superbrawl. When he said “more,” he meant “the exact same graphic as we saw before.”

Ross and The Dream then hyped up our next match, which would be the last appearance of the old-school NWA US title as WCW struck out as its own separate entity and swapped to its own titles.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion Lex Luger vs. Dangerous Dan Spivey.

Autocorrect keeps changing the name to Dangerous Dan Spicy and I can’t stop chuckling at that.

Spicy or not, the challenger and his opponent exceeded expectations here with a fine match that got more compelling as it went on.

In the opening moments, it looked as though this was going to descend into a lackluster big man power match, but before long both men picked up the slack and found their groove to deliver a genuinely riveting performance.

Spicy Spivey dominated, for the most part, hitting Luger with big-time moves like a tombstone piledriver and a top rope elbow which, while it wasn’t exactly Savage-like, still looked impressive for a man of his size.

Every time, the champion dramatically kicked out and eventually battled his way back, ultimately retaining his title after an exciting finish which saw Spivey throw him off the top rope only for The Total Package to reverse the subsequent pin attempt for the fall.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Lex Luger

Post-match, Luger made his way over to Tony Schiavone, Grizzly Smith, and Nikita Koloff, the latter of whom was supposed to present the new US title belt to the champion.

Instead, Koloff smacked Lex in the face with the belt and proceeded to cut a scathing promo.

In it, he lambasted the WCW Championship Committee for telling him that, since he had been retired for two years, he had no rights to claim a title shot and would thus have to prove he was worthy.

Attacking Luger, said Koloff, was his way of proving that he meant business, and dethroning the man who beat him for the US title back in 1987 would ultimately show the WCW Powers That Be that he was indeed worthy of holding gold.

That was great.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin w/ Diamond Dallas Page, The Diamond Dollls and Big Daddy Dink)

Flanked by two beautiful ‘Diamond Dolls,’ the charismatic Diamond Dallas Page rocked and rolled, strutted and strolled down to the ringside while his team, Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin both struggled to get any attention on them.

Once in the ring, Page took to the microphone and, in the most long-winded fashion ever, announced that he was stepping back from being ringside with the Free Birds, and that he would be replaced by the group’s new road manager, Big Daddy Dink (Oliver Humperdink).

To be honest, this was a good thing.

The larger-than-life DDP didn’t so much ooze charisma here as he did spray it like a ruptured fountain, The problem was that he didn’t yet have the mic skills to backup his overwhelming personality, so the whole thing started to get very annoying.

Seriously, every third phrase out of his mouth was “GOOD GAWD” and you ended up hating it more and more every time he said it.

The result of all this was that The Free Birds, you know, the guys actually wrestling the match, were completely overshadowed by their manager, a manager who wasn’t yet skilled enough to warrant all of the attention.

It was not a good start.

Fortunately, things got much better once Doom hit the ring and proceeded to have a good but largely forgettable match with Hayes and Garvin.

After a somewhat short encounter, Reed pulled out an international object and went to take out Hayes, but the future Doc Hendrix ducked and Simmons bore the brunt of his own partner’s attack.

As Hayes fell to the mat, Garvin -who had himself been knocked silly- was shoved onto Simmons by Humperdink.

One three count later, The Free Birds had fluked their way to a title win.
Your Winners and New WCW Tag Team Champions: The Fabulous Freebirds

As Page returned to celebrate The Freebirds big win, Butch Reed and Teddy Long turned on Ron Simmons, starting the letter’s singles face run.

Meanwhile, Hayes & Garvin had already lost the titles to The Steiners in a pre-taped match that had been recorded six days prior but wouldn’t air for another few weeks, making them the only team to have technically had a negative title reign

Up next, Jim Ross promised us ‘more’ about Superbrawl, but of course, it wasn’t more at all, it was the exact same clip of the event’s logo and date that we’d already seen twice.

From there, Ross and Dusty interviewed some kid who had won a sweepstakes competition.

JR asked the youngster who his favourite team in the War Games match was. The poor kid either misheard or misunderstood, because he answered with ‘Doom,’ all while looking bummed out about Reed & Long’s earlier betrayal.

“Well, I don’t think they’re going to be a team any more!” quipped JR, throwing gasoline onto the bonfire of misery this poor, nervous kid was already experiencing.

The duo then showed us a clip of Brian Pillman being destroyed by The Four Horsemen, putting a question over Pillman’s head about his health. Finally, they reminded us that Arn Anderson was out of the match due to injury and would be replaced by Larry Zybysko.

Let the War Games Begin!

As the arena went dark, dramatic music played, and bright colored lights flashed over a cage that was lowered to the ring while blazing with fireworks.

It was, honestly, pretty awesome.

Tony Schiavone then reminded us all of the War Games match before finally, it was back to the action.

War Games
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair, Sid Vicious, Barry Windham, and Larry Zybysko (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Sting, Flyin’ Bryan and The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

This match was incredible.

As Barry Windham stepped into the ring for his team, Ross and Rhodes speculated about how unwise it would be for Pillman to start the match given his recent injury.

Naturally, Pillman then broke away from the pack and leapt into the ring before his teammates had a chance to stop him, all in the name of getting revenge for the Horsemen’s attack.

And man, did he get his revenge.

For the next five minutes, Flyin’ Brian destroyed Barry Windham, flying around the ring with a barrage of attacks and grating his foe’s face against the cage until he bled.

It looked tremendous.

A coin toss was then held to determine which team would get the two-man advantage and, as if it wasn’t obvious, it fell in favour of the heels.

Flair then entered next, followed by Sting, Larry Zybysko, Rick Steiner, Sid Vicious, and, finally, Scott Steiner.

All the while, the two teams waged war on each other in a manner most awesome.

At one point, the faces all put the heels in figure four leg locks at the same time in one of the main highlights of the match.

Later, Pillman and Sid found themselves alone in one of the two rings.

Big Sid lifted Brian up for his signature powerbomb, but there wasn’t room. As such, Pillman’s legs struck the cage roof and he landed head-first on the match.

Sid quite visibly checked that Pillman was ok before picking him up for a second devastating (though thankfully not life-threatening promo).

At that point, Brian’s buddy, El Gigante ran to the ring and declared that his fallen friend was in no fit state to continue.

Referee Nick Patrick agreed and called off the match, giving the win to The Horsemen.
Your Winners: The Four Horsemen

As Gigante carried a lifeless Pillman out of the arena, the Horsemen celebrated having emerged victorious in one of the best matches of that year, if not that decade.

Finally, Patrick told JR and Dream that he stood by his decision as he didn’t want to be responsible for Pillman getting hurt.

Then, all was left was for our announcers to recap some of the night’s highlights and, with that, Wrestle War ‘91 was over.

I started this review asking whether Wrestle War 1991 was capable of living up to the hype.

Having watched the whole thing, I can not categorically say yes, yes it was.

Though not every match was perfect, there was a lot of good to great stuff here leading up to a phenomenal War Games match that would end up going down as a classic.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

A Tribute to Scott Hall

Hey yo...

A few days ago I sat down to start reviewing Superbrawl I. Half way through the show, Diamond Dallas Page introduced his newest charge, The Diamond Studd

Scott Hall as The Diamond Studd with Diamond Dallas Page

Without saying a word, 'Studd positively oozed charisma, giving a simple flick of a toothpick that would become one of his many trademarks over the rest of his career.

Less than 24 hours later, the wrestling world heard the devastating news that the man behind The Diamond Stud, Scott Hall, was on life support following multiple heart attacks. A later statement from Hall's best-friend Kevin Nash sadly confirmed that the man who had successfully fought so many battles both inside and outside of the ring was unlikely to kick out this time.

Truthfully, I've been incredibly sad ever since. 

A year after his Superbrawl debut, Hall made his way to the World Wrestling Federation, combining many of the Diamond Studd's mannerisms with more than a little influence from the movie Scarface in order to take on his most iconic role as The Bad Guy, Razor Ramon.

Scott Hall as Razor Ramon

At a time when the WWF was becoming increasingly over-run by cartoon characters, Ramon stood out as being the real deal, thanks in no small part to Hall's talent and the absolute conviction with which he portrayed the character.

As the ill-fated New Generation era arrived, The Bad Guy remained a bright spot in an otherwise dark time for the WWF, competing in great matches against the likes of Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, giving us two classic ladder matches against Shawn Michaels that are still revered to this day and, of course, who could ever forget the time a young Sean Waltman upset Razor on that fateful episode of Monday Night Raw?

In 1996, Hall, along with Nash, moved back to World Championship Wrestling, changing the game both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Together with Hulk Hogan, Hall and Nash formed The New World Order and things were never the same again.

Scott Hall with Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash as The New World Order

WCW began to truly establish itself as the number one pro wrestling company in America, if not the world, a sea of black and white nWo t-shirts could be seen in the crowd at every show, and wrestling fans the world over gave each other the "Two Sweet" while reminding one another that when you're nWo, you're nWo for life. 

Hall's last WCW run was also the last great run of his career.

After that, a short stop in WWE, followed by brief runs in TNA and elsewhere gave us a glimpse of The Bad Guy of old, but Hall's personal demons and off-screen life meant that we'd never again see the multi-time Intercontinental Champion at his best.

In his last few years, we'd see Hall finally give those demons a Razor's Edge for the ages, and as we say goodbye to this all-time legend, it's that, more than anything he did in the ring, that must surely serve as The Bad Guy's biggest victory. 

Alas, no matter how much we all prayed for Scott to kick out on two, death got the cover, the count, and the fall on one of the greatest of all time, and now the wrestling world mourns the loss of a true legend.

Scott Hall - Hard Work Pays Off, Dreams Come True, Bad Times Don't Last, but Bad Guys Do

Rest in peace, Bad Guy.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE No Way Out 2003

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review - Event poster
February 23, 2003, 
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

No Way Out 2003 was the first event of this name to come under the WWE name, so it was interesting that the show featured three returning superstars from the glory days of the World Wrestling Federation.

First of all, Hulk Hogan was once again donning the red and yellow after last being seen on PPV back at Vengeance 2002 and taking a break shortly after.

Tonight, he was going up against rising Hollywood star The Rock. The Great One had also enjoyed a lengthy break after Summerslam 2002 and was now heel, a role he was almost forced to play after the crowds began to turn on him due to his growing movie career.

Still, while this was both men's first PPV appearance in months, the real story tonight was that No Way Out 2003 would mark the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin, a man who had famously walked out of the company the previous summer.

Here's what went down when three of WWE's all-time biggest stars returned to action:

A Boring Opening

Long-time Retro Pro Wrestling readers will probably know that I have a certain fondness for the WWE’s opening video packages.

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review - Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jonathan Coachman call the action

99.9% of the time, they do a great job of setting the scene and getting me pumped up about what I’m about to watch.

This was different though. This was about six seconds of a random computer animation that took us up a flight of stairs to a locked window and then showed some distressed bald dude hanging to some railings.

It was pretty rubbish, but I guess WWE could only get so much mileage out of rolling stock footage of Freddie Blassie chilling out in an abandoned warehouse.

Anyway, with that brief and boring intro out of the way, Jonathan Coachman welcomed us to No Way Out 2003, informing us that since JR had suffered a concussion on Raw, he -Coach- would be sitting alongside Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler tonight.

Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy

As Chris Jericho made his way out for tonight’s opening contest, Coach informed us that Raw GM Eric Bischoff had granted The King of the World’s request to have Shawn Michaels banned from ringside before noting that this was the first WWE PPV in Montreal since Survivor Series 1997.

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review - Chris Jericho puts Jeff Hardy in the Walls of Jericho

The match soon got underway and quickly turned into an exciting opener that remained utterly compelling from start to finish.

With the crowds torn between rooting for fellow countryman Jericho and perennial babyface Hardy, both gave it their all before a hot crowd who hung on every move.

After a solid effort, the self-proclaimed King of the World countered a top-rope hurricanrana attempt with a superbomb before locking his adversary in the Walls of Jericho.

The Charasmatic Enigma tried to hold on, but when he found himself dragged into the middle of the ring with no chance of escape, he had no choice but tap out and give the match to his opponent.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Post match, Jericho refused to relinquish his hold on Hardy, prompting HBK to rush to the rescue.

Unsurprisingly, the man whose name will be forever linked to the Montreal Screwjob received a frosty reception.

At least he did until Christian ran into help out his running mate, at which point Michaels managed to win the audience over by taking both men out with a double DDT, delivering a clothesline to the outside on Y2J and a well-placed Sweet Chin Music to Christian.

A Team Angle Pep Talk

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review - Team Angle talk tactics before their big match

Out in the back, Kurt Angle blasted the Canadian audience and promised that tonight, he, Shelton Benjamin, and Charlie Haas would prevail over Brock Lesnar, Edge, and Chris Benoit because there was simply no way that Team Angle could lose to “a walking gorilla and two Canucks.”

The Olympic Gold Medalist looked set to talk strategy with his two henchmen, but before we could hear what he had to say, we cut to the parking lot where Evolution arrived in a limousine.

Tonight, Evolution leader Triple H would defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Scott Steiner, but first, this:

WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions William Regal & Lance Storm vs. Rob Van Dam & Kane

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  Lance Storm and William Regal

Though the general consensus seems to be that this match wasn’t all that good, this fan in particular enjoyed it very much.

Relatively short, this one made Lance Storm and William Regal look like credible, fighting champions, even if they did only pick up the win when Kane accidentally chokeslammed RVD due to having his vision impaired by an Ill-placed match.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Lance Storm & William Regal

Out in the back, Matt Hardy was about to talk about how he miraculously cut weight in order to challenge for the cruise weight title when he was distracted by the appearance of his brother, Jeff Hardy.

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  Matt Hardy confronts his brother, Jeff

Confronting his clearly wounded sibling, the Master of Mattitude insisted that Jeff would actually begin winning some matches if he started following his brother’s teachings.

Rather than get into it, Jeff simply slapped the taste out of V1’s mouth and walked off, leaving an irate Matt to be restrained by his lackey, Shannon Moore.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman vs. Matt Hardy V1 (w/ Shannon Moore)

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  Matt Hardy is annoyed by snow and Ice.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’d stopped actively watching wrestling by 2003, so when I eventually came back to it, I was always confused how Matt Hardy -a man who was clearly no Cruiserweight- had managed to compete in the division.

The explanation here that he’d had to work hard to cut weight made a lot of sense, but unfortunately, it didn’t make for a great match.

Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing particularly wrong with this one, but the crowd clearly weren’t into it and that had a negative impact on the way this one played out.

After a decent but kinda blah match, Hardy hit Billy Kidman with an admittedly excellent Twist of Fate to capture a title which he really had no rights competing for in the first place.
Your Winner and New WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Matt Hardy

Backstage, Brock Lesnar and Chris Benoit tended to Edge, who had been mysteriously laid out backstage at the hands of an unknown assailant.

Smackdown GM Stephanie McMahon and a gaggle of officials also came to the former Intercontinental champions aid, but it looked like Edge was officially out of action for tonight.

Not just tonight, either. By all accounts, this was just a way to write Adam Copeland off TV so that he could have surgery for a recent injury.

We wouldn’t see him again until the following year.

The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  The Big Show vs. The Undertaker

Prior to the match, we got a look back at how The Undertaker had returned to action to get revenge on Big Show for taking him out of commission in the fall.

Show had been awol, but had sent Big Evil a number of gifts, including Brian Kendrick dressed as a bell boy, ‘Taker’s first manager, Brother Love, and, for some reason, a singing Chris Kanyon.

The Dead Man had destroyed all of them and now, tonight looked to destroy Big Show in a better-than-average big man brawl.

Though it was far from a classic, the two did the best with what they had to make sure that this, the longest match on the card, never felt boring or sluggish.

After a decent effort, a busted open ‘Taker got his revenge by drilling Show to the mat for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Backstage, Edge was wheeled into an ambulance, confirming that we wouldn’t see him compete tonight.

Elsewhere, Chief Morley and Eric Bischoff talked about what a good team they had behind them, only for Vince McMahon to inform them that if anybody got involved in Bischoff’s match with Stone Cold Steve Austin, they’d be fired on the spot.

Handicap Match
WWE Champion Kurt Angle & WWE Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Brock Lesnar & Chris Benoit

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review - Team Angle ready for action

As the combatants made their way out for tonight’s match, Michael Cole informed us that Stephanie had given Brock & Benoit the option to choose another partner but they had refused, instead opting to take on Team Angle in a 2 vs. 3 handicap match.

This turned out to be a good match that could have -perhaps should have- been much better.

Though you had a whole bunch of talented performers here, the match took a while to really kick it up a gear, and even then, it wasn’t until the final minute or so that we got the kind of balls-to-the-wall wrestling spectacular it had the potential to be all along.

Perhaps expectations were just too high given the caliber of performers involved, but while this was certainly the best match of the night so far, this ram expected a little more.

In the end, Benoit made Charlie Haas tap to the crossface while Lesnar took out his rival, Angle, with an F5.
Your Winners: Brock Lesnar & Chris Benoit

Prior to the next match, we got a look back at the rivalry between Triple H and Scott Steiner, and how they feud had led to the World Heavyweight Champion forming the Evolution stable to back him up.

Those two would be in action next.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Scott Steiner

This was far, far from the best match on the card, but it was certainly the most interesting in terms of fan reaction.

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  HHH and Scott Steiner go nose-to-nose

Despite being the babyface here, Steiner’s shit-show of performance back at the 2002 Royal Rumble meant that he was routinely booed by the Montreal faithful while dastardly heel HHH was cheered every time he struck an offensive move.

The biggest heel of the match, however, was referee Earl Hebner, who received a hostile reception for his role in the Montreal Screwjob five years earlier.

In fact, Hebner’s mere presence here overshadowed everything the two combatants did, and when Hunter got into a shoving match with the official, it received the biggest pop of the night so far.

After a somewhat lackluster effort that was, at least, marginally better than their Rumble outing, we got an inevitable run-in from Batista and Randy Orton.

That distracted the challenger long enough to be whacked in the face with the world title belt by his opponent.

That didn’t quite put him away, but a quick pedigree a few moments later did.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

Post-match, the champion made his way triumphantly to the back, being congratulated by Orton.

Eric Bischoff vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  Steve Austin returned

Prior to this one, we got a look back at the storyline which basically amounted to Bischoff failing to resign Austin, Austin deciding to come back anyway, and Vince McMahon booking the two against one another.

Jim Ross then came out, ostensibly to help call the action, but really just to cheer on his buddy Steve Austin as he whooped Bischoff from pillar to post.

It would be a stretch to call this a match, but it was fun to see Austin do his thing to the absolute delight of the Montreal faithful.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Afterwards, Austin celebrated his return while Jim Ross absolutely lost his shit.

I’m not exaggerating either.

I get that Ross was out there to put over Austin’s return, but his level of over-the-top enthusiasm was ridiculous.

It was hilarious at first, but then it was just sadly kind of embarrassing and I actually felt bad for JR.

The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan

WWE No Way Out 2003 Review -  The Rock puts Hulk Hogan in a sharpshooter for the ages

By this time, The Rock was one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood but had no problems coming back to WWE to assist Vince McMahon in his rivalry with Hulk Hogan.

That had brought us to tonight, a rematch from Wrestlemania X8 that was never going to live up to the original but was still entertaining enough in its own right.

At least it was until the finish.

After hitting The Rock with a big hoot and leg drop of doom, Hogan made the count but the lights in the arena went off before the referee -Sylvian Greenier- could count to three.

When they came back up, Hogan and Greenier were both out and a chair had been placed in the middle of the ring.

Vince McMahon then made his way out, distracting Hogan long enough for The Great One to destroy his opponent with a chair.

At that point, referee Greenier sprang to his feet, revealing himself as in cahoots with Rock and McMahon, and made the three count.
Your Winner: The Rock

“It’s a Screwjob! It’s a Screwjob!” Yelled Michael Cole in the most obviously rehearsed fashion ever.

Seriously, it was very apparent that Cole had been waiting for the whole match just for his moment to say that line.

As he did so, McMahon mocked and ridiculed a battered Hogan to bring No Way Out 2003 to a close.


All in all, WWE No Way Out 2003 is a difficult show to sum up. None of the matches were outright terrible (not even HHH/Steiner II), but you almost got the sense that many of the company's major players were either holding back or simply having an off night, resulting in matches which were never quite as a good as they had the potential to be.

Still, there was a lot of fun to be had here. Austin's return was entertaining, the handicap match was still good even though it could have been better, and the whole Rock/Hogan thing was as good as it was going to get right up until the rather necessary finish. 

Ultimately then, despite featuring the PPV returns of  three all-time greats, No Way Out 2003 wasn't a very significant show, nor is it something anyone need go out of the way to watch. 

Other 2003 pro wrestling reviews: 
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Friday, 4 March 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE Royal Rumble 2003

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Event Poster

January 19, 2003, 
Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts

For the past decade, the winner of the annual 30-man Royal Rumble match had earned an automatic world title shot at The Granddaddy of Them All, Wrestlemania. 

At least in theory, anyway. 

As we saw on occasions such as Wrestlemania 2000, Vince McMahon and his team weren't against reneging on their storyline promise if it meant delivering a card that was more to their liking. 

It got complicated and complex at times, which made you wonder why they didn't just do away with the rule altogether.

After all, the Rumble is such a unique attraction that I'm sure it would still sell on its own without a stipulation that was ignored half the time anyway.

Still, the company persisted with teasing a straight-forward narrative of Wrestler A earning and receiving a title shot against Wrestler B, only to change things up and go with something completely different.

This year, things had the chance to get even more consulted as this was the first Royal Rumble since the WWE Draft and subsequent brand extension, meaning a whole new world of possible scenarios on the road to Wrestlemania. 

We could worry about that some other time though. For now, let's get ready to rumble down in Boston.

Wrestlemania is Very Important

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Michael Cole and Tazz

Tonight’s opening video featured a montage of WWE performers doing their thing while speaking about how the Road to Wrestlemania began tonight.

This was super important because Wrestlemania itself was super important. Not just super important, but like the most important thing in the whole world.

And if you didn’t believe that, stars like Chris Jericho, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, and others were all to happy to tell you that nothing mattered more than main eventing on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

This wasn’t the most compelling opening video WWE had ever done, but it served its purpose and was effective.

With that out of the way, we got the obligatory crowd shots, pyro, and rousing greeting from Michael Cole who, along with Tazz, would be calling our first match of the evening.

The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

It was back at Survivor Series 2002 that the dastardly Paul Heyman had turned his back on Brock Lesnar by helping Big Show beat The Next Big Thing for the WWE Championship.

Lesnar had extracted a modicum of revenge by ensuring Show then lost that same title to Kurt Angle at Armageddon 2002, making this the first time the two had met for a one-on-one encounter since November.

The match wasn’t quite up to the same standards as their Survivor Series outing, but it was still an enjoyable opener in its own right.

Alright, you weren’t going to get a catch-as-catch-can classic out of these two, but if you like watching two big, burly bruisers beating the crap out of each other, you’ll probably like Show/Lesnar II.

Even though the feud itself was enough of a reason to put these two together, this match had the added stipulation that the winner would earn a place in the Rumble match while the loser wouldn’t be allowed to compete in that match.

With that on the line, the two men went at it hard and heavy, with Lesnar showing that despite being an Ass-Kicking Machine, he could bump with the best of them.

Indeed, the then-youngster got thrown around the ring with abandon by his larger opponent before making a comeback and overcoming a Heyman run-in to put Show away with an F5.

Big Show and Lesnar had excellent chemistry together and it helped create a match that was far superior to what you might imagine it would be.
Your Winner (Earns a place in the Rumble): Brock Lesnar

Backstage, Terri reminded Chris Jericho that he had been given an opportunity to decide which number he entered the Royal Rumble 2003 match at.

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Terri Runnels interviews Chris Jericho

In a good promo, Jericho refuted the former Marlena’s claim and insisted that he’d only ever had one option:

Not the coveted Number 30 spot but rather the Number 2 spot.


Because Shawn Michaels had already been confirmed as the number one entrant and the two hated one another.

Wrapping things up, The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla proved that he couldn’t go a single day without telling somebody that he once beat Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock on the same night before vowing to eliminate 29 other athletes and go onto headline Wrestlemania 19.

Up next, we switched to Raw, which meant commentary from King & JR.

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm and William Regal vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley)

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - World Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & William Regal

After Jim Ross told us that Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley had won 15 tag team championships across three different organizations, Jerry Lawler commented something to the effect that fans would be clamoring for tables.

It was a comment which reminded this fan why I never got too into The Dudleyz.

They weren’t bad wrestlers by any stretch, and I have enjoyed some matches that they were a part of, but it always struck me that nothing they did in the early part of any match actually mattered.

The two could be tearing it up and all the fans would respond with would be a “We want tables” chant, meaning that anything the decorated team did always felt like it was just killing time until the obligatory “D’Von, get the tables!” moment.

Anyway, this wasn’t a bad match by any stretch, but not apart from the aforementioned Dudley problem, the whole thing felt kind of rushed.

Towards the finish, Chief Morley stormed to the ring as he apparently had some beef with The Brothers Dudley.

In the resulting fracas, a pair of brass knuckles came into play which were supposed to give the heels the advantage but instead ended up in the hands of D’Von Dudley.

After a 3D, D’Von blasted Lance Storm with the International Object. One three count later, he and Bubba Ray were now 16 time tag team champions.
Your Winners and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

After a commercial for the company’s upcoming house shows, we got a look at impending arrival, Nathan Jones.

Last seen on Retro Pro Wrestling competing at WWA The Inception (where he was given the odd and confusing nickname of ‘The Front Row’), Jones’ real-world prison time was played up to full effect here, with his promo package showing us (what I assume to be) genuine Australian news footage about his time in a maximum-security prison, showing us just how scary and badass this dude was legitimately supposed to be.

The second coming of Nailz this was not.

Al Wilson is Dead

Prior to the next match, we got a lot back at the awful storyline between Torrie Wilson, her dad, Al Wilson, and Al’s lover, Dawn Marie.

This was bad and awkward enough when it was just Dawn Marie trying to get Torrie to have a little lesbian action with her.

It was even worse now that Dawn had since married Wilson and proceeded to, I don’t know, shag him quite literally to death on their honeymoon.

Did anyone actually find this entertaining? Did none of the three people involved stop and say “actually, this is crass and pretty tasteless?”

How did this crap ever get on TV, let alone PPV?

Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

This match was not good.

Neither woman was exactly known for her technical prowess, yet they tried in vein to wrestle a standard match when the awful storyline hanging over it -as horrible at it was- did at least present an opportunity for a quick cat fight or some overbooked chaos where Torrie just beat the hell out of her evil step-mother.

Predictably, the now Hall of Famer did pick up the win over Marie, and if anybody in the audience cheered, it was likely only because they were glad it was over.
Your Winner: Torrie Wilson

Backstage, Smackdown GM Stephanie McMahon interrupted Randy Orton from talking to Raw boss, Eric Bischoff.

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Stephanie McMahon interupts Eric Bischoff talking to Randy Orton

McMahon reminded Bischoff that her daddy had promised to fire him in 30 days and wondered what bombshell the author of Controversy Creates Cash would do to try and save his job.

Easy E promised that what he did have planned wasn’t just a bombshell but an “atomic bombshell.”

Unimpressed, Steph related that she had an atomic bombshell of her own to drop on the next episode of Smackdown.

This was followed by a vignette in which Sean O’Haire questioned the existence of God.

I wasn’t watching wrestling at all back in 2003, so I haven’t seen any of O’Haire’s WWE run, though I definitely saw the appeal of him back in WCW, so I’m personally interested to see him as I go through these reviews.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Scott Steiner

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Earl Hebner lays down the law for HHH and Scott Steiner

Prior to the match, we saw a video recap of Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner challenging Triple H to a title match before beating him in an arm wrestling match to demonstrate his superiority.

The match itself began fine. It wasn’t a balls-to-the-wall epic or anything, sure, but it certainly wasn’t offensive.

Then, Big Poppa Pump knackered himself and wound up botching his way through a succession of repetitive suplexes and sloppy action.

Things were so bad (almost every bit as bad as you’ve heard they were) that the crowd loudly turned on babyface Scott Steiner and crapped all over the match itself.

They crapped the loudest and hardest towards the finish.

The Game tried to get himself disqualified but Earl Hebner was having none of it, instead insisting on a clean finish.

A few moments later, the champion brought out his old pal Sledgie and got DQ’d anyway.

Sure, it was a finish that made it easy to setup a rematch, but that was one rematch nobody wanted to see.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Triple H retains

Post match, Scott Steiner went crazy and destroyed Triple H. A gaggle of officials couldn’t stop The Big Bad Booty Daddy for holding The Game in the Steiner Recliner, but fortunately, Eric Bischoff could.

After a video package highlighting the rivalry between Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, the two would meet in our second title match of the evening.

WWE Championship
WWE Champion Kurt Angle (w/ Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas)

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Kurt Angle vs. Krispin Wah

This was an awesome match that outshone Angle and Chris Benoit’s earlier effort back at Unforgiven 2002.

Though it took a little while to build up, it gradually developed into an all-out wrestling masterpiece between two of the best the sport had to offer at that time.

Keeping primarily between the ropes, the two traded holds, suplexes, and a flurry of near falls to deliver an awesome match that made the earlier HHH/Steiner fiasco look like two rookies in their first week of training.

After a thrilling match, the champion retained by making his opponent tap.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Kurt Angle

Post match, the crowd gave Benoit a standing ovation for his tremendous performance.

Benoit, who was clearly over in a big way, acknowledged the love and respect before hobbling to the back with his star on the rise.

Prior to the Rumble match, tag team partners Kane & Rob Van Dam agreed that it really was every man for himself tonight and that they would each do whatever it took to win.

2003 Royal Rumble Match
Featuring: Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Chris Nowinski, Bill Demott,  B-2, Rob Van Dam, Edge, Christian, Tajiri, Tommy Dreamer, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, Eddie Guerrero, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Rosie, Jamal, Test, Rikishi, A-Train, Matt Hardy, Maven, Goldust, Booker T, Jeff Hardy,  John Cena, Batista, Kane, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar.

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - The Undertaker confronts and congratulates Brock Lesnar

This was an excellent Royal Rumble match pretty much from start to finish.

Making his first appearance in a rumble match since 1996, number one entrant Shawn Michaels probably set a new record for the least amount of time he’d ever spent in such a match, at least since he split from Marty Jannetty.

He and his number-two placed rival Chris Jericho wasted no time going at it, but Y2J quickly got the upper hand, destroying the Heartbreak Kid with a steel chair and taking him out of the match in no time.

Jericho went on to prove himself to be the MVP of the match. Busted open, he lasted all the way into the part of the match where the final six or seven competitors were entering, only for an irate Michaels to storm back to the ring and extract revenge by eliminating his adversary.

The two were broken up by officials on the outside, but this feud was clearly far, far from over.

After Michaels’ elimination, stars like Edge, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, and Tajiri all entered the fray and wowed the crowds, giving us some of the fastest-paced and most exciting action we’d ever seen in a rumble match.

As all this was going on, Christian took his spot in the contest wearing the most garish and god-awful ring attire you’ve ever seen.

Honestly, this fan thinks that was a stroke of genius.

As a heel, it did Christian no favors to try and look cool. Wearing a hideous ensemble that everybody hated only served to make him even more despised.

It was a smart move, but it was Jericho who made the smarter move by eliminating both Christian and his brother Edge at the same time, ultimately clearing the ring and being the only remaining competitor until Rob Van Dam entered the fray and lasted all the way to the final five.

At that point, RVD’s partner Kane set him up, insisting that he would gorilla press slam his partner on top of a prone Batista, but instead hurling him out of the ring.

Eventually, that left us with a final four of Kane, Batista, Lesnar, and a returning Undertaker, who hadn’t been seen on WWE PPV since No Mercy 2002.

Batista went out first, then, just as Kane had betrayed his partner, he was betrayed by his brother as ‘Taker hurled The Big Red Machine out of the ring.

A few moments later, Brock eliminated The Undertaker to stamp his ticket for the main event of Wrestlemania.
Your Winner: Brock Lesnar

Post match, The Dead Man returned to the ring to show some level of respect to his former rival, encouraging Lesnar to give him a title shot if and when he won at ‘Mania.

All in all, Royal Rumble 2003 was a good show.

There was nary a dull moment in the 30-man battle royal, and despite the lack of any surprise participants, it was hugely enjoyable.

The Angle/Benoit match was also off the charts, and the opening Lesnar/Show contest was good stuff.

Sure, the Steiner/HHH match and the women’s debacle both absolutely sucked, but if you take those out of the equation and don’t set your hopes too high for the tag title match, this is a worthwhile watch.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.