Kurt Angle Says His Royal Rumble Match With Chris Benoit Is His Favorite Match


During a recent interview with Forbes, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle said his match with Chris Benoit at the 2003 Royal Rumble pay-per-view event is his favorite match of all-time, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On his mentality on doing whatever WWE handed him when he first started: “I think it’s because I’ve always been the underdog and not quite as appreciated. I never was the favorite to win anything. I always had to fight very hard to get what I got and what I accomplished, and I had to continue to have that mentality in the WWE.”

On his thoughts on Kenny Omega: “Oh, gosh, that’s one of my dream matches! Kenny is extremely talented. I saw a match with him in Japan and I thought ‘wow this guy’s incredible.’ He reminds me a lot of AJ Styles. They both have the same style where they can fly and do groundwork equally well.”

On his Royal Rumble 2003 match with Chris Benoit being his favorite: “My favorite match is versus Chris Benoit at the 2003 Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight Championship or WWE Championship. Chris was a mirror image of me with his intensity, his technique, and his persona. He stepped it up every time in the ring. We matched each other’s intensity, and it just worked extremely well. We had a lot of submission trade-offs, and a lot of false finishes and the match is really intriguing. After I won, Team Angle came out, we celebrated and I walked out of the ring. The fans stood and gave Chris a standing ovation for 15 minutes, and it was a pay-per-view, Vince McMahon let it go, and the fans appreciating Chris showed us how good that match was. Even Triple H came up to me afterward, I was only in the business three years at the time, and he said, ‘you just raised the bar.’ I didn’t know how good the match was. I thought it was okay. Now when I watch it I’m like oh my gosh, this thing’s a masterpiece. To have someone like Triple H telling you that you raise the bar, that’s a huge compliment.”

On how you wrestle Brock Lesnar and not get hurt while also having a broken neck: “Especially when I had a broken neck. Yeah. That was the toughest decision I ever made because Brock’s a beast and his power and strength is unparalleled. The only people I know that are as strong as him, but they aren’t as explosive, are Mark Henry and Big Show. But Brock is just explosive and his belly to belly suplexes are brutal. But, I wanted to do it. I actually talked to Vince into allowing me to wrestle at WrestleMania with my neck broken, and I got cleared by the doctor. That wouldn’t happen today. But in 2003, you could get away with a little more stuff. But now there’s just no way there’s too much liability.”

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