WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Greatest Feuds in History of PPV Event
The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is arguably most famous for the marquee match from which it is named—but it also has plenty of other interesting attractions going on, too.
The rest of the card often throws up some fascinating rivalries and matches—and with 26 previous editions of the pay-per-view, there are plenty to choose from.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena at the forthcoming 2014 Royal Rumble may not be the most glamorous and fascinating title match you are ever likely to see—but there are plenty of historic feuds from years gone by.
Let's take a look at the five best feuds in Royal Rumble history.
5. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit (2001)
We start with a rivalry that wasn't just acted out at the Royal Rumble. In fact, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit had been feuding for years prior to the 2001 Rumble.
That stretches all the way back to the mid-1990s, when they fought in New Japan Pro Wrestling. The fact that they had been tussling for years made their rivalry incredibly pleasant to watch.
They were fighting for the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match at the Rumble that year—and they pulled a great match out of the bag.
It doesn't sit nearer to the top due to the longevity of some of the feuds that sit above. However, Benoit and Jericho is a great starting point.
4. The Rock vs. Chris Jericho (2002)
Chris Jericho features again on the list—and this time as the WWE Undisputed Champion when he took on The Rock in a pretty impressive match.
The feud began in October of the previous year at the Vengeance pay-per-view. That night was a historic one in that Jericho became the first man to unify the titles—when he beat The Rock and Steve Austin to become champion.
Jericho and The Rock went back and forth for a number of months, before this battle at the Royal Rumble saw Jericho once again escape with the belts.
They pulled some great spots out of each other, and there was that epic moment when Jericho got a Rock Bottom through a table.
Interferences, table segments and two of the finest workers of the modern era. It was a fantastic feud.
3. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (2000)
It might seem bizarre to have a rivalry of such prestige in third place on the list—but there were some that just outdo this one in my eyes.
That isn't to say this wasn't a good feud—in fact it was a stunning one. Their rivalry was good enough before the 2000 Royal Rumble, but the Street Fight they had at the show was an absolute classic.
It was gruesome, brutal and downright crazy—everything these kinds of matches should be. The two men produced the very best out of each other to send the crowd crazy at several points through the match.
The weeks before the match also earn this feud a credible place on the list—Triple H was at his brilliant best as a heel, while Foley under his Jack guise became the crowd's hero.
2. Mankind vs. the Rock (1999)
If Triple H vs. Cactus Jack was brutal, then this match was simply insane. Let's be honest, it was not a wrestling classic in terms of work in the ring.
But it was a classic on plenty of other levels. It was encapsulating to watch, and was arguably one of the most brutal matches in the history of the WWE.
The chair shots on Mankind left Foley in all kinds of trouble, and is of course infamous in terms of the documentary Beyond the Mat.
It was pure entertainment at a time when these kinds of matches were commonplace. What keeps it from the top spot is a wrestling classic.
1. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (2003)
It was very, very hard to knock this off the top spot—in fact the top two are almost inseparable to be honest.
Whilst Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit had a ladder match and Triple H and Cactus Jack had a brutal Street Fight, on this occasion Benoit and Kurt Angle needed simply each other.
It was two men who had perfect in-ring styles to go up against each other. Their supreme technicality and outstanding mat work made them an amazing fit—and the fact that it was for the WWE Championship just makes it even more impressive.
It was simply a wrestling fan's dream to watch—and it delivered on so many levels. There have been some remarkable feuds at the Royal Rumble, but it would take a very good one in the future to knock this epic off the top of the list.