Kurt Angle Calls Royal Rumble Match with Chris Benoit Best of Career
According to Kurt Angle, the greatest match of his storied career happened at the 2003 Royal Rumble.
That night, Angle defended his WWE Championship against Chris Benoit in a match that went just under 20 minutes at Boston's Fleet Center (today's TD Garden). The match was hailed at the time as a match of the year contender, and Angle looks back at the bout fondly today ahead of all of his other matches.
Angle spoke about that match and other aspects of his career recently with SPORTbible.
"I do remember my match at the Royal Rumble with Chris Benoit for the world title in 2003," Angle said. "That was my best match ever I think. Chris Benoit was the real deal. He was probably the best in-ring performer, I wouldn't say overall talent but as far as an in-ring performer, [there was] nobody better."
Angle also stated during the interview that it is his belief that between 2001 and 2011, he was the best wrestler in the business. Angle was signed by WWE in 1998 and brought up to the main roster in 1999. He left the company in 2006 for TNA Impact Wrestling. He also worked some high profile matches over the next several years for New Japan Pro Wrestling and AAA. Angle returned to WWE in 2017 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He had a stint as RAW General Manager and retired from in-ring competition last year following a loss at WrestleMania to Baron Corbin.
"I picked up right away from day one. As a matter of fact, on my tryout the first bump I ever took, by the end of the day they signed me to a deal," Angle recalled. "S---, I caught on fast. From 2001 to 2011 I was on fire; I was the best wrestler in the business for ten years. I started when I was 31, I'd say around 41 or 42 was when I started seeing my level and status going down slowly. I was able to perform the way I wanted to until about 48."
What's your favorite match from Angle's career? Let us know in the comments section below, and give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all things WWE.