When someone talks about WWE Royal Rumble, they are, more often than not, talking about the Rumble matches and not about the pay-per-view as a whole. Something like this is bound to happen when a show is promoted after a particular match-type. The stakes of a Royal Rumble match are so high that it's hard to remain excited about other bouts on the card.
However, there have been quite a few better contests than the main event. The performers in these matches were never under pressure simply because people had not come to watch them in the first place. When the dust settled, these matches trumped everyone's expectations and turned out to be much-better overall offerings than the attraction matches.
Considering that WWE Royal Rumble 2021 is just over a month away from now, the time seems apt to recount some of these matches and try to understand what made them so special.
So without any delays, let's dive in into the topic. Do share your opinions in the comment section, even though you may disagree with this writer's picks.
#5 Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit (WWE Royal Rumble 2001)
The battle of Chris', Benoit, and Jericho had a splendid match at WWE Royal Rumble 2001 that managed to be better than the Rumble match itself. Not saying the Rumble was weak, after all, it had Stone Cold Steve Austin coming on top and a career-defining performance by Kane.
This brutal ladder match between the two workhorses for the Intercontinental Championship is quite underrated. The main reason being 2001 having some tremendous ladder matches, with the triple threat tag match at WWE WrestleMania 17 at the top.
It's a unique match as the two men didn't include the aerial spots one usually sees in a ladder match but instead had a war that felt like a real struggle. They attempted to do their best to tire each other down and then climb up to retrieve the title hanging up.
The Walls of Jericho spot on top of the ladder was a sign of how these two technically proficient men brought their style of wrestling to a ladder match, rather than giving up their style in favor of a typical ladder spot-fest.
The ending of the match saw Jericho retrieving the title to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.