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Kurt Angle On WrestleMania 17 Match With Chris Benoit, How It Compares To Their Royal Rumble 2003 Match

April 13, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
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On a recent edition of The Kurt Angle Show, Kurt Angle discussed his WrestleMania 17 match with Chris Benoit, how it compares to their Royal Rumble 2003 match, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Kurt Angle on WWE making the decision to put he and Chris Benoit in a match at WrestleMania 17: “I don’t think the company knew what they wanted to do with me or Benoit. I think that’s the reason they put us together. I was in the program with Rock and Austin jumping back and forth wrestling them every week. So, there was no real time for me to have a program with Benoit. I’m not sure they even thought of it until a week or two before WrestleMania. Benoit and I got put together because we were both top performers in the company and neither one of us had a match. So, the company said let’s put the two best technicians in a match together, they’re gonna have an incredible match. We don’t need much of a buildup, so let’s just throw it on the card. We were more of a mid-level feature match at WrestleMania, which is fine with me. If I could’ve wrestled Benoit at WrestleMania every year, I’d do it. He was an incredible performer.”

On his reaction to the match: “Honestly, I had such little experience at the time, I didn’t know how to feel about it. I was still relatively new. I was on only on TV for a little over a year and I was just happy that the match was finished. I would make it through my matches and be relieved I made it through because I had such little experience. So, I didn’t really think about it. [Benoit] was excited. He gave me a big hug and said that was freakin’ awesome. I took his word for it. I knew the match was good, I just didn’t know how good it was.”

On how their WrestleMania 17 match compares to their Royal Rumble 2003 match: “I’ve always said my favorite match of all-time I’ve ever performed in was the Royal Rumble 2003 match. The structure of the match, the way we laid it out, the false finishes, the submission tradeoffs, the amateur wrestling at the beginning – it was a well-planned out story with an incredible finish. Everything came together that night. I was really excited about it. I didn’t know how good it was until I watched it back, and I was like, ‘Holy crap, this is the best match I’ve ever wrestled in.’ And to this day, it still rings true.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.