By the time WWE arrived in the year 2003, they were well removed from the heights of the Attitude Era.
The Ruthless Aggression Era was in full swing and it can be best seen in this list.
The likes of Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Chris Benoit populate this list of best matches and it is a perfect display of WWE moving into a workrate era with their pay-per-view matches.
2003 was an unremarkable year for WWE business. The Royal Rumble outdrew WrestleMania in pay-per-view buys for goodness sake. But it was a year with a number of excellent pay-per-view matches.
Thankfully for us, that is what we are here to talk about today. These are the 11 best WWE pay-per-view matches of 2003.
11. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle vs. Big Show – Vengeance
The rivalry between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle will be a recurring topic on this list. Shocking, I know.
At Vengeance, the two added the Big Show to their WrestleMania rematch and produced one of the better Triple Threat matches in WWE history.
Angle and Lesnar were the core of the match with both having to take the monstrous Big Show out of the equation periodically to get at each other. These are three very big and very strong men and seeing them throw each other around will never get old.
It may not have been the best clash between Lesnar and Angle in 2003 but it definitely deserves a spot on this list.
10. World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman – Vengeance
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin were one of the few highlights of WWE’s tag team division in the Ruthless Aggression Era. They were two shooters and called themselves the World’s Greatest Tag Team.
In matches like this one against Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio, they tried to prove their name correct.
Haas and Benjamin were not high-flyers but their amateur style came with great agility. This made them perfect opponents for real high-flyers like Mysterio and Kidman.
This was a fantastic tag match, a rarity in WWE at the time, and an example of how great the artform can be with complimentary yet different styles such as these.
9. Brock Lesnar & Chris Benoit vs. Team Angle – No Way Out
This was originally supposed to be a six-man tag match before Edge was sidelined with a broken neck. Had he been involved, this match could have placed even higher on this list.
As it stands, Brock Lesnar and Chris Benoit took on Team Angle in a two-on-three handicap match. Handicap matches are not usually much to write home about, but then again most of them do not have this much talent in them.
This was a preview of the WrestleMania XIX main event but also featured great work from Benoit, Haas and Benjamin.
This match was also where Angle suffered a neck injury that would put him on the shelf after WrestleMania. Despite the injury, this match absolutely delivers.