Benoit returned to WWE television before he was even recovered from his injury. He was drafted #3 by Mr. McMahon and SmackDown in the original WWE Draft. Despite being drafted to SmackDown, Benoit showed up on Monday Night Raw after recovering from his injury and aligned himself with his friend Eddie Guerrero. In a weird twist of events, both men would find themselves on SmackDown shortly after Benoit’s return. The move to the Blue Brand would prove to be instrumental in Benoit’s career. He was part of the SmackDown 6 with Kurt Angle, Los Guerreros, Rey Mysterio, and Edge. The group continuously put on 5 star matches against each other and as a result Benoit, Guerero, Edge, and Mysterio joined Kurt Angle in the upper echelon of the WWE food chain. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle would have a legendary feud during their time on SmackDown, and despite their rivalry they were crowned the inaugural WWE Tag Team Champions (SmackDown Tag Team Champions) at No Mercy 2002. After losing their tag titles and splitting up, Benoit and Angle would continue their feud, and it all culminated in an absolutely classic match for the WWE Championship at the 2003 Royal Rumble. The match was a clinic on mat wrestling. It’s full of moves, counter moves, submissions, and of course plenty of German suplexes. When it was all said and done Angle would retain his championship, but Benoit looked every bit his equal and looked like a future WWE Champion himself. The loss at The Royal Rumble meant Benoit wouldn’t be in the main event of WrestleMania XIX. He instead tagged with Rhyno and competed for the WWE Tag Team Championships. It wasn’t where Benoit wanted to be on the Wrestlemania card, but he would get his moment just one year later.
I’m Wesly Avendano. Life long wrestling fan from a small town in Southern California. Writing and wrestling are two of my passions so why not combine them and see what happens. I’m currently the host of Flashback Wrestling Podcast. Favorite all time wrestler is a tie Bret Hart. Favorite current wrestler is AJ Styles. Don’t forget to follow me, and the Flashback Wrestling Podcast on Twitter @fbwpodcast and Instagram @flashbackwrestling.