January 26, 2004
Second thoughts: Benoit's win by the numbers
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling
As all of Canada (or at least the wrestling fan population of Canada) knows by now, Chris Benoit has won the Royal Rumble.
The win by Benoit is significant on a lot of levels. It is interesting to note, from a statistical point of view, that Benoit's win has a strong correlation with the number two. So to borrow from one of hockey stats-junkie Liam Maguire's schticks, here are some of the statistics with Chris Benoit and the number two (other than the obvious TWO-thless Agression joke).
- Benoit is the second wrestler to enter the Royal Rumble in the number-one position and win the match (the other was Shawn Michaels).
- Benoit's win was the second by a Canadian (first being Bret Hart, though it was shared with Lex Luger). It was also the second win by an Albertan.
- Benoit is the second man to win the Rumble by eliminating the Big Show last (The Rock was the first).
- Benoit is the second-straight wrestler to win the match in his first Rumble appearance.
- Benoit had previously had two other Rumble matches (vs. Chris Jericho in 2001, vs. Kurt Angle in 2003).
- Benoit was one of two Canadians left in the final-four (along with Chris Jericho).
- Benoit is the second wrestler trained by the Hart Family to win a Royal Rumble (along with Bret).
- Benoit is the second ECW alumnus to win the Rumble (the other was Steve Austin).
- Benoit is the second man to hold the NWA/WCW title before winning the Rumble. The first, of course, was Ric Flair.
- Benoit is the second Horseman to win the Rumble. Flair, again, was the first.
- This is Benoit's second year competing since he returned from neck surgery to the ring.
- This is the second year that there have been participants from the split brands in the Rumble.
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Jon Waldman, numerologist extraordinaire, has been with SLAM! since 2000. Read more of Jon's work at his website, www.jonwaldman.com