MATCH : Chris Benoit v Chris Jericho

PROMOTION : WWF

EVENT : Royal Rumble 2001

VENUE : New Orleans Arena, New Orleans

DATE : 21st January 2001

CHAMPIONSHIP : WWF Intercontinental Title

STIPULATION : Ladder Match

BACKGROUND : Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho had been feuding in the WWF pretty much since the arrival of Benoit's Radicalz group in the company. The two men had been having great matches all year on PPV and on TV. Benoit had been Intercontinental Champion for some time and had beaten Jericho for most of 2000 but this match was a ladder match, so could Jericho climb the ladder and retrieve the belt or would Benoit's winning streak continue?

MATCH REVIEW : Sometimes two wrestlers just gel and that is exactly the case with Benoit and Jericho. These guys had some great matches in WCW but when they came to WWF/E they had some terrific matches and this is one of them. Putting this match into perspective this ladder match is probably the best 1v1 of all time outside of the two Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon matches of the 90s. It's also arguably the best Chris Jericho performance of all time. This is a brutal bout that doesn't let up from the first bell till Jericho grabs the belt, with some great innovative use of the ladder to some amazing selling and bumping this match really does have it all. A recent poll on the WWE website had Jericho as the best Intercontinental champion of all time and on this showing it would be hard to disagree!