WrestleMania 35 Preview: André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

via WWE.com
via WWE.com /

Since WrestleMania XXX, the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal has become a tradition at WWE’s biggest event of the year. Let’s take a look at this year’s iteration, featuring a Monster, a Top One-Percenter, a Maharaja, un Idolo, two Guys from Television and more.

WWE loves a good battle royal. After all, their signature match and namesake for their second-biggest show of the year, is a battle royal. It makes sense, then, why WWE would want to squeeze a form of that match onto their premier event, WrestleMania. Enter: the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Introduced at WrestleMania XXX, the André has now become an annual tradition, and a way to honor the legacy of its namesake, even if the ending of the inaugural match did reference his most famous defeat

The “thing” with the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is that the match doesn’t really serve a purpose. WWE refers to it as, “an opportunity for the winner to carve out a legendary WrestleMania moment while catapulting his career to new heights,” but that status is dubious at best. Cesaro and Baron Corbin have both found success, but not really due to their respective André wins. Big Show and Matt Hardy already had Hall of Fame-worthy careers before they won theirs. Mojo Rawley has yet to really do anything other than beat up Zack Ryder, much like everyone else on the WWE roster has done, can do, or will be doing.

Regardless, the André remains a fun attraction befitting of the spectacle that is WrestleMania. Plus, the winner gets a trophy with a giant André the Giant atop it, which always makes for some entertaining photo ops.

via WWE.com
via WWE.com /

This year, the only storyline heading into the battle royal is that of Braun Strowman against Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che. Yes, a former main-eventer versus two comedians from a television show that’s been on the air for several decades, despite multiple generations of people complaining every year that it’s not good anymore (SNL and Raw actually have a lot in common). It’s a whole thing, but basically Strowman is mad at Jost for insinuating pro wrestling is fake, Jost is mad at Strowman for both assaulting him and destroying his peace offering and Che is basically guilty by association. Still, it should be fun to see a wrestler who was WWE’s hottest commodity only a year ago get eliminated by the writer of Staten Island Summer.

It’s not just those three jokers however, WWE has also announced 26 other competitors, and they are as follows:

Apollo Crews
Titus O’Neil
Tyler Breeze
Jinder Mahal
No Way Jose
Bobby Roode
Chad Gable
Gran Metalik
Lince Dorado
Bo Dallas
Curtis Axel
Heath Slater
Shelton Benjamin
Luke Gallows
Karl Anderson
Matt Hardy
Jeff Hardy

A few observations:

  1. It’s kind of disappointing to see Andrade (‘Cien’ Almas) and (Mustafa) Ali are relegated to this match when they’ve both been doing amazing work on SmackDown, but maybe they’ll end up as the final two and start a dynamite feud together.
  2. Heath Slater is now the only wrestler to compete in every André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to date. Good for him, he’s got kids, he needs this.
  3. Notable names missing (with no match currently booked — and who also aren’t either brand’s tag team champions) include Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, Kevin Owens and Sheamus and Cesaro, so it will be interesting to see how they end up being added to the card.
  4. Remember EC3?
  5. This seemingly (and unfortunately) nixes the notion of The Usos and The Hardys wrestling for the SmackDown tag titles.
  6. It feels worth noting that Jinder Mahal was WWE Champion for 170 days.
  7. Colin Jost is going to eliminate Braun Strowman, probably by accidentally bumping him off the apron or something. While he’s gloating, Michael Che is going to betray and eliminate Jost. Strowman will then spend the rest of WrestleMania pursuing Jost — out of the stadium, through the wetlands of New Jersey, past the Secaucus Junction Sbarro’s, on a train to Penn Station, across midtown Manhattan, up 5th Avenue to 30 Rock, into the SNL studio where Lorne Michaels will inform them their segment has been cut for time — to give him those hands. Meanwhile, Che will be eliminated by Viktor.
  8. This makes 29 competitors, which means Rob Gronkowski is definitely going to make it an even 30 and win the damn thing.

Next. 5 NFL players who should compete at WrestleMania. dark

Tune in to WrestleMania on April 7 to see which superstar wins the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and subsequently has to carry a giant trophy around with them until WWE decides to forget about it, or someone breaks it.