Fair question, as it feels like such an afterthought for this year’s Wrestlemania. When it was first launched in 2014, there was so much hype around the Andre The Giant Battle Royal and the Memorial Trophy that comes along with it. And there should be hype: Andre was a legend, a WWE Hall of Famer, and thanks to his participation in WM 3 the Grandest Stage of Them All has indeed has turned into something far bigger than it may have been. The first three years that the battle royal has taken place, there have been some incredible action, spots, and Wrestlemania moments. But the prestige, the excitement, and the buildup for this match hasn’t been there this year.
In fact, I’ll go as far to say that it feels more like the WWE is dumping upper and middle mid-carders in the match just to ensure most talent have a spot in the biggest event of WWE’s calendar year. Last night’s main event set up, that pinned Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens in a match where Zayn was looking to gain a spot in the battle royal (or lose his job), seemed too forced. It felt like RAW Creative just realized they have offered zero hype when it comes to this match and thought … ‘oh wait! Wrestlemania is this Sunday and the we need to do something with this match’. So, they created a storyline around RAW’s main event that included Zayn and had that ridiculous Over The Top Rope Challenge which included some teases from Big Show and Braun Strowman.
Has the Andre the Giant Battle Royal turned into a joke? When you look at the match itself, battle royals can be quite entertaining, if done right. It is a sticky situation where the match itself can be a chaotic (especially from the get-go); chaos can be entertaining, but it can also be harder to tell a story. I think the other issue is the fact that there should be some prestige with the trophy, and this seems to be the case post-WM, which understandably gets lost in the shuffle as the year progresses. But with nothing really coming out of the win for two out of the three winners (Cesaro and Big Show – Baron Corbin has had a slight push), the biggest issue I have is this year’s build up around the match heading into Wrestlemania.
I think considering the unique relationship Stephanie McMahon shared with Andre the Giant, the inspiration for the new Wrestlemania tradition, match, and trophy; shouldn’t Steph be the center of a side-arc when it comes to the buildup? Shouldn’t she have a little more of a vested interest when it comes to who enters this match leading up to the grand event? More than just a segment days before Wrestlemania 33?
As WM takes shape every year, higher ups get a clear indication of who will be in what matches and what the outcomes will be … shouldn’t someone be throwing their hat into this match say, earlier than a week or two before the big event? The result? The match simply becomes a consolation prize for those talents who don’t have one-on-one bouts on the card, versus a huge desire to lock in that trophy and be a part of battle royal initially.
The Andre the Giant Battle Royal overall has this feeling of ‘you don’t have a spot at WM? We’ll just throw you into the Andre the Giant Battle Royal’.
WNZ fans! What are your thoughts? Is the Andre the Giant Battle Royal becoming a joke? Leave your comments below!