Everyday from March 1 until WWE Wrestlemania 33 on April 2, Fightful will be bringing you the Countdown To WWE Wrestlemania 33. Each day, you will be getting a top 10 list or an event preview or statistics/figures from past ‘Mania events and everything in between.
In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Top 10 Battle Royals In ‘Mania History, because there have been some great "over-the-top" matches during the “Granddaddy Of Them All.”
#10: Raw vs. Smackdown Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 21)
The first brand split occurred in 2005 and the first of several brand versus brand battle royals occurred at WWE Wrestlemania 21. Sadly, this match never took place on the pay-per-view broadcast, but it was taped and later put on the DVD release. The match also saw every wrestler who participated in the match wear either a red shirt or blue shirt, depending on which brand they belonged to. Booker T would win the match by last eliminating Chris Masters, giving the Smackdown Brand the first win in the inter-promotional battle royals.
#9: Tag Team Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 14)
If there was ever a battle royal that was designed to just get one team over, it was the tag team battle royal at WWE Wrestlemania 14. The Legion Of Doom were returning to the WWE after a short hiatus, they returned with a brand new look and future porn star Tammy “Sunny” Sytch as their manager. The tag team battle royal is an odd one to watch because when one member of the team was eliminated, their tag team partner was eliminated from the match as well. Obviously the LOD won the match, but the push would be short lived and they would be out of the WWE a short time later.
#8: Hardcore Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 2000)
This is the only battle royal on the list that didn’t follow the traditional battle royal rules, but it featured a plethora of WWE stars battling all over the arena while using weapons. The wrestler who got the last pin before time ran out would win the match and the now defunct WWE Hardcore Title. There were a grand total of ten title changes in the match, a match that lasted 15 minutes, which means that on an average of 1.5 minutes…the title would change hands. Hardcore Holly would defeat cousin Crash Holly to score the tenth pin and leave the event as the WWE Hardcore Champion.
#7: Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 31)
There was a time in the old WCW that an angle played out where The Giant, now known as the Big Show, was supposed to be the son of the late Andre The Giant. Fast forward to exactly two decades later and the Big Show would win the battle royal named in the honor of his “late father.” This was also the first Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal to be on the ‘Mania pre-show, the first and third editions of the battle royal took place on the pay-per-view broadcast. This battle royal also featured the main roster debut on Hideo Itami, who won a four man tournament to get the opportunity to compete in the match.
#6: Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 25)
Remember the time when the women were treated like second rate talents in the WWE? If not, then look no further than the Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal, which was not actually won by a woman, but by a man. Santino, dressed in drag and being called Santina, would eliminate Beth Phoenix to win the coveted Miss Wrestlemania crown. Some of the notable women competing in the match were Melina, The Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Tiffany (Taryn Terrell in TNA), Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Michelle McCool, Maryse, Gail KIm, Miss Jackie (her lone in ring ‘Mania appearance), Sunny (her only wrestling match in the WWE), Molly Holly, Alicia Fox, Layla, Eve and Joy Giovanni (in her lone WWE wrestling match).
#5: Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 32)
The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal returned to the pay-per-view broadcast with the third installment of the match. The match would also feature the previous two winners in Cesaro and the Big Show competing in the match. The battle royal would be one by a wrestler who was making his WWE main roster debut in the match, Baron Corbin. Corbin would also transition the battle royal win into more success than the two previous winners, challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Title on multiple occasions and potentially facing WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose this year at WWE Wrestlemania 33.
#4: Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 4)
The 20 men competing in this match were Sam Houston, Sika, Jim Neidhart, B. Brian Blair, Raymond Rougeau, Jim Brunzell, George Steele, Ron Bass, Hillbilly Jim, Danny Davis, Jim Powers, Nikolai Volkoff, Ken Patera, Boris Zhukov, Jacques Rougeau, Harley Race, Paul Roma, Junkyard Dog, Bret Hart and Bad News Brown. The match would be won in the end by Bad News Brown, after he double crossed Bret hart and threw him out of the ring for the final elimination. One of the earlier iconic ‘Mania moments happened at this match as Bret would attack Bad News Brown after the match, then smash the trophy he got for winning the battle royal. The angle was supposed to start a Bret hart singles push, which would fail many times over the years until Hart defeated Roddy Piper at WWE Wrestlemania 8.
#3: Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 30)
While it was not the first battle royal in Wrestlemania history, it was the first one to honor the memory of the late Andre The Giant. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal was created, according to storyline purposes, by Hulk Hogan, who fought Andre The Giant at WWE Wrestlemania 3. The match would be won by Cesaro, who last eliminated the Big Show (who would win this match the following year). Cesaro would turn the win into a failed heel run with Paul Heyman as his manager, and he would later capture the WWE Tag Team Titles.
#2: Legends Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 17)
While from a match time perspective, as it was the shortest of all the battle royals time-wise in WWE history, it was one of the most memorable. Commentary duties would be handled by “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, with Heenan claiming that The Iron Sheik wouldn’t make it to the ring until WWE Wrestlemania 27. The Iron Sheik would walk away victorious in this match, with the rumor going around that he won the match because he couldn’t take the over the top rope bump to the arena floor.
#1: WWE/NFL Stars Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 2)
Not only is this battle royal number one on our list, but it was also the first battle royal in the history of Wrestlemania. The battle royal would be won by the late Andre The Giant, who would later have a battle royal named in his honor that takes place each year at Wrestlemania. This particular battle royal would pit WWE stars against NFL stars, most notably future WWE Hall Of Fame member William “The Refrigerator” Perry. The Iron Sheik, who would win the legends battle royal fifteen years later, also took part in this match. Also of note was that the outside of the ring officials for the match were former NFL players/coaches Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Mike Ditka.