The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will again be held at WrestleMania 33 this year.
This is a contest in which a number of WWE superstars battle it out in order to earn the André The Giant Memorial Trophy. 2017 will be the fourth year of the battle royal, with the event first taking place at WrestleMania 30 in 2014.
The match will held during the WrestleMania 33 kickoff show, which begins at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the WWE Network.
Last year, the winner of the competition was Baron Corbin, and since then, he is almost always introduced by the commentary team as the winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. In 2015, the winner was Big Show, and in 2014, the winner was Cesaro.
It’s likely that a few SmackDown Live superstars will be added to this match on tonight’s episode. However, at this time we still have a pretty good sense of what the match will look like, as 13 participants have been announced.
The participants so far are:
- Sami Zayn – On March 27th’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Zayn declared his intention to enter the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. However, Stephanie McMahon said that he must earn his way into the match, and so she put him into a match against Kevin Owens that night. If Zayn won, he would get a place in the battle royal, and indeed, Zayn was able to defeat Owens.
- Braun Strowman – Braun Strowman said on this week’s Monday Night Raw that he will be targeting Big Show during the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It seems that Strowman does not consider any of these participants other than Big Show to be legitimate challenges to him.
- Goldust – Goldust, who is currently in a tag team with R. Truth, will also participate in the Royal Rumble. He tweeted this week, “#AndreTheGiant Battle Royal is mine @ #Wrestlemania33 . #TimesUp!”
- R-Truth – Goldust’s tag team partner will also participate in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. On this week’s Raw, R. Truth and Goldust both went after Big Show, declaring their intentions to take him out during the battle royal.
- Curtis Axel – Curtis Axel has had little to do since he was drafted to Monday Night Raw in July 2016. He briefly teamed up with Bo Dallas back in October, but Dallas ultimately betrayed him as Axel turned face. Axel will now be an entrant into the battle royal match.
- Primo – Primo makes up one-half of the tag team The Shining Stars, mainly known for sporadic Monday Night Raw appearances during which they attempt to sell a timeshare in Puerto Rico. Their last major role on the red brand came in November when they participated in the Survivor Series tag team match.
- Epico – Epico, the other member of The Shining Stars, will participate in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal alongside his partner, Primo.
- Bo Dallas – After being absent for several months, Bo Dallas returned to Monday Night Raw in September 2016, with his new gimmick being that he holds up a giant sign that says “Bo-lieve in Bo.” For several weeks, he defeated local jobbers, eventually teaming up with and later betraying Curtis Axel.
- Jinder Mahal – Jinder Mahal returned to the WWE in July 2016 after leaving in 2014. In recent months, he has feuded with Rusev, but other than that, he has had little to do. A few weeks ago, he had a match with Roman Reigns which Roman easily won. Jinder was the first person to challenge Big Show during an over the top rope challenge on this week’s Monday Night Raw, but Big Show quickly took him out without much effort.
- Apollo Crews – This will be Apollo Crews’ first time participating in a WrestleMania event, having only made his debut on the main roster last April. His most recent feud was against Dolph Ziggler, who had recently turned heel.
- Mojo Rawley – Mojo Rawley of The Hype Bros has been performing on his own ever since his partner, Zack Ryder, was legitimately injured in December. This came just as The Hype Bros earned themselves a shot at the Tag Team Championship. Rawley later got to participate in the Royal Rumble match in January, during which he was eliminated by Braun Strowman.
- Curt Hawkins – Curt Hawkins made his return to the WWE in July 2016. Since then, his gimmick has been listing off braggadocios and obviously made up facts about himself similar to the “Chuck Norris facts” meme. Hawkins recently said on Twitter, “I spent the morning watching all the Andre Battle Royals on the @WWENetwork …I’m pretty confident I can win this thing. FACT. #WinTheDre.”
- Big Show – Big Show was originally going to fight Shaquille O’Neal at WrestleMania 33, but this reportedly fell through when neither party could come to an agreement on how much money they would be paid for the match. Shaquille O’Neal was a surprise entrant in last year’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This will reportedly be Big Show’s final WrestleMania, as he has said he will retire in early 2018.
- Fandango – Fandango of Breezango was added into the match on SmackDown Live this week.
- Tyler Breeze – Tyler Breeze of Breezango was also added to the match on SmackDown Live this week.
- Rhyno – Rhyno, who is currently in a tag team with Heath Slater, was added into the SmackDown Live match this week. Most recently, Rhyno challenged American Alpha for the Tag Team Championship on SmackDown Live in January, but he and Heath Slater were unsuccessful.
- Heath Slater – Health Slater will also participate in the tag team championship match. Heath Slater is currently in a partnership with Rhyno; his recent gimmick has involved desperately trying to keep his job because he’s got kids.
- Chad Gable – Chad Gable was also recently added into the tag team match. One half of American Alpha, Gable recently lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championship to The Usos.
- Jimmy Uso – Jimmy Usos of The Usos was added into the match this past week. The Usos are the current SmackDown tag team champions.
- Jey Uso – Jimmy Uso’s tag team partner, Jey Uso, will also participate in the match.
- Dolph Ziggler – Dolph Ziggler of SmackDown Live will participate in the match. Ziggler recently turned heel in a storyline in which he attacked Apollo Crews and Kalisto.
- Mark Henry – Mark Henry of Monday Night Raw will participate in the battle royal match.
- Tian Bing – Tian Bing is one of two NXT superstars to participate in the battle royal match
- Killian Dain – Killian Dain, another NXT superstar, will also participate in the match.