For nearly 10 years, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal has been a WrestleMania tradition. Outside of 2020 when COVID-19 threw Mania plans into a frenzy, there has been one every year, even if it has to go on the SmackDown prior to Mania itself.
So far, WWE has yet to announce that this match is even returning for WrestleMania 39, let alone in what fashion. We don’t know if it will be on SmackDown for the third year in a row, at Mania itself, who will compete, or anything about it.
But since I’m a fan of the match and I wish it not only would return to WrestleMania (at least on the kickoff) but also finally be worth a damn with someone WWE is willing to push for more than 2 weeks after winning the trophy, and there are a LOT of Superstars not currently booked for WrestleMania, I think now’s about time to start talking about how this could go down.
Predictions are out of the mix until WWE announces something. But that doesn’t stop us from fantasy booking what we would do if WWE Creative suddenly woke up and asked someone to put this match together right now.
That means the main rules I’m setting for myself are that injured talent is off the table, as are Superstars already booked for WrestleMania. That means I’m taking out names that I think are locked in, even if they haven’t been announced yet, like The Usos, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor and Edge, Gunther, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre, etc.
I’m also limiting myself to just Raw and SmackDown talent, rather than incorporating NXT.
Who is still left to pick from? Which wrestlers should compete in the match? How would I book it to go down? Let’s get into it!
2023 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Competitors List
Here is the full list of available talent. People in bold are the ones I would actively focus on doing something with during the match, while the rest are just there to get eliminated, essentially.
- Akira Tozawa
- Angel Garza
- Angelo Dawkins
- Ashante “Thee” Adonis
- Baron Corbin
- Braun Strowman
- Bronson Reed
- Cedric Alexander
- Chad Gable
- Cruz Del Toro
- Damian Priest
- Dexter Lumis
- Dolph Ziggler
- Giovanni Vinci
- Humberto Carrillo
- Joaquin Wilde
- Johnny Gargano
- Karl Anderson
- Karrion Kross
- Kofi Kingston
- LA Knight
- Ludwig Kaiser
- Luke Gallows
- Madcap Moss
- Montez Ford
- Mustafa Ali
- Rick Boogs
- Ridge Holland
- Santos Escobar
- Shelton Benjamin
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Solo Sikoa
- Top Dolla
- Xavier Woods
Someone like Top Dolla isn’t a focal point beyond being eliminated. Let’s reference him going over the top rope. Maybe he’s tossed out by Rick Boogs as a highlight moment for him.
I’d play into the tag teams here. Boogs and Elias could both be taken out by either one person to show their dominance (like Bronson Reed) or by another tag team they can start to feud with (like The Viking Raiders).
Dolph Ziggler and Mustafa Ali eliminate each other, for sure.
Chad Gable and Otis and Maximum Male Models clearly have a moment together, but none of them are winning, so it ultimately doesn’t matter much.
The real standouts here that have a chance to win are the ones in bold: Baron Corbin, Braun Strowman, Bronson Reed, Damian Priest, Dexter Lumis, Johnny Gargano, Karrion Kross, LA Knight and Solo Sikoa.
We have enough Judgment Day representation going on with Mania so far. It’s a shame Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley could all get highlights while Priest would be left out, but I don’t think Balor wins, so let’s take Priest out of the running to win this.
Corbin’s going with the loser thing again, so he can’t win. He should put up a fight, but still come up short.
I’d have Lumis taken out by some distraction with Scarlett and Nikki Cross, so Karrion Kross can toss Lumis out of the ring. Spooky characters crossover! Likewise, I’d have Johnny Gargano get thrown out by Kross, too. I love Gargano, but he’s got a featured match at Stand & Deliver against Grayson Waller, so he doesn’t need this win.
This comes down to Reed, Strowman, Kross, LA Knight and Solo Sikoa. In fact, let’s make them the final 5, with Knight in the middle of the ring while the other 4 are in the corners, so he feels trapped.
All of them make for decent winners, but Strowman has already done this before. He’s the only babyface of the bunch, so he should last until the end, but he’s definitely not winning.
The way I see it, it all depends on who WWE wants to get the big push.
Reed probably gets taken out by Strowman. Overall, that won’t make him look weak. The Monster of All Monsters is huge and a former universal champion.
Kross needs a win. He’s done nothing since returning. But is this going to be what propels him forward, or is he just going to lose more steam because he actually needs a decent feud to sink his teeth into?
LA Knight makes for a great case to swoop in at the last second and toss out both Strowman and Kross, if those were the final two. He’d cut the best promos coming out of it.
At the end of the day, since so much of WrestleMania seems to be about The Bloodline potentially losing their titles, I would go with Solo Sikoa winning this for 2023. It gives him something to hang his hat on and boosts the perception that maybe The Bloodline won’t lose at Mania.
Bonus Round: Women’s Division
Just for the sake of it, let me toss out another idea that I’ve always been harping on: the women’s division should have the same thing, called the Chyna Memorial Battle Royal. She’s the Ninth Wonder of the World just like Andre was the Eighth. It just makes sense.
Plus, look at all the women left off the card for WrestleMania who could compete in this match:
- Alexa Bliss (MIA?)
- Aliyah (injured?)
- Candice LeRae (injured?)
- Chelsea Green
- Dana Brooke
- Lacey Evans
- Liv Morgan
- Nikki Cross
- Piper Niven
- Raquel Rodriguez
- Shotzi Blackheart
- Sonya Deville
- Tamina Snuka
- Tegan Nox
- Xia Li
- Zelina Vega
I do think we’ll see Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler fighting for the tag team titles either on the SmackDown prior to WrestleMania 39, or on night 2 with Becky Lynch and Lita doing double-duty. Otherwise, I would have them on this list, too.
I’m assuming everyone else, save for possibly Alexa Bliss, Aliyah and Candice LeRae, are able to go and can compete, and I’m not bothering to put Maxxine Dupri or Scarlett here because they just don’t wrestle.
So this has the same setup wherein the names in bold are the only ones that really matter. The rest are there to get eliminated.
Chelsea Green, for instance, would naturally be in a joke spot. I’d like to see Dana Brooke and Emma try to team up again. Valhalla is getting taken out by Liv Morgan, for sure, to reference their friendship.
This feels like it should be a Natalya type thing for her to win, but it wouldn’t matter. To be honest, I would imagine WWE wouldn’t care whatsoever to follow up on that. It’d be a win just for the sake of patting her on the back after all these years.
Lacey Evans just can’t work out the formula for her character yet. I’d book her to be strong here, but she’s taken out toward the end, for sure. The same goes for Sonya Deville. She lasts until close to the end, but ultimately falls short.
My final 4 would be Evans or Deville, Morgan, Piper Niven, and Raquel Rodriguez. And while I’d like to give Morgan the win, I think the better story to tell for this would be the two biggest women in the match at the end.
Rodriguez eliminates Niven for the win. This is another crowning achievement for her, since they seem to only want to give her short tag title runs. At least now, she can be touted as winning this battle royal to illustrate her dominance.
How would you book WrestleMania 39 battle royal matches? Drop your fantasy scenarios in the comments below!
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