Saturday, April 20, 2024
EditorialWho Should/Will Win the 2024 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?

Who Should/Will Win the 2024 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?

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The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal has been a WrestleMania Week tradition for 10 years now. Every year since WrestleMania 30—outside of during the 2020 COVID lockdown—the trophy has been on the line in some fashion, be it on the show itself or, in recent years, the SmackDown prior to WrestleMania.

It took until a week out this year to announce it was even returning, and each year, it gets less and less valuable when WWE continues to not bother pushing the winner for more than a week or two after the win.

Nevertheless, I’m a fan of the concept and I wish they would do more with it, so I put it up on a pedestal higher than most fans and I get genuinely invested in the possible winners and outcomes. Therefore, since it’s not something to lump into WrestleMania predictions itself, I figured I’d give a rundown to what we’re getting, who’s missing from the lineup, which Superstars I think have the best chances to win and who I think would be the best choice to come out on top.

Let’s get into it!

Advertised 2024 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Competitors Participants List

If we’re going based on the graphic they put out, the following names are scheduled to appear in this match:

  • Akira Tozawa
  • Andrade
  • Apollo Crews
  • Ashante Adonis
  • Bronson Reed
  • Brutus Creed
  • Cameron Grimes
  • Cedric Alexander
  • Chad Gable
  • Elton Prince
  • Ivar
  • JD McDonagh
  • Julius Creed
  • Kit Wilson
  • Omos
  • Otis
  • Ricochet
  • Sanga
  • Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Veer

Technically, there are others who could be in this match, but aren’t listed. Even if we ignore how there’s a chance someone from NXT like a Xyon Quinn or Von Wagner (technically “free agents” for the main roster) or even Carmelo Hayes could appear, and limit it to just the true main roster talent, there are some missing names.

For those wondering, injured or otherwise inactive Superstars on the main roster are as follows:

  • Braun Strowman (injured)
  • Brock Lesnar (taken out of the picture with the lawsuit going on)
  • CM Punk (injured)
  • Dexter Lumis (MIA for whatever reason)
  • Erik (injured)
  • Odyssey Jones (MIA for whatever reason)
  • Sheamus (injured)

There are also non-injured main roster Superstars simply not listed on this graphic, suspiciously:

  • The Pride (Bobby Lashley, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford)
  • Final Testament (Karrion Kross, Akam, Rezar)
  • Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo
  • Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser
  • Carlito, Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde
  • Bron Breakker
  • Solo Sikoa

Looking at that group, I still think The Pride and The Final Testament will be in a match together, the LWO and Legado Del Fantasma members are going to be involved in that tag match when things go haywire ringside, and I naturally expect Vinci and Kaiser of Imperium to accompany Gunther ringside, just as Sikoa will OBVIOUSLY be heavily involved in The Bloodline. Breakker is the outlier. More on him in a bit.

Now that we know what we’re working with, let’s pinpoint the Superstars who stand the best chance to win the trophy this year.

Who SHOULD Win the 2024 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?

Already, we can rule out 90% of this field in my mind. No shade to them, but Pretty Deadly, Ashante, Cedric, Indus Sher, Cameron Grimes, Brutus, Crews, Ivar, McDonagh and all members of Alpha Academy except Chad Gable are just a no-vote for me.

That basically narrows it down to: Andrade, Bronson Reed, Chad Gable, Julius Creed, Omos, Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura and, if I had it my way, they’d throw Bron Breakker and Solo Sikoa into it.

Omos pretty much had his opportunity. Giving this to him now means next to nothing, and someone else would benefit from it more. But this could be one way to give him some more momentum, so I wouldn’t rule him out as quickly as the others. Still, I’d pick some others over him.

Sadly, Ricochet and Nakamura aren’t as high up on my list, either. They’re great, but I have zero faith winning this match will turn things around for them. WWE won’t push them coming out of it. Let’s give it to someone who could benefit more.

Julius Creed is a guy I think will eventually get a singles push. Now isn’t the time. But if by some whacked out philosophy, WWE wants to break him away from Brutus sooner rather than later, he’d get a huge boost from winning this.

Sikoa, as stated, isn’t in the match. I’d have given him the win last year or so instead, more so than this year. Still, a win for this could give The Bloodline even more momentum. Having Rock and Roman Reigns pull strings to get him included and seeing him be successful, and then, maybe even Jimmy Uso beats Jey Uso and Rock/Roman beat Cody/Seth on Night 1. Rollins loses his title to Drew McIntyre and by the time we get to the main event of Night 2, it seems like The Bloodline will do a full sweep. I’d be totally down for that all starting with Sikoa winning this. Alas, he’s not advertised.

Reed is interesting. He’s exactly the type of guy who could win this and make it believable due to his size, as well as right in the midcard spot that he could benefit. I’d put a lot of stock into him winning if I had any creative control.

Gable is a solid pick, too. He isn’t getting the Intercontinental Championship match even with Lesnar out of the picture. They bypassed him for Zayn, and people were upset, so maybe this can be viewed as a “next-best-thing” win for him? For that matter, if Zayn comes up short, maybe Gable could use this ATGMBR win to catapult him into becoming the next No. 1 contender and he can beat Gunther on Raw or at Backlash.

If it were up to me, though, I’d toss Bron Breakker into the match and have him win. The two arguments I could see against it, though (outside of how he’s not currently announced for it—but WWE plays fast and loose on those graphics anyway and he might still be included) would be that he already has something going on that weekend with defending the NXT Tag Team Championship at Stand & Deliver, and that if WWE gave him this win, it’s too much too fast. Arguably, he should be the guy to beat Gunther, and there should be at least another month or so of building him up to get that title shot, and this win could turn the crowd against him.

And then, there’s Andrade. He’s done nothing of note since his return. How much do you want to rectify that and prevent him from losing steam, and how much do you want to really put the spotlight on him?

Who WILL Win the 2024 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?

Andrade is my main prediction, for one main reason: it’s easy.

WWE doesn’t care about this match. Not even as much as I do. 10 years of that have proven it. Just look at the list of people who have won it, and even more so, how they were utilized after. Did this really do anything for Cesaro, Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley, Matt Hardy, Madcap Moss, etc?

That, combined with how this went from being at WrestleMania to being on SmackDown, and the last-minute announcement of it even happening all the time, just speaks “whatever, how about this guy?” type of an attitude to this booking.

Now, I mention a lot of names that I would be pitching if I were on WWE Creative. But notice how all of them have if/then/but statements or other factors. Yes, you could do something with Gable, but if WWE doesn’t WANT to do anything with the winner, then why bother? They’d prefer telling the “Gable gains momentum and gets another title shot” story in another way that would be more appealing to them, than to give him this.

Breakker not being on the graphic makes me think they don’t want him in this match because he’s not their plan to win, and there’s no point in having him lose. The same as why Sikoa isn’t involved. But if he does randomly get added to the match, he’ll jump straight up to being equal to Andrade for my prediction, if not just a tiny bit under El Idolo.

Andrade winning this checks off some easy boxes for WWE. It technically gives him something that he can say he did at WrestleMania, and they’ll pitch it like they gave him an impressive, big achievement, so he doesn’t feel slighted. It maintains some spotlight on him while he clearly has nothing to do, and they’ll come back around to giving him a storyline after WrestleMania.

It would also fit the trend of these winners being people who do nothing with it after, as I fully expect Andrade winning this to not factor whatsoever into the future. It’ll merely be mentioned for a few weeks that he did win that, when he’s fighting random people on Raw. No storyline will come out of this except maybe that it’s a better pitch for Dominik Mysterio to suggest he joins The Judgment Day and basically say to the others “Hey guys, look at what Andrade did. We really should be trying to schmooze him up to join us.”

Maybe it’ll even be the reason Andrade doesn’t join, as he’s a winner and they might lose the tag titles (and Rhea Ripley might lose her title, and Dom lose the tag match). But even that sounds like a pitch that I’d toss out there and probably be told that that’s putting too much investment in the ATGMBR and they simply wanted Andrade to win just to give him something to do.

Much like how Lashley won last year because his match got cancelled, and how a few other guys won in years where they just had nothing else going on (Strowman, Jey) I think Andrade has fallen into that category. WWE didn’t factor him into WrestleMania plans a few months ago since he was in AEW. Once he joined, they didn’t want to rearrange anything for him, couldn’t figure out another spot for him, and figured this would suffice.

It will. And it’ll be forgotten about a week later.

Who do you think will win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal this year? Drop your predictions and any other thoughts in the comments below!

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