I welcomed the news straight from Hulk Hogan’s lips on Monday Night Raw that WrestleMania XXX will host the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
It’s a nice nod to Andre, who was instrumental in putting WrestleMania I on the map and was in the ring with Hogan during the biggest Mania main match ever at WrestleMania III.
WrestleMania could use a new tradition. For a while, fans looked forward to the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania, but the WWE wisely moved that match to its own pay-per-view because the concept was solid. We have the Undertaker streak, too, but that can’t last many more years.
It would be cool if the WWE used the Andre battle royal as a way to indicate that a lower-level star was going to break out the pack and be elevated: You win the battle royal, and you’re on your way. The WWE really doesn’t have any match or event that acts as a doorway for younger stars to step through.
Over the years, WrestleMania has occasionally held battle royals. Ironically, Andre probably won the most remembered of those battle royals, when he bested everyone else in ring to the win it at WrestleMania 2. That was the battle royal that also included then-NFL stars like William “The Refrigerator” Perry and Bill Fralic.
Let’s hope the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is more than just a filler match.