Battle royal (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, a battle royal (sometimes battle royale; plural battles royal or battle royals) is a multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until one is left and declared winner. Typical battle royals begin with a number of participants in the ring, who are then eliminated by going over the top rope and having both feet touch the venue floor.
- 1 Variations
- 1.1 Battlebowl
- 1.2 Battle Zone
- 1.3 Bunkhouse Stampede
- 1.4 Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale
- 1.5 Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royal
- 1.6 Hardcore battle royal
- 1.7 Last Blood battle royal
- 1.8 Reverse battle royal
- 1.9 Thunderbowl
- 1.10 TNA Knockout Makeover Battle Royal
- 1.11 Women's battle royal
- 1.12 World War 3
- 2 Rumble rules battle royals
- 3 Team variations
- 4 References
- 5 Further reading
A two-ring variation on a battle royal, the wrestlers start in one ring and try to throw wrestlers into the second ring, after which they can be eliminated by being thrown out of that ring. The last remaining wrestler in the first ring can rest until only one wrestler was left in the second ring, after which they fight in both rings until one is eliminated and a winner is declared, in similar fashion to a double elimination tournament. This was held by World Championship Wrestling at the 1991 Starrcade event, but future Battlebowl matches were contested under normal battle royal rules.
Any number of men: One ring- Over the top rope elimination. Typical battle royal, except this one features tables covered with barbed wire, thumbtacks, and light bulbs on the outside of the ring, which may catch wrestlers as they are thrown out of the ring.
The National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) Bunkhouse Stampede involved wrestlers wearing what was described as "bunkhouse gear"—cowboy boots, jeans, T-shirts—instead of their normal wrestling tights and not only allowed but encouraged the bringing of weapons. In 1988 the NWA named a pay-per-view after the Bunkhouse Stampede, headlined by a Bunkhouse Stampede match held inside a cage.
Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale
The Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale is used by All Elite Wrestling (AEW). The match features twelve wrestlers fighting in a standard battle royal, with the final two competitors remaining in the ring going on to face each other at a later date in order to win a special prize.
Only one such match type has taken place so far on a November 2019 episode of AEW Dynamite. Adam Page and MJF were the final two combatants; MJF would defeat Page on the following week's episode of Dynamite and was awarded the "AEW Dynamite Diamond Ring".
Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royal
A WWE women's battle royal with the addition of fetish outfits, such as french maid, nurse, schoolgirl, etc. Often the type of outfit is chosen by an audience poll.
Hardcore battle royal
A battle royal with hardcore rules (no disqualifications and no count-outs) involving several competitors in the ring at the same time. The match could last for either 15 or 20 minutes. All participants are not eliminated by being thrown out of the ring both feet touching the floor. Pinning or forcing to submit whomever was current Hardcore champion would result in the victorious participant becoming the interim champion. Whoever the person held the title at end of time limit would be declared the winner of the match and the official champion.
Last Blood battle royal
Reverse battle royal
Generally used in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, a reverse battle royal begins with wrestlers surrounding the ring instead of inside it. At the start of the match they battle for half of them to get into the ring, at which point a standard last person standing wins the battle royal.
A variation of Battlebowl involves 100 wrestlers split into 50 in two rings. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the ropes. No matter how and where you hit, whether its apron, floor or barricade you are also eliminated. When 25 wrestlers are left in each ring stage 2 begins. This 2nd stage is when all 25 wrestlers get into one ring and there is no elimination. After a 5-minute period, the match turns into a Battle Royal where elimination is gained by throwing your opponent over the ropes and to the floor. When 5 wrestlers remain stage 3 begins. This 3rd stage then turns into a 5-Way match where pinfall and submission will eliminate an opponent. When 2 wrestlers are left, the match turns into a last man standing where KO is legal.
TNA Knockout Makeover Battle Royal
Match will begin as the multi-women over-the-top elimination battle royal. They are eliminated from the match if they being thrown over the top ropes and both feet landing the floor until final two competitors are left. The final two competitors will face each other in a ladder match, where the winner will receive a TNA Knockout Championship match, while the runner-up will have her head shaved.
Women's battle royal
A women's battle royal is one which features female competitors. This variant may allow women to be eliminated by being thrown through or under the ropes as well as over the top rope, although WWE's first official women's Royal Rumble match in 2018 used the same rules as the men's version.
World War 3
Created by World Championship Wrestling in 1995, the World War 3 battle royal involved a three-ring setup and 60 competitors. 20 wrestlers started in each of the 3 rings in which they would wrestle under regular battle royal rules. Once there were 30 competitors remaining (except in 1997, where the number was 20), all competitors would enter the center ring and continue under regular rules until only one wrestler was left standing.
Rumble rules battle royals
In this version – unlike traditional battle royals where all the wrestlers begin the match in the ring – the competitors (after numbers 1 and 2 begin the match) enter at timed intervals in accordance with the number that they have drawn until the entire field has entered.
WWE's Royal Rumble is the original battle royal to use this format. It begins with two wrestlers in the ring, with the remaining participants introduced one by one at a set time period, usually 90 seconds or two minutes. Elimination occurs in the normal way with the last person standing as the winner, after all participants have entered the ring. Currently, the winner receives a guaranteed shot at either of the two possible top championships—the Universal Championship (Raw) or WWE Championship (SmackDown) for the men's winner, and the Raw or SmackDown Women's Championship for the women's winner. These matches take place at the WrestleMania that follows the Royal Rumble.
New Japan Rumble
New Japan Pro-Wrestling's annual "Rumble" battle royal, takes place on the pre-show of Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. Participants enter at one minute intervals and are eliminated via pinfall, submission or by being thrown over the top rope. Typically leaning towards light comedy, the match includes past stars as surprise entrants.
Gauntlet for the Gold
Gauntlet for the Gold is the "Rumble" style battle royal used by Impact Wrestling. In this version two wrestlers begin in the ring, with additional wrestlers entering on a set time period. Wrestlers are eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and to the floor until two wrestlers are left, at which point a standard singles match begins.
Square Go! is Insane Championship Wrestling's (ICW) very own hybrid of WWE's Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches. The competitors will compete in a 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royal, the Square Go!, with the winner earning the Square Go Briefcase. It has mostly the same rules apply as Royal Rumble, two competitors who draw the numbers 1 and 2. The remaining participants which will enter the ring one-by-one at every 2 minute intervals.
5 people have drawn entry numbers that allow them to carry a weapon of their choice into the ring.
Participants were eliminated when thrown over the top ropes with both feet landing on the floor. The winner will win a briefcase that will entitle him to a match for the ICW World Championship at any time and anywhere of their choosing for 1 year (similar to Money in the Bank).
Aztec Warfare is the Lucha Underground version of the "Rumble Rules" battle royal. Upwards to 20 participants enter every 90 seconds and elimination occurs by either pinfall or submission and has to take place inside the ring. There are no count-outs and no disqualifications. As of April 2019, four Aztec Warfare matches have occurred—one in each season of Lucha Underground.
Casino Battle Royale
The Casino Battle Royale is utilized by All Elite Wrestling (AEW). It is a modified rumble rules battle royal that features 21 entrants. It begins with a group of five wrestlers, and every three minutes, another group of five wrestlers enter, while the 21st and final entrant enters alone. The wrestlers are grouped based on the suit they drew from a deck of cards – spades, diamonds, clubs, or hearts – and the order of when each group enters is based on a random draw of the cards. The 21st and final entrant is the wrestler who drew the joker.
Only two Casino Battle Royales have occurred, both of which earned the winner a match for the top championship of their respective division. The first Casino Battle Royale occurred during the pre-show of AEW's inaugural event, Double or Nothing, on May 25, 2019, and was an all-male match. The winner of the inaugural match received a match for the inaugural AEW World Championship. The second Casino Battle Royale was an all-female version and was held during the pre-show of All Out on August 31. The winner of this second iteration received a match for the inaugural AEW Women's World Championship.
Team variations of battle royals consist of designated tag teams of wrestlers, usually two to a team. There are different types of such matches, and though most follow normal battle royal rules, teams may be eliminated when either one or both partners are eliminated from the ring. One notable version was the battle royal prior to WrestleMania XV, where each wrestler fought as a singles competitor, with the final two in the ring named joint winners, earning the right to challenge for the promotion's tag team championship later that night.
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