Previously, RAW after Wrestlemania, which, as the name suggests, is the first Monday Night RAW following the end of the year's WrestleMania, was arguably just as big of a draw as the Show of Shows. Now, the WWE is turning the final episode of Friday Night SmackDown before The Granddaddy of Them All into every bit of an extravaganza.
To drive the point home, it once again confirmed a previously WrestleMania-exclusive tradition for it.
The world's foremost wrestling promotion announced it's bringing back this year's Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale during the March 31 episode of Friday Night SmackDown.
Here's a complete list of all the participants:
- Joaquin Wilde
- Cruz Del Toro
- Karl Anderson
- Luke Gallows
- Shelton Benjamin
- Cedric Alexander
- Angel Garza
- Humberto Carrillo
- Ashante Adonis
- Top Dolla
- Santos Escobar
- Dexter Lumis
- Ridge Holland
- Dolph Ziggler
- Mustafa Ali
- Rick BOOGS
- Johnny Gargano
- Xavier Woods
- LA Knight
- Bobby Lashley
- Karrion Kross
- Baron Corbin
- Bronson Reed
- Madcap Moss
André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal returns next week on #SmackDown! pic.twitter.com/nyqp89rQ7J
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 25, 2023
The prevailing theory is that this year's Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale is specifically meant for Lashley to shine.
Lashley was initially set up to feud against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 39 but the WWE's plans appear to have changed as a result of an undisclosed illness.
As it's running out of time, the most likely scenario here is the WWE is setting up Lashley against another Superstar for the weekend. Most signs point to LA Knight, who, coincidentally, is the only wrestler to square off against Bray Wyatt since his return to the WWE.
However, it wouldn't surprise us if the WWE will use this to set up a triple-threat match, adding Lashley to the previously-confirmed seismic bout between Brock Lesnar and Omos.
One of the biggest criticisms about the Andrew the Giant Memorial Battle Royale is its lack of importance. It's not like the annual Royal Rumble where the champion goes on to fight against the defending champion at that particular year's WrestleMania.
At this point, the Andrew the Giant Memorial Battle Royale is more of a showcase than a match with bearings.
But, then again, who knows? Lashley is one of the biggest stars in the WWE. Triple H will waste his talents if he doesn't have plans for The Almighty at WrestleMania 39.