Welcome to Coliseum Corner. In this edition we are paying tribute to one of the oldest and yet most entertaining matches in wrestling history, the Battle Royal.
Every year, the Road to WrestleMania begins with the Royal Rumble match. Unlike the Royal Rumble, a Battle Royal traditionally begins with all participants present at the start of the match. The rules, as most of you will know, are to eliminate each opponent by sending them over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. It is every man for himself (or woman in some cases) and the final competitor in the ring will be declared the winner.
Traditionally, there are 20 men in a Battle Royal. However, there have been variations where this match has seen; more famously 16 and 40 men featured.
With WrestleMania just around the corner it seems fitting that at least one of its Battle Royals are talked about in this week’s Coliseum Corner. At WrestleMania IV, the opening match saw 20 men compete for a giant trophy. It took two referees to deliver the prize to ringside. This encounter saw such superstars as Junkyard Dog, Hillbilly Jim, the Hart Foundation, Harley Race and Bad News Brown all gunning for the prestigious prize.
Bret Hart and Bad News Brown would be the final two in this match, until Brown outsmarted the ‘Hit Man’ to earn the prize… until Bret destroyed it!
Coliseum Video’s The Best of WWF series were the longest running of releases, with 20 volumes. In the final edition of Best of WWF, a 16 man battle Royal that was taped in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on May 1, 1989 saw such superstars as the Blue Blazer, Demolition, the Twin Towers, Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart, who had all competed in matches earlier in the evening, participate.
In this main event, it would be Bret last eliminating Mr. Perfect to earn the victory.
In October 1991, the Superstars of the WWF travelled to London to compete at the Royal Albert Hall. This Coliseum Video (a European exclusive) gave fans an opportunity to see their fellow countryman, Davey Boy Smith who overcame the double teaming tactics of Typhoon and the Mountie.
This 20 man battle also featured The Nasty Boys, the Undertaker, Earthquake, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, The Rockers and more in a star studded affair that entertained the WWF fans in London.
In our final offering for this week’s Coliseum Corner, this next match was included on Invasion of the Bodyslammers video. For this bout, we travel back to the fourth episode of Monday Night Raw (broadcast February 1, 1993).
Tito Santana, Tatanka and Razor Ramon were the final three of 16 Superstars in the match until the unstoppable (or so we were led to believe) Giant Gonzales interfered and threw Santana and Tatanka over the top rope. Meanwhile, Razor Ramon had been hiding on the outside and when it was safe to re-enter the ring, it was an automatic victory for the ‘Bad Guy’.
That’s all for this edition of Coliseum Corner. We’ll see you next time. For more discussion about the classic WWF years follow me on Twitter: @ColiseumCorner.
I also liked the Battle Royal from RAW in the summer I believe of 1996. Ahmed Johnson, Goldust, Sid, and Stone Cold were the final four. Mankind was in the match has was Taker, but Taker eliminated Manind and then himself to go after Mankind.
One of my favorite battle royals was the one in 1993 on Monday Night RAW for the vacant Intercontinental championship. Which led to a great match the following week between Razor Ramon and Rick Martel for the title. That was the only battle royal I saw live in person.
i wish that battle royal from raw 1993 was thrown on The Best of Seasons 1 and 2 of RAW.
On one of the Coliseum Video releases from 1992/1993 (I believe “Bashed in the USA”), there was a huge 40 Man Battle Royal…probably the biggest ever up to that time. Although the match was sprinkled with a handful of jobbers to round out the 40 men, I remember it being entertaining at the time. The early part of the match was interesting just for the fact that the guys literally had no room to move, let alone execute maneuvers, with so many bodies in the standard size ring. No need to worry though…Gorilla Monsoon was sure to have let us known that the ring was specially reinforced for the match.
Back in 1988-89 there was an advertisement from Coliseum Video about a future VHS named “The Battle Royal”. I don’t remember on what tape it was playing, but I remember they showed footage from Royal Rumble 1988. It was never released.
Yeah it was cancelled and replaced on the schedule with the “Women Of The WWF” video. Not sure why it got cancelled.
nice, I didn’t know that 🙂
WrestleMania IV’s VHS was $59.95?!?!?!?!?!
Correction: only $59.95. 😉
Back then most Coliseum Videos would cost anywhere from $29.95 to $39.95. WrestleMania IV was a double tape release. So I guess that’s how they justified the price. Still ridiculously high though.
The budget releases were $19.99 whereas the regular PPVs and Superstar/match compilations were $40-$60.
During that time it was pretty rare to own the WWF tapes since they were high in price and the only way to really get your hands on them was to rent them out from the local rental places which only use to carry about 1 copy.
The ppvs were actually cheaper then buying the tapes.
In Canada i remember WCW VHS were around the same price which were up to $60 for a ppv like Superbrawl IX. Crazy prices.
Yep, i agree, i love to all of the WCW world War 3 battle royals be included in a DVD someday. Also including all battle royals that were on WWE television. I do love to see the intercontinental battle royal the one that Ramon and martel from Raw in Oct 1993. I hope WWE will consider doing this project some day.
I think WWE should do a Battle Royal dvd set featuring such Battle Royals as WCW’s BattleBowl and World War 3 events, WrestleMania IV’s match, the first-ever and 40-man Royal Rumble matches and more!!!
If they were to re-release the Best of the WWF Series as a DVD box set, I’d probably buy it. Lots of great rare vintage matches from the 80’s. Anyone else think this would be a great idea?