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.