By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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WWE introduced fans to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX and I was in the crowd watching live. I figured The Big Show or Sheamus would be the winner. I was pleasantly surprised when Cesaro tossed Show over the top rope to win the event and the enormous trophy with Andre the Giant perched on top.
In the weeks and months that followed the victory I expected big things for Cesaro. Sure he had already held the U.S. Championship, but I thought the win would line him up for a run with the Intercontinental Championship or in my fantasy land of booking, a series of matches against the newly crowned WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan. Instead it seemed winning the battle royal was a curse as Cesaro went on a pretty big losing streak, missing opportunities against the secondary champions and other Superstars on the card.
|Cesaro and the big trophy|
Finally in early 2015 Cesaro and Tyson Kidd formed a pretty awesome tag team and won the championships. They held the belts twice before Kidd ended up getting injured. Cesaro toiled on the mid-card with little success before getting hurt himself and spending some time of television. I popped like everyone else in the crowd at the Raw after WrestleMania 32 when The Swiss Superman returned.
He had a promising run coming back, but was still unable to capture singles gold. Then Raw General Manger put he and rival Sheamus together and the duo pulled off a big win, ending the New Day's record breaking tag team title run. Their title reign was short lived though, but they remain in the hunt and go for the gold (or copper) this Sunday at WrestleMania 33.
Another Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, Baron Corbin gets a shot at gold in what will be his second WrestleMania match. Winning the trophy at 32 was a huge accomplishment for his debut. The followup hasn't been shabby for the former NXT star. He's getting a crack at Dean Ambrose's Intercontinental Championship. I'm still not sold on Corbin, but I do believe he will unseat Ambrose Sunday. It gives me anxiety to think he'll be 2 and 0 at WrestleMania and could be building a streak before you know it...
|Baron Corbin in 2016|
The Big Show is the other Superstar to win the battle royal. He's actually competed in all three and is set to appear again in this year's. That's probably a big indication that WWE Creative has nothing much for Big Show who has become more of an attraction in the last few years anyway.
|Big Show celebrating at Raw|
I never expected Show to go on to win gold again, but I figured since he won the Battle Royal in 2015 they'd at least do something to showcase him. WrestleMania 33 was supposed to feature the (not so) much anticipated battle with Shaq. Now it appears they're grooming him to pass the torch to Braun Strowman who I have no doubt will win Sunday's battle royal. With that win I predict an even bigger push than he's seen, simply because he's a "big bastard" and we know how Vince McMahon feels about those kinds of Superstars.
|Braun will win this year|
So while two past winners are going for championship gold at WrestleMania and one is looking to pass the torch, I still find the battle royal interesting. Yeah it's filler to get everyone on the show or at least almost everyone, but I don't really have a problem with that. It is the biggest night of the year and Superstars all deserve a moment to shine.