In professional wrestling, a battle royal (sometimes battle royale; plural battles royal) is a multi-competitor match in which wrestlers are eliminated from the match upon being thrown over the top rope and out of the ring, with both feet touching the floor of the venue.
Traditional battles royal begin with 10, 15, 20 or more wrestlers in the ring and are continued until one competitor remains. The method of elimination is typically by removing opponents from the ring by throwing them over the top rope (and causing both feet to firmly hit the floor); sometimes, elimination by pinfall or knockout are allowed.
In American women's battles royal and in Bra and Panties Gauntlet matches you must strip the Diva and then throw them out, but due to the perceived difficulty of throwing opponents over the top rope, eliminations may be permitted by an egress between ropes (with some promotions also consider an egress under the bottom rope as an elimination).
Gauntlet for the Gold
The Gauntlet for the Gold is a variation on the battle royal held by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Two "randomly selected" wrestlers begin in the ring, with additional wrestlers entering the ring after a set time period (it is therefore desirable to have a high entrance number). Wrestlers are eliminated upon being thrown over the top rope and to the ground below. When only two wrestlers are left, the match becomes a standard singles match.
The Bunkhouse Stampede was a battle royal occasionally used in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Wrestlers would be dressed in "bunkhouse" clothes, such as cowboy boots and jeans. Wrestlers would also be allowed, and encouraged, to use weapons in the match. Nikita Koloff would use a chain and the Road Warriors would use their traditional spikes. The NWA even named one of their early pay-per-views, Bunkhouse Stampede, after the match.
Last Blood battle royal
Held in the Tri-State Wrestling Association, a predecessor to Extreme Championship Wrestling, wrestlers were eliminated when they began to bleed, with the last wrestler not bleeding the winner. Mick Foley mentioned this match in his book Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks.
The Royal Rumble is a 30-person battle royal held annually in the month of January by World Wrestling Entertainment. It is held under standard battle royal rules, with the exception that two wrestlers begin in the ring and more wrestlers enter the ring after a set time period, rather than all the wrestlers beginning in the ring. Several other "sideshow" Royal Rumble matches have been held over the years, such as the "Corporate Royal Rumble" in 1999, a tag team battle royal in 1998 and a mini-Royal Rumble on WWE SmackDown! in 2004 (a few days after the 2004 Royal Rumble).
Team variations of battle royals consist of two or more teams of wrestlers, with the number of wrestlers on each team usually being equal. There are different types of such matches:
- A team is eliminated when only one wrestler for that team is eliminated. Matches end when there is only one team (the winners), which has not been eliminated.
- Matches end when there are wrestlers for only one team (the winners), who have not been eliminated.
World War 3
World War III was a three-ring, 60-man battle royal held annually by World Championship Wrestling. All sixty men are randomly assigned to a specific ring, and the match begins with all sixty men in the three rings when the bell rings. A competitor must knock their opponent over the top rope of the ring, and both feet must touch the floor of the arena in order to eliminate said opponent from the match (this rule was amended in 1998 to allow for eliminations if a person leaves the ring in any way, in addition to counting pinfalls and submissions). When 30 men remain, they move to the central ring and the match continues (This rule was amended in 1998 so that the competitors had to move to the central ring once 40 men had been eliminated). The last man standing in the ring was declared the winner.
This match was held in their November pay-per-view event from 1995 to 1998. Randy Savage won the first three-ring, 60-man battle royal, and was thus awarded the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In the three PPVs to follow, the match was used to determine the number one contender to the title. However, that did not mean that the winner of the battle royal would automatically get a title match at the next pay-per-view. 1996 winner The Giant, a member of the nWo at the time of his win, did not get his title match until January at Souled Out, promptly losing. The following year, nWo member Scott Hall won the battle royal, but did not receive his title match until March 1998, due in part to a vacated title and a controversial finish to the December 1997 Starrcade main event. 1998's winner, Kevin Nash, was the only one to get an immediate title match at Starrcade.
WWE Divas Battle Royal
A Divas battle royal in the WWE is a battle royal consisting of all female compeitors. The battle royal is mainly aimed at either the Women's title, a contenders opportunity at the title, or some sort of theme mainly used to entertain the crowd by having the divas wear various skimpy outfits. As stated by Jonathan Coachman on the February 20, 2006 edition of RAW, during a contender's Divas battle royal, a participant is eliminated when they go through the ropes in addition to going over the top rope, as opposed to a males battle royal in which they must go over the top rope