WWE has announced the 8th Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal for next Friday’s WrestleMania SmackDown, which will be the go-home show for WrestleMania 38.
It was announced during tonight’s SmackDown that next Friday’s go-home show will feature the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. WWE has named 17 participants for the match – Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez, Erik, Ivar, Damian Priest, Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, Drew Gulak, Reggie, Jinder Mahal, Shanky, R-Truth, Mansoor, Madcap Moss, Robert Roode and WWE United States Champion Finn Balor.
Balor was reportedly planned to defend against Priest at one point, so it’s interesting that they were announced for the Battle Royal. It’s still possible that this leads to a singles match for the title at WrestleMania, but that has not been announced as of this writing.
This will be the second straight year that the Andre Battle Royal has aired on the WrestleMania edition of SmackDown. Previous Andre Battle Royal winners include Cesaro in 2014, Big Show in 2015, Happy Baron Corbin in 2016, Mojo Rawley in 2017, Matt Hardy in 2018, Braun Strowman in 2019, and SmackDown Tag Team Champion Jey Uso in 2021.
Next week’s WrestleMania SmackDown will also feature a Triple Threat for the WWE Intercontinental Title with Ricochet defending against Angel and Humberto of Los Lotharios.
Tonight’s SmackDown saw Angel defeat Ricochet in a Championship Contender’s match, thanks to an assist from Humberto. Ricochet then called Humberto come back to the ring for some payback, but Angel helped his cousin win that Championship Contender’s match by count out. It was later announced that Ricochet went to Adam Pearce and requested a Triple Threat title defense, so the match was made for the final SmackDown before WrestleMania.
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns are being advertised for next Friday’s SmackDown, but they have not been officially announced for a segment as of this writing.
Next Friday’s SmackDown on FOX will air live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The 2022 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air right after SmackDown, from the same venue.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal And IC Title Triple Threat Announced For Next Week