Bobby Lashley, the clear favorite going into the fight, bested 31 other WWE Superstars to win the 2023 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
To close out the first hour of WrestleMania SmackDown on Friday, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal laid the foundation that Bobby Lashley was the favorite. He was the only WWE Superstar to get his own entrance and this all came after the company showed him working backstage and getting a pep talk from MMA star and huge wrestling fan, Daniel Cormier. Lashley entered the ring as the show went on a commercial break.
There were no surprise participants in the match, but some intriguing options were included. The four men who did not compete in the Fatal Four-Way Match (Braun Strowman, Ivar, Aneglo Dawksin and Otis) were in the fight, which was not expected. Baron Corbin was eliminated almost immediately and Hit Row was not far behind. Dexter Mis stood in the corner and didn’t really get involved until he tossed Mace over the top rope. Mansoor followed close behind thanks to Johnny Gargano and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows followed. Otis and Elias did not last much longer, those of Humberto Carillo and Angel Garza came out thanks to Rick Boogs.
Coming off the commercial break, the pack had thinned out a bit. Dexter Lumis was first out coming off half-time with Xavier Woods close behind. Mustafa Ali was kicked off to a standing ovation from the crowd. Karrion Kross and Lashley had a head-to-head matchup, and while they were fighting, Boogs and a couple others got kicked out. Bronson Reed and Strowman then stood in the middle of the ring with Lashley. Then the action really picked up as different men went after each other in quick succession. Gargano was the next to go, and Ridge Holland followed. Butch was next.
The final four were Knight, Lashley, Reed and Kross. Knight was the first to go, which the fans hated. Strowman was next and the last two were Reed and Lashley. Reed missed a splash, Lashley hit the spear, ultimately picking up the win.
Lashley was the favorite
The man most people thought would win when their WrestleMania match was apparently canceled was the victor chosen by WWE. This was quite a predictable result, but the match was solid. It will be interesting to see if this leads to anything on Saturday or Sunday.