Battle royal (professional wrestling)

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A 24-Diva (plus Santino Marella) battle royal held at WrestleMania XXV.

In professional wrestling, a battle royal (sometimes battle royale; plural battles royal or battle royals[1]) is a multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until one is left and declared winner. Typical battle royals begin with a number of participants in the ring, who are then eliminated by going over the top rope and having both feet touch the venue floor.[2]


Aztec Warfare[edit]

Aztec Warfare is the Lucha Underground variation of the battle royal match. Upwards to 20 participants enter every 90 seconds and elimination occurs by either pinfall or submission and has to take place inside the ring. There are no count-outs and no disqualifications. As of April 2016, three Aztec Warfare matches have occurred—one in each season of Lucha Underground.


A two-ring variation on a battle royal, the wrestlers start in one ring and try to throw wrestlers into the second ring, after which they can be eliminated by being thrown out of that ring. The last remaining wrestler in the first ring can rest until only one wrestler was left in the second ring, after which they fight in both rings until one is eliminated and a winner is declared, in similar fashion to a double elimination tournament. This was held by World Championship Wrestling at the 1991 Starrcade event, but future Battlebowl matches were contested under normal battle royal rules.

Battle Zone[edit]

Any number of men: One ring- Over the top rope elimination. Typical battle royal, except this one features tables covered with barbed wire, thumbtacks, and light bulbs on the outside of the ring, which may catch wrestlers as they are thrown out of the ring.

Bunkhouse Battle Royal[edit]

Any or several number of men—One ring: Over the top rope elimination. Each participant brings all weapons with them as they enter the match .

Bunkhouse Stampede[edit]

The National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) Bunkhouse Stampede involved wrestlers wearing what was described as "bunkhouse gear"—cowboy boots, jeans, T-shirts—instead of their normal wrestling tights and not only allowed but encouraged the bringing of weapons. In 1988 the NWA named a pay-per-view after the Bunkhouse Stampede, headlined by a Bunkhouse Stampede match held inside a cage.[3]

Championship Scramble[edit]

This is a format where the championship can change hands multiple times within a time limit in a (often) falls-count-anywhere match. The final person to pin or submit the title holder in the time limit will be the eventual champion.

Extreme Battle Royal[edit]

This match is similar to a classic battle royal. It can have up to 40 wrestlers competing. Elimination occurs when a wrestler hits an opponent with a weapon and sends him out of the ring in any way. When 10 wrestlers remain, the weapons are increased and the eliminations are changed to pinfall or over the top rope. The final wrestler left wins the match and earns a title shot at any PPV he wants.

As 40 wrestlers (or less) compete in the match, it can last over 30 minutes. Interference is legal as there is no referee to watch the action. When a face wrestler is eliminated, he goes back to the locker room. When a heel wrestler is eliminated, he can sneak back into the ring and continue.

Extreme Royal Rumble Deathmatch[edit]

This match is similar to a classic battle royal inside the ring with rope-replacing barb wire and filled with weapons. Like the Royal Rumble, it can have up to 40 or 30 wrestlers competing. Two wrestlers in the ring, with the remaining participants introduced one by one at a set time period. Elimination occurs when a wrestler hits an opponent with any weapons and send him out of the ring by over the top barbed wire and both feet landing on the floor in any way. The final wrestler left wins the match.

Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royal[edit]

A WWE women's battle royal with the addition of fetish outfits, such as french maid, nurse, schoolgirl, etc. Often the type of outfit is chosen by an audience poll.

Gauntlet for the Gold[edit]

Gauntlet for the Gold is a variation on the battle royal used by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. In this version two wrestlers begin in the ring, with additional wrestlers entering on a set time period. Wrestlers are eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and to the floor until two wrestlers are left, at which point a standard singles match begins.[4]

Hardcore battle royal[edit]

A battle royal with hardcore rules (no disqualifications and no count-outs) involving several competitors in the ring at the same time. The match could last for either 15 or 20 minutes. All participants are not eliminated by being thrown out of the ring both feet touching the floor. Pinning or forcing to submit whomever was current Hardcore champion would result in the victorious participant becoming the interim champion. Whoever the person held the title at end of time limit would be declared the winner of the match and the official champion.

King of the Mountain Hardcore Rumble Deathmatch[edit]

The King of the Mountain Hardcore Rumble deathmatch is described as a "reverse hybrid hardcore rules/tables/ladders/chairs/chains/Singapore canes/royal rumble match". Instead of retrieve an object hanging above the ring, the winner is the first person to use a ladder to hang a championship belt above the ring—after eliminated by a pinfall, submission, or over the top rope both feet landing on the floor to earn the right to try. A wrestler who has been pinned, forced to submit, or thrown over the top rope must spend two minutes in a penalty box.

Last Blood battle royal[edit]

A Last Blood battle royal is essentially a multi-competitor First Blood match. The winner is the last wrestler in the match not bleeding.[5]

New Japan Rumble[edit]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling's battle royal, which takes place annually on the pre-show of Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. Participants enter at one minute intervals and are eliminated via pinfall, submission or by being thrown over the top rope.[6] Typically leaning towards light comedy, the match includes past stars as surprise entrants.[7]

Reverse battle royal[edit]

Generally used in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, a reverse battle royal begins with wrestlers surrounding the ring instead of inside it. At the start of the match they battle for half of them to get into the ring, at which point a standard last person standing wins the battle royal.[8]

Royal Rumble[edit]

WWE's Royal Rumble is a battle royal that begins with two wrestlers in the ring, with the remaining participants introduced one by one at a set time period, usually 90 seconds. Elimination occurs in the normal way with the last person standing as the winner, after all participants have entered the ring. Currently, the winner receives a guaranteed shot at either of the two possible top championships—the Universal Championship (Raw) or WWE Championship (SmackDown) for the men's winner, and the Raw or SmackDown Women's Championship for the women's winner. These matches take place at the WrestleMania that follows the Royal Rumble.

Square Go![edit]

Square Go! is the Insane Championship Wrestling's (ICW) very own hybrid of WWE's Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches. The competitors will compete in a 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royal, the Square Go!, with the winner earning the Square Go Briefcase. It has mostly the same rules apply as Royal Rumble, two competitors who draw the numbers 1 and 2. The remaining participants which will enter the ring one-by-one at every 2 minute intervals.

5 people have drawn entry numbers that allow them to carry a weapon of their choice into the ring.

Participants were eliminated when thrown over the top ropes with both feet landing on the floor. The winner will win a briefcase that will entitle him to a match for the ICW World Championship at any time and anywhere of their choosing for 1 year (similar to Money in the Bank).


A variation of Battlebowl involves 100 wrestlers splits into 50 in two rings. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the ropes. No matter how and where you hit, whether its apron, floor or barricade you are also eliminated. When 25 wrestlers are left in each ring stage 2 begins. This 2nd stage is when all 25 wrestlers get into one ring and there is no elimination. After a 5-minute period, the match turns into a Battle Royal where elimination is gained by throwing your opponent over the ropes and to the floor. When 5 wrestlers remain stage 3 begins. This 3rd stage then turns into a 5-Way match where pinfall and submission will eliminate an opponent. When 2 wrestlers are left, the match turns into a last man standing where KO is legal.

TNA Knockout Makeover Battle Royal[edit]

Match will begin as the multi-women over-the-top elimination battle royal. They are eliminated from the match if they being thrown over the top ropes and both feet landing the floor until final two competitors are left. The final two competitors will face each other in a ladder match, where the winner will receive a TNA Knockout Championship match, while the runner-up will have her head and hair shaved.

Women's battle royal[edit]

WWE Divas competing during a battle royal at a house show in 2009

A women's battle royal is one which features female competitors. This variant may allow women to be eliminated by being thrown through or under the ropes as well as over the top rope, although WWE's first official women's Royal Rumble match in 2018 used the same rules as the men's version.

World War 3[edit]

Created by World Championship Wrestling in 1995, the World War 3 battle royal involved a three-ring setup and 60 competitors. 20 wrestlers started in each of the 3 rings in which they would wrestle under regular battle royal rules. Once there were 30 competitors remaining (except in 1997, where the number was 20), all competitors would enter the center ring and continue under regular rules until only one wrestler was left standing.

WSX Rumble[edit]

Exclusively used in Wrestling Society X, the WSX Rumble match is a version of Royal Rumble match. In the only time the match was ever contested, ten wrestlers entered. The large box of electrical livewires, tables, and electrified steel fenced cage wall surrounding the ring, which may catch wrestlers as being thrown over the top rope and out of the ring and which the wrestlers could use at any time so long as they were involved in the match. Wrestlers draw numbers 1 an 2 are in the ring, with the remaining participants introduced one by one at 45 seconds. The match still continues until all ten men entered the ring, two contracts for a match for the WSX World Heavyweight Championship were put into play. Just both like and unlike the normal Royal Rumble, competitors were eliminated if they were thrown over the top rope with both feet or any other part of the body touching the floor (even if they were thrown into one of the obstacles such as a large box of electrical wire, tables, and electrified steel fenced cage wall, which were considered part of the floor). The winners of the match were the two men who managed to climb a ladder to retrieve two contracts.

Battle Riot[edit]

Major League Wrestling's battle royal, which took place in episode MLW Fusion on July 19, 2018. Participants enter at one minute intervals and are eliminated via pinfall, submission or by being thrown over the top rope.[9] Typically leaning towards the match included roster without surprise entrants.

Team variations[edit]

Team variations of battle royals consist of designated tag teams of wrestlers, usually two to a team. There are different types of such matches, and though most follow normal battle royal rules, teams may be eliminated when either one or both partners are eliminated from the ring. One notable version was the battle royal prior to WrestleMania XV, where each wrestler fought as a singles competitor, with the final two in the ring named joint winners, earning the right to challenge for the promotion's tag team championship later that night.


  1. ^ "battles royal". Merriam-Webster. 1671.
  2. ^ "Battle Royal". Specialty Matches. WWE. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  3. ^ Furious, Arnold. "NWA Bunkhouse Stampede". 411mania. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  4. ^ "June 19, 2002". NWA: Total Nonstop Action PPV results. Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  5. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.192-194)
  6. ^ "戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents Wrestle Kingdom 11 in 東京ドーム". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  7. ^ Meltzer, Dave (January 9, 2017). "January 9, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Ronda Rousey loses potential final fight, NJPW Wrestlekingdom 11 review". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California. p. 8. ISSN 1083-9593.
  8. ^ "October 26, 2006". TNA iMPACT! results. Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  9. ^


  • Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-103101-1.