Professional wrestling battle royal

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A 24+1Man-Diva 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]


World War 3[edit]

Main article: WCW World War 3

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 only 30 competitors left (except 1997, where the number was 20), all competitors would enter the central and continue in that ring under regular rules until 1 man was left standing.

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]

Gauntlet for the Gold[edit]

Main article: Gauntlet for the Gold

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]

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]

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.[6]

Diva battle royal[edit]

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

A diva battle royal is one which features female competitors. However, in this variant divas can be thrown through or under the ropes as well as over the top rope.

Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royal[edit]

A WWE diva 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.

Royal Rumble[edit]

Main article: Royal Rumble

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. Elimination occurs in the normal way with the last person standing as the winner, after all participants have entered the ring. As a result the winner qualifies for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship shot at Wrestlemania.


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.

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.

WSX Rumble[edit]

Exclusively used in Wrestling Society X, the WSX Rumble match is a hybrid Royal Rumble/ladder/Japanese death match. In the only time the match was ever contested, ten wrestlers entered. The ringside area was surrounded by weapons and various obstacles such as electrified boxes and tables, which the wrestlers could use at any time so long as they were involved in the match. Once all ten men entered the match, two contracts for a match for the WSX World Heavyweight Championship were put into play. Like the Royal Rumble, competitors were eliminated if they were thrown over the top rope with both feet touching the floor (even if they were thrown into one of the electrified boxes, which were considered part of the floor). The winners of the match were the two men who managed to climb a ladder to retrieve a contract.

Bunkhouse Battle Royal[edit]

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

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.

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 pinned, forced to submit, and/or thrown out of the ring.

King of the Mountain[edit]

The King of the Mountain match is described as a "reverse hybrid tables/ladders/chairs/chains/in a cage battle royal rumble match". Instead of retrieving 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 having scored a pinfall or submission (pinfalls and submissions count anywhere) to earn the right to try. A wrestler who has been pinned or forced to submit must spend two minutes in a penalty box.

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. As of April 2016, two Aztec Warfare matches have occurred--one in each season of Lucha Underground.

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 aversion 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. ^ "October 26, 2006". TNA iMPACT! results. Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 


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