WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal

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The inaugural winner Naomi with the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal Trophy

The WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal is a professional wrestling battle royal held at WrestleMania by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE. The inaugural battle royal was held during the WrestleMania 34 Kickoff pre-show in 2018. The winner of the match received the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal Trophy.

The match was originally named The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal in honor of The Fabulous Moolah, who was billed as a pioneer of women's wrestling. However, her name was removed from the match after backlash from fans due to the controversy surrounding Moolah's past. The match is the female counterpart to the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which was introduced at WrestleMania XXX in 2014.

The match returned at WrestleMania 35 in 2019, thus establishing the match as an annual tradition. However, the match did not occur at WrestleMania 36 in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the match's future is unclear.

History[edit]

Prior to 2018, the only other women's battle royal at Wrestlemania was in 2009 at Wrestlemania 25, titled the "Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal". It consisted of 25 participants which included WWE Divas from the active roster as well as returning legends. The match was infamously won by Santina Marella and discontinued going forward.

For WrestleMania XXX in 2014, WWE established the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal; however, it was only contested by male professional wrestlers.[1] On the March 12, 2018, episode of Raw, the promotion re-established a female version of the match titled The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal in honor of The Fabulous Moolah. The first match was scheduled for WrestleMania 34 on April 8, with the winner to receive The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Trophy, made in the likeness of Moolah.[2][3] After a controversy over their decision to honor Moolah, WWE changed the name to the "WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal."[4] The trophy was subsequently renamed and it was redesigned as a simple golden cup with tassels atop the trophy's base.[5]

The inaugural match was held on WrestleMania 34's Kickoff pre-show and was won by Naomi, who last eliminated Bayley to win.[6] The match was scheduled to return at WrestleMania 35 in 2019, thus establishing the match as a yearly tradition.[7] This second match occurred during WrestleMania 35's Kickoff pre-show and was won by Carmella, who last eliminated Sarah Logan to win.[8]

A third WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal was set to have occurred at WrestleMania 36 in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought many changes to WWE's programming during that time, the match was not scheduled to limit the number of wrestlers in the ring at the same time. WrestleMania 36 itself, which was WWE's first pay-per-view affected by the pandemic, was relocated and held behind closed doors at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.[9] While the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal returned in 2021, there have been no announcements regarding the future of the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal.[10]

Winners[edit]

# Winner Date Location WrestleMania Runner Up Ref.
1 Naomi April 8, 2018 New Orleans, Louisiana 34[note 1] Bayley [6]
2 Carmella April 7, 2019 East Rutherford, New Jersey 35[note 1] Sarah Logan [8]

Participants[edit]

Carmella was the second winner of the battle royal at WrestleMania 35 in 2019
Superstar 34 35
Asuka Yes
Bayley Yes
Becky Lynch Yes
Bianca Belair Yes
Candice LeRae Yes
Carmella Yes Won
Dakota Kai Yes
Dana Brooke Yes Yes
Ember Moon Yes
Kairi Sane Yes Yes
Kavita Devi Yes
Lana Yes Yes
Liv Morgan Yes Yes
Mandy Rose Yes Yes
Maria Kanellis Yes
Mickie James Yes Yes
Naomi Won Yes
Natalya Yes
Nikki Cross Yes
Peyton Royce Yes
Ruby Riott Yes Yes
Sarah Logan Yes Yes
Sasha Banks Yes
Sonya Deville Yes Yes
Taynara Conti Yes
Zelina Vega Yes

Name controversy[edit]

The decision to hold a battle royal in honor of The Fabulous Moolah drew fan outrage.[11] Tufayel Ahmed of Newsweek wrote that Moolah "isn't quite the bastion of female empowerment she is proclaimed to be," with "years of allegations" that she had "monopolized women's wrestling in North America," taken a large percentage of other wrestlers' pay, and "sexually exploited women under her mentorship."[12] Jason Powell, from Pro Wrestling Dot Net, criticized the tribute as it does not "exactly mesh with what WWE wants their women's division push to represent."[13] David Bixenspan of Deadspin pointed out that given Moolah's alleged abuses, fans were particularly turned off by WWE personnel describing Moolah as a "trailblazer for women's equality." WWE also promoted Moolah as having "challenged the gender norms of a once male-dominated sport," but Bixenspan described that Moolah, by wrestling and teaching her students an "in-ring style low on athleticism and heavy on hair-pulling," relegated women's wrestling to "much more of a sideshow" instead of a "legitimate headline attraction" in the previous era.[14] Mad Maxine, a wrestler trained by Moolah, commented that Moolah was the most "monstrous" person she had ever met, and that wrestling is "about generating heat. And you can't draw more heat than naming a match for The Fabulous Moolah."[15]

On March 12, a Change.org petition appeared online demanding WWE change the name of its upcoming Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, nearing its 10,000 signature goal.[16] Initially, WWE reacted by disabling the comments section of their YouTube video that announced the Moolah battle royal.[17][18] Later, Snickers, the primary sponsor of WrestleMania 34, called the decision to honor Moolah "unacceptable" and said they were "engaging with the WWE to express our disappointment."[19] On March 14, WWE renamed the match "WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal," removing Moolah's name from the event. The trophy was also renamed and redesigned.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b This match took place on the Kickoff Show (pre-show).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Raw results: Daniel Bryan occupies Raw and Triple H says 'YES!' ... with a twist". WWE.com. Stamford, Connecticut: WWE. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Casey, Connor (March 12, 2018). "WWE Announces Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal for WrestleMania 34". Pop Culture. Brentwood, Tennessee: Pop Culture Media. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Pappolla, Ryan (March 12, 2018). "The first-ever Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal to take place at WrestleMania". WWE.com. Stamford, Connecticut: WWE. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Currier, Joseph (March 15, 2018). "WWE changes name of Fabulous Moolah battle royal". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. United States: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Inc. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  5. ^ Keller, Wade (April 2, 2018). "KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 4/2: Final WrestleMania 34 hype including Triple H & Stephanie in ring with Angle & Ronda Rousey, last chance for Undertaker to response, Reigns-Lesnar hype". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Powell, Jason. "Powell's WrestleMania 34 Kickoff Show live review: WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal, Cedric Alexander vs. Mustfa Ali for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Archived from the original on April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (March 29, 2019). "Women's Battle Royal Confirmed For WrestleMania 35". 411mania. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Powell, Jason. "WrestleMania 35 Kickoff Show results: Powell's live review of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, WWE Women's Battle Royal, Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  9. ^ Satin, Ryan (March 26, 2020). "WWE Confirms WrestleMania 36 Will Not Feature Battle Royal Matches". Pro Wrestling Sheet. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  10. ^ Currier, Joseph (April 1, 2021). "'SPECIAL WRESTLEMANIA EDITION' OF WWE SMACKDOWN SET FOR APRIL 9". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  11. ^ Stride, Sam (March 13, 2018). "WWE face fans backlash after they announce the 'Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal'". Daily Mirror. London: Trinity Mirror. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Ahmed, Tufayel (March 13, 2018). "WWE announces Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, but the wrestler has a troubling legacy". Newsweek. New York City: IBT Media/Newsweek Media Group. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  13. ^ Powell, Jason (March 13, 2018). "WWE Raw Hit List: John Cena challenges Undertaker to a WrestleMania match, no Brock Lesnar, Vince McMahon suspends Roman Reigns, tag team battle royal, Fabulous Moolah battle royal". ProWrestling.net. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Last RowMedia, LLC. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  14. ^ Bixenspan, David (March 14, 2018). "Fans Are Revolting Against WWE Honoring Fabulous Moolah, With Good Reason". Deadspin. United States: Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  15. ^ Satin, Ryan (March 13, 2018). "Fabulous Moolah Trainee Speaks Out Against WWE Tribute, Claims Hall Of Famer "Pimped Women"". Pro Wrestling Sheet. Los Angeles: Ryan Satin, LLC. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  16. ^ Maglio, Tony (March 14, 2018). "'Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal': Petition for WWE to Change Match Name Approaches Signature Goal". TheWrap. Los Angeles: The Wrap News Inc. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  17. ^ "WWE Announces Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal Name Change". Pro Wrestling Sheet. Los Angeles: Ryan Satin, LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  18. ^ Fiorvanti, Tim. "WWE changes name of WrestleMania's women's Battle Royal". ESPN.com. United States: ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  19. ^ Jorgensen, Jack (March 15, 2018). "Amid controversy, WWE changes name of first WrestleMania women's battle royal". CBS Sports. New York City: CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved March 15, 2018.