Cesaro won The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
BY Kevin Powers
April 06, 2014
Although he was on the losing end of the WWE Tag Team Championship Elimination Match on the WrestleMania 30 Pre-Show, Cesaro more than redeemed himself by entering unannounced – and winning – the first-ever over-the-top-rope Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Outlasting 29 fellow WWE Superstars, the former United States Champion proved without a doubt that he is the Swiss Superman.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal photos | Watch: Cesaro comments on his battle royal victory
WWE’s first Hall of Famer – Andre the Giant – was larger than life in both size and personality. Fondly remembered by friends and foes alike, his WrestleMania III opponent, WrestleMania 30 Host Hulk Hogan, felt the best way to honor The Giant on The Grandest Stage of Them All was with a battle royal. Hogan’s decree of the match was certainly fitting of the Superstar that he bodyslammed in front of over 93,000 WWE fans inside the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987. After all, at WrestleMania 2, Andre the Giant stood victorious following a 20-Man WWE/NFL battle royal.
Relive Andre the Giant’s epic WWE Title clash at WrestleMania III on WWE Network
Every Superstar participating in the contest wanted the bragging rights of being the first to win the Andre the Giant trophy. Winning such a bout on The Grandest Stage of Them All would certainly give the victor an unprecedented boost in career momentum.. However, with every participating Superstar starting the match at the same time, chaos quickly ensued.
Along with Cesaro, Tyson Kidd and Yoshi Tatsu joined the battle royal at the last moment to round out the field of 30 Superstars, but for Tatsu and Kidd, their night ended on the floor outside the ring. Eliminations were erratic, with The Great Khali being eliminated early and Alberto Del Rio taking out both Rhodes brothers.
One of the most jaw-dropping moments came when Cesaro threw Kofi Kingston over the ring post to the outside. In true battle royal fashion, Kingston landed on his back – with his feet on the steel steps, NOT the floor. It was reminiscent of a football receiver who makes a sideling catch and miraculously manages to keep his toes in bounds. Still in the bout, Kofi floored everyone else in the ring only to be eliminated by Sheamus.
The final four – Del Rio, Big Show, Sheamus and the Swiss Superman – pulled out all the stops, ultimately resulting in The Celtic Warrior and Del Rio eliminating each other simultaneously. It was down to Big Show and Cesaro. The World’s Largest Athlete – wearing ring gear reminiscent of Andre the Giant’s – believed it was his destiny to win the match.
But Cesaro proved without a doubt that he is the pound-for-pound strongest WWE Superstar. Channeling his inner Hulk Hogan, the Swiss Superman hoisted the 450-pound Big Show up, held him in place and bodyslammed him over the ropes to the floor below. The WWE Universe rose to their feet in astonishment as The World’s Largest Athlete shook the victor’s hand.
During Cesaro’s celebration, it took five officials to lift the massive Andre the Giant trophy into the ring, but the victorious Superstar hoisted the trophy above his head with ease.