WrestleMania season is in full swing, with only two more episodes of Monday Night RAW before the big show in Dallas finally comes. The majority of the card is officially set in stone, with two more title matches added this week on Smackdown! The only angles left to sew up seem to be an Intercontinental Championship match, one final payoff between Chris Jericho and AJ Styles, and penciling in the participants for the 3rd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. And that’s where the Social Outcasts come into play.
The recently-formed heel faction known as the Social Outcasts have been announced as the first four entrants into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32, according to a report from Wrestling Inc. The group that is made up of Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, and Bo Dallas have even gone as far as to say they’ll be competing in the match together and will look to win it as a team.
The Social Outcasts are no strangers to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, especially Slater. This will mark Slater’s third consecutive appearance in the bout, having been eliminated ninth in the inaugural match at WrestleMania 30, and 16th last year at WrestleMania 31. Slater was the only member of the current Social Outcasts to compete in the first one, while Axel, Rose, and Dallas all participated last year. Axel and Rose were actually the first two eliminated last year, and Dallas wasn’t far behind.
It’s been WWE’s goal to have as many of their superstars appear at WrestleMania as possible since the inception of this match. Thirty-one of them filled the ring in 2014, and another 30 brawled last year. The match has not received much publicity on television as of yet, as Monday was the first time it had been mentioned on this road to WrestleMania. True to their name, the Social Outcasts will get the word out of their inclusion via social media, and perhaps the remaining two episodes of Smackdown! will see the rest of the field get filled out.
In the prior two years of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, the build-up to the match was given more airtime. Even John Cena tried to give it an extra boost. Cena declared himself a participant both years, only to be sidetracked by Bray Wyatt and Rusev in setting up singles matches that would give major rubs to the newer stars on the grandest stage. Cesaro went on to win the first ATGMBR, and was even endorsed by Hulk Hogan on the following night’s RAW. Hogan presented the trophy to Cesaro, who also declared himself a “Paul Heyman Guy” and disbanded his relationship with tag-team partner Jack Swagger.
In year two of the event, the Big Show won the match in an homage to Andre the Giant himself. Show posed like Andre in the way the trophy was bronzed. Not a whole lot followed for either superstar after winning the match because, as mentioned, it’s more of a way to get every superstar possible on the WrestleMania card. It’s highly unlikely any member of the Social Outcasts will win this year’s match, but it is somewhat significant that they have been announced as the first participants.
Speculating on the rest of those to be involved in the match is a little simpler these days. Look for superstars not heavily involved in any storylines. The Big Show could return to the match if his health allows. Kane, Mark Henry, Swagger, Stardust, Sin Cara, Fandango, Goldust, and R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Damien Sandow and The Ascension are all main-roster superstars who could join the Social Outcasts in the match. And perhaps any number of NXT stars could be involved, as well. The wildcards, however, might just be the Wyatt Family, though there appears to be much bigger plans in place for Bray.
[Image via WWE]