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ORLANDO, Fla. — During the WrestleMania 33 Kickoff, Mojo Rawley and Rob Gronkowski of the NFL’s New England Patriots made for a perfect team in the fourth annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Rawley won by last eliminating Jinder Mahal, who was involved in an in-ring altercation moments earlier with the NFL tight end known as Gronk.
Thirty-three entrants from across the WWE Universe battled for the right to claim one of the most coveted trophies in sports-entertainment. The list of combatants included a who’s who of Superstars, from former Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy winner Big Show to Chinese prospect Tian Bing and NXT Superstar Killian Dain.
Right from the outset, the odds appeared to favor the two largest Superstars in the ring: Big Show and Braun Strowman. Each of them separately clobbered the competition, sending the first eight entrants over the top rope and out of the supersized bout. Strowman ended the night of The World’s Largest Athlete moments later, only to be eliminated himself by every remaining Superstar in the ring.
Despite having two early favorites knocked out of the running, things took a turn for the surreal once only three Superstars were left: Rawley, Mahal and Dain. Mahal tossed Rawley through the middle rope to the ringside floor, which did not count as an elimination. Unfortunately, Mahal didn’t stop his assault, hurling Rawley into a ringside barricade right in front of the former NFL standout’s friend, Rob Gronkowski.
An unimpressed Mahal then drew the ire of Gronk by splashing him with a cup of water. The NFL tight end invaded the ring moments later, then proceeded to settle the score with Mahal by leveling him with a Pro Bowl-caliber shoulder block. Gronk’s arrival left the remaining Superstars confused, which allowed Rawley to capitalize. He promptly eliminated the lone NXT entrant to become the last man standing in the biggest bout at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.
Mojo Rawley now belongs to an exclusive list of Superstars to raise the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy in celebration. He joins a group that includes inaugural winner Cesaro, 2015 victor Big Show and last year’s top dog, Baron Corbin.