Some lowly WWE staffer is sitting up in Stamford right now
shining up a crown and scepter, pulling a robe out of storage and having it
The company is reviving its King of the Ring tournament, a
mainstay in WWE throughout the 1980s-2000s, but a gimmick that has only been
trotted out twice prior this decade. Despite a 34-year history, there have only
been 20 King of the Ring tournaments since its inception in 1985.
KOTR began as a house show tournament, with the first six
being held in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The prize was the title of King
of the Ring, which didn’t technically mean anything, nor did it carry any huge
benefit. However, the individual winners would find ways to utilize the title.
It wasn’t until 1993 when the tournament got its own PPV
that things really took off for King of the Ring. For 10 years, the annual
tourney would become known for being an opportunity to elevate a midcard
talent, oftentimes kicking off a notable push for the wrestler.
But not all kings have been created equal. The tournament
winners fell on tough times in later years, which has raised some concerns
about WWE reviving KOTR now.
Still, King of the Ring has produced some memorable winners.
Let’s take a look at how the 19 men who have won the 20 tournaments have fared.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.