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The King of the Ring logo
King of the Ring is a professional wrestling single-elimination tournament held by World Wrestling Entertainment. The tournament was held annually from 1985 to 2002, with the exception of 1992, and from 1993 onward the tournament was produced as a pay-per-view event.

The tournament endured a four year hiatus, until it returned in 2006 and was SmackDown! exclusive. The tournament returned as an interpromotional event in 2008.

History

King of the Ring winners
Year Winner
1985 Don Muraco
1986 Harley Race
1987 Randy Savage
1988 Ted DiBiase
1989 Tito Santana
1991 Bret Hart
1993 Bret Hart
1994 Owen Hart
1995 Mabel
1996 Steve Austin
1997 Hunter Hearst Helmsley
1998 Ken Shamrock
1999 Billy Gunn
2000 Kurt Angle
2001 Edge
2002 Brock Lesnar
2006 Booker T
2008 William Regal


Although the King of the Ring tournament was first made into a pay-per-view event in 1993, the original King of the Ring tournament was actually held in 1985. Don Muraco was the first King of the Ring in 1985. The second King, Harley Race, is noted for parlaying his King of the Ring victory into his "King of Wrestling" gimmick. Other winners who did the same include Randy Savage ("Macho King") though Savage's "King" gimmick was the result of defeating Jim Duggan for the crown in 1989, Owen Hart ("King of Harts"), Mabel ("King Mabel" ), Kurt Angle ("King Kurt"), Edge ("King Edge The Awesome"), Booker T ("King Booker"), and most recently William Regal are all wrestlers that took on "King" nicknames after winning King of the Ring tournaments.

Pay-per-view

The King of the Ring was an event in which typically sixteen wrestlers wrestled in a one-on-one single elimination bracket. When a wrestler wins a match in the bracket, they advance to take on another wrestler that has also won. The final few matches would then take place at that year's King of the Ring event. The winner of the final match is officially crowned the King of the Ring. There were also other matches that took place at the King of the Ring event since it was a traditional three hour pay-per-view.

While some believe that the new King of the Ring traditionally receives a WWF/WWE Championship shot at the SummerSlam pay-per-view, this only became an established rule in 2002, for what would become the final King of the Ring tournament for 4 years until SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long brought it back in 2006. Only four kings went on to challenge for the championship at SummerSlam (Owen Hart, Mabel, Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesnar) and only in Lesnar's case was the challenger granted a title shot as a "right" after winning the King of the Ring. More important than an actual title shot was the prestige of winning the tournament itself; in general, the winner of the King of the Ring is a wrestler whom management has picked to advance in the storylines and be the next breakout star. In fact, Steve Austin's famous "Austin 3:16" saying started during a speech made after he became the King of the Ring. A number of wrestlers have had huge successes after winning the tournament (in particular Steve Austin, but also Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, Edge, Triple H, and others), while some wrestlers have admittedly been flops as king (such as Mabel) or received little to no push after winning (such as Billy Gunn), and continued to be treated as lower card wrestlers after winning the tournament, even though Mabel challenged for the World title and Gunn went on to win the Intercontinental Championship a year later.

From 1993 to 2002, the King of the Ring was considered the fifth major WWF PPV (alongside the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series).

Revival

It was announced in April 2006 that the King of the Ring tournament would be returning after its four year hiatus. The 2006 tournament was the first tournament since 1991 that had not been shown on pay-per-view. The 2006 tournament was won by Booker T, who faced Bobby Lashley in the finals at the Judgment Day pay-per-view event. After a brief hiatus in 2007, it was announced on the April 14, 2008 edition of Raw, that the tournament would be held the following week on a special three hour edition of Raw.

King of the Ring pay-per-view event dates and venues

Event Date City Venue
King of the Ring June 13, 1993 Dayton, Ohiomarker Nutter Centermarker
King of the Ring June 19, 1994 Baltimore, Marylandmarker Baltimore Arenamarker
King of the Ring June 25, 1995 Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker The Spectrummarker
King of the Ring June 23, 1996 Milwaukee, Wisconsinmarker MECCA Arenamarker
King of the Ring June 8, 1997 Providence, Rhode Islandmarker Providence Civic Centermarker
King of the Ring June 28, 1998 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker Pittsburgh Civic Arenamarker
King of the Ring June 27, 1999 Greensboro, North Carolinamarker Greensboro Coliseummarker
King of the Ring June 25, 2000 Boston, Massachusettsmarker Fleet Centermarker
King of the Ring June 24, 2001 East Rutherford, New Jerseymarker Continental Airlines Arenamarker
King of the Ring June 23, 2002 Columbus, Ohiomarker Nationwide Arenamarker


Event results

1980s

1985

The tournament was held on July 8, 1985 at the Sullivan Stadiummarker in Foxborough, Massachusettsmarker. The tournament brackets were:

1. Tito Santana fought Jim Brunzell to a draw; Brunzell then won a coin toss to determine who would continue in the tournament.



1986

The tournament was held on July 14, 1986 at the Sullivan Stadiummarker in Foxborough, Massachusettsmarker. The tournament brackets were:

1. Rudy Diamond was a substitute for Bob Orton.

2. Mr. X was a substitute for Hercules Hernandez.



1987

The tournament was held on September 4, 1987 at the Providence Civic Centermarker in Providence, Rhode Islandmarker. The tournament brackets were:

1988

The tournament was held on October 16, 1988 at the Providence Civic Centermarker in Providence, Rhode Islandmarker. The tournament brackets were:

1. Mike Sharpe substituted for The Warlord.

2. DiBiase paid Bass off to fake an injury.



1989

The tournament was held on October 14, 1989 at the Providence Civic Centermarker in Providence, Rhode Islandmarker. The tournament brackets were:

1. Bill Woods substituted for Barry Windham.

1990s

1991

The tournament was held on September 7, 1991 at the Providence Civic Centermarker in Providence, Rhode Islandmarker. The tournament brackets were:

1. Pete Doherty substituted for Kerry Von Erich.

1993

1994

1995

1996

King of the Ring (1996) took place on June 23, 1996 from the MECCA Arenamarker in Milwaukee, Wisconsinmarker.



The tournament took place between May 27 and June 23, 1996 (the entire first two rounds were actually done on May 27 and 28, two of the three quarterfinal matches actually occurred before the first round was completed). The tournament brackets were:

1997

King of the Ring (1997) took place on June 8, 1997 at the Providence Civic Centermarker in Providence, Rhode Islandmarker.



The tournament was held between May 12 and June 8, 1997. The tournament brackets were:

1. Helmsley was allowed another spot in the tournament because he pulled a job to Mable prior to his match with Ahmed Johnson the previous week that he could be eliminated via disqualification and thus threatened the WWF with legal action; Vader was originally in this spot but was injured in his No Holds Barred match with Ken Shamrock at In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell on May 11.

1998

1999

King of the Ring (1999) took place on June 27, 1999 at the Greensboro Coliseummarker in Greensboro, North Carolinamarker.



The tournament took place between May 25 and June 27, 1999. The tournament brackets were:

2000s

2000

King of the Ring (2000) took place on June 25, 2000 at the Fleet Centermarker in Boston, Massachusettsmarker. This was the largest KOTR, with 32 competitors taking part.



The tournament took place between May 29 and June 25, 2000.

2001

King of the Ring (2001) took place on June 24, 2001 at the Continental Airlines Arenamarker in East Rutherford, New Jerseymarker.



The tournament took place between June 4 and June 24, 2001. The tournament brackets were:

2002

King of the Ring (2002) took place on June 23, 2002 at the Nationwide Arenamarker in Columbus, Ohiomarker.



The tournament took place between June 3 and June 23, 2002. The tournament brackets were:

1. Edge forfeited his match to Chris Jericho due to a shoulder injury.

2006

The tournament took place between April 21 and May 21 2006. The tournament brackets were

  • All wrestlers involved in the tournament were from SmackDown!.


2008

The tournament took place April 21 on Raw from the BI-LO Centermarker in Greenville, South Carolinamarker. The tournament brackets were:

References

  1. Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.162, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3


External links




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