King of the Ring

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This article is about the Pay-Per-View event and tournament. For the video game named for it, see WWF King of the Ring. For the Indian promotion which translates to King of the Ring, see Ring Ka King.
The 2010 King of the Ring logo.

King of the Ring is a professional wrestling single-elimination tournament held by WWE. The tournament was held annually from 1985 to 2002, with the exception of 1990 and 1992, and from 1993 to 2002 the tournament was produced as a pay-per-view event.

The tournament endured a four-year hiatus until its return in 2006 as an exclusive event of the SmackDown brand. The tournament returned as an inter-brand event for both Raw and SmackDown in both 2008 and 2010. WWE released a best of King of the Ring DVD in late 2011.

Use of the King gimmick[edit]

Although the King of the Ring tournament was not made into a pay-per-view event until 1993, the original King of the Ring tournament was held in 1985. Don Muraco was the first King of the Ring in 1985.

The second winner, Harley Race, is noted for parlaying his King of the Ring victory into his King of Wrestling gimmick by wearing a crown and regal gown. This served as a driving force for feuds with Race, even after new kings had been crowned in the annual tournament. In 1988, Race suffered a hernia injury and during his absence his manager Bobby Heenan awarded the crown to Haku in July, rechristening him King Haku, even though Randy Savage had won the tournament by that point and Ted DiBiase would also win the tournament during this storyline. Race eventually returned from his injury and briefly feuded with King Haku, but was unable to regain the crown at the 1989 Royal Rumble. King Haku then lost the crown to the "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan in May 1989. "King Hacksaw" then lost it in September 1989 to the "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who rebranded himself "Macho King". Savage abandoned the "Macho King" gimmick upon his retirement in 1991, following which only wrestlers who had won the tournament would use the gimmick.

Randy Savage ("Macho King"), Owen Hart ("King of Harts"), Mabel ("King Mabel" ), Kurt Angle ("King Kurt") (Edge ("King Edge the Awesome"), Booker T ("King Booker") and Sheamus are all wrestlers that also took on "King" nicknames after winning King of the Ring tournaments, with varying amounts of indulgence in the regal gimmick. William Regal won the tournament while serving as General Manager of Raw and began displaying King Lear signs of tyranny and delusion. In addition to the King's crown, various female wrestlers were portrayed as Queen while they were aligned with Kings, including "Queen of the Ring" Fabulous Moolah (aligned with King Harley Race at Wrestlemania III), Sensational Queen Sherri (manager of "Macho King" Randy Savage), and Queen Sharmell (manager of King Booker).

Pay-per-view[edit]

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, he advances to take on another wrestler who 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.

Revival[edit]

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 episode of Raw, that the tournament would be held the following week on a special three hour edition of Raw. The King of the Ring returned again on November 29, 2010.[1]

King of the Ring event dates and venues[edit]

From 1993 through 2002, King of the Ring was produced as a pay-per-view event.

Event Date City Venue Winner
King of the Ring (1985) July 8, 1985 Foxborough, Massachusetts Sullivan Stadium Don Muraco
King of the Ring (1986) July 14, 1986 Foxborough, Massachusetts Sullivan Stadium Harley Race
King of the Ring (1987) September 4, 1987 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Randy Savage
King of the Ring (1988) October 16, 1988 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Ted DiBiase
King of the Ring (1989) October 14, 1989 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Tito Santana
King of the Ring (1991) September 7, 1991 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Bret Hart
King of the Ring (1993) June 13, 1993 Dayton, Ohio Nutter Center Bret Hart
King of the Ring (1994) June 19, 1994 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Owen Hart
King of the Ring (1995) June 25, 1995 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Spectrum Mabel
King of the Ring (1996) June 23, 1996 Milwaukee, Wisconsin MECCA Arena Steve Austin
King of the Ring (1997) June 8, 1997 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Triple H
King of the Ring (1998) June 28, 1998 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Civic Arena Ken Shamrock
King of the Ring (1999) June 27, 1999 Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro Coliseum Billy Gunn
King of the Ring (2000) June 25, 2000 Boston, Massachusetts Fleet Center Kurt Angle
King of the Ring (2001) June 24, 2001 East Rutherford, New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena Edge
King of the Ring (2002) June 23, 2002 Columbus, Ohio Nationwide Arena Brock Lesnar
King of the Ring (2006) April 21–May 21, 2006 Phoenix, Arizona* America West Arena* Booker T
King of the Ring (2008) April 21, 2008 Greenville, South Carolina BI-LO Center William Regal
King of the Ring (2010) November 29, 2010 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center Sheamus

The finals of the 2006 King of the Ring were held as part of the Judgment Day pay-per-view, which emanated from Phoenix. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches were conducted at various other venues.

Pre pay-per-view event results[edit]

1985[edit]

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

First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                       
Don Muraco  
Junkyard Dog  
Don Muraco  
Les Thornton  
Les Thornton  
Steve Lombardi  
Don Muraco  
Pedro Morales  
Paul Orndorff DDQ
Bob Orton, Jr. DDQ
BYE  
Pedro Morales  
Pedro Morales  
Johnny V  
Don Muraco  
Iron Sheik  
Tito Santana DQ
Terry Funk  
Tito Santana Draw1
Jim Brunzell Coin Toss
Jim Brunzell  
The Spoiler  
Jim Brunzell  
Iron Sheik  
Ricky Steamboat  
Greg Valentine  
Ricky Steamboat  
Iron Sheik  
Iron Sheik  
B. Brian Blair  

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

1986[edit]

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

  First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                                     
   
   Mr. X2    
     Billy Jack Haynes    
 Billy Jack Haynes  
 Iron Sheik    
   Billy Jack Haynes    
   Harley Race CO  
 Harley Race DQ  
 George Steele    
   Harley Race  
     BYE    
 Don Muraco Draw
 Roddy Piper 20:00  
   pinHarley Race  
   Pedro Morales  
 Nikolai Volkoff    
 Dan Spivey    
   Nikolai Volkoff Sub
     The Junkyard Dog    
 Junkyard Dog DQ
 Paul Orndorff    
   Nikolai Volkoff  
   Pedro Morales    
 Pedro Morales    
 Rudy Diamond1    
   Pedro Morales  
     Mike Rotundo    
 

1. ^ Rudy Diamond was a substitute for Bob Orton.
2. ^ Mr. X was a substitute for Hercules Hernandez.

1987[edit]

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

First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                       
Haku  
Brutus Beefcake  
Haku Draw
Rick Martel Draw
Rick Martel  
Dan Spivey  
BYE  
King Kong Bundy  
King Kong Bundy CO
One Man Gang  
King Kong Bundy  
Special Delivery Jones  
Special Delivery Jones  
Sika  
King Kong Bundy  
Randy Savage  
Danny Davis CO
Tito Santana  
Danny Davis  
The Junkyard Dog  
Junkyard Dog  
Tama  
Danny Davis  
Randy Savage  
Jim Brunzell  
Ron Bass  
Jim Brunzell  
Randy Savage  
Randy Savage  
Nikolai Volkoff  

1988[edit]

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

First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                       
Ken Patera Pin
Nikolai Volkoff 10:20
Ken Patera Pin
Ted DiBiase 5:42
Brutus Beefcake Pin
Ted DiBiase 7:32
Ted DiBiase Forfeit
Ron Bass 2
The Barbarian DQ
Ron Bass 7:02
Ron Bass Pin
Shawn Michaels 7:39
Danny Davis Pin
Shawn Michaels 3:37
Ted DiBiase CO
Randy Savage 6:11
Bad News Brown DCO
Hercules 6:05
BYE  
Randy Savage  
Randy Savage Pin
Virgil 5:43
Randy Savage Pin
The Red Rooster 7:21
Marty Jannetty Pin
The Red Rooster 11:00
The Red Rooster Sub
Iron Mike Sharpe 3:27
Mike Sharpe1 Pin
Boris Zhukov 6:27

1. ^ Mike Sharpe substituted for The Warlord.
2. ^ DiBiase paid Bass off to fake an injury.[2]

1989[edit]

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

First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                       
Akeem  
Brutus Beefcake  
Akeem  
BYE  
Hercules DDQ
Jim Neidhart DDQ
Akeem  
Tito Santana  
The Warlord  
Bushwhacker Butch  
The Warlord  
Tito Santana  
Tito Santana  
Bad News Brown  
Tito Santana  
Rick Martel  
Rick Martel  
Bill Woods1  
Rick Martel  
Bushwhacker Luke  
Bushwhacker Luke  
Nikolai Volkoff  
Rick Martel  
Jimmy Snuka  
Jimmy Snuka  
The Barbarian  
Jimmy Snuka  
Haku  
Haku  
The Red Rooster  

1. ^ Bill Woods substituted for Barry Windham.

1991[edit]

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

First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                       
Hawk DQ
Jerry Sags 3:02
Jerry Sags  
BYE  
Ricky Steamboat Draw
Ted DiBiase 15:00
Jerry Sags Pin
Irwin R. Schyster 1:22
Jim Duggan Pin
Brian Knobs 5:04
Jim Duggan Pin
Irwin R. Schyster 3:16
The Berzerker CO
Irwin R. Schyster 2:51
Irwin R. Schyster Pin
Bret Hart 10:00
Pete Doherty 1 Sub
Bret Hart 0:33
Bret Hart Sub
Skinner 4:47
Skinner Pin
Virgil 5:02
Bret Hart  
BYE  
Sid Justice Pin
The Warlord 3:23
The Undertaker DDQ
Sid Justice 4:08
Animal Pin
The Undertaker 3:40

1. ^ Pete Doherty substituted for Kerry Von Erich.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vermillion, James (2008-04-14). "Return of the King". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  2. ^ 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[edit]