King of the Ring

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This article is about the Pay-Per-View event and tournament. For the Indian promotion which translates to King of the Ring, see Ring Ka King.
The 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 WWE and Raw in 2008, 2010 and 2015. 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 "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan in May 1989. "King Hacksaw" then lost it in September 1989 to "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 and Jerry Lawler 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. Triple H alluded to his King of the Ring victory as part of his integrated gimmick starting 2006 as the "King of Kings". 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]

After a four-year hiatus, the tournament would return in 2006, the first since the 1991 edition that was not on pay-per-view, which was won by Booker T, who faced Bobby Lashley in the final at Judgment Day. The tournament would return in 2008 on the April 23 episode of Raw, which was won by William Regal, who faced CM Punk in the final, and in 2010 on the November 29 episode of Raw, which was won by Sheamus, who faced John Morrison in the final. After a five-year hiatus, the tournament returned in 2015 on the April 27 episode of Raw, with the finals taking place the next night on the WWE Network. Bad News Barrett defeated Neville in the final round.

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. In 2006, the tournament finals were featured as part of the Judgment Day pay-per-view. In 2008 and 2010, the tournament was featured as a one-night tournament that aired on Monday Night RAW. In 2015, the tournament was started on Monday Night RAW and then concluded the next night as a WWE Network exclusive.

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 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 Ted DiBiase
King of the Ring (1989) October 14, 1989 Tito Santana
King of the Ring (1991) September 7, 1991 Bret Hart
King of the Ring (1993) June 13, 1993 Dayton, Ohio Nutter Center
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 Stone Cold Steve Austin
King of the Ring (1997) June 8, 1997 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Hunter Hearst Helmsley
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) May 21, 2006 Phoenix, Arizona[1] 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
King of the Ring (2015) April 28, 2015 Moline, Illinois[2] iWireless Center Bad News Barrett
  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ The 2015 King of the Ring was held over two nights. The quarterfinal matches were broadcast on Raw, which emanated from Green Bay, Wisconsin, while the semifinal and final matches were broadcast on the WWE Network, emanating from Moline, Illinois.

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 pin
Junkyard Dog 10:22
Don Muraco pin
Les Thornton 5:02
Les Thornton pin
Steve Lombardi 4:33
Don Muraco pin
Pedro Morales 14:55
Paul Orndorff DDQ
Bob Orton, Jr. 9:54
BYE  
Pedro Morales  
Pedro Morales pin
Johnny V 1:06
Don Muraco pin
Iron Sheik 10:28
Tito Santana DQ
Terry Funk 8:28
Tito Santana Draw1
Jim Brunzell Coin Toss
Jim Brunzell pin
The Spoiler 3:19
Jim Brunzell 7:30
Iron Sheik pin
Ricky Steamboat pin
Greg Valentine 13:10
Ricky Steamboat pin
Iron Sheik 10:25
The Iron Sheik pin
B. Brian Blair 5:18

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 0:21  
     Billy Jack Haynes Sub  
 Billy Jack Haynes pin
 The Iron Sheik 8:30  
   Billy Jack Haynes 9:30  
   Harley Race CO  
 Harley Race DQ  
 George Steele 7:30  
   Harley Race  
     BYE    
 Don Muraco Draw
 Roddy Piper 20:00  
   Harley Race pin
   Pedro Morales 10:30
 Nikolai Volkoff pin  
 Dan Spivey 6:12  
   Nikolai Volkoff Sub
     The Junkyard Dog 8:46  
 Junkyard Dog DQ
 Paul Orndorff 8:14  
   Nikolai Volkoff 9:55
   Pedro Morales pin  
 Pedro Morales pin  
 Rudy Diamond1 3:02  
   Pedro Morales pin
     Mike Rotundo 10:00  
 

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 pin
Brutus Beefcake  
Haku Draw
Rick Martel Draw
Rick Martel pin
Dan Spivey  
BYE  
King Kong Bundy  
King Kong Bundy CO
One Man Gang
King Kong Bundy pin
Special Delivery Jones
Special Delivery Jones pin
Sika  
King Kong Bundy  
Randy Savage pin
Dangerous Danny Davis CO
Tito Santana
Danny Davis CO
The Junkyard Dog  
Junkyard Dog pin
Tama  
Danny Davis  
Randy Savage pin
Jim Brunzell pin
Ron Bass  
Jim Brunzell  
Randy Savage pin
Randy Savage pin
Nikolai Volkoff  
  • Jake Roberts defeated the Intercontinental champion The Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart) via disqualification.

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
Dangerous 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.[1]

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 Knobbs 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. ^ 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]