Eagle eyed viewers (who weren’t watching on delay and skipping the ads) may have noticed that WWE announced the return of the King of the Ring tournament last night on Extreme Rules. The announcement was brief, with not a lot of detail given, but we now know a little more about what’s going on.
The 2015 King of the Ring tourney will begin on tonight’s Raw, then the semi-finals and finals will take place on a live King of the Ring special, which happens on Tuesday at 8 ET/5 PT on the WWE Network. No word on how long the special will be. We’ll be doing a live thread and Best and Worst, so keep an eye out for that.
The King of the Ring tournament is a fan-favorite tradition, but it’s history is more than a bit uneven. The tournament started as something the WWF did to drum up house show business (the first six tournaments weren’t even televised) before becoming a pay-per-view in 1993. The PPV version died in 2002, but WWE has revived it on Raw and SmackDown several times since. Early on, winners like Harley Race and Randy Savage incorporated having won King of the Ring into their gimmicks (an idea that was later revived for guys like Booker T and Sheamus). During the ’90s and early-2000s, the WWF tried to push winning the King of the Ring as a “milestone” accomplishment similar to winning the Royal Rumble, with guys like Owen Hart, Steve Austin, Triple H and Kurt Angle winning it while on the rise. Along the way, the WWF also bet on a few losers, crowing guys like Mabel (also known as Viscera) and Billy Gunn.
Regardless of its legacy, King of the Ring is a big-ass wrestling tournament, and wrestling tournaments are fun, so it’s good to see it back. What do you expect from the 2015 King of the Ring? Who do you think should win? Who do you think will win?
Update: WWE has posted the official brackets, so barring any wacky twists, your potential winners are one of these eight men…