The People’s Column: The Return of King of the Ring

Last week the last three special editions of WWE Monday Night Raw for this year were announced. They all seem relatively entertaining, but I have to say that I am most excited about one of them.

The show I am most interested in is the imminent return of The King of the Ring. This tournament almost always leads to a major push for the man who wins it. The notable exceptions to this rule are Billy Gunn (who did not deserve a push) and Ken Shamrock (who just never got as over as he should have). In recent years, it has been used as a special edition of Raw, most recently as a three hour show used to get William Regal over as a mega heel and give him the biggest push of his career till his wellness policy violation.

I do hope that this special is much better than the William Regal edition of the KOTR. That show was loaded with screwjob matches that ultimately led to Regal’s victory, but did not make for good TV. This tournament is a great chance for WWE to create their newest big star, much like they did in 2002 with Brock Lesnar. In one night they can take a relatively unknown player and turn him into a major main event star in WWE.

Whoever wins this tournament should get a WWE Championship shot at either the TLC pay per view or at the Royal Rumble. They do not have to win that championship to continue being pushed, but showing up and having a great 20 to 25 minute match where they take the champion to the limit will give them enough of a rub. With that and a followup on Raw saying that the KOTR took the champion to the limit this star will be made.

Who exactly will be thar star though? I don’t want to make a list yet, because we have not seen the full breakdown of who could be involved. I hope we get some qualifying matches for the tournament on Raw or Smackdown with some brackets announced before the night of the tournament. That would be some fun speculation for this blog. Looking at the major players that WWE is highlighting right now, I believe it could be Daniel Bryan.

It seems like the popular internet pick at the moment, but Bryan would make sense. Look at the four wins that Bryan has had on WWE TV in the last eight days. He has been allowed to do what he does best and fans are responding. He has also made the biggest rising star in WWE (The Miz) tap out on PPV in two consecutive months. Could that be the ending we see at the King of the Ring?

If it is Daniel Bryan, who has been pushed strongly, will he end up being able to main event a PPV? It really depends on the show. We have always seen slightly weaker championship matches on the Royal Rumble show. This is a place where WWE is more likely to take a risk with a weaker match, since the Rumble match is the usual reason for buying the show. I would hate to see Bryan in a title match at TLC, since that would be a gimmick match and not something that Daniel Bryan can do as well as he can straight up wrestle.

In the end, I will be happy just to see this tournament happen. WWE can do everything wrong with this one and it will still probably give a star a major push. This is one of the few nights of the year where a true star can be created. That’s exciting to me.

Are you excited to see the return of KOTR? Who do you believe will win the tournament?

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