One of the World Wrestling Federation
's more intruiging Pay-Per-View
events, usually held in June of each year.
The idea behind it is to have a tournament of almost all the midcard wrestlers in the federation, culminating in one of
them being crowned "King of the Ring" in the finals at the PPV event. Usually, the qualifying matches and the first few
rounds will be held on the WWF's cable TV shows, with the last 2 or 3 rounds occurring at the PPV itself.
The winner of the KoTR tournament is usually in line for a major push--he's considered the person who the WWF
consider the "next big thing". It is used as a stepping stone
, to propel the winner into upper-level feuds and, hopefully,
into the main event
Success has been varied, as you can see by looking at the past Kings of the Ring:
Bret Hart (1993)
: Was already a main eventer, this was to placate him after the debacle that occurred at Wrestlemania
Owen Hart (1994)
: This victory was actually the peak of his career. Never went on to much afterwards, but for the
ultra-hot Hart Foundation
angle in 1996-97.
: One of the WWF's absolute worst moments. Went on to briefly feud with WWF Champion Diesel
immediately afterwards to try to push him, which was thankfully aborted. He came back as Viscera
in 1998 to just as
Stone Cold Steve Austin (1996)
: One of the WWF's absolute BEST moments. He coined the now-famous "Austin
3:16" catchphrase during the coronation
ceremony, and after a few more months in the midcard, went on to feud with
later in the year. After that, he was pretty much propelled into the stratosphere, winning the WWF
Championship at Wrestlemania XIV
and never looking back.
: Went on to feud with Mankind
(who he beat in the finals) in a highly successful series of matches in the
summer of '97, then going on to start Degeneration X
with Shawn Michaels
. Since then, he has won the WWF
Championship multiple times and is considered one of the top stars of the federation.
Ken Shamrock (1998)
: Went on to do, er, nothing of note. He has since left the WWF and is back doing Ultimate
Billy Gunn (1999)
: Just as big a failure as Shamrock. He has repeatedly shown an inability to draw a crowd reaction
at all in singles competition, which led to him rejoining the New Age Outlaws
and then thankfully buried some time
Kurt Angle (2000)
: Ahh. He had already won the European and Intercontinental Championships at this point, and this
was just another notch on his belt. He went on to become WWF Champion only a few short months later, and is
currently deeply involved in the WCW
: He's considered a great prospect as a singles wrestler (he's been paired with Christian
years now), but he just won the tournament and it's too early to tell.