On Monday night, WWE announced the return of the King of the Ring. Last seen in 2015, King of the Ring is a fan favorite tournament that can make a new star. Starting next week, matches will take with a sixteen man field. The finals will take place at Clash of Champions on September 15th.
Who in the sixteen man field would make the best new king? The King of the Ring tournament has helped launch many stars over the years. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Edge, Triple H and more have been launched by the tournament. So who should win the tournament? We took a crack at predicting the tournament and how it might play out.
- Cedric Alexander def. Baron Corbin
- Drew McIntyre def. The Miz
- Cesaro def. Samoa Joe
- Ricochet def. Sami Zayn
The Raw field has five men who would benefit from a win in this tournament, but there are only four spots. Cedric and Drew move on after matches against Corbin and Miz, respectively. Alexander has been really impressive as of late, and McIntyre is always a threat. Ricochet is WWE’s resident superhero, so having him topple Sami Zayn makes sense. Then it comes down to Cesaro versus Samoa Joe. What a brawl these two would have. Samoa Joe has been hard to peg recently, as he has had stop-and-start booking. WWE does seem to have big plans for Samoa Joe, but they won’t start here. Cesaro gets the nod to advance after a hard fought match.
- Kevin Owens def. Elias
- Buddy Murphy def. Apollo Crews
- Ali def. Shelton Benjamin
- Andrade def. Chad Gable
This week on SmackDown Live we learned that Shane McMahon is not done with Kevin Owens. Shane could line up his lap-dog Elias to face Owens in the first round. Owens will easily move on to the next round. Murphy versus Crews would be a repeat of their Summerslam match that didn’t get a definitive ending. After his great performance against Reigns, Murphy should be an easy bet to move on. Ali can overcome the veteran Shelton Benjamin in a fresh matchup. Finally, Andrade has been a featured star as of late. After an impressive showing against Rey Mysterio on Raw, he should easily dispatch of criminally-underrated Chad Gable.
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- Drew McIntyre def. Cedric Alexander
- Ricochet def. Cesaro
- Buddy Murphy def. Kevin Owens
- Andrade def. Ali
The second round features some old foes matching up. McIntyre and Alexander would both make good choices for King, but instead we get another chapter in their rivalry. These two have constantly been building on their old matchups, so this should be a dandy. The Scotsman moves on. Ricochet and Cesaro have made magic together in the past as well. Cesaro will fall to Ricochet here, setting up Raw with a big clash of styles in their finals.
On SmackDown Live, the Owens-McMahon shenanigans continue. Buddy Murphy doesn’t necessarily need help to win this matchup, but he’ll get it from an interfering Elias & Shane McMahon. Owens gets eliminated, and has a new reason to hate his boss. Andrade and Ali will have a great matchup, but the sneaky Zelina Vega proves to be the difference maker. El Idolo moves on.
- Ricochet def. Drew McIntyre
- Andrade def. Buddy Murphy
King of the Ring is for making new stars, and that’s what this final four represents. Ricochet and Drew McIntyre can burn the house down if given the time. While WWE does love to put Brits in the King of the Ring gimmick (William Regal, Sheamus, Wade Barrett), McIntyre doesn’t need the win as bad. Ricochet has been pushed hard as well, but a trip to the finals can really solidify him as a top dog. McIntyre can get his heat back after the match by beating down Ricochet.
An all-heel matchup highlights the blue brand. Based on the reactions he got this week, Murphy might be the favorite of the fans in this match. However, it’s Andrade who moves on to the finals. Murphy will stay in the match for a long time, but again the advantage of having Zelina Vega makes Andrade the choice.
- Andrade def. Ricochet
The best possible King to come out of this tournament is Andrade. Heel King of the Ring winners are more successful because of the ability to brag about the victory. Having business associate Zelina Vega talk up his tournament win would add even more heat to the rising star. Andrade should take his tournament victory and parlay it into a WWE Championship match. What a way to crown the newest Latin star in WWE: by dethroning Kofi Kingston.
That’s one way the King of the Ring could shake out. How do you see it playing out? Who should rule as the newest King of the Ring? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @FPC_Wrestling.