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King of the Ring vs. Money in the Bank

Hey Scott,
With the discussion of Jack Swagger, it got me to thinking that the Money in the Bank winner today is like the King of the Ring winner except much worse. In both cases, WWE wants to push a midcard guy to the main event level with the easy way out. Sometimes they are successful like with Owen, Brock, and Kurt (KotR); and Edge, RVD, Bryan (MitB). However, in many cases, he is just not there yet. With the KotR winner, if he flops at the next level, no big deal. Examples of this would be Mabel and Billy Gunn. Sometimes the KotR winner is just not ready to be a main eventer but would be in a year to a few years like HHH, Edge and Steve Austin. Imagine if Edge, Austin, Mabel or Gunn won the world title through a KotR win, it would hurt their careers because they are not good enough to be a world champ and be seen as a joke (like Swagger) or just too soon to be world champ (Punk's first reign or Miz). If Austin had won the title in the fall of 1996, his rise to main eventer and eventual title win at Wrestlemania XIV would not have been as special. If HHH won his first world title through KotR, his reign would be just way too soon. Alberto del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, early CM Punk, Miz, Daniel Bryan, and even Jack Swagger would have made great King winners because it pushes them to the next level without forcing WWE to make them world champ. Thoughts?


Very true.  I was always a big fan of the King of the Ring idea, because TOURNAMENTS ARE AWESOME and also because it's a fairly low-risk and potentially high reward scenario.  The trouble came at the end, when they were trying to make it into a bigger deal than it needed to be and it started being obvious that, say, Brock Lesnar had to win the thing because he was the biggest star getting the biggest push.  Their most recent attempt, where they put Sheamus over, was fine even if the followup was somewhat misguided.  

But yeah, absolutely, bring it back and make it an annual event again.  It's not like it could do any worse on PPV than Bragging Rights or Capital Punishment or whatever. 

Comments

  1. Plus it's a good way to test someone's main event status. You put them over in the main event of the tournament and gauge the crowd reaction. Then you have them lose against the champ in a main event and gauge the crowd reaction. The mib winner gets none of that.

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  2. One of the worst things to happen to the midcard is "guaranteed" world title shots. Between Money in the Bank and the Royal Rumble the winner is expected not only to get a title shot but he has to win and run with it or he is considered a bust. I liked things better when winning these contests meant you were a star on the rise and somebody worth watching out for without the pressure of "becoming the man." Nowadays the Royal Rumble winners are fairly predictable because only the tippy top main eventers have a chance with the other 25 guys there to fill space. Same in a way with Money in the Bank, really only Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes had a real chance of winning. King of the Ring was a great chance of watching somebody on the rise. Since there's no guaranteed title shot (although one is expected) you could get invested in the rise of someone over the next year or so. If he fails, that's fine at least he's not damaged for the rest of his stint, but if he succeeds then you have someone who could stick around in the main event for years to come. These days its either you become "the man" or you're a jobber for life.

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  3. I loved the KOTR concept too and wish they would have pushed it more and make it mean more back in the day (like the winner gets a title shot at Summerslam). I know they did it in 02, but it was too little too late by then and it was pretty confusing why they got rid  of it. I know it was generally the lowest brought PPV of the big 5 but surely it did better than the other B PPVs.

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  4. King of the Ring would do fine if they didn't force so many of the winners into those ridiculous "King" themed gimmicks. If there is any lame ass gimmick I wish would die and never come back it's the wrestling King. 

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  5.  Except King Booker was AWESOME.  That run would be remembered more fondly if his matches didn't go to shit during that time.

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  6. The problem with KotR as a PPV concept is that it requires that the main event of the show be ? vs ?, and casual fans don't want to pay for a card when they don't know what the main event is. I mean, you could still have a WWE Title Match as the main event, but the most important match on a KotR PPV will always be the finals of the tourney.

    Kind of like how I expect last month's TNA PPV to pull among the lowest buyrates in company history. The main events were ? v ?, and Austin Aries v The Armbreaker (technically Aries v ?).

    But a full KotR tourney would make a killer 3-hour RAW.

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  7. didn't they do this in 2008?

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  8. They usually do King of the Ring on RAW every two years. It's about time for another one and that is the perfect theme to do using the three hour format.

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  9. Swagger's reign was good. It just that they didn't do shit with him after he lost it. I would have watched any good Swagger match over those terrible snoozefests Kane and Taker had.

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  10. In his defense, he was forced to carry guys like Lashley and Batista.

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  11. In some cases, being the runner up in the tournament wasn't too shabby either, in the cases of guys like Razor Ramon, the Rock, Mankind, and RVD.

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  12. Agree with this, I'm not sure why they soured on Swagger. I was entertained while he was champ. I remember him dragging around Rey Mysterio through the arena with the ankle lock.

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  13. Yep, you're right. That was the King Regal one. I should have said that it would make for a killer 3-hour era RAW.

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  14.  True.  I was at Survivor Series 2006 in Philly (supposed to be Batista's big title win after returning from injury) and man what a horrific match.  The crowd was pumped for Big Dave during the entrances and then just died during the 20 minute snoozefest that followed.

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  15. Not only that, but the ? vs ? final was usually a shitty match, because the guys were wore out from having already wrestled twice that night.

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  16.  So long as there's wrestlers that people actually care about in the tournament, people would pay to watch simply because they would want to see if their favorite wrestler would win, although that kind of thinking may have gone the way of the dinosaur now since wins and losses don't mean anything in the WWE anymore.

    Plus if the KOTR had run the same trend as the 93 and 94 one, you'd also be paying knowing full well you'll get a night of good action and matches. I think one of the things that killed the KOTR concept was that you knew you wouldn't get any great matches out of it, although the 2011 one did have some good workrate in it, so hopefully that'll continue with the next tournament.

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  17.  I think they always chose great runner ups who were perhaps more deserving of the KOTR one because they wanted to give the rub by making the guy they want to push gain credibility by beating someone who was over, like an unover HHH beating Mankind, n unover Mabel was originally suppose to beat Razor before he got injured, an unover Austin (at the time) beat Roberts, Rock had 10 times the heat that Shamrock had yet it was Shammy that went over, an unover Billy Gunn went over X-Pac who was always capable of drawing heat, and Brock was very unover in  2002 when he went over the popular RVD.

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  18.  I don't get the love for that gimmick, I thought it was pretty lame and gimmicky, with a patina of racist.

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  19. This might not sound right, but they started to put too much emphasis on what winning the tournament meant. Some guys won and went on to great things, but it's not like Steve Austin became the mega star he was because he won the King of the Ring. He didn't do much of anything for months after that. By the time he became popular I doubt anyone really remembered the King of the Ring. Same with Triple H. Then they started to act like once a guy won the King of the Ring he was made. That's it, he's a star now, view him as such. It kind of worked with Brock - the KOTR gave him the title shot, but it was beating Rock that really made him. It bombed with Billy Gunn. It bombed with Mabel. It turned out well for him in the end but winning the King of the Ring didn't do anything for Edge. I liked having Shamrock winning it - it's a feather in his cap that can be built on, but they didn't force him into the main event two months later because of it. That's how I'd like it to be - a tournament that anyone can win, and maybe they can use the momentum to make it to the next level, but if they don't, they don't. Not randomly deciding that tonight we're going to tell you who the next superstar is because he'll be wearing a crown.

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  20. That was when Rey was champ actually.

    Man, they really loved making Rey look like shit whenever he held one of the belts.

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  21. Ha, I was there as well. The match was so bad there were "Cancel Smackdown" chants throughout it.

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  22.  The KOTR made Austin. Winning the tournament itself meant nothing for Austin, but it was the Austin 3:16 speech afterwards that made him. And while he didn't do anything after the KOTR, he was always protected as he rarely lost, and always got a lot of promo time and he was kept strong until his feud with Bret and he was over after the KOTR, not super over but he was one of the upper tier guys at the time for sure.

    The KOTR didn't do much for HHH granted, as the KOTR seemed like Plan C out of Plan Z to get HHH over as a main event star that WWE always wanted to push for. And the win didn't do anything for Edge either, but like HHH, WWE always saw something special in Edge and they were going to push him no matter what until he got over. And while winning the tourney didn't do anything for Brock, it was something he needed to do as he had to build as much momentum as possible so he'd look like a legit contender in a short amount of time. Billy Gunn was another case where WWE liked him and it seemed like he was going to get pushed no matter what, but thankfully Billy fell put of favour with the company along the way and that never materialised.

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  23.  You are correct sir.

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  24. Bret made Austin.  As a fan watching at the time, I remember thinking that Bret was going to absolutely outclass Austin in the ring.  Surely this was like a Superstars match... then Austin took him to the limit, and only lost via "dying on his own sword" so-to-speak.  

    As they revisioned things, they could point to the King of the Ring as the spot where he took off.  When in reality it's the spot where they gave Austin a semblance of a chance... and he floundered around for few months after that... until Bret came back and decided to make the biggest star of that era.

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  25. Black kings are racist?

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  26.  um Brock was far from "unover"

    Revisionist history is fun I guess. 

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  27.  KOTR was a start, but yeah it was when Austin started calling Hart out and getting screentime as a result that he got really over.  Stuff like him invading Livewire and intimidating Sunny and Toad Pettingill went far in making him over.  And then the Survivor Series match cemented it

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  28. I thought that was the point,  Booker being so purposefully over the top turned it from potentially offensive to ridiculous and funny for me.  The only knock I had as champion was that he was in crappy matches and booked to win only on stupid roll ups, feet on the ropes, sceptre shot from sharmell, etc. etc., that part hardly being his fault.

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  29.  That show also notable for the loud CM Punk chants while standing in the ring with DX.  That was awesome

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  30.  100X's yes to the livewire segment.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TglE8P5V5AA

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  31. They should get Kofi to win it.

    King Kingston!

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  32.  Just because that was the point doesn't make it good. I just took at as a lame ass comedy gimmick that had no higher purpose than "haw haw look at the black guy actin' all fancy! That's impossible cuz he's black!" I guess Booker came up with it himself but even still, it was dumb.

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  33. You're right. Honestly winning the Rumble or KOTR should be enough. Like another thing to add to your resume. Now winning the rumble is an afterthought DURING the rumble, b/c all anyone cares about is Wrestle Mania.

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  34.  See I didn't see it as a "black" thing but a "Booker" thing.  We KNOW Booker isn't that guy but he tried so hard to make it look like he was.  Of course our opinions are guided by the fact that I found it funny and you didn't regardless.

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  35. King of the Ring just seemed like a sure fire way to make someone.  If you wanted to make a face, and I mean, REALLY make a face... he gets clean three wins in one night ala Bret Hart.

    ... and there's SO many options for a convincing heel victory.

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  36. We hadn't had a KOTR in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Who could have been the best for the spot?

    I think: 2003 - maybe Rob Van Dam or Kane, 2004 - John Cena or , 2005 - Shelton Benjamin, 2007 - CM Punk, 2009 - Jeff Hardy, 2011 - Alberto Del Rio or The Miz or Cody Rhodes, 2012 - Dolph Ziggler.

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  37. Something about King Kofi Kingston just doesn't seem right...

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  38. Agreed. Notice how guys live Steve Austin, Triple H and Edge didn't immediately get world title shots after winning their KOTR tournament but their wins meant their time would be coming soon. On the other hand Brock Lesnar got too much too quickly and burned out after only a couple of years.

    As for Money in the Bak, it was fine because you had guys like Edge and Rob Van Dam winning it, guys The Miz and Alberto Del Rio won it and suddenly you had undeserving guys suddenly becoming world champions without pay their dues and the WWE expects us to like it?

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  39. I remember the 2000 King of the Ring had so much potential and they completely wasted it.

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  40. "Sounds good to me!" - Clayton Bigsby

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  41.  I've always hated the idea of the winner of the RR goes to Mania. It should just be it's own reward, hell make it for a million bucks or a new car or something but not for mania. It's always so obvious who is gonna win each year.

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  42. Had nothing to do with him being black. It had to do with him becoming royalty. Would've worked the same if it had been jbl.

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  43.  Really? I don't remember many people having Sheamus this year.

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  44.  2003 - Angle maybe Goldberg 2004 - Randy Orton 2005 - Jericho 2007 - Punk 2009 - Hardy 2011 - Cena 2012 - Del Rio

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  45. That's because everyone was so excited about Jericho returning that everyone was expecting him to win.

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  46. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 28, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Billy Gunn won the same tournement that Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesner did? Yeah...yeah I guess he did. Wow...I had totally managed to block that out.

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  47. Everyone had ADR the year before? Rey Mysterio the year he won? Edge surprise returning and winning? Cena doing the same thing? I just don't think it's been all that easy to pick the Rumble winner in a while.

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  48.  And would have been equally as stupid. It's a dead gimmick that only fit in a previous place in time, and even then it didn't make a wealth of sense. Sheamus's career has never really recovered from it.

    However, if Booker had worn a suit with a ceremonial crown and acted all crazed and power mad like Idi Amin, that might have been the greatest character of all time.

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  49. You said it was racist. It wasn't. Saying its stupid is personal preference. Most people disagreed.

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  50. Without paying their dues? Lolol

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  51. ADR was the second biggest star in mexico...he paid his fucking dues.

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  52. It's not so much that the Rumble winner is easy to predict, it's that only a certain group of wrestlers have a chance of winning. Even someone slightly below the upper midcard level has no chance. Someone like a Hacksaw Jim Duggan would never have a chance of winning the Royal Rumble if he entered one today.

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  53. Worst WWE Champion Ever!

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  54. Indeed. It's really the way the tournament was laid out. They more or less gave away the winner by having Angle and Jericho face each other in the first round and having Rikishi beat Benoit only by DQ. . You kinda knew the winner of the Angle/Jericho match would go on to win the thing

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  55. Isn't that what he did? He knighted Finlay and Regal!

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  56. I had Edge returning and winning, and Rey because they were playing up the "he's doing it for Eddie" card.

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  57. Yes.  That should have been the best one ever, given the level of mid-card talent they had on the roster. 

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  58. So, Billy Gunn's KOTR win in 1999 was a bust, but who does everyone think should have won?  Maybe X-Pac?  Kane?  That was one year when I didn't see an obvious favorite going in and, even in retrospect, I'm not sure who made the most sense that year.  HHH had already won it two years earlier, Shamrock won it in '98.  Jeff Jarrett made the most sense to me at the time, but Austin didn't want to work with him and he ended up leaving a few months later for WCW anyway.  I guess X-Pac made sense, but he was never getting the main event push for good reason.  I suppose they could have also done a monster thing with Big Show dominating the tourney.  

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  59. It's funny people say that, but at the time I thought it was clear that Billy would win and would beat X-Pac in the final.  The only match I picked wrong that year was Road Dogg going over Chyna in the first round.

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  60. How about HHH winning the weakest KOTR tournament ever in 1997?  It only had 7 guys in it (including the qualifying matches)!  When Jerry Lawler makes the semis in the late 1990s, you know you have a bad tournament.

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  61. King Booker was great just because of his over the top sayings.  I laughed pretty hard when he said in a Smackdown! episode that at SummerSlam he was going to defeat "the rogue" Batista and be victorious at "The SummerSlam Games."

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  62. Nah, I'd say Brock was much closer to "unover" than "over".

    At the time, we kept hearing about how he was this incredible amateur wrestler and everything, but he wrestled like any other generic hoss. He even did that stupid "try to spear the opponent in the corner, the opponent moves, and you go head-first into the post" spot in just about every match for the first few months. He really didn't even show off any real agility or technical-/amateur-skills until the Angle feud.

    When the stip was added that the winner of the 2002 "KOR" tournament would get the main-event of "Summerslam", there were a LOT of people complaining that he was being shoved down our throats. Luckily, the combination of Rock's talent/generosity and a rabid Long Island crowd (that always loves watching a monster kick a pretty-boy's ass) pretty much helped Brock get over the hump that night, and then it was still not until "WM19" that he actually showed what he could do in the ring.

    He was great in 2003. Not so much in 2002.

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  63. To be fair, Edge's MITB win was successful BECAUSE he was a main event level guy. They'd been pushing him for close to 4 years by the time he won it. It definitely propelled him to stardom in the literal sense, because it gave him his first title win, but the trigger could've been pulled on him at pretty much any point 02 - 05. 

    [Of course, this being the E, they immediately ruined this by hotshotting the belt back to Cena at the next PPV, just so HHH could have ANOTHER WM main event spotlight shone on him.]Same with RVD - fans were rabid for him from his debut onwards, pretty much, and his MITB win felt epic precisely because it seemed like the E were finally pulling the trigger on him. He got quite severely depushed in 03/04 (nearly killing the boss' son in-law is not without its consequences), but he was by far the most over wrestler on the roster in 02 (despite attempts to bury him). They could've put the belt on him in 2001 if they really wanted to.

    Bryan is a different story, but that guy is so mind-mindbogglingly talented he managed to come out of an 18 second burial on PPV one of the most over guys in the entire Fed.

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  64. To be fair, having alcoholic, out of shape Jake Roberts (already crushed by Vader) in the finals of 1996 was PRETTY bad...

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  65. As I think Gunn is a talentless buffoon who had no business being near the main event, I don't think he should've won, and his repeated failure to get over despite several subsequent repackages and incomprehensible pushes demonstrates that the decision was obviously assbackward, but you've got to remember that he was actually pretty over late 98/early 99, so I guess him winning made a tiny shred of sense. 
    I think they should've given the win to Val Venis personally, as it would've allowed him to transcend his status as comedy mid-card guy. 

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  66. Bullshit since the inception of the rumble winner getting the title shot, its been easy to call until literally the year sheamus won.

    08 as well cuz Cena being injured was literally the mark out moment of the century.

    seriously though it was easy to call damn near every year. Or at least narrow it down to like 4 people.

    Whereas the 2000 KoTR was damn near impossible to call cuz it could have been any one of those guys.

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  67. they should do two matches a week. and it lead it up to a month on both shows so either  the winners of each show could meet on ppv given specific build up OR... you could have separate KoTR toruneys for each show and have the finals for each show meet on PPV.

    That way in order to see this great TV toruney you have TO PAY to see the finals.

    Weird Concept I know.

    LIPOSWIG... smh...

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  68. Lawler gettin titles shots in 2010s is sad.

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  69. He was a superstar but he wasnt a main event level guy though. he had that series with Angle but lost a lot of momentum with the neck injury.

    It wasnt til he hooked up with Lita is when everything clicked.

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  70. I was at that PPV and many of us in the crowd thought that Big Show would win it with Kane a close second. No one thought Billy Gunn would win it.

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  71. I took the tone of it to be too racially charged for my liking, but maybe I was seeing things that weren't there. Either way, I feel like the ridiculousness of it came from how ludicrous it was of Booker to be acting like that, and it only seems ludicrous based on Booker's personality, and it just felt off to me. Plus it was really gimmicky and unrealistic and that kind of thing chafed at me at the time, although now I've come to appreciate unrealism in wrestling a little more. 

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  72. But at least Roberts had the "comeback veteran" story behind it.

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  73. Interesting. I remember buying that show (still want that $30 back!) and having no real opinion at the time.

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