The King of the Ring is back!

For the first time since April of 2015, WWE will run a King of the Ring tournament which according to WWE.com will return on next week’s Monday Night Raw.

The event has seen a number of legendary wrestlers win the King of the Ring tournament including Harley Race, Randy Savage, Bret Hart (twice), Stone Cold Steve Austin, HHH, Kurt Angle, Edge, Brock Lesnar, and Booker T. Altogether, 19 superstars have been able to claim that they were a King of the Ring winner.

There will be eight superstars from both Raw and Smackdown that will take part in this year’s King of the Ring tournament. Wrestle Zone states that the finals will take place at Clash of the Champions which airs on September 15.

Raw superstars

  • The Miz
  • Ricochet
  • Cedric Alexander
  • Samoa Joe
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Baron Corbin
  • Sami Zayn
  • Cesaro

Smackdown superstars

  • Kevin Owens
  • Ali
  • Apollo Crews
  • Chad Gable
  • Elias
  • Andrade
  • Buddy Murphy
  • Shelton Benjamin

Who are the favorites

While you can never say never, there are a few wrestlers that can be singled as highly unlikely to win the tournament. Those include Cedric Alexander, Apollo Crews, Chad Gable, Buddy Murphy, and Shelton Benjamin.

What many claims helped catapult Stone Cold’s career was his King of the Ring victory in 2006 where he coined the phrase ‘Austin 3:16.’ It was from there he was embroiled in a long-running feud with authority figure Vince McMahon.

Kevin Owens is taking on somewhat of an Austin persona in being anti-authority (even using the Stunner as his finishing move). This time around, that authority figure is Shane McMahon. It would only further the staggering momentum he has built in the recent weeks if he were to win the tournament.

Drew McIntyre is another viable candidate to win the King of the Ring tournament. He has also the makings of being the top heel in the company, but WWE hasn’t quite put him in that role yet. Winning the tournament could be the start of them doing so.

Baron Corbin hasn’t been on television in recent weeks after his long-running feud with Seth Rollins. It can easily be seen (likely by nefarious means) him winning the tournament and going back to an entitled character like he believed he was when he was general manager of Raw.

The Miz has been treading water for a few months now spending more time hosting his show, Miz TV, than Wrestling in the ring. Perhaps a heel turn is in the store that helps him win the tournament as he always seems to be more comfortable in that role.

It would not be a shock if any of the other seven (Ricochet, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Ali, Elias, and Andrade) won either. Hopefully, the WWE uses this tournament to push the winner in a deserving way.

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