WWE: Booking the 2021 King of the Ring tournament

WWE, King Corbin (image courtesy of WWE)
WWE, King Corbin (image courtesy of WWE) /

These past few weeks the WWE has been teasing the possibility of a new king on SmackdownRi. “King” Corbin has had his fair share of issues with the “King of strong style” Shinsuke Nakamura. Needless to say, the addition of Rik Bugez and a crown have given Nakamura all of his swagger back. But this could be part of a bigger play to bring the tournament back once fans can fully attend live shows over the summer. To say Baron Corbin wore the “King” gimmick out would be an understatement, it’s far past the due date to crown new royalty.

A 2021 King of the Ring tournament could help elevate a number of superstars

The field could feature 4 superstars from Raw and 4 from Smackdown. For the sake of simplicity, NXT superstars are being left out of the field. The Raw roster could yield Damian Priest, Jinder Mahal, Angel Garza, and Xavier Woods. While Smackdown could feature Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E, Jey Uso, and Seth Rollins. The last tournament runner-up, Chad Gable, and Baron Corbin could also be welcomed additions to the field.

The crown being tossed back and forth between Corbin and Nakamura. This would lead to a blowoff match for the rights to the crown between the two. Nakamura now holds the rights to the crown and has revitalized his “king of strong style” persona. While it has been a fun run, especially with Bugeez playing guitar over Nakamura’s original theme, it doesn’t feel official. With the pending return of fans at the Money in the Bank pay per view, the WWE should bring the tournament back so a new “King” can be crowned.

However, the caveat of being “King” is no longer enough with how much wrestling programming is consumed these days. There has to be more at stake for the eventual winner. The nostalgia of King of the Ring is cool and all, but the winner should be in line for a title shot of their choosing. Scheduling a return of the “King of the ring” could prove difficult with Money in the Bank in July, but perhaps later in the year post Summerslam season, a proper tournament can happen. This way the eventual winner could poise himself for a title shot on an upcoming pay-per-view, while the Money in the Bank stuff will likely be ongoing.

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In the meantime, fans will sing along to Nakamura’s entrance like it’s 2018 all over again. When and if the tournament takes place the company would be wise to make the eventual winner Xavier Woods. A superstar that has openly campaigned for the tournament to return, and has been vocal about winning the tournament as a career accomplishment. Singles run Woods also has been a revelation as late, giving the unsung member of the New Day his rightful flowers as a talent. Similar to Kofi-Mania, a run as “King Woods” would go a long way to establishing Woods as a singles talent and giving the New Day group a well-rounded feel as a stable.