Watch the Throne: Ranking Every King of the Ring Winner
This summer, a fifteenth man will claim the King of the Ring crown in the modern era; how will he compare to the other fourteen kings?
WWE COO Paul "Triple H" Levesque had a busy WrestleMania weekend; in addition to helping promote what will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest wrestling events of all time (NXT TakeOver: New Orleans) and clashing with former enemy Kurt Angle and UFC veteran Ronda Rousey, Levesque used the weekend when all eyes and ears are on the wrestling business to make some big announcements for WWE.
One of the most notable announcements was that the company is once again resurrecting the King of the Ring concept and tournament, albeit as a UK special in line with last year's stellar UK Championship Tournament.
King of the Ring had long been an early summer fan favorite, a tournament where a single superstar could win the crown, throne, sceptre, and title of King of the Ring, along with various attendant perks and bonuses that came along with it.
Today, we take a look at the winners of each King of the Ring tournament to rank them as far as their tournament performance and what the title did for them moving forward; for the sake of simplicity, today we will only focus on the modern era of King of the Ring, beginning in 1993, which was the era when the crown was won only in tournament format and would not be defended in non-tournament matches.
#14 Mabel, 1995 King of the Ring
Mabel owns the distinction of being the worst King of the Ring, and having won the title at not just the worst King of the Ring pay-per-views of all time, but possibly one of the worst pay-per-views of any type in WWE's long history.
Taking place in June of 1995 in Philadelphia, PA, WWE made the bold gamble to eliminate two of its biggest draws, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, in the first round of the tournament in front of some of the most rabid and diehard wrestling fans in North America.
Mabel, thankfully, only wrestled twice on the show (thanks to Michaels and Kama, the future Godfather, going to a time limit draw), but failed to earn a single positive star in both matches combined. He defeated Savio Vega to take the tournament, with Vega performing in his fourth match of the night, replacing another top WWE draw in Razor Ramon.
Mabel was overweight, overexposed, and overworked; his gimmick as part of a rap duo was fine, and had given him some moderate success with a brief tag title run, but his heel turn in 1995 leading to his coronation and its aftermath stretched his acting chops too far. Most of his heeldom consisted of a series of scowls and angry looks, and all of his character's viciousness came in the form of real-life mistakes (crushing Kevin Nash's ribs, breaking The Undertaker's orbital socket) rather than scripted evil.
His Career After King of the Ring
Mabel drifted in and out of WWE, TNA, and various independent companies after winning King of the Ring, being redubbed "Viscera" after an abduction by the Ministry of Darkness; his only other WWE title was a Hardcore Championship reign, which he won and lost in the span of mere minutes during a Hardcore Battle Royal.
Sadly, Nelson Frazier, the man behind Mabel, passed away of a heart attack in 2014 at the age of 43.