Opinion: What WWE should do with the 2019 King of The Ring winner
The tournament was held annually from 1985 to 2002, although no events were held in 1990 and 1992. The news of the return of The King of The Ring has been met with great joy from many fans, who seem to be very happy to see WWE's all-time greatest tournament return. One thing that was always great about the King of The Ring is the winner was often shot straight into stardom. We have seen some of the all-time greats like Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Triple H, Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar all get their first big push by winning the crown.
The King of The Ring has even revived some main event runs that were once thought gone, such as when Booker T became King Booker in 2006. While we do have all these great memories of the tournament and it's winners, WWE hasn't always gotten it right with their kings. While many winners were deserving of that big push following the tournament, creative issues just got in the way.
And in recent tournament years, WWE followed the same formula which didn't work, and this is what they shouldn't do. And that happens to be when they take the 'King' part of the King of The Ring too far and add it to the superstars gimmick.
Now as mentioned, this did actually work before with Booker T. He became King Booker after winning the tournament in 2006 and had a marvelous year that included winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with a lengthy reign and several top tier feuds. What also helped was he fit the role perfectly as he gave a not too over-the-top but hilarious performance, while still being a serious competitor. King Booker's reign with the crown arguably became more memorable than the similar roles of 'King' Harley Race and The Macho King Randy Savage.
With the past three winners of the tournament, William Regal (2008), Sheamus (2010) and Wade Barrett (2015), WWE made them kings too, and it just didn't work.
What's worse, the victories of Sheamus and Barrett were tarnished by the fact that both Superstars went on to have pretty long losing streaks shortly after dawning the crown and cape. It took both the talented Superstars months to shake them off. In fact, they only did start to win again after abandoning their royalty.
How WWE should book this year's King of the Ring
More importantly, onto what WWE should do with their 2019 King of The Ring winner. What they should do is something that was only done a couple times in the KOTR's later years, and that was an up and comer winning the tournament and receiving a Pay-Per-View World Championship match.
While Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Triple H and other majorly successful kings would gradually climb their way to the top, the 2000 King of The Ring Kurt Angle and 2002 King Brock Lesnar were both given WWE Championship matches. This extra stipulation immediately made both superstars look even more like they belonged in the main event.
It didn't matter that Angle lost his initial Championship match at SummerSlam 2000 or that Lesnar won his at the same event in 2002, but that they were both given the matches and two months of build up to them made them look like they were right where they needed to be.
Whoever becomes King doesn't necessarily need to win a WWE Championship, but as long as he is an up and comer who gets the PPV title match on top of the honor, will make him all the more legit.