Wrestling LogicLee: The King We Needed?
Submitted by LoneLee on 09/18/2019 at 01:49 PM

I love it when a plan comes together. A 5-week journey showcasing some of the brightest and most exciting Superstars on the main roster culminated this past Monday. Yes, the ever prestigious King of the Ring tournament made its return to WWE for the first time in 4 years. The purpose of this tournament has always been to breathe new life into the mid and lower card competitors and eventually propel them to the next step into stardom. But was that the goal this year? Well, sorta. I want to look back at the highs, lows, questionables, and future of this year’s crowning achievement.

From the very beginning, it was easy to facilitate the outcomes of each individual matchup. The face vs heel dynamic is a given and the first round of the tournament proved it to be so. Moving on to the 2nd round, favorites like Andrade, Ali, and Cedric Alexander we’re not only eliminated but done so in convincing, unarguable fashion. Maybe I’m upset because I had a final round penciled in between Ricochet vs Andrade with the latter coming out victorious and now I have to pay up. However, some interesting new yet confusing wrenches were thrown in this year that would see a draw result in a triple threat match semi-final and the frightening replacement of the injured Elias with the repugnant Shane McMahon. Imagine we almost had a Shane vs Corbin final!! Anyway, a new element to an old concept keeps things fresh, it’s how the business evolves. Only what had me scratching my head, aside from my latest bout with dandruff, would be the logic presented behind these changes in round 2.

“Neither man lost”....Ok, so neither man won either? This was really all that could be given for the draw despite past tournaments resulting in an automatic bye to the next round for the would be opponent?...Well WWE logic rears its uglyhead yet again. How about choosing your own replacement? I suppose this isn’t the Brawl-4-All which saw defeated competitors advance through due to winner suffering an injury. I can’t say Ali vs Gable would’ve been a classic but it could have played into Ali getting another opportunity due to an injury, kinda similar to how a certain WWE champion got their opportunity at his expense. These subjectible snafus that could’ve been more deeply explained or chances expanded upon were my only serious takeaways from an otherwise impressive tournament.

All of the matches went 10+ minutes, they were highly competitive with no squashes or real foul play, and they even created some stars...or did they? Ricochet, whom had perhaps the most impressive first round victory achieved overthe heavy favorite Drew McIntyre, was quickly relegated to a throwaway comedy match on the night he should’ve been in the finals, got dang it! Apollo is once again MIA, Ali is back to a feud that had been inexplicably dropped, Shelton Benjamin is probably looking around smiling at things again, and why wasn’t Aleister Black in this??? Well, because this tournament was really designed to do one thing and one thing only. Make Corbin great again!

Yes, I loathe that phrase too but it’s apropo in this instance, and well, admit like Baron Corbin. You do. I do, we are all starting to at least respect the heel that he’s becoming. Since he was stripped of his Constable title and failed in different championship pictures he has still managed to stayafloat as that pesky heel. Thriving on the hatred thrown at him on social media and popping up any chance he gets on TV. A stinky, stanky little nugget, if you will, just like a certain “King of Harts” was once referred to. And now we all have no choice but to bow to King Corbin just as we did to King Owen. While their styles are far from similar, they share one other common quality, they can make a star shine brighter.

Just look at both introductions for the final round match. Corbin soaked up his usual hatred but Gable got almost no reaction at all. By the end of their near 20 minute story, the fans in attendance were clamoring for Gable to take that throne. I know what you’re thinking, maybe Corbin couldn’t get Seth Rollins a rally behind him but that may be a lost cause at this point. Or perhaps Corbin just waaaasn’t quite ready yet for a feud of that magnitude.

Corbin is closely flirting with that cool heel territory flaunted today by the likes of MJF and Bray Wyatt. No, Corbin doesn’t need to make the king costume his gimmick or start speaking with a faux British accent but it gives him another reason to be on our TVs every week and enough material to throw back in our faces why he will be synonymous with the business one day.

Baron Corbin will continue to elevate talent giving the proverbial rub in his matches and offsetting promos for years to come. In that respect and in due time, this KOTR will be looked at as one of the most important tournaments in WWE history. Meaning he won’t “Billy Gunn” this accolade. Corbin may not be the king we wanted, he may not be a king we like, but he is without question the king that we needed.

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