Editors' choice: Who will win the 2019 King of the Ring?
Winning the King of the Ring tournament launches careers. It transformed The Ringmaster into “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Brock Lesnar evolved from “The Next Big Thing” to the youngest WWE Champion in history. Starting on Monday’s Raw, 16 Superstars from Raw and SmackDown LIVE will collide in a tourney to crown the 2019 king, but who will rise to the prestigious throne?
WWE.com editors offer their thoughts on who’s next to rule the WWE kingdom.
The near-300-pound Samoa Joe showed uncharacteristic compassion toward Roman Reigns when The Big Dog was nearly struck by a car two weeks ago on Raw, but make no mistake: Joe is as ruthless as he’s ever been. Armed with a Coquina Clutch that can incapacitate an opponent of any size — even Brock Lesnar has suffered its brutality — The Samoan Shark is a lock for the returning King of the Ring tournament.
And besides, the former United States Champion already walks around Raw and SmackDown LIVE like a ruler … the crown, scepter and throne just complete the look. — JAMES WORTMAN
Fight everyone. That’s the exact devil-may-care mindset that a Superstar must possess as he embarks into a grueling 16-man tournament. Kevin Owens has that in spades.
One of only two former World Champions in the field, the take-no-prisoners brawler possesses a 1-2 punch unlike any Superstar, as the Pop-up Powerbomb and Stunner can each be delivered in the blink of an eye.
Plus, KO won’t hesitate to break the rules in a high-stakes fight, as evidenced by his swift boot below Shane McMahon’s belt at SummerSlam.
“King Owens” certainly has a nice ring to it. — JON CHIK
Baron Corbin is no stranger to winning the big one. The Lone Wolf bulldozed his way through a plethora of Superstars to capture the prestigious Andre the Giant Battle Royal trophy at WrestleMania 32, as well as the Money in the Bank contract in 2017, proving he has what it takes to go the distance.
It’s been over a month since we’ve seen Corbin in a WWE ring, giving him plenty of time to heal any wounds he suffered at WWE Extreme Rules. The “WWE Universe’s Favorite Son” has size and strength on his side, making him the obvious choice to walk away with the crown. — MATT ZIMMER
It’s been a rough year for Ali. The sensational competitor finished 2018 with the brightest future on SmackDown LIVE, but an injury sidelined Ali before WWE Elimination Chamber 2019, pushing him from the spotlight to the sidelines. He was on the path to a WWE Championship, then ran into a detour, and he’s been scratching and clawing to get back ever since.
Ali knows he can compete against the best of WWE and that few Superstars can even keep up with his enigmatic offense. This tournament is his opportunity to break through, and he won’t let that slip by a second time. — JEFF LABOON
“I’d do anything to replace y’all,” Kendrick Lamar said at the top of his iconic cypher verse at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Fast forward to 2019, and it sort of feels like Cedric Alexander enters the King of the Ring tournament with a similar mentality. Alexander aims to replace everybody en route to winning the tourney and taking the next step in his surging career. Another reason to zone in on that Lamar verse, though? Kendrick’s last line that night is pretty fitting considering what we’re talking about here: “King Kendrick.”
“King Cedric” will soon be our new closing note. — RYAN PAPPOLLA
Since arriving on SmackDown LIVE, Andrade has proven that he can hang with the best, including Rey Mysterio, who he bested in two straight falls during a recent 2-out-of-3 Falls thriller. If he can keep up with legends like The Greatest Mask of All Time, there’s no doubt that he’s primed and has the stamina to take the throne in the King of the Ring tournament.
And while we’re not quite sure what a tranquillo kingdom would look like, we may not be wondering for much longer. You might want to pencil in this new moniker for Andrade: El Rey. — BOBBY MELOK
Throughout his career, The Miz has done it all. He’s been a WWE, Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team Champion. The Most Must-See Superstar in WWE History has long proved the naysayers wrong. With the opportunity to become King of the Ring, it’s one more item to add to an already incredible resume.
When The Miz sets out to accomplish a goal, he always talks a big game and backs it up, making him a heavy favorite to become King of the Ring. Plus, The Awesome One is about to become a two-time father, and what better way to welcome his second child into the world than by making them true royalty? — KEVIN POWERS
Did you hear that? Listen closely. It’s The Best Kept Secret ready to break out in the King of the Ring tournament.
Lately, Buddy Murphy has been caught up in the Roman Reigns attack investigation, finding himself on the wrong end of a few backstage “interrogations.” Fortunately, it’s not “King of the Locker Room,” as the former Cruiserweight Champion showed his potential when given a chance in the ring, taking The Big Dog to the brink in one of the best SmackDown LIVE matches of the year.
The secret’s out, and now it’s time for the WWE Universe to live under Murphy’s Law. — BRAD ZAK