As reported earlier this week by The Inquisitr, WWE announced that it will be reviving the King of the Ring tournament after a four-year absence. While the tournament finals are set to take place on September 15 at the Clash of Champions pay-per-view, there has been a lot of early speculation on who may walk out of next month’s event as WWE’s first King of the Ring since Wade Barrett won the honor in 2015.
According to WhatCulture, there have been whispers that WWE has already decided on who will be taking part in the King of the Ring finals at Clash of Champions. While Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter did not mention any specific finalists when he reported this week that WWE is bringing the King of the Ring tournament back so that the company can give a good push to the eventual winner, WhatCulture noted that two names have stood out as favorites thus far – Monday Night Raw superstars Baron Corbin and Ricochet.
Given that the King of the Ring gimmick has oftentimes worked best with heel wrestlers, Corbin has reportedly been brought up frequently as a potential winner in the upcoming tournament. However, there have been others who seem to be favoring the babyface Ricochet as the next King of the Ring, as he had used the ring name “King Ricochet” during his time as an independent wrestler.
Despite being seen as one of the least popular wrestlers among WWE fans, Sportskeeda wrote in June that WWE’s creative team is very high on Corbin because he “doesn’t injure people,” has an impressive-looking finishing move, and is “really easy to hate.” Corbin has not been seen on television since the July 15 episode of Monday Night Raw, where he lost a battle royal to determine the No. 1 contender for the Universal Championship.
Meanwhile, Ricochet is fresh off a feud with AJ Styles for the United States Championship, as he failed to regain the title from his villainous rival when they faced off at SummerSlam on Sunday.
Although Wade Barrett didn’t get much of a push when he became WWE’s last King of the Ring four years ago, the gimmick has oftentimes been instrumental in helping up-and-coming stars get more exposure en route to a main-event push. WhatCulture mentioned the likes of Owen Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Triple H as wrestlers who benefited from becoming King of the Ring. The outlet also noted that Owen’s older brother, Bret Hart, won the tournament’s 1993 edition so that he could remain relevant between world title reigns while Hulk Hogan and Yokozuna feuded over the then-WWF Championship.