Bleacher Report King Of The Ring Preview Part 1
Well, we unveiled it yesterday and the comments have been coming thick and fast, most of them positive about the concept.
I mentioned that I would have a "preview" article today regarding the competitors, and their angles going into the tournament., so here we go.
The article is split into 2, to make it easier on me printing all 24 superstars' profiles and predictions.
Hopefully, this article might be able to make you think twice about the decisions you've already made as to who you want to win and maybe make you vote against the obvious choice, in turn making the tournament a WHOLE lot more exciting.
NOTE: Before anyone comments, this article blurs reality in the WWE universe. Kozlov is not actually on the streak of his life, but for the sake of storytelling and the tournament, he is.
If there is anything that doesn't quite make sense. I'll be happy to explain it, but this is mainly my own working, using the current state of WWE.
This sort of thing should be right up Jack Swagger's alley. He's the two-time All-American! He's won more tournaments than most people compete in!
If anything, the qualities of endurance and pacing yourself should mean that Jack Swagger has the upper hand over his opponent. If Swagger can control the pace of his match, his opponents are done for.
Also, Jack Swagger's new found "identical to Kurt Angle" look could keep him in good stead. Kurt Angle was a two-time King of The Ring finalist and one-time KOTR champion.
If Swagger is going to step out of Angle's shadow, he's going to have to prove himself in this field, and in a big way. Expect Swagger to do well, trying to get the win at any cost.
As of today, Sheamus is officially the WWE Champion, but for the purposes of this tournament, we are going to have to unify the titles meaning... Sheamus has had to relinquish his WWE title against his own will.
This has become a matter of vendetta for Sheamus. This tournament has ascended beyond winning the title back but as an act of revenge against the WWE administration.
Sheamus will attempt to prove that nothing comes between him and his title, not even the powers that be. He'll gain his vengeance over the McMahons, even if it kills him!
For months on end now, McIntyre has bleated on about being "the chosen one," about being Vince McMahon's protege, about becoming the world champion. But, is McIntyre's bark worse than his bite?
McIntyre's objective, officially, is to destroy Sheamus. Vince McMahon wants to ensure that Sheamus does not walk away with the title at any cost, proving that he wasn't the man for the gold and justifying stripping him of the title, making sure that the McMahon honour is restored.
If there's anyone fit for the job of doing McMahon's dirty work, it's McIntyre, who is so in McMahon's back pocket, he probably has to brace himself whenever Vince sits down.
McIntyre's prodigal status is on the line here, and more importantly, McMahon's reputation for picking talent is on the line here too.
If McIntyre fails to shine here, McMahon will bury him so deep, he'll be signing for the Chinese Wrestling Federation.
Not only this, but if McIntyre fails to live up to the hype (most of it from him), he'll be a laughingstock!
Do we really need to explain the significance of a title opportunity to Matt Hardy? For over a decade, he has been one of the WWE's hardest workers, winning numerous titles, single and tag.
But he has never been a World Champion. Yes, he was once ECW champion, but that was always a secondary championship.
If you were ever to meet Matt Hardy and ask him to trade everything he had, the money, the fame, to become World Champion for just a day, I know for a fact he would jump at the chance.
To be at the top of your profession is the ultimate pinnacle, and Matt Hardy has never stopped thinking of inventive ways to reach that pinnacle, throughout his entire career.
The innovator of the Masterlock is obviously an impressive physical specimen.
An impeccable physique and astounding technical ability, Masters has all the tools needed to become a World Champion, but has never been given the opportunity.
I have no doubt in my mind that, in one-on-one competition, he could probably take all 23 of his rivals.
But will the pressure of becoming the best in the world get to Masters?
Was Christian returning from TNA a mistake? Over there, he was World Champion and main event material every month, but back in WWE, he's floundered.
Suffocated by WWE Creative, denying him title shots and keeping him in mid-card, it seems that Christian has become a victim of his own success.
I think WWE partly resent Christian for his jumping ship, and for his big push. It always seems that they've kept him in mid-card to deliberately show TNA that their main eventers simply don't cut the mustard in the "big leagues".
If you look at Christian's fan base online, and even just the pops he gets night after night, it defies his lowly status.
He certainly has the "peeps" on his side, more so than some main eventers even, yet he's always the one left behind.
Could this be the tournament where Christian finally gets to shine?
"The Moscow Mauler" is on the form of his life. Like Goldberg before him, Kozlov is on one of the most marvelous streaks ever witnessed in professional wrestling.
Kozlov is becoming the next big monster heel, and the only way to solidify it is by winning the tournament and becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The question is less about whether Kozlov can win the tournament and more about whether anyone can stop him!
Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP)
Over the last year, MVP has seen his title as Smackdown's highest-rated superstar by Drew McIntyre and his master athlete status has been severely compromised by Jack Swagger's rise through the ranks since Wrestlemania.
He's been a bit in the doldrums since his face turn, and hasn't really went anywhere. This tournament, however, could be the chance he's looking for to assert himself in the flock of superstars trying to poke their head out over the crowd.
The leader of the Nexus has never really had the chance to prove himself on his own, always relying on the talents of his six companions to get him by.
But we have to remember that this guy was an NXT rookie less than 3 months ago, and he's barely on Raw by himself!
Barrett has to be one of the rank outsiders for this tournament, but this is the winner of NXT here, the guy has talent. It's just a case of whether he has enough talent to go far in the competition.
Also, we can't ignore the ever-present Nexus at Barrett's side, will they have something to do with this whole tournament and will they swing the odds more favourably toward Barrett?
The Great Khali
Obviously, Khali will be a threat. The tallest man in the WWE and one of the heaviest, whoever gets Khali is going to have a tough time trying to get past him.
But for Khali to win, he's going to have bring more than power. He needs to show his all-round talents to stand a chance of winning.
Cody Rhodes will be looking to emulate the success of his father Dusty Rhodes and his cousin Goldust, although Goldust has never won a world title.
I think, if he can get a loyal following going, then he could be a good bet, but if he scrapes through the rounds, he's eventually going to be ousted.
I think the competition between Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to progress the furthest could be interesting, as it would gauge exactly who the fans thought came out the better from the dissolution of the Legacy.