With news breaking recently that the WWE are looking to bring back the interpromotional event, King of the Ring (putting it on Raw in Nov after the Survivor Series), I continue to see how things come full circle in this industry.
Just look at this year alone: They introduce a dominant group who take over: been done before. They bring back Bret Hart: nice, good to see him. They bring back Raw Roulette: not so nice, quite silly actually. They bring back the Million Dollar Belt: really?! They bring back Paul Bearer: oh, dear. They bring back King of the Ring: well, actually... this may be interesting.
If it's done well, this could add some nice cross Raw-Smackdown links (which there seem to be more and more of at the moment, just look at the new 'unified' belts) that benefit the viewers and the company. I feel that this tournament could be the perfect opportunity to celebrate excellent in-ring technicians rather than pandering to popular faces or hateful heels. If you look down the list of past winners, you see name after name of outstanding in-ring technicians winning the crown: Bret, Owen, HHH, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Edge...and so on. If this is to continue, I can imagine that we could have some pretty tasty match ups - just look at the quality of the bouts between Ziggler and Bryan over the last few weeks:
People in the WWE are raising their games.
Since the move to PG there was (and had to be) a shift in the style of wrestling. Many wrestlers are now offering different move-sets, trying to change their catalogue of moves to a more progressive one. Its sad to watch people like Undertaker (much as I love him) and for Cole to have to say "this is vintage Undertaker!" every time he wrestles. He was pulling these moves out in the 90s, too, and 20 years on we're still watching them at every PPV. But the new uprising of younger talent is putting pressure on the old guard; we're seeing a higher-paced style emerging because it has to: when we weren't on PG ratings, violence could dominate, now wrestling comes through.
In his documentary, The Bret Hart Story, Bret says that he was chosen to win King of the Ring simply because he was the best wrestler and he had earned it. There seems to have been a distinct lack of this in the WWE of late. Yes, personalities are important, but let's be honest Bret could have done with a personality transplant and look how well he turned out. Not bad for a guy who never smiles.
But things come full circle. Maybe its time for our King to be the best wrestler again? But I guess we're in the business of Sports Entertainment so perhaps it'll be Hornswoggle. I look forward to seeing how this comes together over the next few weeks. Please, though, let's have a visible GM on both brands for the occasion and let's keep Nexus at arm's length.
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