I recently commented on an article, criticizing its manner and attitude towards those who disagree with its author and its lack of substantiation. Having done this, I felt I should put my money where my mouth is and express some of my views.
Tomorrow is the highly anticipated return of King of the Ring and I, for one, could not be happier. Whatever the outcome, I think one conclusion we can draw, even before it happens, is that WWE has one hell of a mid-card at present.
Now, I am no expert on past King of the Rings, but to me, at its very nature it was all about giving a mid-carder that push towards the main event. Edge, Brock Lesnar, HHH, Kurt Angle—these superstars have all won the King of the Ring as a mid-carder or newcomer and have gone on to have some of the most illustrious (if sometimes brief) main event careers within the WWE.
In recent years, this concept has been usurped by the Money in the Bank ladder match. I love this match, and correct me if Im wrong, but only Sheamus has won the WWE title for the first time without going via the Money in the Bank briefcase in recent years.
However, the match itself is basically a spotfest and does not really give the mid-carders a real opportunity to showcase their full wrestling abilities. Furthermore, due largely to the opinion of many to the style in which the victor wins the title, cashing in the briefcase does not also guarantee main event success; e.g. Jack Swagger and CM Punk's first reign.
Also, my belief is that now that MITB has its own PPV, it will be used more as a way to create or sustain rivalries such as Kane's victory this year, rather than a way to give a mid-carder that all-important nod.
With this in mind, I hope the King of the Ring makes more of a regular return, with the final possibly a Wrestlemania match. I believe that faith has been put into the concept when you consider the strength of this year's final eight.
Let me take one last return to the past and consider the 2008 edition of the tournament.
One half of the bracket included William Regal, Finlay, Great Khali and Hornswoggle. That's two aging veterans, the worst wrestler on the roster arguably and well...Hornswoggle! This does not cry out to me as a strong midcard full of up-and-comers with limitless potential.
Even more worrisome, William Regal was crowned King.
Now, I have full respect for the contribution made by my fellow Brit, but he must have been the oldest King of the Ring ever and was never going to be thrust into the main event as the next big thing at that stage; a Wellness Violation made sure of that anyway. This eventuality tells me there were concerns within the company of the strength of its young superstars and a lack of faith in placing them higher up the card.
Now, let's fast forward to the present day and consider the current line up.
Whilst the IWC are mostly arguing over whether John Morrison or Alberto Del Rio should win the title and agree that they are the forerunners, in my opinion, all eight superstars have great potential. I will be happy to see a serious push given to any of the competitors.
Let's consider each in turn:
Sheamus: Already a two-time WWE Champion, he has solidified his main event place but currently lacks direction. As a future article may consider, he does not need to win simply because he is already "there," Sheamus just needs some genuine feuds to add depth to the character.
John Morrison: The IWC wonder boy has been tipped for the main event for years and has already feuded with several top dogs such as Chris Jericho. I pick him to make the finals and let's hope the WWE capitalise on his chemistry with The Miz to send him further up the card. Whilst some of his praise might be overdone, anyone compared to Shawn Michaels on a regular basis must have something.
Ezekiel Jackson: Let's face it—he won't win. However, the final-ever ECW Champion has the look and in-ring domination to be a successful monster. If Mark Henry can be given a Wrestlemania match with the Undertaker, the Zeke could do some big things in the future, injuries permitting.
Daniel Bryan: I wont say much here, as I would only be repeating others. I doubt he'll ever be WWE Champion unless a Benoit-esque "classic moment" happens. However, what he has already done for the US Title prestige is excellent and I think he is currently being used perfectly in "match of the night" candidates.
Alberto Del Rio: It appears to me that Del Rio has simply walked into the upper-echelons of the mid-card and the vast majority seem ok with that. He has a gimmick, mic skills, in-ring talent, an ongoing feud and international appeal. This guy could be in the WHC picture on PPV before Wrestlemania.
Cody Rhodes: While maybe not the most pushed of the eight and with rumours of Vince's mixed feelings towards Cody flying about, this guy still has been given decent airtime, a recent title reign, a strong gimmick and the skills and heritage required to make it big. This guy probably won't win, but the IC belt should find him within six months.
Drew McIntyre: This guy came in on such a hot streak, similar in some ways to Del Rio, only to see his push somewhat curtailed in recent times. However, like Rhodes, he has the looks, skills and backstage support to make it big, and I hope it's sooner than later. By the way, am I the only fan of his entrance?
Kofi Kingston: Wow, this guy has been pushed back. A year ago I was wondering who he would feud with at Wrestlemania. He was huge! I have actually cooled in my support of him due to the apparent lack of character depth and his frequent botches, but the guy still has a lot of raw talent and rounds off one incredibly strong line up.
So the King of the Ring has already highlighted that the current mid-card is young and has more potential than I believe it has had in years. Whoever comes out on top will have been given a great boost and will hopefully ride the wave to the very top of the card.
Finally, this tournament does not even come close to exhausting the midcard of its raw young future stars. We haven't even mentioned Kaval, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Wade Barrett, Nexus etc etc...
In conclusion, for the foreseeable future, the midcard is in very safe hands and in my opinion, the future of the WWE main event looks red hot. So let's sit back, enjoy the King of the Ring and see a new star being born!.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments and feedback.