WWE Blu-Ray Review: The Best of King of the Ring
Since 1985, 19 men have had the privileged of being named WWE King of the Ring.
Of those 19 wrestlers, only one of them won this prestigious event twice, when Bret Hart won the 1991 and 1993 tournament.
The newest release from WWE Home Video would take you back to all of the special moments of the King of the Ring for the first time ever on video.
The DVD is a three-disc set, while the Blu-ray is two discs.
For the past three years, I have been pro Blu-ray and that is the only discs I will purchase for WWE Home Video.
Before, you could only get Wrestlemania's on Blu-ray, so it's nice they are starting to release everything on this format.
The first disc would highlight 11 matches from 1993 to 1998.
The first match that this WWE Home Video highlights is the second of those two King of the Ring victories, when Hart defeated Bam Bam Bigelow at the 1993 King of the Ring.
The 1993 edition of King of the Ring would be the first one held on pay-per-view, where it would stay until the last time it would be an exclusive event in 2002.
It was really pleasant to see the 1993 match between Hart and Bigelow again in its entirety. It has been quite some time since I have seen it.
It was a classic moment in WWE history when Hitman received the crown and Jerry "The King" Lawler ruined his induction ceremony. A new feud was born as Lawler destroyed Hitman on this night.
As the 2006 King of the Ring winner Booker T guided us down his scroll of past King of the Ring winners, you also get a chance to see some great non-tournament matches that took place at this event.
The next match you would see would also take place at the 1993 King of The Ring, the WWE Championship match between Yokozuna and Hulk Hogan.
Following Wrestlemania IX at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, where Hogan would defeat Yokozuna in a surprise impromptu match for the title, Yokozuna would get his rematch at King of the Ring.
This would be Hogan's last WWE pay-per-view match for nearly 10 years as he left the company to pursue acting and a stint in WCW.
Yokozuna would defeat Hogan for the title when a Japanese photographer blinded Hogan by a camera flash.
The new champion would add insult to injury, and hit the Banzai Drop on a defenseless Hogan.
The next highlighted match would be the final match of the 1994 King of the Ring tournament.
The late Owen Hart would follow in his brother Bret's footsteps and become the "King of Harts" on this night, defeating Ramon in a classic match. This night would be a huge highlight in his wrestling career, which was cut short by his untimely death in 1999.
Hart would get the victory when Jim Neidhart assisted Owen by attacking Ramon outside of the ring.
During the induction ceremony, Hart would say the famous words, "my first proclamation as king, is to be from this day forward, known as the King of Harts and I want you people to remember it with respect for the King of Harts."
Mabel's easy to forget 1995 King of the Ring victory wouldn't be featured on this compilation, which is a shame, because I wanted to see him get hit in the head with a crumbled up paper cup again.
However, one match was featured from the 1995 event, a Kiss My Foot match between Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler.
This match wasn't really worth putting on the disc as well, as the entire 1995 King of the Ring was a huge disappointment.
In what would of been a great night to give Shawn Michaels his only King of the Ring title, which is one of the only things he hasn't done in his WWE career, he would fight to a time-limit draw with Kama.
The next match shown would be a WWE Intercontinental Championship match from 1996, when the bizarre Goldust defended his title against Ahmed Johnson.
Highlighted next, was one of the most important moments in the history of the company, when Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the finals of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament.
On this night, we would witness the birth of a new era and the birth of Austin 3:16.
After defeating Marc Mero earlier in the night and receiving stitches in his mouth, Austin competed with the veteran Roberts in the finals.
Roberts, who was also injured earlier in the night by Vader, was dominated by Austin. Gorilla Monsoon would come into the ring and and attempt to stop the match, but Roberts pleaded to continue on.
Shortly after the match continued, Austin would hit the Stone Cold Stunner and become the 1996 WWE King of the Ring.
What happened after the match would cement itself into the legacy of Austin. As Roberts was leaving the ring, Austin said to him, "You sit there and you thump your bible and say your prayers and it didn't get you anywhere. Talk about your psalms and talk about John 3:16, Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass."
Austin proceeded to say everyone is on notice, including the WWE Champion, whomever it is.
On that same night, Shawn Michaels would successfully defend his newly won WWE Championship against British Bulldog in the main event. This classic match is also featured in its entirety.
The following year, in a singles match not involving a title, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin fought to a double disqualification.
While the match didn't involve a title, both men were currently WWE Tag Team Champions and were fighting for the right of being captain of their team, which wouldn't be resolved on this night.
Also featured on this disc from the 1997 event, the crowing of the King of the Ring, Triple H, which would be the first of many great accomplishments for the future Hall of Famer.
Triple H defeated Mankind in the finals on this night to become the King of the Ring.
The 1998 King of the Ring would be Ken Shamrock when he defeated The Rock by submission.
However, Shamrock's victory, as well as many other victories in the history of this event, would take a backseat to the next match featured.
Less then a year after the Hell in a Cell match was introduced in the WWE, Mankind and The Undertaker would fight in one of the most, if not the most famous matches in the history of the WWE.
The match would start on top of the cell, which would result in Mankind being thrown off the top of the 16-foot cage on top of the Spanish announcers table. A shocking moment that had me standing in front of my TV rewinding and playing it over and over hours after watching the event live on pay-per-view.
If that weren't enough, Mankind would also be chokeslammed through the cell and onto the mat of the ring.
The classic match would somehow continue as Mankind fought back on several occasions. Ultimately, The Undertaker would get the victory after the Tombstone Piledriver after being chokeslammed on a pile of thumbtacks.
This amazing match would be the perfect end to the first disc of the best of the King of the Ring.
Overall, the first disc would be the better of both discs, as most of King of The Ring's historic moments took place early on and the event itself began to fade after the pay-per-view was discontinued after 2002.
The second disc would also feature 11 matches, spanning from 1999-2010, starting with The Rock's fourth attempt of becoming WWE Champion against current champion, The Undertaker.
The Undertaker would retain the title with the help of a Pedigree from Triple H on The Rock while the referee was down.
The next match featured would be a six-man tag team match for the WWE Championship at the 2000 King of the Ring. The stipulation was that the person whoever got the pinfall at the end of the match would be the WWE Champion.
The Rock would win his fifth WWE Championship on this night, after hitting the Rock Bottom on Vince McMahon.
One of the better wrestlers in the WWE at the time, Kurt Angle, would win the 2000 King of the Ring tournament. His finals match with Rikishi was featured on the disc next.
In an odd placing, a Light Heavyweight Championship match between Jeff Hardy and X-Pac would be featured next from the 2001 King of the Ring.
Hardy successfully defended his title against X-Pac. With no disrespect to Hardy or X-Pac, the fact that the title is called light and heavy at the same time is just about as funny as it being placed in the middle of all of the great matches featured on these discs.
Up next, Edge would defeat Kurt Angle in the King of the Ring finals of 2001, stopping Angle's chance of being only the second wrestler after Bret Hart to win two King of the Ring tournaments.
Also featured from the 2001 event, a memorable street fight between the billionaire boy wonder Shane McMahon and Kurt Angle.
Angle would be performing double duty on this night, and would be wrestling McMahon just an hour after losing the King of the Ring match with Edge.
Most of the highlights early on in this match surprisingly came from Shane McMahon. Shane would hit several great moves on Angle, including a picture perfect DDT, followed by a Sharpshooter submission hold.
However, it was when the match spilled outside the ring that the biggest moment in the match happened when Angle belly-to-back suplexed Shane into a glass screen on the stage.
A bloody Shane was once again thrown through another glass screen, this time face first.
Angle would win the match when he hit his Angle Slam off of the top rope, using a table as a platform.
As far as hardcore matches go in the WWE, this is a darn good one and I am glad they put it on this compilation. This match is the highlight of the second disc, just as Mankind and The Undertaker was the highlight of the first disc.
The next King of the Ring would be Brock Lesnar in 2002.
His match with Rob Van Dam in the finals would be featured on the disc, which also awarded him with a title shot against The Rock at Summerslam, in which he would go on to win his first of three WWE Championships.
Following Vince McMahon's purchase of WCW, Hulk Hogan would make his in-ring return at King of the Ring in 2002.
A classic match between Hogan and Kurt Angle at the 2002 event would be shown next, where Angle defeated Hogan via the Ankle Lock submission.
It would be four years until the King of the Ring returned, but not in its regular pay-per-view form.
The tournament would be held between the months of April and May in 2006, and the finals would take place at the 2006 Judgement Day pay-per-view.
Booker T would defeat Bobby Lashley to become the King of the Ring and proclaim himself as King Booker. "All Hail King Booker!"
After taking a year off in 2007, the event would return in 2008.
On this night, WWE would use an entire episode of Raw on April 21 to determine the next King of the Ring.
William Regal defeated CM Punk in the finals to become the 18th King of the Ring.
What was your favorite moment from King of the Ring?
The tournament would once again take another year off in 2009, only to return again the following year.
The reigning King of the Ring Sheamus' match in 2010 would be the last match featured on both discs besides the five on special features.
Last year, Sheamus defeated John Morrison on the November 29 edition of Raw to become the most recent King of the Ring.
There would be no King of the Ring tournament in 2001, and who knows if it will return again now that WWE has released this compilation of the event.
The five matches in special features would be: Marc Mero vs. Steve Austin in the 1996 tournament, Triple H vs. The Undertaker for the WWE Championship in 2002, Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton in the 2006 tournament, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho in the 2008 tournament and Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan in the 2010 tournament.
Overall, I think this is a great buy, especially for a fan who watched the WWE in the early 90s. As you can see, many historic moments in the WWE have taken place at King of the Ring and it is great to have them at your disposal anytime you want to watch them.
My rating: 9/10
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