Baron Corbin defeated Chad Gable in the finals of the 2019 King of the Ring tournament Monday night on Raw.
Corbin may not be a fan favorite, but the WWE Universe can't question his toughness. He fought through the pain as Gable applied the Ankle Lock and added extra pressure with a grapevine. Corbin crawled across the ring to reach the ropes and break the hold.
Shortly thereafter, he got Gable in position for End of Days and connected for the victory.
With the win, Corbin became the first WWE Superstar to be crowned king since Bad News Barrett won the King of the Ring tournament in 2015.
Both Gable and Corbin scored some impressive victories en route to reaching the finals. On the Raw side, Corbin ran through The Miz and Cedric Alexander before beating Ricochet and Samoa Joe in the semifinals in a Triple Threat match as a result of a double pin in the quarters.
Meanwhile, Gable beat former tag team partner Shelton Benjamin and Andrade in the first two rounds. He was scheduled to face Elias in the semis, but Shane McMahon replaced him because of injury. Gable went on to beat Shane-O-Mac in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
Corbin entered the tournament as one of the top contenders given how much success he has enjoyed over the past several months.
After beating Kurt Angle in the WWE Hall of Famer's final match at WrestleMania, Corbin entered into a feud with Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship. While Corbin didn't win the title, he main-evented a pay-per-view.
Gable's run to the finals was a much bigger surprise since he hadn't been pushed much as a singles competitor previously.
Although Gable is a former Raw, SmackDown and NXT tag team champion, he rarely saw television time in a singles capacity before King of the Ring. Gable is an immense talent with Olympic experience as an amateur wrestler, however, and WWE officials finally decided to take advantage of his impressive resume.
The final between Gable and Corbin made sense on multiple levels. For starters, WWE has been telling the story of Gable overcoming the odds despite his size, and Corbin had a massive advantage in that regard.
Additionally, Angle is Gable's hero, and he was looking to follow in Angle's footsteps, as Angle won the King of the Ring tournament in 2000. He also had a chance to get some retribution for Corbin's win over Angle at WrestleMania.
King of the Ring has helped launch the careers of many of the greatest Superstars in WWE history, and by beating Gable for the crown, Corbin appears to be in line for a significant push.
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