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King of the Ring Matches That Blew Us Away

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The King of the Ring tournament was a great concept by WWE. It was a chance to showcase a myriad of young talents and an opportunity for one wrestler to push their way into the main event.

There is always excitement running through the WWE Universe when the tournament is announced. Sure, some of the time the outcome isn’t what some hope, but the destination shouldn’t take away from the journey.

Throughout the history of the King of the Ring, there have been some fantastic matches. Matches that do their best to add to the aura of the tournament and leave us wanting more. Below are some of these matches.

Mr. Perfect v Bret Hart (King of the Ring 1993)

This match should be on everyone’s watchlist for King of the Ring. We all remember the all-time classic these two men put on at SummerSlam, two years prior. There was little doubt that both men would have a hard time duplicating this match. Sure, Mr. Perfect was nursing injuries at the time, but that didn’t stop him from wrestling his butt off.

Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect were the two best technical wrestlers on the roster, and it showed. This was a pure wrestling match. It was two men trying to best one another with every hold that they could imagine. The reversals were great, and the action was crisp. There were no botches during the match, and it could have gone on forever with no complaints.

Marc Mero v Steve Austin (King of the Ring 1996)

Everyone remembers the iconic Austin 3:16 speech from this PLE, but some may forget the absolute banger that Marc Mero and Steve Austin put on to start the night.

The two men were no strangers to one another. They had great matches in WCW and had a tight little feud going on leading up to King of the Ring. Their styles meshed very well with Mero trying to take to the air while Austin attempted to ground the Wild Man.

The highlight of the contest was Austin catching a stray boot from Mero, busting his lip wide open. It created a great visual and showcased just how tough Austin was, as he finished the match. It was an inadvertent move but one that helped to create an iconic persona.

Bam Bam Bigelow v Bret Hart (King of the Ring 1993)

Hart’s run to the King of the Ring title was so memorable that there had to be two matches included on this list.

Bam Bam Bigelow and Hart went 18 minutes in the main event, which is a testament to the condition of both men, considering they had already competed that evening. This was not a boring 18 minutes either, Bigelow and Hart told a fantastic David versus Goliath story in the match. It was the perfect way to sell Hart as the underdog.

What also should be commended here was the workrate of Bigelow. He showed tremendous agility for a man his size. Working with Hart allowed him to show off this talent and the fans loved it. This was easily the best match of the big man’s career.

HHH v Mankind (King of the Ring 1997)

It came a year late, but Hunter Hearst Helmsley (HHH) got his King of the Ring win. It was a huge moment for Helmsley, and one that was heightened by a fantastic final match.

This match was the beginning of a long and storied program between the two men. Mankind controlled most of the match, using his extreme violence to get over Helmsley. It had us all believing his victory was inevitable until, of course, Chyna.

Chyna’s involvement was telegraphed by us all, but it went a long way to getting Helmsley over as a heel. Helmsley ascended to the top on that night.

Chris Jericho v RVD (King of the Ring 2002)

King of the Ring 2002 may have been all about Brock Lesnar, but it was RVD and Chris Jericho who stole the show to open up the evening.

This was great Attitude Era wrestling. The match went back and forth with both men getting their moments to shine. It was a great contrast in styles with a more grounded Jericho trying to get one over on the high-flying Van Dam. RVD was the clear favourite here and Jericho did his best to work the heel, which is a testament to his talent.

With Lesnar being the obvious choice to win the match, it was clear that these were two meat bags lining up to the slaughter, but the match was still the best of the tournament. It would have been great as a main event, but alas.

Samoa Joe v Ricochet (King of the Ring 2019)

King of the Ring had lost a lot of its aura when 2019 came around. No one took it very seriously but that doesn’t mean there were some fantastic matches. Ricochet taking on Samoa Joe was one of those great matches.

This was a pairing that should have gotten more matches together. Ricochet will always be a human highlight reel and Joe brought some great physicality to the match. It was a story of Ricochet trying to match power with Joe before resorting to his aerial offense.

Having a double-countout finish gets an eye roll from many but, for this match, it worked. It was hard to see either man going over clean, and it could have provided for a further feud down the line. It didn’t but that shouldn’t take away from how great the match was.

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