The line up for this years King of the Ring is very agreeable. Sheamus in a sense provides credibility (as a former WWE Champion) while the rest are all promising up-and-comers and potentially future world champions. I’ll keep this brief, i’ll go through each participant and state their chances of winning, before saying who I think should win.
Sheamus: Sheamus is definitely fearsome, but he wont be winning King of the Ring. In fact, he is least favourite because of his sudden and maintained rise to the top. Basically, giving Sheamus the KotR crown is a waste of the title and tool for talent progression. He might even make it as far as the final, but only to make whoever beats him seem all the stronger.
Daniel Bryan: If he wasn’t having such an impressive run as United States Champion, Bryan would be one of the favourites. But making Bryan King of the Ring while he’s got the US title seems, again, like a waste of the honour. Bryan is incredibly over and has lots of potential future programmes. Quite simply, he doesn’t need it.
John Morrison: From this point it gets harder to predict. The six remaining men could all very easily win. It seems to me like John Morrison’s star is on the (admittedly modestly paced) rise given his current feud with Sheamus. Being King of the Ring would definitely put him very close to being a credible main eventer. Saying that, his feud with Sheamus is in it’s relative infancy, and doesn’t requite this tangent for it to progress. I imagine this will be a tool to progress it (e.g. each man costing the other their KotR opportunity).
Kofi Kingston: Kofi seems to have less momentum behind him and is perhaps getting a little stale. Of course, this might be reason to bestow on him the KotR crown, but I think they will hesitate as his current character would need some sort of tweak if he was going to hold the crown in any sort of interesting way.
Cody Rhodes: Cody could do a lot as KotR. It would obviously well suit his arrogant persona, and out of everybody, he would potentially sport the gimmick in the best way (his rival for that being Alberto Del Rio). Saying this, his gimmick seems to still be hot, and for reasons i’ll go on to explain, the others are simply a little more probable as winners.
Alberto Del Rio: Alberto’s gimmick, as aristocracy descended from a royal bloodline obviously fits this competition well, and he would sport the gimmick very well. My only hesitation in making Del Rio the winner is that he’s arguably already very close to main event level; after all, on his debut, he took on Rey Mysterio and has since taken on (and beaten) other main eventers. Like some of the others, though he would suit it, he probably doesn’t need it.
Drew McIntyre: Drew will, at some point, be a world champion. Of this I have no doubt, but he seems to have stalled lately in that position just beneath the main event, and hasn’t been able to progress. His gimmick, or rather simply his nationality, makes him a fitting choice to become ‘royalty.’ Indeed, Striker talked about him being the latest in a long line of Scottish kings. There is doubt for me that this honour would make him a credible main eventer right away, and would allow him to legitimately demand a title shot for instance. For these reasons, he is my second favourite, behind only …
Ezekiel Jackson: It’s clear that Big Zeke is being tested as a ‘next big thing.’ But until now he has been simply squashing opponents. This makes sense for a time, but eventually you need to move on, and this might be his way of progressing. It would basically give him something interesting to do and make any push he receives much more credible. He does need, more so than any other participant, something like this to move to the next level, and this is why I think he will win.
I think ‘Big Zeke’ will win, but I would prefer that he didn’t. As I argued, Ezekiel needs something like this because he hasn’t made enough of an impression yet, but, to me, that’s a reason to withhold the honour for now. He hasn’t impressed in the ring particularly, and is barely over as a face. He needs to prove himself as a credible top guy before he’s pushed, and to give him this prestigious title with the possibility that he fails it is potentially short-sighted while diminishing the reputation of King of the Ring. Let him have a feud or two, and if you want to push him, do so another way, or wait until next year. Instead, I would like my second-favourite, Drew McIntyre to win. Firstly, because as a Scotsman, i’m proud to see him doing so well, but more so because he’s proved himself as capable of being a top guy, and he could do a lot with the honour. For the record, if it can’t be McIntyre, i’d like to see Rhodes take it.
The brackets have been announced, and they’re very interesting!
Match 1: John Morrison vs Cody Rhodes
Match 2: Daniel Bryan vs Alberto Del Rio
Match 3: Ezekiel Jackson vs Drew McIntyre
Match 4: Sheamus vs Kofi Kingston
Semi-final 1: Winners of matches 1 and 2
Semi-final 2: Winners of matches 3 and 4
The first thing that I noticed was that my two top picks take on each other in the third quarter-final – so my first update is that I predict the winner of Match 3 will go on to win King of the Ring!
The second thing I noticed is the immediate possibility of a McIntyre-Sheamus match that would be mouth-watering for various reasons, though probably unlikely as it would necessitate an early bath for ‘Big Zeke’
The third thing I noticed was that WWE (in full cross-promotion mode) have booked every match as Smackdown vs RAW, so there’s a chance that will continue throughout the competition, making for an even more unique main event.
I also noted the possibility of a reprise of the Sheamus-Daniel Bryan conflict in the final, though it’s highly unlikely to happen seen as they were my two bottom favourites. Anyway, WHY NOT, i’ll go and predict the entire progression of the tournament! More likely is the reigniting of the Sheamus-Morrison feud.
Match 1: Very difficult to pick. Because I think they’ll continue to go with Smackdown vs RAW matches, and Del Rio will probably progress, I expect to see JOHN MORRISON win. Cody could also do with it though.
Match 2: ALBERTO DEL RIO will progress. It should be one hell of a match, but expect to see some cheating at the end. Bryan aint goin’ down clean.
Match 3: Whoever wins this will/should win KotR. I picked EZEKIEL JACKSON as my favourite though, so there he is. It seems more likely especially now. He wont be going down in the first round, that would be crushing to his push.
Match 4: Simply based on my Smackdown vs RAW theory, and though I would otherwise pick Sheamus here, i’m picking Kofi to upset Sheamus. Good for Kofi too.
Semi-final 1: John Morrison vs Alberto Del Rio. This one is almost solely based on my Smackdown vs RAW theory, but anyway, Morrison will be game, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see ALBERTO DEL RIO cheat again for the win. Maybe an angry Sheamus will cost Morrison the match, re-igniting their feud that way.
Semi-final 2: Ezekiel Jackson vs Kofi Kingston. This will be an interesting match of speed vs power that seems appealing to me. But EZEKIEL JACKSON’S my pick, so that’s who i’m backing.
Final: Alberto Del Rio vs Ezekiel Jackson: The booking would be very tidy: Smackdown vs RAW, Face vs Heel. The announcers would bill it as Del Rio being the favourite, but after all that predicted cheating, Ricardo Rodriguez will be banned from ringside, and Del Rio will be left to fend for himself. Though I don’t necessarily like it, the winner would probably be EZEKIEL JACKSON.