WCW King Of The Ring (1993 - 2000)
Okay, so let's say in an alternate universe out there that it was WCW who came up with and used King Of The Ring rather than WWE, who would you have picked as the winners for each year from 1993 when WWE began the KOTR as an annual PPV to 2000 in which WCW never made it past March of 2001?
If you want to go beyond 1993 and decide winners for WCW's previous years in 92, 91, 90, 89 etc. Feel free to as WWE did hold KOTR tournaments earlier than 93, they just weren't televised.
If you also want to leave out some of the years incase you can't decide a winner or don't know enough about WCW that year to decide a winner, feel free to leave those years out and only do the years you want to decide winners for.
1993: Stunning Steve Austin
I would give this year to Austin as The Hollywood Blondes were killing it as a tag team in 1993 and Austin would break out as the bigger star later that year, splitting from Pillman and winning the United States Title at Starrcade and hold it for 8 months, in which he'd have a great couple of title matches against Ricky Steamboat. Of course by that time Eric Bischoff had taken over and misused Austin, which lead to Austin leaving. I liken this victory to Edge's KOTR win in 2001. I've always said The Hollywood Blondes were like a PG Edge and Christian with some of their antics like A Flair For The Old and Austin was the Edge of the tag team, going on to be bigger. Had Eric Bischoff not taken over and lead the company into a more sports-entertainment based direction and brought Hogan in, I could've seen Austin feuding with Flair over the World Title and becoming champion as he had that potential and was one of the best pure wrestlers on the planet at the time.
Another option for me is Ricky Steamboat to start it off with a bang by having a big name first win it like Bret in 93.
1994: Lord Steven Regal
He had held the Television Championship for 8 months by that point from September 93 to May 94, would win it for a second time from Larry Zybszko at Clash Of The Champions in June before losing it to Johnny B Badd at Fall Brawl in September. And considering Regal was a British snob/blue blood and he had a royalty type gimmick, claiming to be the descendant of William The Conqueror, King Of The Ring would fit him to a tee. Of course I do realize I am picking two guys who did win King Of The Ring in WWE, lol.
1995: Arn Anderson
Anderson received perhaps his biggest singles push at this time, holding the TV Title for 5 months, feuding with Flair and getting the biggest win of his career over Flair at Fall Brawl. Arn fits the mold of a King Of The Ring type winner and with this win, could've lead to bigger things for him as a solo star.
1996: Chris Benoit
This one is off the top of my head as I can't think of anybody else on the roster at the time who I think should've won it. Benoit started his year long war with Kevin Sullivan in 96 and with Woman by his side, she could've been the Queen to Benoit's King. Perhaps Benoit could've beat Sullivan in the Finals.
1997: Diamond Dallas Page
This one is pretty easy for me to decide as I don't think there was a rising star that year in WCW hotter than DDP, who gave a Diamond Cutter to Scott Hall rejecting his and Nash's offer to join NWO, beginning his huge popularity and babyface push, and would gain his biggest win at the time in his biggest feud with Randy Savage. Kings love and are obsessed with diamonds, right?
While he didn't really need it as much as someone like say Chris Jericho, it's hard for me to pass up giving this year to Goldberg as I just love the idea of him running through everybody in the King Of The Ring tournament, adding to his streak and adding another accomplishment to his resume before winning the WCW Title from Hogan in July.
1999: Scott Steiner
Scott split from Rick the previous year, joined the NWO, even becoming its leader at one point in late 98 when Hogan kayfabe left to run a presidential campaign, and would go on to accomplish bigger things. Steiner had won the Television Title earlier in the year and would win the vacant US Title in a tournament at Spring Stampede. Other than Jericho and Booker, can't think of anybody better to win and I would take Steiner over Jericho and Booker this year, which leads to my final pick.
2000: Booker T
This was Booker's year as a singles star, no doubt, though he did have a brief period as G.I Bro but that took place in June, so it lines up with when I would have The Bookman be serious and win KOTR before he would go on to win the WCW Title from Jarrett at Bash At The Beach in July. I wouldn't have Booker adopt a King gimmick though as much as he was hilarious and awesome as King Booker in WWE, just give him more credibility and prestige with the win.
So, what say you?
I'll play along, operating under the assumption that King of the Ring would still happen in June.
1993: Davey Boy Smith def. Lord Steven Regal in the finals
Regal and Davey Boy both debuted in 1993 and had huge pushes. Davey would feud with Vader for most of the year and came close to winning the WCW title several times. In July, he was involved in an altercation that would lead to his release later that year... so, if we're looking at June and that altercation hasn't happened yet, then this would be an ideal "crown" for the British Bulldog. As for Regal, he debuted in January and became "Lord" Steven Regal in June, claiming to have descended from royal blood. How perfect for him to make it to the KOTR finals... against a fellow countryman, no less? Would've been amazing and Regal would be established prior to winning the Television Title for the first time in September.
1994: Arn Anderson def. "Fly'in" Brian Pillman
1994 was a weird year for WCW. Anderson was a part of Col. Parker's Stud Stable (along with Steve Austin, Meng, Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck). Pillman, now a babyface, had been loaned out to ECW as part of a talent exchange program, but had also hunted the TV Title in WCW and feuded with his ex-partner, Steve Austin. I'd be happy with either of them winning, really, but I'd give it to Arn here, leading up to his big 1995.
1995: "Fly'in" Brian Pillman def. "Stunning" Steve Austin
Pillman would be on his way to joining the Four Horsemen in the fall, followed shortly by the adoption of the "Loose Cannon" gimmick... this would have been an ideal time to give him the crown. What better way to do it than by putting him over Austin, who had a pretty miserable 1995, culminating in being fired by Bischoff, heading to ECW and then, finally, being hired by the WWE in December.
1996: "Macho Man" Randy Savage def. "Diamond" Dallas Page
Would have been fun to revive the "Macho King" as a babyface in the weeks leading up to Bash at the Beach, where Savage teamed with Sting and Luger against the nWo. Also, a nice sneak peek of a classic Savage/Page feud to come.
1997: Curt Hennig def. Lex Luger
WCW was getting crowded by this point. Hennig debuted as a babyface in June, so I'd have him enter the tournament and win it right off the bat.
1998: Goldberg def. Booker T
Agree with you! I think Booker would have been an excellent opponent for him at this point.
Also.. agreed on Steiner and Booker for the last two years!
93: Brian Pillman
94: Steve Austin
96: Chris Benoit
97: Booker T
98: Chris Jericho
99: Eddie Guerrero
00: Mike Awesome
96: Chris Benoit
97: Booker T
98: Chris Jericho
99: Chris Benoit
00: Lance Storm
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