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  #1  
Old 05-02-2015, 05:12 AM
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Default Owen Hart: Greatest KOTR

Every time I hear about the King of the Ring tournament the first person who comes to mind is Owen Hart. Who can forget his coronation when he dubbed himself the King of Harts? It was borderline Shakespearean.

Owen didnít need to play up the regalities like King Mabel, King Booker, and Macho King. He used the accomplishment to brandish his credentials. Before KOTR he could lay claim to (A) kicking Bretís leg from under his leg, and (B) pinning Bret at WrestleMania. After beating Tatanka, 1-2-3 Kid, and Razor Ramon he could lay claim to (C) seizing the KOTR crown.

The King of Harts capitalized on those feats big time, putting on a blue cage classic with Bret at SummerSlam. He got tons of buzz at Survivor Series, tricking the Hart matriarch and sabotaging his brotherís title reign in one fell swoop.

In some ways Owen can be compared to Razor Ramon. Both guys were content with making their midcard honors something special. When Razor was Intercontinental Champion and Owen was King of the Ring they carried themselves as main eventers.

There were greats like Triple H, Brock Lesnar, and Stone Cold who won the tourney. But they didnít carve their legacies from it like Owen did. HHH floundered in the aftermath until he glommed onto HBK. Lesnar didnít change his character one iota from his win. And though Austin had that 3:16 quote, being king was inconsequential to his persona.

Owen Hart was the MVP of 1994. Thatís the bar every KOTR winner should aspire to reach.

What are your thoughts? Was Owen the greatest King of the Ring in history?
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2015, 06:26 AM
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No. Sorry but no...

Owen is a memorable King Of The Ring, but his run as "The King Of Hearts" didn't last more than a few months. He was then put into the tag title picture with Yoko and later Davey.

It's not a knock on him but Owen and Bret were arguably "old school" KOTR holders, when the title was given to a mid or upper midcard talent who wasn't really going to get much else at that time. Guys like Haku, Harley Race, Jim Duggan had the title of King, but the tourney was being won by guys like Ted DiBiase, Don Muraco and Bret who held it the last "non PPV" year in 1991 and retained in 1993...

Owen was an attempt to combine the win with the title of King, and it didn't work for him. At best it added a tiny bit of spice to the feud with Bret, but he was due that title shot at Summerslam without the tourney win.

When you're looking at King Of The Ring, then the real "greats" are guys who actually parlayed that into a major, sustained singles push where King was their "first achievment", or guys who were able to reinvigorate their career through it.

Randy Savage is a top candiate, he did a lot with being King but in reality it was a "booby prize" once Hogan had the title back, King Booker totally reinvented himself and got another main event run and title from it he wouldn't have gotten otherwise and Edge is definitely up there, as his career trajectory was ever upwards (Christians too) but injury probably stops it being the best... Regal could have been if not for the suspension... he was going on to win the title and as GM/King he was on the cusp of something fantastic...

On balance Austin is probably the greatest King Of The Ring because everything about his win was memorable, the speech he made and the outcome from it. The tournament itself had found it's groove by then, Owen winning it seemed un-needed... had he won it in 1997, facing Davey in the finals...different story. But in 1994 Bam Bam, Lex Luger, Razor, Tatanka or especially 1-2-3 Kid could have done so much more with that opportunity... the win over Bret was enough, and KOTR just showed Vince didn't have that much faith in Owen.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2015, 09:56 AM
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I agree with the OP. Owen was probably my favorite "King" of all time. Much like the "Slammy Award Winning" Owen Hart, the "King of Hart's" was the type of gimmick that was right up Owen's alley. He was great at taking something that would be ridiculous or boring with some people, and making it fun and memorable. The King gimmick was pretty lame on a lot of people. On Owen, it was fun.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:40 PM
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Owen Hart & Booker T are tied for second with the Macho King being #1.

Stone Cold didn't even make the Summerslam card the next month, he was in a pre-show match with a washed up Yokozuna. So it's definitely NOT Austin.

I don't like the KING gimmick because it's hard to take it seriously...besides it only works for heels.
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2015, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SoulTrain4 View Post
Owen Hart & Booker T are tied for second with the Macho King being #1.

Stone Cold didn't even make the Summerslam card the next month, he was in a pre-show match with a washed up Yokozuna. So it's definitely NOT Austin.

I don't like the KING gimmick because it's hard to take it seriously...besides it only works for heels.
Haha, it's definitely not Austin? The Austin 3:16 speech and millions of t-shirts sold alone make him the greatest KOTR winner. And that's probably the most famous moment the event has ever had either.

Have you ever watched the Yokozuna match? Do you know why it was on the pre-show? Because they had rigged the ropes to do a ropebreak stunt at the end of the match. They literally couldn't have put that match anywhere else on the card other than 1st, or else no one before them would be going off the ropes.

Immediately after this he ended up in one of his career defining feuds with Bret Hart and Brian Pillman. He is without a doubt the greatest King of the Ring winner of all time. With second place belonging to Macho Man Randy Savage, who was probably the most established guy at the time of winning it and used the win to help his heel turn and get better heat.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2015, 03:51 PM
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I think Randy Savage and Stone Cold are the two greatest KOTR's of all time. Both were launched to superstardom shortly after winning the event and really made the KOTR feel important. After winning the tourney Randy had a good run as the Macho King before turning face at the behest of the fans, and forming the Mega Powers. He won the WWF title shortly after. Austin basically became Stone Cold Steve Austin at the KOTR. He introduced the Stunner in that tournament and coined the term "Austin 3:16". A year and a half later, he was the WWF Champion and one of the most popular superstars of all time.

Owen was a good king and and he built well off of his victory, but it didn't make him a bona-fide star like it did others. It didn't really do anything for Owen as he was already feuding with Bret before he became the King of Harts. His victory was mostly used as a tool in their program, not because Owen was getting this gigantic push from the machine.

Honorable mention goes to King Booker and Bret Hart. Two guys who also built really well off of their KOTR victories.
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2015, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OHHHYOUDIDNTKNOW View Post
Owen was a good king and and he built well off of his victory, but it didn't make him a bona-fide star like it did others. It didn't really do anything for Owen as he was already feuding with Bret before he became the King of Harts. His victory was mostly used as a tool in their program, not because Owen was getting this gigantic push from the machine.
Well said. Allow me to make a few more points.

I think the standard that gets applied to KOTR winners is if they don't win a world title they are disappointments. Owen had a glass ceiling over his head that he couldn't break. Vince McMahon had a choice to make at the end of 1994. He could have easily put the WWE Title on Owen. But Vince placed his bets on Diesel. Stars like HBK, Lex Luger, and Razor Ramon were put on the backburner. Even Bret had to feud with the likes of Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Isaac Yankem, and Hakushi. 1995 was a down year.

Owen was passed over in a highly political era. Not much he could do about that. That's why I don't feel that the absence of a world title diminishes his KOTR run. Owen introduced what a true KOTR winner should be to the "New Generation." It's part of his legacy.

I get what you mean overall. I am not saying that you claimed a world title was needed to validate a KOTR win. But your post made me want to add these points. Thanks for weighing in.

Last edited by No Count Pup : 05-02-2015 at 06:36 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2015, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by THTRobtaylor View Post
No. Sorry but no...

Owen is a memorable King Of The Ring, but his run as "The King Of Hearts" didn't last more than a few months. He was then put into the tag title picture with Yoko and later Davey.

It's not a knock on him but Owen and Bret were arguably "old school" KOTR holders, when the title was given to a mid or upper midcard talent who wasn't really going to get much else at that time. Guys like Haku, Harley Race, Jim Duggan had the title of King, but the tourney was being won by guys like Ted DiBiase, Don Muraco and Bret who held it the last "non PPV" year in 1991 and retained in 1993...

Owen was an attempt to combine the win with the title of King, and it didn't work for him. At best it added a tiny bit of spice to the feud with Bret, but he was due that title shot at Summerslam without the tourney win.

When you're looking at King Of The Ring, then the real "greats" are guys who actually parlayed that into a major, sustained singles push where King was their "first achievment", or guys who were able to reinvigorate their career through it.

Randy Savage is a top candiate, he did a lot with being King but in reality it was a "booby prize" once Hogan had the title back, King Booker totally reinvented himself and got another main event run and title from it he wouldn't have gotten otherwise and Edge is definitely up there, as his career trajectory was ever upwards (Christians too) but injury probably stops it being the best... Regal could have been if not for the suspension... he was going on to win the title and as GM/King he was on the cusp of something fantastic...

On balance Austin is probably the greatest King Of The Ring because everything about his win was memorable, the speech he made and the outcome from it. The tournament itself had found it's groove by then, Owen winning it seemed un-needed... had he won it in 1997, facing Davey in the finals...different story. But in 1994 Bam Bam, Lex Luger, Razor, Tatanka or especially 1-2-3 Kid could have done so much more with that opportunity... the win over Bret was enough, and KOTR just showed Vince didn't have that much faith in Owen.
Well actually it turned him into the top heel of 1994, he went on to headline Summerslam is a classic cage match for the WWF title against Bret, played a big role at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. Don't blame Owen but if Vince wasn't so inlove with the past - Backlund, and the future - Diesel oh and the size of Diesel, then Owen would of had his time, and would of been a champion.

But in 1994, which wasn't a good year, and neither ways 95, Owen was a bright spot as a heel.
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "CrucifiedRaven
Haha, it's definitely not Austin? The Austin 3:16 speech and millions of t-shirts sold alone make him the greatest KOTR winner. And that's probably the most famous moment the event has ever had either.

Have you ever watched the Yokozuna match? Do you know why it was on the pre-show? Because they had rigged the ropes to do a ropebreak stunt at the end of the match. They literally couldn't have put that match anywhere else on the card other than 1st, or else no one before them would be going off the ropes.

Immediately after this he ended up in one of his career defining feuds with Bret Hart and Brian Pillman. He is without a doubt the greatest King of the Ring winner of all time. With second place belonging to Macho Man Randy Savage, who was probably the most established guy at the time of winning it and used the win to help his heel turn and get better heat.
Wrong again. Stop trying to use Austin's success later as the basis for your answer. Austin literally did nothing for months after winning the KOTR, the first match with Bret was in November he won the KOTR in June. He didn't make the SummerSlam card and was in the opening match of Buried Alive against HHH. I don't even remember what he did after that but there was a 5 month difference between him winning the KOTR and then beginning any sort of credible main event run.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bioshock View Post
Well actually it turned him into the top heel of 1994, he went on to headline Summerslam is a classic cage match for the WWF title against Bret, played a big role at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. Don't blame Owen but if Vince wasn't so inlove with the past - Backlund, and the future - Diesel oh and the size of Diesel, then Owen would of had his time, and would of been a champion.

But in 1994, which wasn't a good year, and neither ways 95, Owen was a bright spot as a heel.
He wasn't the top heel for more than a 2 month period between KOTR and Summerslam. That Backlund was given that title to job rather than Owen proves it. Doesn't make it right of course... had Owen been the one to take the title and job it to Diesel on PPV/RAW in 8 seconds, then NUCLEAR heat and Diesel would have been far better placed... Diesel needed the Iron Shiek and he got Bob Backlund... Owen would have been that "Sheik" for Diesel and there's little disputing that.

But Vince didn't see it in him, which means the KOTR push ultimately failed/wasn't needed like I said.
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