10 Best WWE Kings Of The Rings
Triple H may claim to be the 'King of Kings', but who really is? Spoiler: it's not Triple H.
WWE will soon crown the 21st King in their history, as the 2021 King of the Ring tournament is well under way and due to end on October 21 at Crown Jewel.
An old favourite of many fans, the King of the Ring has evolved significantly since its inception, going from a one-off house show gimmick designed to boost show attendance, to a pay-per-view in its own right, to a full-time gimmick that winners have frequently adopted.
Some Kings, of course, have been better than others as the tournament has acted as both a launching pad for some stars and the end of the road for others who couldn't parlay the momentum of their big win into a main event run.
As we look forward to seeing who will become the latest in a long line of Kings, let's look back at ten of the best.
Now, of course something like this is highly subjective, but we're taking into consideration everything from the quality of the tournament, to how the winners' careers progressed while reigning as King, to how they may or may not have incorporated the royal aspects into their characters after.
10. Harley Race
Though he was a much respected and well-known former NWA Heavyweight Champion, WWE wanted to put their own stamp on Harley Race (as they often did with incoming stars from other territories) and made him King of the Ring in 1986.
Race beat George Steele, Billy Jack Haynes and Pedro Morales on a house show (receiving a BYE in the finals) en route to the crown.
Harley was great as King, because he was more than willing to ham it up and play up the gimmick on television. It also helped that he had the incredible Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan by his side, to further put him over - as seen during Race's coronation on an episode of Championship Wrestling.
The King had feuds with the likes of Junkyard Dog and Hulk Hogan and, after beating his foes, Race would routinely make his opponents bow and kneel before him (with help from Heenan).
Unfortunately, this great run was cut short due to injury. With Race on the shelf, Heenan vowed to crown a new King and abdicated the throne to Haku, a member of his Heenan Family stable.
King Haku and Harley clashed over the crown at the 1989 Royal Rumble (won by Haku) and Race left the company shortly after. One of the best early Kings, he set the tone for those who wished to embrace the royal aspects of the gimmick after.