King Of The Ring used to be a staple on the yearly WWE pay per view calendar.  Starting in 1985, the tournament didn’t hit pay per view until 1993.  Since 2003, WWE has kept the event off the yearly list of pay per view events, and for a few years the tournament inexplicably didn’t take place at all.

Tonight on a 3-hour special edition of Monday Night RAW, superstars from both RAW and Smackdown rosters will compete in a one-night, 8-man tournament.  Competitors qualified for the tournament in eight matches conducted last week – four on each of the two shows.

The field who qualified for tonight’s tournament represent a young portion of the WWE roster, with only one competitor in the mix who has held a World Championship in WWE (no, we don’t consider the ECW Championship to be a World class belt… not since Paul Heyman was running things, anyway).  Unless Sheamus wins tonight, a King Of The Ring tournament victory will easily be a top accomplishment on the resume for any of the other seven guys vying for it. Former World Champions Big Show, Jack Swagger and Rey Mysterio each competed in qualifying matches for this year’s bracket on the November 26 edition of Smackdown, a losing effort for the three former title holders.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on who will win tonight’s tournament (and who SHOULD win), and GuysNation is no different.  With no official brackets being announced, we can’t predict exactly how things will shake out, but we can give you our perspective on each qualifier:

Kofi Kingston

Kofi easily has the least chances of becoming King Of The Ring.  He’s really good in the ring when he’s atop his game, but he’s one of the worst mic-workers in this year’s bracket (at least from what WWE has shown us to this point).  When someone wins King Of The Ring, you want them to be able to take the proverbial ball and run with it.  I don’t see Kofi as having that potential.  Could he be in the upper-tier someday?  Sure.  Someday soon?  Not likely.  WWE gave him a bit of a push with heated feuds over the past couple years, and they never pulled the trigger, and with two questionable choices as World Champions at present, I don’t think they’re going to risk elevating Kofi at this point.

Daniel Bryan (Danielson)

While it could certainly help Bryan’s reputation as a phenomenal wrestler, the United States Champion doesn’t need to end up winning the tournament this time around.  A year from now could be the perfect opportunity for him to get a serious push by winning the tournament, but right now the WWE is likely to keep pushing him as the United States champ and let someone else be the King Of The Ring.

Cody Rhodes

The Vain One doesn’t need a crown and robe at this point.  At this point he’s really coming into his own with his “Dashing” gimmick, complete with the whole “don’t touch my face” schtick, and to throw him a victory in tonight’s tournament would be to add too many spices to an already decent mix, risking ruin.  A perfect exit tonight would be for Cody to get himself counted out of a match to avoid certain defeat.

Ezekiel Jackson

The WWE’s juggernaut shouldn’t emerge the victor tonight.  He’s already building up a considerable amount of momentum, and yet he hasn’t had any real feuds since returning to RAW.  An early exit from the tournament followed by a feud leading to the pay per view is what the doctor ordered in this situation.  Giving him the win over the rest of the tournament field just makes it seem forced and misses out on the opportunity to see how Zeke feels when he’s put into a situation where he has a target to pursue.

Drew McIntyre

He used to be the Choosen One, but as of late he seems like the Choosen Fall Guy.  Other people are far higher on his mic skills than I am, and although he’s had some decent feuds in the past, I’d like to see another one from him before he starts getting the kind of push that comes with a King Of The Ring victory.  He could easily slide into a feud with Edge over the World Title in the coming months without becoming King McIntyre tonight.

Sheamus

Out of the folks I’ve talked to, Sheamus seems to be one of the favorites to win the bracket, but I’m not sure.  It could make sense, especially if Triple H is making his return in the near future, but I don’t think their feud needs this sort of attachment to it.  Triple H has plenty of reason to want to target Sheamus without it having anything to do with Sheamus winning a tournament and wearing a crown.

Alberto Del Rio

Out of anyone on Smackdown, newcomer Alberto Del Rio seems most likely to win the tournament.  It would add some legitimacy to his bragging, and at this point Alberto Del Rio is certainly ready to main event a pay per view against someone like Edge.  We’ve already seen glimpses of that match being on the horizon, given the number one contenders match from a couple weeks ago.  Out of everyone, ADR could probably carry the “King” aura and use it to turn him into a legitimate main eventer (at least for the next 18 months).  The fact that Alberto Del Rio has yet to hold a championship makes me think now’s the time for him to at least contend for one, and after feuding with Rey Mysterio, I can’t really imagine he’ll drop down into the Intercontinental Championship division.

John Morrison

With a potentially huge feud between The Miz and John Morrison looming somewhere on the horizon, the common sense pick for King Of The Ring seems to be John Morrison.  He already has the cocky attitude, now he just needs the feather in his cap to make him credible enough to compete in the main event.  He’s exciting to watch in the ring and entertaining on the mic.  If he wore a king’s robe, it wouldn’t seem out of place, and he’s probably the only face wrestler in WWE who could say that.  If WWE wants a heel King Of The Ring, John Morrison is already growing the facial hair to move in that direction.  If Melina is going to start being used as eye candy a la Maryse, the WWE could at least say that she’s the Queen.

Just a reminder, WWE RAW starts at 8 pm Eastern tonight, one hour earlier than its usual time at 9 pm.  With so many matches on the card and other angles/storylines to push, it’s likely to be a jam-packed episode.

Now for the other side of the coin.  Disregarding who defeated them in the qualifier match, consider this question:

In addition to voting in the polls, tell us what you think with a comment!