3. Owen Hart
The 1994 King of the Ring was tailor-made for Owen Hart. After turning against big brother Bret at that year’s Royal Rumble and defeating him in their classic WrestleMania X match, it would have been easy for the WWF to take their foot off the gas in how Owen was booked. To do so would have been a massive mistake and would have damaged the build for their epic SummerSlam cage match showdown.
Instead Vince McMahon and co made the decision to crown Owen the second televised King of the Ring, which was a significant sign of intent on the company’s behalf. Owen, renowned for his sense of humour and for not taking himself too seriously, leaned into it and enjoyed hamming it up for the cameras. From the moment he ordered Todd Pettengill to bow down at the pay-per-vuew upon his victory, and refusing to let Jack Tunney coronate him, we knew we were in for some classic sports entertainment-based malarky. Owen Hart, the King of Harts, delivered. He always did.
2. Booker T
Or should that be King Book-ah? Podcaster and pal of Bad Bunny, the former Harlem Heat man makes the list for his hilarious year-long reincarnation as King Booker in 2006-07. Fans enjoyed his tag-team run with Goldust a few years prior and lapped up every minute of Booker’s career resurgence after he won the 2006 King of the Ring tournament.
Jumping into the gimmick with both feet, Booker quickly established his own Royal Court, including wife Sharmell, now a Queen obviously, and the only British members of the main roster – Finlay and William Regal. Both Regal and Finlay received knighthoods for their trouble, which is nice.
By far the most amusing part of Booker’s performance was the way he adopted mannerisms and gestures youd associate with a stereotypical British monarch, right down to the hilariously cringeworthy British accent. Against all the odds, Booker took what should have been a cumbersome mid-card gimmick and prospered with it. All hail King Book-ah!
1. Randy Savage
So much for the Madness of King George – how about the Macho Madness of King Randy? Now there’s a film we can all agree would be an Oscar winner. Savage became King of the WWF after dethroning Jim Duggan in 1989 (not, confusingly, when he won the house show tournament himself in 1987).
It was the perfect vehicle for the heel Savage, displaying his arrogance and viciousness, with the legendary Queen Sherri by his side in place of Miss Elizabeth. Extra points for updating his nickname to “Macho King” and often getting carried to the ring on a throne by random underlings. As with all the best Kings, why bother having all the trappings of royalty if you’re not going to enjoy it a little?
Last seen at WrestleMania VII after losing a ‘retirement’ match to the Ultimate Warrior and reuniting with Liz, the Macho King’s most regal act was using his trusty sceptre to relieve the Warrior of the WWF title and bringing that particular failed experiment to a welcome end.
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