History of WWE King of The Ring
A look back at wrestling royalty.
The location was Dayton, Ohio on the night of June 13, 1993.
An exhausted Bret “The Hitman” Hart looks to celebrate his victories over three of the World Wrestling Federation’s toughest men in the span of one night.
That caused Hart to respond and incite the crowd into a rousing chant of “Burger King.”
As Hart turned away, Lawler blindsided the worn-out conqueror and unleashed a brutal assault--punctuating the attack by stomping on “The Hitman’s” newly-awarded crown.
With that, the King of the Ring event was born and for the next nine years, it would be a staple of WWE’s pay-per-view lineup.
Although the King of the Ring tournament gained worldwide attention in ‘93, its birth actually came in 1985.
Don Muraco has the honor of being hailed as the first-ever King of The Ring, after defeating the toughest of competition that included The Junkyard Dog, Les Thornton, Pedro Morales, and The Iron Shreik. Muraco was crowned King in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The next five KOTRs stayed within the New England area.
In 1986, former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race was crowned the new King of the Ring by defeating George “The Animal” Steele, Billy Jack Haynes, and Pedro Morales. Race is credited with being the first WWE wrestler to incorporate his “Kingship” into a gimmick.
With the King of the Ring being a relatively regional event, and without the Internet’s presence of today, most fans were unaware of the results or existence of these special annual occasions.
Race was billed as the King of Wrestling for two years, although another King had been crowned in 1987 without any recognition.