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Booking A 2018 WWE King Of The Ring

Because everyone loves tournaments, right?



King Of The Ring WWE

King Of The Ring is a favorite WWF/WWE event among hardcore fans, and given its format, is an easily format for the most casual of fans to bite into. It’s a tournament, and everyone loves tournaments, right?

In the US, March Madness is the most famous tournament, with brackets becoming the bane of everyone’e existence and the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament being the least productive days for most companies. Every major sports league in the US has a playoff format that is basically a tournament. And almost every independent wrestling company in the States runs at least one tournament per year.

With the WWE Network running strong, there is always the possibility of a King Of The Ring revival. In fact, one was teased earlier this year!

So if WWE were to bring back King Of The Ring (and I think they should), how do they pull it off in the modern era?

Well let’s book it! Here are a few caveats that we need to establish before we get started:

  • While this could very easily be a single brand event, our incarnation must be a multi-brand event.
  • If a current singles champion appears in the tournament, they aren’t being eliminated clean.
  • We are going to use this to push someone, otherwise it’s a total waste.

The 2018 King Of The Ring Field

As we look to establish the field, I feel it’s important that every brand is represented. This includes the WWE Network ones. I also need a good mix of talent, including some main event players. Let’s see what we can come up with:

Dixie Carter’s nephew is really miscast on NXT, so this gives us a chance to right that perceived wrong, and possibly use this as a springboard to the main roster. In my opinion, he should have moved up after the North American Championship Ladder Match in New Orleans, and this might be our chance here.

205 Live: Mustafa Ali
The heart-and-soul of 205 Live makes perfect sense here, as it basically serves as a consolation prize for not carrying the Cruiserweight Championship (much like CM Punk getting The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29 since he had to drop his WWE Championship to The Rock).

Smackdown: Andrade “Cien” Almas
Adrade makes total sense here, as he’s not doing all that much on Smackdown, but is a name the hardcore fanbase will talk about on Social Media. A run through this tournament could do wonders for the originator of Tranquilo.

Raw: Drew McIntyre
Either Ziggler or McIntyre would be a great fit, but the Scottsman is ready to make an impact on the roster and this is the place to do it. Plus, with Drew in the field, Ziggler will be involved by association.

Smackdown: Big E
While he’s one half (third?) of the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, Big E is a star that everyone thinks can make it to the top. Occupying a slot in the 2018 King of The Ring just makes sense. A back-up idea is to enter the entire New Day, and letting them Freebird Rule the entire tournament. That basically ensures they’re in the finals, and I would still have Big E in that spot. But we’ll just stick with Big E here for simplicity sake.

Raw: Seth Rollins
The tournament needs some star power, and Rollins could have a Bret Hart like run through the tournament. He’s the current Intercontinental Champion, so that’s a small wrench in our plans. But storylines are in place that helps out if he isn’t booked to win.

Smackdown: The Miz
One of the best all around performers on the roster, I can’t think of a better guy to walk around proclaiming himself King Of WWE than The Miz. Seems like a gimmick he was born to play. But will he play it…

Raw: Bobby Roode
A throwback of sorts, The Glorious One strikes me as a guy who would have been a staple of the King Of The Ring semifinals in years past, but never quite winning the big one. Can he escape that stigma in the 2018 rendition?


We have four quarterfinal matches, including the show opener that features a guy accustomed to opening big shows in 2018

KOTR Quarterfinal: Seth Rollins (Raw) vs. Mustafa Ali (205 Live)
Spoiler alert: Mustafa Ali was never advancing in this tournament. Given that, it only made sense to put him in the match that can best showcase his abilities, and that is a match with Seth Rollins. Rollins will get the win, but will elevate Ali in the process, and Mustafa can return to 205 Live with a heroes welcome.

KOTR Quarterfinal: Drew McIntyre (Raw) vs. The Miz (Smackdown)
A break in the face-heel alignment, this is easy to pull off. Both guys are over, and fans will pick a side. With a former Miz foe in Dolph Ziggler running around, it’s easy for the big man to pull off the win and advance over the A-Lister, who in all honesty doesn’t need this (as much as I’d love to see him win it all).

KOTR Quarterfinal: Andrade “Cien” Almas (Smackdown) vs. Bobby Roode (Raw)
Two former NXT Champions doing battle in a match that almost seems like a push could go to the winner. That winner is Andrade “Cien” Almas, likely thanks to Zelina Vega being the X-Factor.

KOTR Quarterfinal: EC3 (NXT) vs. Big E (Smackdown)
A win wasn’t in the cards for Mustafa Ali, and the same seems to go for EC3 here. I really wanted to put EC3 through to the second round, but it didn’t quite make sense the way the rest of the field and tournament were shaping up.


After a break in the action, possibly a one-off Sasha Banks vs. Bayley match (or tag match for them, depending on where the story is at the time of this show) that doesn’t really accomplish much, we are back to the tournament as we see who can win here and make it to the finals!

KOTR Semifinal: Seth Rollins (Raw) vs. Drew McIntyre (Raw)
A fun match with a lot of storyline overlap. Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler can get involved, but we do need a winner since I don’t want to book this one without a final round. Rollins already has the Intercontinental Championship (and a WWE Championship in the past) to his credit, so it’s Drew picking up the win. A distraction is likely in order, probably due to Ambrose and Ziggler fighting.

KOTR Semifinal: Andrade “Cien” Almas (Smackdown) vs. Big E (Smackdown)
The inverse of the all-Raw match above, this match could end up getting “Match Of The Night” honors. Almas could really use a win here, but it’s not meant to be. I don’t want to go heel-heel in the finals.

King Of The Ring Finals

Since Raw was up between the first two rounds, we can give the not to Smackdown here. We’ll have The IIconics losing to Naomi and Asuka in a crowd pleasing affair.

KOTR Finals: Drew McIntyre (Raw) vs. Big E (Smackdown)
This is a money match featuring two talents that can easily carry a main event. Big E would likely be the favorite among the staff here at The Chairshot, but the nod is going to Drew McIntyre. I see Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods all being sent to the back, and both men tearing it up before Drew picks up the clean win, and the crown.


Interesting of note, an “alternate finals” featuring Seth Rollins vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas might actually be a better match-up, one that sees Almas picking up the huge win to elevate his career. I was really really really close to swapping out the match, but I had to stick to me instincts and give this one to Drew McIntyre.

What say you? Who would you put in the King Of The Ring? Am I shamed for leaving out an NXT UK talent? Should we book a Queen Of The Ring next?  Share your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #UseYourHead and tweet to me @ChairshotGreg and @theCHAIRSHOTcom!

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Greg DeMarco’s Good, Bad, & Ugly: WWE Smackdown On FOX (November 3, 2023)

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!



WWE Smackdown John Cean Solo Sikoa

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!

WWE Smackdown On FOX sends us home for the Crown Jewel premium live event, so it has to be strong. But is it? Maybe it’s Good. Possibly it’s Bad? I sure hope it isn’t Ugly.

Let’s find out!

If you haven’t checked out Mitchell’s Results & Review for this episode of Smackdown, go and check it out now!


  • Roman Reigns & LA Knight In Ring Promo – Last week LA Knight got the better of Roman, so it made sense for Roman to get it all back this week. And he did just that. “Redneck Cosplay of my cousin” was a fantastic line from Roman Reigns, but “I ain’t here to finish something” from LA Knight got a bigger reaction from me. Roman calling himself the megastar was also a phenomenal line. Good stuff all around.
  • Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory – Kevin Patrick keeping “The 150 million hit man” schtick going for Austin Theory is so great. Milk that for all it’s worth! “What is your issue with Kevin Owens’ face?” “LOOK AT IT, MAN!” Absolutely brilliant shit. “How’s that feel, idiot?” Grayson Waller should be on commentary every week, for every match. And this match, by the way, was really good. Austin Theory has settled into his current role, showing he understands the WWE cycle. And Owens is Owens.
  • Backstage Series Of Events – We had the Bianca Belair interview where she was attacked by Damage Ctrl, followed by The Street Profits & Bobby Lashley running into Logan Paul and then B-Fab. Flowed well, no issues for me.
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Shotzi Blackheart & Charlotte Flair – No surprise that Charlotte Flair was the partner, and no surprise that Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn made an appearance. This was a perfectly fine TV match–didn’t set the world on fire, but also wasn’t Bad or Ugly. This was a step in this story, and an effective one.
  • The Brawling Brutes vs. Pretty Deadly in a Good Ol’ Fashioned Donnybrook! – Shout out to Sheamus, whose return I look forward to seeing. With Ridge really coming into his own, we’re to the point where all four of these guys range from good to great to fantastic on any given night. Putting Pretty Deadly into any “manly fight” is always guaranteed entertainment. Really, Pretty Deadly in anything is typically guaranteed entertainment. Pretty Deadly picking up the win was not a shock, although I’d have loved to see Butch and Ridge Holland pick up a win here. Given the rules (or lack thereof) of this match, Pretty Deadly basically won clean here.
  • Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul Crown Jewel Weigh-In – A very effective way to pretape something, which saves time as part of a double taping. It was essentially a go home promo, but done in a different way. I liked it. It also smoothly transitions into the rundown of the card by the commentary team, which I always appreciate.
  • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley – If you know me, you know that Bianca can be hit or miss for me. She can’t “work with anyone,” but she can definitely work with Bayley. Bayley, of course, is money with anything she does. Both women delivered a main event quality match, and no one should complain that Bianca Belair won. She’s challenging for the Women’s Championship in less than 24 canon hours, so she needs to win. Bayley is a made woman, losing here doesn’t hurt her one bit.
  • “Just Enough Nick” Nick Aldis Usage – Triple H has done an amazing job of establishing Nick Aldis. Three weeks in and he already “belongs.” Much of that is attributed to how Aldis carries himself. But they are also using him to the right degree. It’s not too much, but it’s also not too little. Adam Pearce could miss two weeks of Raw and when he shows back up, it all makes sense. For Aldis, he needs to be very present, but not overbearing or “shoved down our throats.” They have the right balance.


  • Solo Sikoa & John Cena In Ring Promo – John Cena, lost voice and all, completely buries Solo Sikoa. He “cooks” Solo, as promised. And, as Cena does, he makes Solo look like crap. Bargain Basement Tazz Rip Off? C’mon man, you’re better than that. But here’s the real problem: what happens if Solo loses? Cena made him look like a loser, and then proves that he is? Solo has to win this match. If he doesn’t, and Cena is gone, then Solo is left out in the cold. And you don’t want to do that to Solo Sikoa at this point of his career.


  • Misstep for Theory – Referencing Halloween as if it hadn’t already happened. You can edit this episode–c’mon, man!
  • Kevin Owens’ Crotch Chop – C’mon, man! We’re better than crotch chops in 2023.

The Verdict

  • Good – 8
  • Bad – 1
  • Ugly – 2

In all honesty this was a damn good show. Milwaukee showed out considering they’d already seen 2 hours of Smackdown before this was taped. Good on them, and good on WWE for a great go home show for Crown Jewel.

Interesting of note – the pictures for this show that are posted to the WWE website are uploaded in the order the matches and segments were recorded, not the order in which they aired. Just a little tidbit that I found interesting.

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Greg DeMarco’s Wrestling Ratings Report: Monday Night Raw (10/30/2023) & WWE NXT (10/31/2023)

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?



WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 Carmelo Hayes Ilja Dragunov

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?

Settle in for a look at this week’s ratings for WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2! Both were up against some stiff competition–let’s see how they fared!

WWE Monday Night Raw (October 30, 2023)

  • Hour #1 – 1.466 million viewers, .44 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable
  • Hour #2 – 1.450 million viewers, .46 demo rating #5 for the night on cable
  • Hour #3 – 1.256 million viewers, .39 demo rating, #8 for the night on cable

WWE Monday Night Raw for October 30, 2023 faced some stiff competition on Monday night. You had Monday Night Football as normal–which aired on both ESPN and ABC–along with the usual peripheral shows (Monday Night Football Postgame, Monday Night Football Kickoff, SportsCenter, and the Monday Night Countdown, which factored into the Top 10). 6.851 million people watched Monday Night Football on ESPN, a number that more than doubles when you factor in ABC.

What does it all mean? It means that outside of Monday Night Football–on cable–WWE Monday Night Raw was the top rated show. If you take away all things NFL, Raw finishes #1, #2, and #3 for the night. Viewership did drop off for our 3, but that’s the 10 PM hour that sees kids go to bed and people checking on the Monday Night Football and World Series games.

Speaking of which, that’s another factor to consider–the World Series! 8.126 million people watched the World Series on FOX (not really that good), with another 8.356 million watching Monday Night Football on ABC (yes, more than the World Series) for a decent-at-best Lions vs Raiders match-up.

In summary, it was another successful night for WWE Monday Night Raw, which was the go-home edition of the program. You can check out my Good Bad & Ugly look at Monday’s Raw, where I gave the show an overall “Good” rating. Haven’t watched yet? Give Mitchell’s live coverage a read.

Listen to this week’s edition of Bandwagon Nerds!

WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 (October 31, 2023)

  • Entire Broadcast – 674 thousand viewers, .20 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable

WWE NXT (Halloween Havoc Night 2) for October 31, 2023, had to deal with a myriad of external factors this week. First is the most obvious–it was Halloween! Many people had plans, Trick-Or-Treat escapades and more. That right there will be a detriment to any ratings results. Add in two live NBA games, each drawing over a million viewers for TNT. Combine it all together and WWE NXT was the top rated program that wasn’t sports programming on TNT or ESPN. Hell, the entire Top 12 consisted of ESPN and TNT sports programming, plus NXT.

It’s easy to call this a failure since viewership was lost week over week. But that’s very shortsighted. The fact remains that NXT was among the most watched programming for the night, holding its own against live sports and sports-peripheral programming.  If you’re WWE and USA Network, you’re nothing but happy with these results.

NXT, of course, featured the second week of Halloween Havoc, headlined by Ilja Dragunov defending the NXT Championship against Carmelo Hayes in the third match of their trilogy. Along with that you had The Creed Brothers in a Tables, Ladders, and Scares (Chairs) match with Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo, Lola Vice vs. Kelani Jordan in the finals of the Women’s Breakout Tournament, and much more.

I’d call the Tuesday program a ratings success. My Good, Bad, & Ugly review of NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 is available here, where I called it “Good” overall. If you haven’t seen the show yet, check out Mitchell’s play-by-play.

As the weeks roll on, I will compile some historical data and look more about week-over-week (and beyond) patterns in all of my ratings reports.

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