KOTR 2001 Question

Hi Scott!
A question has occurred to me which you might be able to answer: if HHH hadn’t torn his quad in the famous tag team title match with the Canadian Chrisses, what would the card at King Of The Ring have looked like as far as Austin, HHH, Benoit, and Jericho?  Have you any back issues of the Observer which detail the original layout of the card or was that information never released since it was rendered moot so quickly?
Thanks for your time!
​I believe it was supposed to be Austin/Chris #1 and HHH/Chris #2 in some combination that I can't remember, and then with HHH out they put both Chrisses in the same match instead.  I don't have the Observer handy, though, because that's when I was getting the print version and they're all buried somewhere in my basement.  ​

Benoit, Jericho and KOTR 2001

Hey, Scott! I have something to bring before the BOD crowd. I was reviewing some Raws and Smackdowns from June 2001 for my website (kingsrecaps.wordpress.com, BTW) and was wondering how frustrating it was to watch Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho during the build to King of the Ring '01. Benoit and Jerihco get the big tag title win over Austin and Triple H, making you think they were finally getting thier chance, but in the weeks they repeatedly jobbed to Austin in title matches, Jericho lost in a handicap match to a pair of midcarders (Big Show and Rhyno), Benoit lost the famed cage match to Angle that he should have won, and only got one other big win along the way, and that was the six man tag on the raw before KOTR. Plus if you watch the last three shows before the pay-per-view, you'll notice Benoit and Jericho were hardly featured, while Austin was allowed to run wild with all his wacky segments and skits. Was it worth seeing Benoit and Jericho win
 the tag titles and get to be in the KOTR main event if it meant they would get buried along the way? Just wanted to get some thoughts.

This was actually well documented in the Observer at the time, and basically it was a case of Vince pulling the trigger with the tag title switch and then changing his mind when it became obvious that Benoit and Jericho weren't going to do business on top.  And then Benoit needed the neck surgery, so they basically decided to pull the plug on the whole thing and let Austin regain some heat and then rebuild Jericho later.  That's why King of the Ring ended up structured how it was. And given Benoit's injury, they were kind of right to change it anyway.  

In defence of KOTR 95′

Hi Scott

This one has been on my mind for a while

Now obviously, Mabel winning the KOTR in 1995 ended up being a big flop and the show itself is remembered with scorn. That being said, I think the reason this is less to do with Mabel actually winning, but more to do with how he won.

Mabel won the tournament by beating Savio Vega in the final. Vega had only been in the company for less than a month and hadn't had any sufficient time to get over to where fans would be prepared to route for him in a main event match.

The original plan for the tournament was that the Savio role would have been played by Sean Waltman, but Waltman was too injured at the time to compete for that many matches.

When you think about that, the story not only makes sense but also sounds pretty cool.

Savio was in the tournament because Razor Ramon had to be taken out. The Kid was known at the time as Razor's buddy, so it would have made sense for him to take his friends place.

Kid was liked enough by the fans that they would have bought into him in the role as the under dog. Being in the tournament would have allowed for him to get a pinfall win over IRS, that had alluded him prior to the show, and he would have also gotten a win over Yokozuna, that would have raised his stock in the eyes of the fans. His semi final opponent could have then been Roadie or Bob Holly. He not only was feuding with Roadie at the time but he had also held the tag titles that year with Holly, thus adding intrigue to either one of those matches.

Kid was not only more of an established star but he was also a much better worker than Savio, which would have bumped up the match ratings on the show and also elevated the tournament itself and Kid's standing in the company.

I still maintain that you could book the show exactly the same, but have Kid in place of Savio, and the show wouldn't be anywhere near as hated. I've always enjoyed the Bret Vs Lawler match from the show and think it gets a bum rap as people just hate the show in general.

I'd be interested to see what the doomers think

All the best and I hope yourself and the family have a great holiday season



Wow, don't get many KOTR 95 defense pieces on here.  Kudos for bravery, if nothing else.  

Look, there was so much wrong with that show that inserting 123 Waltman in there wouldn't even scratch the surface.  It was the wrong guy at the wrong time in the wrong place, as Mabel was the perfect storm of suck.  The fanbase DESPERATELY wanted Shawn Michaels to win that thing and anyone else was just rubbing salt in the wound.  Even Razor would have been pretty awesome and different, but instead it was Vince panicking and doing what he always does — pushing the biggest slugs he can find when business is down.  Not to mention running with a Savio v. Mabel final in PHILLY during the height of ECW's underground rise was madness.  Fuck, even WCW was smart enough to turn Slamboree 94 into an ECW-themed show when it was apparent, a year before that mind you, that the market was turning that way.  

The idea was doomed from the start.

KOTR 1997

Hey Scott,

Was just looking at the KOTR 1997 Brackets on Wikipedia when I saw that HHH has originally lost his qualifying match against Ahmed Johnson via DQ but…
Helmsley was allowed another spot in the tournament because he was not properly instructed prior to his match with Ahmed Johnson the previous week that he could be eliminated via disqualification and thus threatened the WWF with legal action; Vader was originally in this spot but sustained a broken nose after his No Holds Barred match with Ken Shamrock at In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell on May 11. This gave Helmsley the opportunity to fill in the vacant space and face Crush. Vader fought Ahmed on the May 26 episode of Raw Is War for his spot, but lost.
Obviously, there is a fair amount of kayfabing going out with the lawsuit but I’m wondering: Was HHH always slated to win the KOTR that year? I ask because this was around the time Vader did the Kuwait interview and basically went downhill from there. Was Vader supposed to win KOTR but screwed himself out of the position (Ironic, obviously, considering what happened to HHH in 1996). Or was this just a situation where they were always going to push HHH to KOTR and were just waiting until after his punishment was over? Or was it something else?

I don’t recall hearing anything wacky at the time.  Like, as far as I can recall, he was always getting the rocket push whether we liked it or not.  Vader was kind of on the outs by that point anyway.