WWE Reveals First Round Raw Matches For King And Queen Of The Ring Tournaments

Backlash is behind us, meaning WWE is now turning its attention to the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments, which will culminate at the King and Queen of the Ring PLE in Saudi Arabia on May 25. We knew that the tournaments would begin on Monday's "WWE Raw," but now we know which matchups will take place. The announcement was made during Backlash in Lyon on Saturday, but a hype package has also been posted on social media.


"Raw" will feature no fewer than eight King and Queen of the Ring matches, likely comprising most (if not all) of the evening's matchups. The men's matches are GUNTHER vs. Sheamus, Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor, Ricochet vs. Ilja Dragunov, and Kofi Kingston vs. Rey Mysterio. The women's matches include Lyra Valkyria vs. Asuka, IYO SKY vs. Natalya, Zoey Stark vs. Ivy Nile, and Zelina Vega vs. Shayna Baszler. With the "Raw" and "SmackDown" rosters set to "lock" on Monday following the conclusion of the 2024 WWE Draft, Monday's episode features only half the field for each tournament, with the other half (including confirmed participants like LA Knight, Carmelo Hayes, and Santos Escobar) likely taking place on "SmackDown." No bracket has yet been revealed, though it seems likely that wrestlers will take on other wrestlers from their brand until the finals, which will pit the "Raw" finalists against their "SmackDown" counterparts.


Some tournament matches have a rich history; others are dreams come to life

Notably, GUNTHER vs. Sheamus (the only former King of the Ring wrestling Monday) is a much-anticipated rematch from their WWE Intercontinental Championship feud and the celebrated WrestleMania 39 triple threat that also involved McIntyre; McIntyre himself will be facing Balor in their first TV singles match since 2019; Balor is 3-1 against McIntyre, though two of those wins came by disqualification. Mysterio vs. Kingston, meanwhile, will be just their second singles match ever, with the first coming all the way back in 2008 (in another tournament match, which Mysterio won). Ricochet and Dragunov have never shared the ring before in any capacity.


In the women's tournament, all four "Raw" contests are first-time TV matches. Valkyria and Asuka have minor history, as Asuka and Kairi Sane successfully defended their WWE Women's Tag Team Championship against Valkyria and her then-friend Tatum Paxley before losing the belts at Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill at Backlash — aside from that, the women involved in the four matches have only wrestled in multi-person matches, on house shows, or in battle royals and Royal Rumbles. Vega was the first and most recent woman to win the Queen of the Ring — which was dubbed Queen's Crown at the time — in 2021.