Bully Ray Discusses Difference In WWE's Approach To King Of The Ring Tournament

WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray has detailed how the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments became gimmicky and lost their original purpose.

WWE is currently on the road to their next big Premium Live Event, King and Queen of the Ring, which will take place in Saudi Arabia on May 26, with the tournament beginning on the May 6 edition of "WWE Raw." During a recent episode of "Busted Open Radio," Ray opened up about the tournament and how it went from being something that was, at one point, a big part of WWE's calendar, to just another gimmick.


"The King and The Queen of the Ring used to be a serious tournament," Ray said. "You won King of the Ring, that means that they were getting you ready to strap a rocket to your back, they were getting ready to do something with you. Then it became gimmicky — a scepter, a crown, a robe, 'I am the King, I am the Queen' ... no. This is still professional wrestling at the end of the day, and the Paul Levesque era of the WWE is not afraid to say the word 'professional wrestling.'"

In 1993, the tournament was turned into a pay-per-view and became one of WWE's "Big Five" pay-per-views until the launch of the In Your House events. It wasn't until 2002 that the winner of the tournament earned a shot at WWE's top prize at that year's SummerSlam, with the 2002 tournament being won by Brock Lesnar, who later won the title from The Rock. Ray himself has been part of two King of the Ring tournaments, coincidentally being eliminated on both occasions by the men who later won the competition, Kurt Angle in 2000 and Lesnar in 2002.


Please credit "Busted Open Radio" when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.