Earlier this week, WWE revealed the brackets for the King of the Ring tournament that will start on this Monday's RAW with first round matches continuing on Tuesday's SmackDown. The finals of the tournament is scheduled to take place on September 15 at WWE Clash of Champions in Charlotte, North Carolina. Below are initial match-ups.
* Cesaro vs. Samoa Joe
* Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre
* Cedric Alexander vs. Sami Zayn
* The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
* Kevin Owens vs. WWE 24/7 Champion Elias
* Ali vs. Buddy Murphy
* Chad Gable vs. Shelton Benjamin
* Apollo Crews vs. Andrade
In the video above, WWE cameras caught up with Triple H to get his thoughts on the importance of the KOTR and what it does for those who can win the prestigious tournament.
"King of the Ring is one of those moments in time that if you have it, it can be a complete career changing moment," Triple H said. "So, winning King of the Ring can put you on a trajectory in your career to being a top player in WWE for years to come and you don't have to look any further than the list of people who have won it that have gone on to do just that. It was a launch pad for "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, for me, for Bret Hart, for a lot of talent, it just took them to another level of what it means to be a performer and a star in the WWE."
Triple H was then asked, more specifically, what it did for his own career when he won the tournament in 1997, defeating Mankind in the finals.
"The perception is just different, when you win a tournament that is as star-studded as the King of the Ring that has the top players of an industry, it is designed in concept to take somebody and put them on another stratosphere as a performer," Triple H responded. "That is really what it does, what it accomplishes, when you win the King of the Ring everybody in that locker room looks at you differently."
Before ending the interview, Triple H was asked about who he looks at as the favorite from this year's field. While he didn't give one specific name, Triple H felt there were so many factors involved that it's difficult to really pick a favorite.
"It's a funny thing when you look at this year's tournament, the lineup, there are a lot of guys where you would think, 'These are definitely front-runners,'" Triple H said. "Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe, guys that are kind of destroyers, so to speak, but sometimes it's more endurance based, it's not one match, you move on and you're done with it. It's multiple matches, against top guys, so, sometimes having that endurance to last, to withstand an injury, to come out of one match not at one-hundred percent and still carry on. That might favor guys like Buddy Murphy or Cedric Alexander.
"This is really one of those interesting tournament when you start to lineup the names of people in it, Andrade, people like that. I could make half a list of people in there and say, 'These are favorites.' That is what will make this so interesting, you really cannot tell. When you get to the end there will be so many factors involved in this that you can't tell who will be the King of the Ring."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.