WWE will reportedly hold a King of the Ring tournament and a Queen of the Ring tournament this year.
Wrestling Inc. first reported last month that WWE had plans to hold the first-ever all-women’s Queen of the Ring tournament. It was later reported that the finals will be taking place at the next WWE show in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In an update, word now is that the King of the Ring tournament will also return this year, with those finals also taking place in Saudi Arabia, according to Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men podcast.
There is no official word on when WWE will return to the Kingdom, but they are expected to return on Thursday, October 21. It’s believed that the QOTR and KOTR tournaments will begin earlier in October, with the finals taking place in late October in Saudi Arabia. It was previously reported that the Queen of the Ring tournament would begin on the October 8 SmackDown and the October 11 RAW, but those dates have not been confirmed.
It was reported back in early June that WWE’s TV partners, FOX and NBCUniversal, were suggesting more themed events for late 2021, such as King of the Ring and RAW Roulette.
WWE holding the all-women’s tournament finals in the Kingdom is a major, historic deal. Due to local laws, female WWE Superstars were unable to travel with the company to the Kingdom to perform on their earlier events. WWE aired a promotional video that featured female Superstars at Greatest Royal Rumble 2018, and the Saudi General Sports Authority issued an apology for what they called “indecent material” airing at the show. WWE made some progress in the Kingdom at Crown Jewel 2018 when Renee Young did commentary, then again at Super ShowDown 2019. The first-ever women’s division match was to be held at Super ShowDown 2019, with Alexa Bliss vs. current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Natalya, butt he match was nixed at the last minute by the Saudi government, despite Bliss and Natalya being in the country. WWE finally held a women’s match in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel 2019 with Natalya defeating Lacey Evans. Due to local policies, they were both forced to wear t-shirts with full-body suits instead of their normal in-ring gear, but WWE celebrated the history-making moment in a major way.
The main King of the Ring tournament was held almost yearly in the late 80s and the 90s, and then from 2000-2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2015. The tournament returned in 2019 with Baron Corbin getting the win, defeating Chad Gable in the finals. The 2015 KOTR event was the last to be held as a WWE Network or pay-per-view (the quarterfinals aired on RAW, the rest on the WWE Network). The 2019 tournament was held over several RAW and SmackDown episodes.
WWE will likely officially announce the Queen of the Ring and King of the Ring tournaments soon, perhaps after SummerSlam. Stay tuned for more on WWE’s return to the Kingdom and the two tournaments.