Saturday, September 24, 2016

Top Five Wrestling Kings

5) Jerry Lawler: Yes, I know that some people may hate me putting this low on the list here because of how the "King" name in wrestling is synonymous with Jerry Lawler but I can't help it. I just flat out never liked him. As a wrestler, performer, commentator or anything like that. However, I do understand how important the King name is for him. Nobody has held that title longer and the fact that he still sports the crown to this day tells you how much of a King this man is. He also had some very big moments and matches in his heyday down in Memphis as one of the best heels ever.

                              4) Kings of Wrestling: While they didn't win the king moniker or wear royalty related gear, I had to include them. One of my favorite tag teams in recent memory are the Kings of Wrestling. Whether it was their mid 2000s run or the 2010s stuff, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli were an absolute blast to watch. Granted, they never wore the full "king" getup like some of the Kings of the Ring did, but if they called themselves Kings, I ranked them. They were one of the best tag teams I've ever seen live, putting on great matches with the Briscoes and Wrestling's Great Tag Team in front of me. Awesome chemistry between these kings.

3) Shinsuke Nakamura: Again, I'm toeing the line with the guidelines here, but the "King of the Strong Style" makes my list. When I first got into New Japan Pro Wrestling, the first guy that really caught my eye was Shinsuke Nakamura. Hell, the first time I ever saw him, he came out decked out in a crown at Wrestle Kingdom 9. He is known as the "King of Strong Style" and seems to live up to the billing. After watching him in NJPW for a year, Nakamura moved over to the States and joined NXT. Since then, he had a MOTY contender with SamI Zayn and has gone on to add the NXT Championship to his list of accomplishments. 

             2) King Booker: Guys have worn the crown but nobody dove completely into the king gimmick like Booker did. After winning five World Titles in WCW during their dying days, Booker T came over to the WWE. He struggled early but got very over and earned some World Title shots. He was unsuccessful in that, but stayed as an integral part of the WWE. Everything changed when he won the King of the Ring in 2006 and turned into King Booker. It led to his long awaited sixth World Title and a complete character change. The addition of Queen Sharmell only added to this as Booker was highly entertaining and successful during this run.

1) Owen Hart: The King of Harts. Growing up, I loved Bret Hart but there was just something about Owen Hart that I was drawn to. I was always split during their rivalries. When Owen won the King of the Ring in 1994, I remember being happy about it. Looking back, it was a great move. 1994 was basically the year of Owen and it's still a shame that he didn't take the WWF Title from Bret. He should have gotten the Bob Backlund reign. Anyway, he kept the nickname of the "King of Harts" until late into his career, and, besides Lawler, I can't think of anyone who had a king moniker for longer.