WWE King of the Ring
April 28, 2015
iWireless Center
Moline, Illinois
Watch: WWENetwork.com

WWE, in the most under the radar way I can recall WWE doing in recent memory, announced the return of the King of the Ring tournament a couple of nights ago at WWE Extreme Rules. The opening matches took place last night on WWE Monday Night Raw, with the semis and final match taking place tonight in a live, WWE Network special. For a history of the King of the Ring on Pay-Per-View, check out VOW Editor Rich Kraetsch’s piece from earlier today!

Your reviewers for tonight’s King of the Ring special are the cream of the crop. What crop that is, however, I have no idea. I’m one of them, Rob McCarron. I host a podcast called Shake Them Ropes, you can listen to it here! Taylor Mitchell, our resident WWE Smackdown reviewer, and Voices of Wrestling PWG reviewer LARRY also join in the fun here at Voices of Wrestling for this special event!

King of the Ring Semi-Final
Sheamus vs. Neville

Rob McCarron: Getting the victory in the semi-final, Neville cleared up what many considered to be a likely final match picture: Barrett vs Neville. Really, there was no other way to go with this result. Not only will we get the rematch of Neville & Barrett, but with Dolph interrupting the momentum of Sheamus, we had the continuation of their story heading into a likely rematch at Payback between the two. I consider this match a success for the advancement of two situations, and a fun win for Neville with a WWE Network audience that is very familiar with the former NXT Star. **1/2

Taylor Mitchell: This match was starting to pick up and be a good to great match, but just before it was building to its peak Dolph Ziggler had to come out and distract Sheamus to help Neville win via Red Arrow. Ugh. Distraction finishes are getting as ridiculous as Handicap Match main events on Raw. Ziggler redeemed himself after the night before when he proved that he continues to be the dumbest babyface in the history of wrestling. Sheamus cost Ziggler his match earlier in the night (via distraction of course), and Ziggler retaliated how? By giving Sheamus a victory. There was a nice pull apart brawl between Sheamus and Ziggler after the match tonight that led to Sheamus bleeding above his eye. This match didn’t do much for Neville. **1/2

Larry: I should have known not to walk into a WWE pseudo special event all willy nilly expecting some legitimate, solid action. A distraction finish gives Neville a win over Sheamus just as the match was starting to pick up steam. If the goal is to put Neville over at this event, they started off pretty poorly. Assisted wins are one of the worst tropes in the WWE. They never get the guy scoring the pinfall over. Also, extra special groan for the way they’ve treated Sheamus upon his return and heel turn. They took away his ALL TIME GREAT theme music (very serious statement, btw…TOO MANY LIMES, TOO MANY LIMES!), have him look absolutely ridiculous with the mohawk and braided beard making him look a character off of Duval Street during Fantasy Fest and now, never have him win. Terrible, just terrible. *3/4

King of the Ring Semi-Final
Bad News Barrett vs. R-Truth

Rob McCarron: Bad News Barrett really should have beaten Truth easily, and that’s exactly what happened. In just a few minutes, Barrett earned his rematch with Neville by nailing Truth with a Bullhammer elbow for the victory. Nothing to the match, as this was a pure mid-card of Raw showcase for Barrett. **

Taylor Mitchell: This match was like any match you would see between these two on a random episode of Monday Night Raw. So far this tournament isn’t anything special. That’s the bad coming out of this match. The good is that Barrett won and we got to see a Bull Hammer. *3/4

Larry: This event should be renamed Superstars Episode 316 and Joe Lanza should be in here reviewing it on June 2nd with three other equally bad shows at this point. *1/2

King of the Ring Final
Bad News Barrett vs. Neville

Rob McCarron: Bad News Barrett won the 2015 King of the Ring in the match of the night. Neville went for, and missed, the Red Arrow. The flyer was able to land on his feet, however, but when he turned, he rushed right into a bullhammer. And that does it, King Barrett reigns over the WWE mid-card for the summer. Rightfully so. I love how sneaky-pushed Barrett has been in his entire career, but no one really realizes it. His reactions are amongst the highest, and most natural, of any mid-carder in WWE over the last few years. The guy is a star, can be a star, but isn’t given the throne like a star. Well, until now. Maybe. ***1/2

Taylor Mitchell: The thought going into this match was “Is WWE going to act like this was was their plan for Neville all along or is WWE going to try to push the man made of glass, Barrett, one more time?” This match was just as good as their pre-show match before Extreme Rules. The closing sequence was exciting with the Bull Hammer coming out of nowhere. These two have good chemistry and I wouldn’t mind seeing this feud continue. the King of the Ring gimmick always works better on a smarmy heel and it will be interesting to see what WWE does with it for Barrett. Let’s hope this leads to the long over do Barrett main event run. The guy has all the tools. ***1/4

Larry: Good match capped off by a BULLHAMMER OUTTANOWHERE. I liked their match at Extreme Rules a little better, but on to the nuts of the discussion after this match… I love me some Bad News… I really do. He’s pretty good in the ring, I love his presence, and have always dug his character. I just don’t know if I can legitimately invest in Barrett knowing he’s Glass Joe. To make a sports analogy, he’s the Ryan Mathews of the WWE. Looks the part of real player and always expected to break out, but always getting injured. As for Neville, I thought he looked good in defeat here and continues to look strong despite taking some L’s. I would have preferred a Neville win here, but whatever. **3/4