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Booker Man Dan: If I ran the book – KOTR 2019 Edition



The WWE recently made the announcement that they were bringing back the King of the Ring tournament. As a fan, I was immediately intrigued and hoped they’d fill the bracket with fresh young talent. They have released the bracket and to be honest I have mixed feelings on. I can’t rebook it, but I am going to run down the list and let you know who I’d book to walk away as the 2019 King of the Ring and why.

The Bracket:

(( Left Side ))

Cesaro vs.
Samoa Joe

This is a match between two guys I’d like to see in the finals rather than in the first round. Cesaro is criminally underrated and misused in the WWE. He’s an elite talent in the ring and has a ton of fan support despite not being used to his capabilities. Samoa Joe will likely get the win here, but if I had control of the roster this is the perfect situation to elevate Cesaro and a win here would be massive for him.

WWE Pick: Samoa Joe
Dan Pick: Cesaro

Ricochet vs.
Drew McIntyre

Another match where I’d like to see both guys advance in the tournament. It seems like Drew McIntyre has all the tools, but the WWE just won’t let him go. They are definitely keeping him in check and it wouldn’t shock me completely to see them put Ricochet over in this spot. It’s a classic heel vs. face match and if you look at the previous match, and what I’m expecting you’d probably see Drew vs. Samoa Joe.

I’d be cool with either guy winning here, but I was running things I’d put Drew over because honestly, he needs it more. This side of the bracket is far superior to the other side, and a heel is coming through on this side of the bracket. Advantage McIntyre.

WWE Pick: Drew McIntyre
Dan Pick: Drew McIntyre

Cedric Alexander vs.
Sami Zayn

Um, this is in my honest opinion a throw-away match. Neither man is going to win this tourney and for Zayn, it’s a shame. Cedrick is either getting a push or completely ignored. There is no middle ground with how they handle him. I’d expect his push to come to a grinding halt in this match. Sami should go over here and if he doesn’t I’d be fall out of my chair shocked. It’s weird, I’m not even sure why Cedric is in this tournament. Would much rather have seen Robert Roode in the mix.

All that being said, I’m guessing Sami is going to earn the win here, but it’ll likely be one and done for him. I think Sami should receive a push, but the truth is they don’t seem to have anything compelling in mind for him right now.

WWE Pick: Sami Zayn
Dan Pick: Sami Zayn

Baron Corbin vs.
The Miz

Let me be honest upfront. I used to really like Baron Corbin. To be fair, that was back when he was in NXT. He’s become a bore and hard to like during his WWE run. Someone up high *cough Vince cough* must like him though, because he’s always in the mix. The Miz is a heck of a talent and for years has been a backbone of the WWE and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. His angle and speech with Daniel Bryan on Talking Snack still ranks right up there with the CM Punk “Pipe-bomb” and the Mick Foley anti-core promos in ECW as the most entertaining moments in the sport.

I would love to think that the WWE is going to give The Miz a deep run here, and maybe crown him the King of the Ring, but they won’t. They are going to give Baron a run here, and it’s silly and completely unnecessary. The Miz is tailor-made for King of the Ring status. Dude is great on the mic and is a workhorse. If I’m the boss, he’s getting a deep run here.

WWE Pick: Baron Corbin
Dan Pick: The Miz

(( Right Side ))

Kevin Owens vs.

I’d love to think Elias is going to get a run here, but the simple fact is he isn’t. Kevin Owens is really a hot commodity in the WWE currently and despite what will undoubtedly be Shane McMahon’s plan to eliminate him, Kevin will win this match. In fact, if I’m a betting man, Kevin will likely be in the finals. I have no issue with Kevin beating Elias. I think Elias is awesome, but to go from a sideshow act to King of the Ring would be a bit much.

Kevin doesn’t really need the KOTR title as much as some of these other guys, but that doesn’t usually stand in the way of the WWE thought process. They are all about instant gratification and are often pretty short-sited. Just a side note, I’d love to see what Hunter would do with a King of the Ring in NXT. That would be bananas.

WWE Pick: Kevin Owens
Dan Pick: Kevin Owens

Ali vs.
Buddy Murphy

These guys are flat out great in-ring performers. They show off every single time they get an opportunity of any kind. Murphy just had an incredible match with Roman Reigns on Smackdown and the WWE will likely capitalize on that and put him over here. Personally, I see Ali as more of in need of a big push here, and it would be great if they went toe to toe for fifteen minutes and then Ali went over. Whoever wins this match will in my opinion advance to the semi-finals. I’d put Ali over but the WWE won’t.

WWE Pick: Buddy Murphy
Dan Pick: Ali

Chad Gable vs.
Shelton Benjamin

This is a head-scratcher and indicative of what I dislike about the WWE. Throw in Xavier Woods, Rusev, Alister Black, or even Ziggler. I’d much rather this match be between Xavier and Ziggler. That said, I told you one of the rules here is I’d only book who they entered into the tournament and not make any changes. I don’t care about Gable or Shelton and I don’t care who moves on. I’m leaning towards Gable just because he and Andrade match up in the next round. Moving on.

WWE Pick: Chad Gable
Dan Pick: Chad Gable

Apollo Crews vs.

I don’t like Andrade much. I just can’t get into him for whatever reason. That said, I am a HUGE fan of Apollo Crews and loved him back when he was an Indy wrestler going by Uhaa Nation. The guy has a limitless ceiling but the WWE doesn’t seem to believe that to be the case. They will at times act like they are on the verge of pushing him, but ultimately nothing much comes of it. It’s sad. That said, they seem pretty impressed with Andrade.

I’d use this tournament to push Apollo but the WWE will use it to advance Andrade. Bummer, but such is life.

WWE Pick: Andrade
Dan Pick: Apollo Crews

If you want to see how I think it all plays out, check out the two brackets below. The first is how I expect it to be booked by WWE and the second image is how I’d book it. In the end, I’d have Drew McIntyre win and become the 2019 King of the Ring and challenge for a World Title as a result.