Rumours have been circulating that WWE will hold a Queen of the Ring tournament towards the end of 2021. This will be the first tournament for WWE women since they held the Mae Young Classic 2018.
In the 90s, one of WWE flagship events was the King of the Ring. A yearly tournament held on one evening in a knockout style competition and the winner usually went on to big and better things within the company. Past winners include Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Triple H and Brock Lesnar.
With a chance to crown the first-ever Queen of the Ring, this is a perfect opportunity for WWE to use the formula of the past to establish a new star today or could take the NJPW tack and use the G1 Climax or Stardom Five Star Grand Prix approach. How different would it be if WWE used two groups of female competitors competing against each other over the space of a few weeks on television before a final at a pay-per-view? WWE tried this approach before when they crowned an interim WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion in the spring of 2020. It’s a chance to create new matches and unique stories to create a brand new star.
The tournament would be different from the Mae Young Classic which highlighted wrestlers not contracted to the company or individuals that were starting out in NXT. This tournament would see performers who are established on television already. The winner could vastly benefit from the victory. The winner could receive a shot at any championship they desire, or for storyline purposes; they could choose any wish they desire which would have to be fulfilled. Something similar to the Stardom Cinderella winner would receive, with WWE soap opera drama, this could really bring something out of the left field.
Charlotte Flair is one person who wouldn’t need to win the tournament to elevate her but a win for the 11-time world champion would give the tournament credibility in its first year. If it was to become an annual tradition, Flair winning would really give the tournament meaning, especially if she played into it and promoted herself as the true Queen and best in WWE (but no crown… please), however Flair spoke with TalkSport and dismissed the idea of her being involved.
“Well, I think it’s great because of the opportunities it brings. It allows multiple women to be highlighted, maybe even from NXT and for everyone to get involved?
“But being that I’m already The Queen, if it was to happen, I believe whoever wins it has to face me, since I am The Queen of Queens, right?”
The same could be said for the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Bianca Belair winning the tournament, a win for either of them would showcase the importance of winning. Asuka is one superstar who could do with a little change in character, winning Queen of the Ring and become an expanding on the Empress of Tomorrow moniker, as an evil ruler is something I could see WWE easily doing but a heel turn and a tournament win which could really jump start Asuka’s push.
Carmella winning would be reminiscent of her good run as Ms Money in the Bank and run as champion. Winning would really enhance her place competing at the top of the SmackDown card. Zelina Vega has lost every single match since her return to WWE, she could use some credibility to her character if she is to continue to compete with Sasha Banks and Belair on Friday nights. This tournament could be the beginning of a face turn as she finally stops losing, picks up some victories and defies the odds by winning the whole thing.
The tournament is also a chance for WWE to create a new star. Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart and Toni Storm have just debuted on SmackDown, one of these winning in the correct manner could create a new star and a fresh new challenger for whoever the champion may be. Raquel Gonzalez’s debut on Monday or Friday nights could be phenomenal if pushed correctly and dominating the tournament would be a great start for her. Or maybe an established star being given a shot of adrenaline such as Nia Jax, Shayna Bazler and Tamina. Natalya winning would cement her legacy as a true pioneer in the division and becoming the first-ever Queen of the Ring would be a true accomplishment.
WWE could use a similar storyline as the last King of the Ring tournament. Having Chad Gable be the ultimate underdog really gave him a new lease of life in WWE, even if it did come with a ridiculous name. Having either Nikki ASH or Liv Morgan go on a winning running in the tournament as the underdog would be good storyline telling within the story of the tournament. Nikki and Liv would be the ideal participants in using the same tournament style and format that TJPW did by having Maki Itoh win the Tokyo Princess Cup. Itoh gained popularity by appearing in the AEW Women’s Eliminator tournament, WWE in contrast have numerous women position on the edge of superstardom and like TJPW, having someone defy the odds, realise their dream and overcome everything out in front of them.
Ideally, having a Queen of the Ring tournament take place would breathe a breath of fresh air into the women’s division and give some women who are not highlighted on a weekly basis an opportunity to shine. With some luck, WWE could create its newest big superstar.
All photos credit to WWE