In WWE, it’s good to be the king, but reigns don’t last forever and neither do titles as King Corbin has found out since losing his crown to Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown.
Nakamura and Corbin have been embroiled in a rivalry for several weeks on the blue brand with the men trading wins. Nakamura angered Corbin when he began wearing a crown with Corbin saying he was the one true king of SmackDown after winning the last King Of The Ring tournament in 2019. On his way to the crown, Corbin defeated The Miz, Cedric Alexander, Samoa Joe, Ricochet, and Chad Gable in that tournament.
Nakamura has refreshed his character in recent weeks and now has NXT talent Rick Boogs playing electric guitar along with his entrance. After meeting Corbin in the ring for four weeks out of the previous five, this fifth match was dubbed the ‘Battle For The Crown.’ In a back and forth encounter, the Japanese superstar was able to land his deadly Kinshasa to end the reign of King Corbin.
After the match, the now-former King Corbin appeared tearful while the ‘One True King of SmackDown’ Shinsuke Nakamura celebrated with Boogs on his way to the back.
The now-former royal superstar has suffered further ignominy on the WWE’s own website after they have officially changed his name and relegated him back to Baron Corbin. Sadly for Corbin, he doesn’t even appear to have the authority afforded to him by his other previous moniker of Constable Corbin from when he was the Constable of Raw ostensibly to keep General Manager Kurt Angle in check.
The King Of The Ring concept in WWE dates back to 1985 when Don Muraco defeated The Iron Sheik to be crowned the inaugural king. In 1993 the tournament was the basis for WWE’s annual June pay-per-view with Bret Hart winning the first of those crowns, defeating Bam Bam Bigelow in that year’s final.
Memorable moments from King Of The Ring history include Stone Cold Steve Austin coining “Austin 3:16” in 1996, Owen Hart becoming the King of Harts in 1994, and in 2006 Booker T dropped the T and encouraged everyone to “All hail King Booker” after winning that year’s crown.