Formerly one of WWE’s signature pay-per-view events, King of the Ring has been largely been ignored by the company over the last dozen years. That will not be the case in 2019 as WWE on Monday night announced the return of King of the Ring to its signature television program Raw next week.

The once-annual event that helped make the careers of such superstars as Bret Hart, Owen Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H and Kurt Angle — among others — will be contested for the first time since 2015 and just the second time this decade. After ending the annual tournament in 2002, WWE has held it just four times over the last 16 years.

The last iteration of King of the Ring in 2015 was held over two nights with quarterfinal matches on Raw and both the semifinals and finals aired as a WWE Network special. It was largely unspectacular, as were the prior versions in 2010 and 2008, which each only aired over a single night of Raw. The 2006 edition of King of the Ring was also TV-only, but it extended over numerous episodes.

Later on Monday night, lead announcer Michael Cole clarified that the tournament will begin next week as eight superstars from Raw and eight more from SmackDown Live will square off for the crown. It was not announced when King of the Ring would culminate, though the next pay-per-view (Clash of Champions) is only four weeks out.

Below are the 16 superstars who will be competing based on Cole’s announcement and a video package that aired during Monday night’s broadcast.

Raw: Ricochet, The Miz, Cedric Alexander, Drew McIntyre, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, Samoa Joe

SmackDown Live: Elias, Kevin Owens, Chad Gable, Andrade, Shelton Benjamin, Buddy Murphy, Ali, Apollo Crews

CBS Sports will update this story when more information is made available.


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