Kenny Layne (July 22, 1981) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Kenny King, previously signed to Impact Wrestling (formerly called Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) (TNA) where he became the X Division Champion from February 28 until June 2, 2013. He was a contestant in the second season of WWF Tough Enough. He is also known for his time in Ring of Honor (ROH), where he was one-time ROH World Tag Team Champion. Layne has worked as a Chippendales dancer.
Tough Enough and independent circuit
Layne tried out for the second season of the World Wrestling Federation's reality television program WWE Tough Enough after seeing an advertisement in 2002. While on the series, he was trained by Al Snow, Bob Holly, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., and Ivory. Layne was one of the four finalists of the season, which was won by Jackie Gayda and Linda Miles.
Layne then began wrestling on the independent circuit immediately following Tough Enough. He trained under Nick Bockwinkel, Gary "Rush" Mills,and Scott Casey at the Las Vegas Wrestling Academy. In addition to wrestling under his own name, he also occasionally used the ring names "Tough Enough Kenny" and "Kenny King". Layne appeared with Ultimate Pro Wrestling in Anaheim, California on April 25, 2003. He defeated former The Real World cast member (and future Tough Enough contestant) Mike Mizanin in what was promoted as a "reality television match". In mid-2003 and early 2004 King worked for Revolution Pro Wrestling in Industry, California. Between 2003 and 2005 he worked for the Alternative Wrestling Show promotion in California as "The Natural" Kenny King.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2005–2006)
Layne debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) on the December 3, 2005 episode of TNA Impact!, losing to Abyss in a short squash match. He continued working for TNA throughout the end of 2005 and start of 2006, but failed to win a single match. He was used as a jobber—wrestlers who consistently lose to make their opponents look stronger—both in singles and tag team competition, losing to wrestlers including Ron Killings, Lance Hoyt, and Monty Brown. In January 2006, he teamed with Buck Quartermaine to lose to the James Gang and Team 3D. Layne was released from TNA in August 2006.
Full Impact Pro
King works primarily for Full Impact Pro (FIP), where he was part of the "Young, Rich and Ready For Action" (The YRR) stable with Chasyn Rance, Sal Rinauro, Steve Madison, Claudio Castagnoli and Daffney. On November 9, 2007, King and Jason Blade won the FIP Tag Team Championship by defeating the Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark).
Ring of Honor (2007–2012)
King made his Ring of Honor (ROH) debut at Motor City Madness 2007 on 'September 14, 2007, alongside his YRR teammate Chasyn Rance, when they defeated Mitch Franklin and Alex Payne in a tag team match. After the match, however, the YRR cut a promo, challenging the ROH wrestlers, which led to Bryan Danielson defeating both King and Rance in impromptu singles match. Over the next several months, King competed in tag team matches with some combination of Rance, Sal Rinauro, and Jason Blade to varying degrees of success. At Age of Insanity in August 2008, King challenged Danielson again, but was again unsuccessful, and he went on to lose to Kevin Steen at Night of the Butcher II and Jerry Lynn at Glory by Honor VII.
At The French Connection show, King tagged with Kenny Omega to face the Briscoe Brothers, but abandoned Omega halfway during the match, when Rhett Titus came to ringside. King and Titus left together, showing a new alliance between them. Over the next few months, King and Titus competed both in singles and tag team competition, and unsuccessfully challenged Kevin Steen and El Generico for the ROH World Tag Team Championship at Insanity Unleashed. At Steel City Clash, King and Titus revealed their alliance with Austin Aries, when they attacked Aries' former allies, Erick Stevens and Matt Cross, with Aries becoming a mentor to King and Titus.
The team garnered a second shot at the ROH World Tag Championship on ROH's television program, Ring of Honor Wrestling, and picked up a series of wins during the Double Feature II tour of Canada, and at the Never Say Die and Validation shows. King lost to Danielson once again in singles competition at Contention, and he and Titus were defeated by The Young Bucks at Manhattan Mayhem III. More wins followed at Violent Tendencies and End of an Age.
At the Ring of Honor Wrestling tapings on August 15, 2009, King beat Lynn. After the match, King and Titus attacked Lynn, and performed a spike piledriver on Lynn, removing Lynn from active competition. He continued on a winning streak, defeating Eddie Kingston and Brent Albright on Ring of Honor Wrestling, before he and Titus defeated The Young Bucks at Clash Of The Contenders. King was part of the initial matches to earn a place in the Pick 6 Conentenders Series rankings, but was unsuccessful. At the Final Battle 2009 pay-per-view, King defeated Roderick Strong and earned the number 4 ranking. On January 29, 2010, King faced Lynn, in Lynn's first match back. Lynn originally won the match, but attacked King after the match was over, causing the referee to reverse the decision, and award King the victory by disqualification. At The Big Bang! pay-per-view on April 3, King lost his Pick Six ranking to Davey Richards. On September 13, 2010, Ring of Honor announced that Layne had signed a contract extension with the promotion.
On November 12, 2010, King participated in ROH's Survival of the Fittest tournament. He defeated El Generico in the first round to advance to the final, a six-man elimination match, where he was the last man eliminated by Eddie Edwards. On December 18 at Final Battle 2010 the All Night Express defeated Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly, announcing their intention of becoming ROH World Tag Team Champions in 2011. On February 26, 2011, at 9th Anniversary Show, King and Titus failed in their first attempt to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship, when they were defeated by the Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli). During the program with the Kings of Wrestling, King and Titus showed signs of a face turn and finalized their turn on March 19 at Manhattan Mayhem IV, after defeating the Briscoe Brothers. However, in a bloody rematch at the second show of Honor Takes Center Stage, The Briscoe Brothers won. On September 17 at Death Before Dishonor IX, the All Night Express defeated the Briscoe Brothers in a ladder match to become the number one contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championship. On June 24 at Best in the World 2012, King and Titus defeated Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship for the first time.
Return to TNA/Impact Wrestling (2012–2015)
On June 24, 2012, King's contract with ROH expired. On a handshake agreement, ROH permitted King to weigh his options with other promotions on the condition that he not wrestle for them. On the July 5 episode of TNA's Impact Wrestling, King wrestled in a match, defeating Lars Only to qualify for the TNA X Division Championship tournament at Destination X. Subsequently, ROH stated that they considered this an unacceptable "breach of his verbal agreement" and severed ties with him. On July 8 at Destination X, King defeated Douglas Williams to qualify for the finals of the X Division Championship tournament. Later that same event, King was defeated by Zema Ion in the final Ultimate X match, which also included Mason Andrews and Sonjay Dutt. King returned to Impact Wrestling on July 26, when he was handpicked by TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries as the number one contender to Zema Ion's X Division Championship. King ended up losing the match following interference from Aries' rival Bobby Roode. The following week, King teamed with Aries in a tag team match, where they defeated Ion and Roode, with King pinning the X Division Champion for the win. Following the match, King was named the number one contender to the X Division Championship. King received his title opportunity on August 12 at Hardcore Justice, but was defeated by Ion. The following day it was reported that King had signed a contract with TNA. On the December 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, King defeated Kid Kash and Zema Ion to become number one contender for the X Division Championship. Three days later at Final Resolution, King failed in his title challenge against Rob Van Dam. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, King defeated Van Dam in a non-title match, pinning him with his feet on the ropes. The following week, King teased tension between himself and Van Dam after he abandoned Van Dam in a tag team match against Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan. On the January 10, 2013, episode of Impact Wrestling, King defeated Zema Ion to earn the right to face Christian York in a number one contenders match for the X Division Championship at Genesis. However, three days later at the pay-per-view, King was defeated by York. On the February 7 episode of Impact Wrestling, King unsuccessfully challenged Rob Van Dam for the X Division Championship in a three-way match, also involving Zema Ion. Two weeks later, King received another shot at the X Division Championship, but was again defeated by Van Dam.
On the February 28 episode of Impact Wrestling, King finally defeated Van Dam to win his first X Division Championship, in a match where if King had lost he would be out of the X Division. King made his first successful title defense on March 10 at Lockdown, defeating Christian York and Zema Ion in a three-way match. On the March 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, King defeated Sonjay Dutt and Zema Ion in a three-way match to retain the X Division Championship. On the April 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, King successfully defended his championship against Petey Williams and Zema Ion, by pinning Ion.
On the May 9th episode of Impact Wrestling, King came out to the ring to speak in regards of the returning Chris Sabin. After delivering an alleged heartfelt speech about Sabin's struggles throughout his career, King turned on him and stated Sabin would never become X-Division Champion. This would be fuel for an ongoing rivalry between Sabin and King which led to a title match the following week. During the May 16 episode of Impact Wrestling, King successfully defended his championship against Sabin and Petey Williams in a three-way match. On May 30 episode of Impact Wrestling, King wrestled in a mixed tag match with Knockout heel Gail Kim against Chris Sabin and Taryn Terrell. After the match, Suicide made his presence felt, attacking King after King assaulted Sabin at the end of their tag match. King, Sabin and Suicide faced each other at Slammiversary XI on June 2, resulting in Sabin winning the title. On the June 6th episode of Impact Wrestling, King joined with Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in a losing 6-man tag match against Sabin, and new tag team champions James Storm and Gunner. King later competed in another Championship match on June 28 during the opening hour of Impact against Sabin and Suicide. He was pinned by Suicide who was later revealed by Hulk Hogan and T.J Perkins (the current incarnation of Suicide) to be an imposter after Perkins was attacked backstage before the match.
On the March 20th edition of Impact Wrestling, a promo for King's return was announced, dubbing him a new nickname 'The King of the Night'. The following week King returned to television requesting a match from MVP. The week after, King wrestled his first televised match in over six months against MVP which ended in a no-contest after the two started brawling, igniting a possible feud between the two. King would continue to antoagonise MVP over the next several weeks until MVP turned heel on the May 5th edition of Impact, the following week after which the two would form an alliance alongside Bobby Lashley. Over the next few editions of Impact, King would become a member of the higher-card status of the roster attacking people such as The Wolves, Bobby Roode and Eric Young. On the June 19 edition of Impact King was given a match against Young for his first shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On September 17, 2014, Mr. Anderson came to the aid of fellow former Army Sergeant and amputee wrestler Chris Melendez on his debut from a post-match attack by Kenny King after King lost the bout.
On September 18, 2014, at the tapings for the October 28 edition of Impact Wrestling, Lashley lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Roode. Lashley regained the championship on January 7, 2015 with the help of MVP and King, but also from three new members Samoa Joe, Low Ki and Roode's friend Eric Young. On the following night's tapings of the January 16, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley refused to become apart of this new group and decided to leave, but was attacked by the other members and with MVP saying that the title belongs to the BDC.
During the course of 2015, although still part of the Beatdown Clan, King returned to his roots in the X-Division and joined several title matches. He wrestled his last TNA match on July 5, 2015 against Tigre Uno for the X-Division Championship but was unsuccessful in winning the title.
Return to Ring of Honor (2015-present)
King returned on September 18, 2015 at ROH All Star Extravaganza VII, where he joined forces with Rhett Titus as the team called The All-Night Express, defeating The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) in a tag match. King wrestled matches during ROH's UK tour with Preston City Wrestling, beginning on November 27 at PCW/ROH SuperShow Of Honor #2 - Show 1, in a loss to Sha Samuels. During the second SuperShow on November 28, King wrestled in a six way match won by Roderick Strong. He later during the show wrestled and loss a singles match against El Ligero. On the fourth and final show, King rebounded from his loss record, defeating Cedric Alexander on November 29.
After the UK tour with Preston City Wrestling, King returned to the US with ROH for its December 5 event at ROH Road To Final Battle 2015, where he was defeated by Adam Cole. His first title hunt since his return, came on December 18 at ROH Final Battle 2015, where he and Rhett Titus won a Three Way match for the #1 Contendership to the ROH World Tag Team Championships.
On January 9, 2016, King and Titus received their title shot match against the tag team champions War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) but did not win the titles due to the champions being disqualification. Despite wrestling other qualifying tag team matches to win contendership for the tag titles, King and Titus were often times eliminated during the early stages. Before the end of 2016, King joined a new group called Rebellion, comprised of Rhett Titus, Caprice Coleman and Shane Taylor.
- Finishing moves
- With Rhett Titus
- One Night Stand (Powerbomb (Titus) / Diving neckbreaker (King) combination
- "The Natural"
- "The Pretty Boy Pitbull"
- "The King of the Night"
- Teams and stables
- Theme Songs
Championships and accomplishments
- FSW Elite Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #96 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010
- Ring of Honor
- Ultimate Wrestling Federation
- UWF Vegas Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
|Adam Thornstowe • Alkatrazz • Brandon Gatson • Brian Cage • Bryce Harrison • Che Cabrera • Disco Inferno • Funny Bone • Gregory Sharpe • J-Cash • Jakob Austin Young • Kenny King • Kevin Kross • Killa Gorilla • Lance Hoyt • Legacy • Leon Hater • Luster The Legend • Matt Hardy • Michael Modest • Phil Baroni • Ryan Taylor • Sikou • Sinn Bodhi • Tito Escondido • Troy McClain • Tyler Cintron • Tyshaun Prince • Vegas • Willie Mack|
|Cold Cold World • Reno Scum • Suburban Commandos • The Young Bucks•|
|Staff & Other Personnel|
|Bruce Radell (Ring Announcer) • Jack Slammy (FSW High Octane Show Co-Host) • Pauly Kover (FSW High Octane Show Host)|
|Ring of Honor|
|Adam Page • Alex Shelley • Beretta • Beer City Bruiser • BJ Whitmer • Bully Ray • Caprice Coleman • Cheeseburger • Chris Sabin • Christopher Daniels • Cody • Colt Cabana • Dalton Castle • David Starr • Deonna Purrazzo • Faye Jackson • Flip Gordon • Frankie Kazarian • Hanson • Jay Briscoe • Jay Lethal • Jay White • Joey Daddiego • Jonathan Gresham • Kenny King • Mandy Leon • Mark Briscoe • Marty Scurll • Matt Jackson • Matt Taven • Nana • Nick Jackson • Punishment Martinez • Raymond Rowe • Rhett Titus • Rocky Romero • Shaheem Ali • Shane Taylor • Silas Young • Sumie Sakai • TK O'Ryan • Vinny Marseglia • Will Ferrara• Will Ospreay|