King of the Ring 2008 was a special edition of World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) television program, Raw. The episode was held on April 21, 2008 at BI-LO Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The episode featured the twentieth annual King of the Ring tournament, which was won by William Regal. Unlike the previous tournament that only featured wrestlers from the SmackDown brand, the 2008 version of the tournament featured wrestlers from WWE's all three brands–Raw, SmackDown and ECW. The return of the King of the Ring tournament for one night only was announced on April 14 edition of Raw. Another King of the Ring tournament will take place on November 29, 2010, as a special 3-hour edition of Raw.
The show started with the quarter-final round of the 2008 King of the Ring tournament pitting the WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho against the WWE United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP). MVP began dominating Jericho until Jericho hit a Springboard Dropkick on MVP. MVP regained his momentum and hit Jericho a Delayed Elbow Drop, which he calls Ballin Elbow for a near-fall. MVP began working on Jericho's face and applied a Three-quarter Facelock and followed by hitting Knee Lifts. MVP hit Jericho a Big Boot but was unable to defeat Jericho. Jericho tried to hit MVP a Diving Crossbody but MVP countered it into a Flapjack. However, Jericho recovered and hit MVP a One-Handed Bulldog. Jericho tried to hit MVP a Springboard Moonsault which he calls Lionsault but MVP avoided the move. MVP tried to finish Jericho with an Overdrive which he calls Playmaker but Jericho countered it into an Elevated Boston Crab which he calls Walls of Jericho. Jericho forced MVP to tap out to the Walls of Jericho.
The second match in the quarter-final was between Matt Hardy and the Mr. Money in the Bank CM Punk. Hardy and Punk started the match by utilizing submission maneuvers against each other. Punk began dominating the match and attacked Hardy sending him to the corner. Hardy took advantage and climbed to the top rope hitting a Flying Back Elbow on Punk's head. Hardy whipped Punk into the corner and hit a Corner Clothesline followed by a Bulldog which was countered by Punk. Punk whipped Hardy into the corner and hit him a Shining Wizard and a Bulldog. Punk tried to finish the match by attempting a Fireman's Carry Knee Strike which he calls Go To Sleep on Hardy. Hardy reversed it and hit Punk a Wrist-Lock Side Slam which he calls Side Effect. Hardy attempted a Front Facelock Three-Quarter Facelock Cutter which he calls Twist of Fate on Punk. Punk countered it into a Go 2 Sleep but Hardy attempted a Sunset Flip on Punk. Punk sat and held the Roll-Up to win the match.
The third match in the quarter-final was between Finlay and The Great Khali. Khali dominated Finlay with a Lariat and a Scoop Slam, followed by a Leg Drop attempt. However, Finlay avoided the Leg Drop and began beating on Finlay. Khali threw Finlay into the corner and continued assaulting him into the corner. Khali grabbed Finlay and took him outside the ring and wrapped Finlay's knee into the ring post. Khali continuously slammed it into the ring post, causing the referee to disqualify Khali. After the match, Khali continued to assault Finlay until Big Show came to chase Khali. Finlay was being helped by Hornswoggle and WWE staff to the backstage. At the same time, the Raw General Manager William Regal was making his entrance to the ring for his tournament quarter-final match. It was announced that Hornswoggle would be Regal's opponent. Regal easily defeated Hornswoggle by forcing him to submit to a Cross-Legged STF which he calls Regal Stretch. After the match, Finlay tried to rescue Hornswoggle but was attacked by Regal.
After the quarter-final round, a non-tournament match occurred between one half of the World Tag Team Champions Hardcore Holly and Carlito. Holly dominated Carlito with some of his moves until Carlito gained momentum after hitting a Knee Lift. Holly flung Carlito to the ropes but Carlito dropkicked Holly. Carlito hit Holly's head on the turnbuckle and whipped him into the corner followed by a Corner Splash attempt which was avoided by Holly. Holly hit Carlito a Back Elbow and tried to hit him a Flapjack Spinebuster which he calls Alabama Slam. However, Carlito countered the move and hit Holly a Double Knee Backbreaker which he calls Backstabber for the victory.
The semi-final of the King of the Ring tournament began with Chris Jericho taking on CM Punk. Jericho and Punk exchanged blows until Jericho hit Punk a Springboard Dropkick. Punk followed by attempting a Springboard Clothesline but Jericho dropkicked the ropes and Punk crashed on the ropes. Jericho applied a Backbreaker on Punk until Punk countered and hit Jericho a Spinning Wheel Kick. Jericho tried to pin Punk with a Roll-Up but Punk kicked out. Jericho applied Walls of Jericho on Punk and Punk fought of the submission hold but was hit with an Enzuigiri. Punk recovered and hit Jericho a Scoop Powerslam and hit a series of kicks to Jericho. Jericho would hit Punk a Bulldog and tried to hit a Lionsault on Punk but Punk blocked the move. Jericho applied Walls of Jericho on Punk for a second time in the match. Punk broke the hold and hit Jericho a Go 2 Sleep to win the match.
The next semi-final match was between Finlay and William Regal. Regal targeted Finlay's injured knee and attacked it. However, Finlay protected his knee and tried to battle Regal but Regal continued to attack it and injured Finlay's head. Finlay regained momentum and hit Regal a Double Foot Stomp and attempted a Running Back To Belly Piledriver which he calls Celtic Cross on Regal. Regal fought of the move and kicked Finlay's head and applied a Regal Stretch on Finlay. Finlay was knocked out and as a result, Regal advanced to the finals.
After the semi-final round, a match occurred between an impostor Barack Obama and an impostor Hillary Clinton, who was managed by an impostor Bill Clinton. The impostor Obama used the entrance, moves and mannerisms of The Rock whereas the impostor Hillary used the entrance, moves and mannerisms of Hulk Hogan. Hillary dominated Obama in the earlier part of the match until Obama made a comeback and hit a Lifting Side Slam, which he called Rock Bottom. He followed by attempting an Elbow Drop which he called People's Elbow. However, Bill tripped Obama and pulled him out of the ring. Umaga made his way to the ring and interfered in the match by attacking both Hillary and Obama.
The King of the Ring Final match took place pitting CM Punk against William Regal. Regal attacked Punk into the corner until the referee broke it up and Punk kicked Regal and placed him in the corner. Punk hit a Shining Wizard and tried to hit a Bulldog but Regal hit a Bridging Belly To Back Suplex, which he calls Regal-Plex. Regal followed by applying a Bow And Arrow Stretch on Punk. Punk and Regal would exchange blows until Punk attempted to hit a Go 2 Sleep. However, Regal caught the top rope and hit Punk a Running High Knee which he calls Knee Trembler. Regal attempted a Regal Stretch on Punk. Punk tried to break the hold but Regal continued to punch Punk, forcing him to tap out to the hold.
Next was the main event an eight-man tag team match pitting the team of the WWE Champion Randy Orton, Edge, Chavo Guerrero and John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) against the World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker, the ECW Champion Kane, Triple H and John Cena. The match went back and forth with both teams battling each other and getting momentum against each other. In the end, the match was left between Kane and Guerrero. Guerrero attempted a Frog Splash on Kane but Kane caught him by throat and chokeslammed him. The legal man Edge took advantage and speared Kane to win the match. However, after the match, Cena hit Edge a Fireman's Carry Takeover, which he called F-U. Triple H attacked Cena and tried to hit him a Double Underhook Facebuster, which he calls Pedigree. JBL hit Triple H a Lariat, which he called Clothesline From Hell. Orton hit Cena a Jumping Cutter, which he calls RKO. Undertaker hit both Orton and JBL with a Double Chokeslam to end the brawl.
After winning the King of the Ring tournament, William Regal began feuding with Mr. Kennedy, who interfered in Regal's King of the Ring coronation ceremony on April 28 edition of Raw. This would lead to a Loser Gets Fired match between Kennedy and Regal on May 19 edition of Raw. Kennedy defeated Regal, forcing Regal to quit and vacate his position as the Raw General Manager.
Many of the participants in the King of the Ring tournament participated at Backlash pay-per-view. The WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho served as the Special Guest Referee for the match between Shawn Michaels and Batista. Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) and Matt Hardy, two of the participants in the tournament competed for MVP's WWE United States Championship. Hardy defeated MVP to win the championship. Another participant The Great Khali wrestled at the event against Big Show in a losing effort.
The participants of the main event of April 21 edition of Raw were all involved in matches at Backlash. The Undertaker defeated Edge to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Kane defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the ECW Championship. Randy Orton defended the WWE Championship against Triple H, John Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield in a Fatal Four Way Elimination match. Triple H won the championship.
- Dark Match: Ron Killings defeated Trevor Murdoch
- Chris Jericho defeated Montel Vontavious Porter in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (5:05)
- CM Punk defeated Matt Hardy in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (3:45)
- Finlay (with Hornswoggle) defeated The Great Khali by disqualification in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (1:59)
- William Regal defeated Hornswoggle in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (0:18)
- Carlito (w/ Santino Marella) defeated Hardcore Holly (w/ Cody Rhodes) (5:02)
- CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho in a King of the Ring Semi-Final match (6:21)
- William Regal defeated Finlay by knockout in a King of the Ring Semi-Final match (3:37)
- "Barack Obama" fought "Hillary" Clinton (w/ "Bill" Clinton) to a no contest (2:12)
- William Regal defeated CM Punk in a King of the Ring Final match (4:07)
- Randy Orton, Edge, Chavo Guerrero and John "Bradshaw" Layfield defeated The Undertaker, Kane, Triple H and John Cena in a Eight-man tag team match (10:05)
The tournament was held on April 21, 2008 edition of Raw.
|SD||Montel Vontavious Porter||5:05|
|SD||The Great Khali||1:59|
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