The Queen of the Ring tournament, originally known as the Queen's Crown, is a women's professional wrestling single-elimination tournament held periodically by WWE, a Connecticut-based professional wrestling promotion. Established in 2021, the winner of the inaugural tournament was Zelina Vega. The prize for winning the tournament is being crowned the "Queen of the Ring" (originally simply "Queen"), and beginning in 2024, a match for a women's world championship. It is the female version of WWE's long-standing King of the Ring tournament for male wrestlers. The most recent 2024 tournament was won by Nia Jax.

Like the King of the Ring tournament, female wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brand divisions participate. There are two tournament brackets, one for each brand, and the bracket winners face off in the final. The inaugural tournament was held in October 2021 and culminated at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view and livestreaming event. A dedicated event was to be held in 2023 in conjunction with the men's tournament, but it was cancelled; however, it was rescheduled for 2024 titled King and Queen of the Ring. Along with the tournament's return in 2024, it was renamed as "Queen of the Ring" with the winner earning that moniker to bring it in line with the men's tournament.

History

In 1985, the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, at that time known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), established the King of the Ring tournament as a men's single-elimination tournament, the winner of which is crowned the "King of the Ring". In 2016, the "Women's Evolution" began in WWE, where the promotion began to treat their female wrestlers on an equal level as the men. In the years following this, WWE introduced female versions of matches that were originally only contested by male wrestlers—such as the Royal Rumble match and Money in the Bank ladder match. In October 2021, WWE established a female counterpart to the King of the Ring tournament, called the Queen's Crown tournament, held between wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. The inaugural tournament was announced to be held simultaneously with the 2021 King of the Ring tournament.[1][2][3] The tournament began in October 2021, held across episodes of Raw and SmackDown, and culminated at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view and livestreaming event in Saudi Arabia. It was won by SmackDown's Zelina Vega, who defeated Raw's Doudrop.[4]

In March 2023, WWE scheduled an event titled King and Queen of the Ring, which would have been a dedicated event for both the men's and women's tournaments, but on April 13, it was revealed that these plans were scrapped.[5] Fightful later reported that WWE did not have plans to reschedule King and Queen of the Ring for later that year, but the event could possibly be used for a future Saudi Arabian show.[6] In April 2024, WWE announced that they would hold the King and Queen of the Ring event in Saudi Arabia in May 2024. Tournament matches began on the May 6 episode of Raw, and were held across episodes of Raw, SmackDown, and at WWE Live events.[7] Along with its return in 2024, the women's tournament and prize were both renamed as "Queen of the Ring".[8] On May 23, WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque announced that the winner of the 2024 Queen of the Ring tournament would receive a women's world championship match of their respective brand at SummerSlam.[9] The 2024 tournament was won by SmackDown's Nia Jax, who defeated Raw's Lyra Valkyria, with Jax receiving a match for the WWE Women's Championship.[10]

Queen gimmick

Similar to the King of the Ring tournament, the prize for winning the Queen of the Ring tournament is earning the title of "Queen of the Ring"; it was originally simply "Queen" in 2021 when the tournament that year was called Queen's Crown. As several King of the Ring winners took on a king's gimmick with varying degrees of indulgence, inaugural women's winner Zelina Vega adopted a queen's gimmick and began to refer to herself as Queen Zelina. She began wearing a crown, a cape, and carrying a scepter, while speaking and acting in a regal manner, though acting more like a tyrannical queen due to Vega portraying a heel.[11] After taking a brief hiatus in mid-2022, Vega returned in October and dropped the queen gimmick.[12]

2021 tournament

Queen's Crown (2021)
The inaugural Queen's Crown tournament winner Zelina Vega, who became known as Queen Zelina
Tournament information
SportProfessional wrestling
Location
DatesOctober 8, 2021–October 21, 2021
Tournament
format(s)
Single elimination tournament
Participants8
Final positions
ChampionZelina Vega
Runner-upDoudrop
Tournament statistics
Matches played7
← First
2024 →

The 2021 Queen's Crown was the inaugural edition of the Queen of the Ring tournament, and the only version to be called Queen's Crown. Consisting of eight female wrestlers, four each from the Raw and SmackDown brands, the tournament was divided into two brackets, one for each brand, and the winners of each bracket faced each other in the final. The inaugural tournament began on the October 8 episode of SmackDown and continued to be held across episodes of Raw and SmackDown. It concluded at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view and livestreaming event on October 21, 2021. In the final, SmackDown's Zelina Vega defeated Raw's Doudrop to become the inaugural winner.[13]

Bracket

Quarterfinals
SmackDown (October 8)[14]
Raw (October 11)[15]
Semifinals
SmackDown (October 15)[16]
Raw (October 18)[17]
Final
Crown Jewel
(October 21)[4]
         
Zelina Vega Pin[14]
Toni Storm 2:10
Zelina Vega Pin[16]
SmackDown
Carmella 2:40
Liv Morgan 1:40
Carmella Pin[14]
Zelina Vega Pin[4]
Doudrop 5:55
Dana Brooke 1:25
Shayna Baszler Pin[15]
Shayna Baszler 2:45
Raw
Doudrop Pin[17]
Doudrop Pin[15]
Natalya 3:00

List of winners

# Year Winner Times won Finals date Runner-up Finals location Ref.
1 2021 Zelina Vega 1 October 21, 2021 Doudrop Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [4]
2 2024 Nia Jax 1 May 25, 2024 Lyra Valkyria Jeddah, Saudi Arabia [10]

Reception

The original 2021 Queen's Crown tournament was heavily criticized by fans for not being on equal ground with the men's tournament that year. The length of the tournament's first six matches were a combined 13 minutes and 40 seconds, equaling an average of roughly two minutes and 15 seconds per match. This was in stark contrast to the first six matches of the 2021 King of the Ring tournament, where none were shorter than eight minutes.[18]

References

  1. ^ WWE [@WWE] (October 2, 2021). "HERE WE GO!! #SmackDown" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Heydorn, Zack (October 1, 2021). "WWE announces Queen's Crown and King of the Ring tournaments". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on October 2, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  3. ^ Rose, Bryan (October 1, 2021). "WWE announces King of the Ring, Queen's Crown tournaments". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on October 2, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Powell, Jason (October 21, 2021). "WWE Crown Jewel results: Powell's live review of Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Big E vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, Edge vs. Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match, Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley in a No Holds Barred match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  5. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (April 13, 2023). "WWE Changes 'WWE King & Queen Of The Ring' PLE To 'WWE Night Of Champions'". Fightful. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  6. ^ Brennan, Corey (June 10, 2023). "WWE Keeping King And Queen Of The Ring For A Future Saudi Arabia Show". BodySlam.net. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  7. ^ Tessier, Colin (April 7, 2024). "WWE To Hold 5/24 SmackDown And WWE King And Queen Of The Ring PLE In Saudi Arabia". Fightful. Retrieved April 7, 2024.
  8. ^ "Raw preview, May 6, 2024: Sheamus battles Gunther as the King and Queen of the Ring Tournaments begin". WWE. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  9. ^ Defelice, Robert (May 23, 2024). "Winners Of WWE King And Queen Of The Ring Tournaments Will Get World Title Bouts At WWE SummerSlam". Fightful. Retrieved May 23, 2024.
  10. ^ a b Powell, Jason (May 25, 2024). "WWE King and Queen of the Ring results: Powell's live review of Cody Rhodes vs. Logan Paul for the WWE Title, Gunther vs. Randy Orton in the KOTR finals, Nia Jax vs. Lyra Valkyria in the QOTR finals". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 25, 2024.
  11. ^ Powell, Jason (October 25, 2021). "10/25 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of the "season premiere" with the new post draft roster, fallout from WWE Crown Jewel". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  12. ^ Powell, Jason (October 7, 2022). "10/07 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of the season premiere, Gunther vs. Sheamus for the Intercontinental Championship, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Logan Paul meet face to face, Solo Sikoa vs. Ricochet". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  13. ^ Currier, Joseph (October 7, 2021). "KOTR, QUEEN'S CROWN TOURNAMENT MATCHES SET FOR WWE SMACKDOWN". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c Powell, Jason (October 8, 2021). "10/08 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn in a King of the Ring tournament match, Liv Morgan vs. Carmella in a Queens Crown tournament match, contract signing for Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks at WWE Crown Jewel". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Powell, Jason (October 11, 2021). "10/11 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks, WWE Champion Big E and Drew McIntyre meet face to face, King of the Ring and Queen's Crown opening round matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Powell, Jason (October 15, 2021). "10/15 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of the supersized edition with Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks in a non-title match, Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn in a KOTR semifinal match, Carmella vs. Zelina Vega in a Queen's Crown semifinal match, Sonya Deville vs. Naomi". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  17. ^ a b Powell, Jason (October 18, 2021). "10/18 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw Women's Championship, Shayna Baszler vs. Doudrop in a Queen's Crown semifinal match, Xavier Woods vs. Jinder Mahal in a KOTR semifinal match, final hype for Crown Jewel". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  18. ^ Casey, Connor (October 19, 2021). "WWE's Queen's Crown Tournament Has Been Alarmingly Short". ComicBook.com. Retrieved October 21, 2021.