By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Neville def. Sheamus in a King of the Ring Semifinals Match
I enjoyed their encounter on SmackDown slightly more, if only because you knew Dolph Ziggler's distraction was coming here. Why didn't he cost him the win in the first round instead of helping him advance to the next round? That aside, Neville and Sheamus worked a good match and it's great to see Neville's sensational skillset continued to being showcased, especially against notable names. It was a big win for Neville and the feud between Sheamus and Ziggler was effectively furthered, but this should have taken place after the next tournament match as it made the finals predictable.
Bad News Barrett def. R-Truth in a King of the Ring Semifinals Match
Please, somebody, anybody, give me one good reason why R-Truth was in this tournament, much less made it to the semifinals. As previously noted, his presence in the semifinals made this match extremely predictable, and they it was a decent bout, but as I say constantly, it's incredibly difficult to care about anything involving Truth. The pre-match promo about spiders gave me a headache. Is they're going back to his 2011 "scared of spiders and heights" shtick, why not just go all out and turn him heel again? At least it'd make him slightly more interesting.
Bad News Barrett def. Neville to Become the 2015 King of the Ring
Similar to Sheamus vs. Neville, I thought Neville and Barrett had a better bout on the Extreme Rules Kickoff Show, but this was still quite good. Barrett, for as badly as he's been booked for months on end, is a great worker and Neville provides something new and innovative every time he's in the ring. As I mentioned in my Extreme Rules review, I'd love to see more from these two down the line as they work extraordinarily well together. I was very happy to see Barrett win the King of the Ring and his gimmick is perfectly fitting of the crown, but the focus is on the aftermath. Sheamus embarked on a losing streak after becoming "King Sheamus" in 2010, and Barrett couldn't be devalued any more than he already is, so hopefully this means they're finally pushing him at the level he deserves to be at.
I realize WWE has done the King of the Ring tournament all in one night before, but it would have nice if they stretched this out for a few weeks, possibly leading to the finals being held at the Payback pay-per-view. Regardless, I love the tournament being WWE Network exclusive and I hope we can get more of this kind of content in the future. The three matches were all good to great and the pre- and post-match promos were all excellent, making the tournament mean more than anything else WWE did prior to this point. Fingers crossed this is back as an annual event on the Network and won't be put back into retirement for another five years.