Kenny King (wrestler)
King in 2011 at a Ring of Honor show
|Birth name||Kenny Layne|
July 22, 1981|
Queens, New York
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Professional wrestling career|
Tough Enough Kenny
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||230 lb (100 kg)|
Las Vegas, Nevada|
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Kenny Layne (born July 22, 1981) is an American professional wrestler signed with Ring of Honor, better known by his ring name, Kenny King, where he was a one-time ROH World Tag Team Champion. He was a contestant in the second season of WWF Tough Enough. He is known for his time in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where he was a two-time X Division Champion. Layne also works as a Chippendales dancer.
Layne grew up in Florida. He played football as a strong safety in college. Layne attended Florida State University, before transferring to the University of South Florida. He then relocated to Las Vegas, where he attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He had planned to play football at UNLV, but had to redshirt for his first season at the university.
Professional wrestling career
Tough Enough and independent circuit (2002–2005)
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, 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 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 (2006–2009)
For some of 2006 and most of 2007, King worked primarily for Full Impact Pro (FIP). 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). They reigned for over a year until December 20, 2008, when they lost the championship to Erick Stevens and Roderick Strong
Ring of Honor
Various storylines (2007–2008)
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.
Team with Rhett Titus (2008–2010)
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.
Various feuds (2010–2012)
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 the 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: Hostage Crisis, 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. After making an appearance for TNA, ROH severed its ties with King on July 5 and five days later officially stripped him and Titus of the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
King said about left ROH that "I left because there was a bigger opportunity," "I also left because I had given ROH what I felt was a long enough period of time to convince me to stay and they did a pretty piss poor job of that.".
Return to TNA
Pursuit of the X Division Championship (2012–2013)
On June 24, 2012, King's contract with ROH expired. 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. King would then defend the title against Petey Williams and Zema Ion on the April 18 episode of Impact Wrestling and against Williams and Chris Sabin on the May 16 episode. On June 2 at Slammiversary XI, King lost the X Division Championship to Chris Sabin in a three-way Ultimate X match, also involving Suicide. King lost his rematch on the June 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, after he was pinned by an impostor Suicide (later revealed to be Austin Aries) in a three-way match, which also included then-champion Chris Sabin and removed him from the title contention. King returned on the September 26 episode of Impact to confront Aries over the fake Suicide stunt, and after attacking Aries, Aries ordered a match right afterwards, which Aries won, and left King with a bad cut on his forehead.
The Beat Down Clan (2014–2015)
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 as a heel 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 antagonize MVP over the next several weeks until MVP turned heel on the May 5 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. King lost, but would end up helping Lashley defeat Young for the title later that night. On September 17, 2014, King and MVP antagonized former Army Sergeant and amputee wrestler Chris Melendez on his debut, resulting in a match in which King lost to Melendez and a post-match attack by King which was stopped by Mr. Anderson.
On September 18, 2014, at the tapings for the October 28 edition of Impact Wrestling, Lashley lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Roode. On January 7, 2015, King and MVP helped Lashley beat Roode to regain the championship, along with new members Samoa Joe and Low Ki as well as Roode's friend Eric Young turning on him. On the following night's tapings of the January 16, 2015, episode of Impact Wrestling, the group was officially presented as the Beat Down Clan, with the trio of MVP, Lashley and King established as having been its foundation; however, Lashley refused to act as the new unit's centerpiece, resulting in King joining the others in attacking Lashley on MVP's orders.
On the May 1 episode of iMPACT! Wrestling, Kenny King won a ladder match to begin his second reign as X Division Champion. On May 11, 2015, King lost the X Division Championship against Spud. On June 24, 2015, (aired July 1) Beat Down Clan defeated The Rising in a 4-on-3 Handicap match, forcing The Rising to dissolve. Also, Hernandez made his return to TNA, joining BDC in the progress. The Beat Down Clan was quickly dissolved after contract disputes with Hernandez and MVP and King was taken off television.
After a two-month hiatus, King made his TNA return on the September 2 episode of Impact Wrestling, King went one on one against and lost to Bram in a losing effort. On September 23 episode of Impact Wrestling. King received a shot at the X Division Championship against Tigre Uno which he lost. After the match King left TNA.
After the Beat Down Clan dissolved, all members left TNA with the exception of King. He returned to a full-time TNA schedule and competed in 'Group Wildcard' in the TNA World Title Series along with Mahabali Shera, Crazzy Steve and Aiden O'Shea. The series and the subsequent tournament were taped in July and aired on Impact throughout the later part of 2015, after King had already returned to Ring of Honor. Due to his success in group play King would qualify for the 16-person World Championship tournament, but he was defeated in the first round by Eric Young, failing to qualify in the round of 8.
Return to ROH (2015–present)
King made a surprise return to ROH on September 18, 2015, at All Star Extravaganza VII, reuniting with his All Night Express partner Rhett Titus in a tag team match, where they defeated the Briscoe Brothers.
On July 22, 2003, Layne appeared in the television program The Strip as "Felix" in the episode "Father's Day Blues". Layne also appeared on the short lived Nickelodeon series, My Brother and Me on the episode titled Dee Dee's Haircut. Layne appeared on the dating game show Baggage on March 9, 2011; he was one of three potential men for the female contestant to choose. He lasted until the final elimination round.
- Finishing moves
- Coronation (Backbreaker dropped into a DDT)
- Royal Flush (Fireman's carry spun out into a shoulder hold side slam – TNA or a fireman's carry cutter – ROH) – TNA; used as a signature move in ROH
- Signature moves
- With Rhett Titus
- Double team finishing moves
- One Night Stand (Powerbomb (Titus) / Diving neckbreaker (King) combination)
- Double team finishing moves
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Full Impact Pro
- Future Stars of Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #36 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- Ring of Honor
- Ultimate Wrestling Federation
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
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- "ROH - Kenny King Update". Ring of Honor. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
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- Caldwell, James (2012-07-05). "Caldwell's TNA Impact Wrestling results 7/5: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Impact - final PPV hype, Hardy vs. Storm". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
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- Caldwell, James (2012-07-26). "Caldwell's TNA Impact Wrestling results 7/26: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Impact - BFG Series matches, interim GM". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
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- Caldwell, James (2012-08-02). "TNA News: Updated Hardcore Justice line-up - six new PPV matches announced". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
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- Johnson, Mike (2012-08-13). "New TNA signings, No Surrender PPV, Samoa Joe and more TNA news". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 12/6: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Impact - Team Hardy vs. Team Roode, Knockout returns, final PPV hype".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA FINAL RESOLUTION PPV RESULTS 12/9: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Hardy vs. Roode in the main event, Aries vs. Bully".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 12/13: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of PPV fall-out episode".
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- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 1/10: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Sting-Knox, wedding angle, and, oh yeah, a PPV on Sunday (updated w/Box Score)".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA GENESIS PPV RESULTS 1/13: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV - Hardy defends TNA Title against two foes, two title matches, #1 contender matches".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 2/7: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Impact in the U.K. - Tag Title change, Sting & Bully main event, Aces & Eights lose again, Nash weighs in".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/21: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Impact in the U.K. - new KO champ, Hogan's "decision" early contender for worst angle of the year (updated w/Box Score)".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 2/28: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Impact - TNA & Jeff Hardy return to Orlando; Angle unmasks A&E member, but cameraman misses the shot".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV RESULTS 3/10: Live, in-person coverage from San Antonio - Hardy vs. Ray TNA Title match, Lethal Lockdown, more".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 3/21: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Impact from Chicago - new #1 contender to TNA Title, two title matches, Lockdown fall-out".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 4/18: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Styles's in-ring return, live Impact fall-out".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 5/16: Sting & Bully contract signing, X Title match, many Slammiversary developments".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA SLAMMIVERSARY PPV RESULTS (Hour 1): New X Division champion starts the show, Hogan has a potty-mouth, big TNA vs. Aces & Eights six-man tag match".
- "CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 6/27: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Impact - BFG Series continues, two title matches, Suicide, Joe added to Mafia, Hogan plays principal, more".
- Kenny King vs Chris Melendez (Sept. 17, 2014)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kenny Layne.|
- TNA profile
- Ring of Honor profile
- Future Stars of Wrestling profile
- Online World of Wrestling profile
- Kenny Layne at the Internet Movie Database
- Kenny King at TV.com
- 2003 Interview
- 2006 Interview
- Moonsaults: RIP Oliver, Siaki, Rey Jr., D-Lo, Ian Rotten and lots more
- Tough Enough 2 recaps at 411mania.com
- Tough Enough 2 recaps at TheCubsFan.com