On various occasions in professional wrestling
a single-elimination tournament
of varying match types are held, often to determine a championship
or number-one contendership therein. It has been known for promotions to use title tournament that are fictitious in nature (that is, the title may have been simply awarded under the pretext of winning a tournament elsewhere) - notable ones include the tournaments that established the WWE Championship
, the WWE Intercontinental Championship
, and the WWE United States Championship
(the latter when it was the NWA United States Championship).
In tournaments with a fixed bracket, a multiple-disqualification or a multiple-countout eliminates all parties involved, and those who are slated to face the winner of such a match simply partakes in a match with one less opponent (or simply does not wrestle, if no opponents remain). Tournaments, however, rarely have a final match where only one such finalist remain, with no others qualifying for the final round.
Tournaments may employ a single match type throughout, or may vary match by match or round by round.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
- King of the Ring' is a World Wrestling Entertainment event held annually in June from 1985 to 2002 (with interruptions in 1990 and 1992). The weeks leading to the tournament are often filled with qualifying matches, while only the semifinal and final rounds (and occasionally the quarterfinal round) making it to the actual King of the Ring card. The tournament (but not the event) made its return in April 2006 where all the matches would be contested as part of the SmackDown! brand.
- The Brawl For All was a shoot (unscripted) contest held in the World Wrestling Federation that took place from June 29 to August 24, 1998.
- At the WWF's Survivor Series 1998 pay-per-view, a fourteen-man tournament billed as Deadly Game was held to decide a new champion for the vacant WWF Championship. The Rock won the tournament and the WWF Championship.
- This was an eight-man tournament to determine a number one contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Held in 2005 and 2006 a few months before that year's WrestleMania.
- This was a seven Diva tournament to decide who would win the Woman's Championship, which was left vacant at the 2006 Unforgiven, when Trish Stratus won the title, but retired the next night. Lita defeated Mickie James in a Diva Lumberjack match at the 2006 Cyber Sunday.
- This eight-man tournament was to crown the first WWE United States Champion. Eddie Guerrero won, defeating Chris Benoit in the finals.
- A fourteen-man tournament was held at this event for the vacant WWF Championship. The first round actually only had twelve competitors, but Hulk Hogan and André the Giant were sent right to the quarterfinals, making this a fourteen-man tournament. Randy Savage won the tournament and the WWF Championship.
World Championship Wrestling
- A WCW tournament was held where multiple Cruiserweight Tag Teams fought in an eight-team tournament for the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships.
- In the NWA/WCW era (which precedes the title's WWE era mentioned above), there had been 9 tournaments to fill the title vacancy (not counting the fictitious "tournament" in early 1975 that enabled Harley Race to be billed as the first champion). All the tournaments were single-elimination. The finals have been as follows:
- The Jim Crockett Senior Memorial Cup was an invitational tag team tournament.
- A series of tournaments where wrestlers competed for Bunkhouse points which would allow them to qualify for the Bunkhouse stampede finals.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- A memorial TNA tag team tournament was held in 2005 in memory for Chris Candido, which featured teams consisting of one established veteran and one young rookie, representing Candido's veteran status at a young age and his commitment to working with and helping younger wrestlers.
- This was a Hardcore tournament featured in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where a wrestler must build over 10 points and be 2 points above the opponent to win the match. Points are awarded for using a weapon (1 point), and putting an opponent though a table (5 points).
- This was a TNA tournament for the X-Cup, featuring X Division superstars from around the world. Super X-Cup Tournaments have been held in 2003 and 2005 (Christopher Daniels Invitational).
- This was a TNA tournament-like event, first seen in 2004, where two four-man teams have 4 singles matches, 2 tag team matches, and one 8-man tag elimination. The singles matches are worth 1 point, the tag teams are worth 2 and the Elimination is worth 4. To win you must have the most points. The Tournament would later become the World X-Cup.
- With a point based system like the America's X-Cup, the World X-Cup would see four teams enter at the same time competing in a variety of matches; firstly a Gauntlet Battle Royal, where the last two remaining would earn a point for their team and would compete against each other for a further two points, next tag team matches for two points, following this a ladder match where a member from each team would compete for three points. from her the team with the lowest score would be removed allowing one member from each team to compete in an Ultimate X match for the final 3 points.
- This setup starts with a reverse battle royal with 18 wrestlers trying to be among the first seven to get into the ring over the top rope. Those seven then compete with traditional TNA battle royal rules to determine tournament seeding. The final two in the ring go to pin or submission with the winner getting a bye into the tournament final. The other six compete in singles matches with the winners facing each other in a three-way match with the winner facing the wrestler who received the bye.
Combat Zone Wrestling
- This is a tournament held in the Combat Zone Wrestling promotion. The annual Best of The Best was originally a junior heavyweight tournament, which in 2005 was repurposed as an all weight tournament.
- This is CZW's version of the King of the Deathmatch, 8 superstars start out, each match has a extreme variation.
Ring of Honor
- This was a Ring of Honor tournament held in 2003. Matt Stryker came out as the winner.
- Ring of Honor held this one-night tournament in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 with the winners being Bryan Danielson, Roderick Strong, Delirious, and Chris Hero respectively.
- This tournament was held in 2002 to crown ROH's first champion. Low Ki emerged victorious.
- In February 2004, A.J. Styles won this tournament to become the first Pure Champion.
- This is an annual tournament held by the East Coast Wrestling Association. The eight man tournament is known for jump-starting the careers of many indy wrestlers, often booking veterans (ex. Billy Kidman) and relatively unknown wrestlers (ex. Eric Matlock) alike.
- On June 30, 2003, Ross Jordan won a tournament to become Frontier Wrestling Alliance's first flyweight champion.
- Exclusive to the UWA, the Grand Prix tournament starts out with eight wrestlers, the winner gets a UWA Canadian Championship shot at a future event.
- This is an eight-man tournament with extreme violence. Each match has an extreme variation. Most famous tournaments based on this include the IWA JAPAN 1995 King Of The Death, and CZW's Tournament Of Death. Also the IWA Mid South holds an annual KOTDM featuring sixteen men.
- World Tag Team Tournament
- This was an American Wrestling Association tournament for their AWA World Tag Team Championships in Rochester, Minnesota on October 1, 1989.
- Since 2000, ECCW has held an annual tournament called the ECCW Pacific Cup, considered to be the Canadian equivalent of such American tournaments as the East Coast Wrestling Association's Super 8 Tournament. The first edition of the tournament took place on November 24, 2000 in New Westminster, with Asian Cougar defeating Havoc and Tony Kozina in the final; beginning with the 2002 edition (it was not held in 2001), the event was moved closer to the start of the year and alternated between Surrey and Vancouver in later years. As well, in 2004 ECCW held the first, and so far only, tag version of the Pacific Cup.