Kofi Kingston’s reign as WWE Champion is just getting off the ground, but it appears as if the creative team is already setting up Roman Reigns’ title run.
Vince McMahon and the rest of the WWE brass shocked a lot of people at WrestleMania when the company decided to actually give Kofi Kingston a chance as WWE Champion by having him go over Daniel Bryan.
To be fair, Kingston’s path to the WWE Championship was a story that even the plainest of minds could tell. After floating around the mid-card for over a decade, Kingston finally broke through that glass ceiling because of fan support and had a similar moment as Bryan had at Wrestlemania 30.
His reign as champion has already been an eventful one as Kofi challenged Universal Champion, Seth Rollins, to a title unification bout in his first onscreen appearance with the title. While the champions would ultimately take on The Bar in a tag team match, WWE looked to book Kingston with a head of steam.
On the very next night, New Day member Big E suffered a torn meniscus in his knee, putting him out of action. The creative team then thrust Kevin Owens in as the third member of The New Day and quickly booked his turn a week after being named an honorary member.
Kofi Kingston now has his feud for Money in the Bank set: it will be Kingston vs. Owens at Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship, presumably.
This is interesting to note as rumors floating around online indicated that Owens was McMahon’s original pick to square off with Daniel Bryan at Mania. However, due to the fan support of Kingston, he obviously got the slot instead.
Now the two are feuding in what is not going to be the start of a lengthy title-run for Kingston. Instead, Kevin Owens is going to escape out of this feud as the perfect transitional champion for Roman Reigns to then take the belt off of him.
The other big news on SmackDown has been Reigns calling the blue brand his new home as part of the Superstar Shake-Up. WWE creative has not been shy in showing that they want Reigns to hold one of the two major championships but it would have been more damaging than good to have him feud with Rollins and even take the belt off of Rollins prematurely.
That is why the move to SmackDown makes sense for Reigns as he could chase the WWE Championship instead. However, the creative team is too smart to ever book Reigns vs. Kingston, as that will garner so much heat around Reigns, who has just turned the corner as a babyface with the audience.
That is where Kevin Owens comes in and can hopefully set up a three-PPV feud with Kingston to lead right into Summerslam. Whether or not it goes that long is up for debate, but the WWE certainly can run it that long if need be.
The ending to Money in the Bank can reintroduce Bryan back to the title picture. Bryan has not been seen in WWE programming since Mania, with some worried about his health after his long-lasting concerns prior to his return.
However, it seems more likely that Bryan is simply taking some time off after his first full-time run again with the company and can come back at Money in the Bank with little to no repercussions to his character.
At Money in the Bank, we can get a screwy finish. Bryan attacking Kingston during the bout as vengeance, which would make Owens the winner by disqualification and allow Kingston to retain the title.
Fast-forward to the new Stomping Grounds pay-per-view and the company can set up a triple threat match between Kingston, Bryan and Owens with Bryan invoking his rematch clause.
The creative team could have Kingston lose the belt due to Owens pinning Bryan, which would set up the Owens vs. Kingston title bout at Extreme rules with stipulations to end the feud. The case here is that Kingston never lost his belt and removes Bryan from the title-picture as he was pinned clean and could set up a match at extreme rules with, say, Erick Rowan or even Reigns himself.
Enter Roman Reigns, who we can assume defeated Byran at Extreme Rules and is now making his case for the belt at Summerslam against Kevin Owens. Owens, being the two-month transitional heel champion, would then lose to Reigns and start his long Road to Wrestlemania as WWE Champion.