No one can argue that Kofi Kingston has been one of the highlights of WWE in 2019, but as we pass the midway point of the year, Kofi has certainly lost a lot of his momentum as WWE Champion.
His victory against Daniel Bryan was historic, but everything that has followed has reduced Kofi’s legitimacy as champion. The idea of Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion at one point seemed impossible, but as a result of two lackluster feuds and very little week to week substance, Kofi’s championship reign failed to live up to the hype of his WrestleMania moment
Daniel Bryan’s untimely injury forced WWE to pull the plug on a rematch and turn newly introduced babyface Kevin Owens back into a backstabbing heel to begin a feud with Kofi. The heel turn felt incredibly obvious as Owens joined the New Day as “Big O” to fill in for Big E and within a week, turned on Kofi. This set the stage for a title match at Money in the Bank that had no real build or storyline.
Kofi’s easy victory against Owens was no surprise to anyone and definitely lowered the hype around him coming off of WrestleMania.
Next up, Dolph Ziggler returned to WWE and attacked Kofi setting the stage for a new feud for the championship. This time, the main storyline was Ziggler’s jealousy of Kofi for having a WrestleMania moment which Ziggler continued to remind us every week should have been his. The first match in this rivalry took place at Super Showdown and saw Kofi win with the help of Xavier Woods interfering in the match.
Having Kofi win with the help of Woods only made him look weaker as a champion and reinforced the narrative prior to Mania that he was not championship material. In their rematch at Stomping Grounds, Kofi was victorious again after jumping through the door of the steel cage to beat Ziggler and retain. Rather than a strong finish like an escape over the top of the cage or a clean pin in the middle of the ring, Kofi narrowly beat Ziggler to reinforce the idea of him being a lucky champion.
At one point the hottest commodity in the company, Kofi Kingston and The New Day have become highly oversaturated to a point where they are doing almost the same thing every single week. On both Raw and SmackDown Live, we see the trio come to the ring to talk and get interrupted by a group of heels. We then either see a six man tag match or two-on-two tag match where the end spot always consists of Kofi pinning the heel for a victory.
The fire and passion we got to see from Kofi’s promos on the road to WrestleMania has diminished to repetitive promos reminding us that it took him 11 years to become champion, along with some wise cracks from Big E and Xavier Woods. Kofi has not given us fans any reason to remain emotionally invested in his title run and as a result, many have begun to call for a new champion.
As we look ahead to Extreme Rules, Samoa Joe is the next contender for the WWE title and I strongly believe he should be the man to put an end to Kofi’s reign. Two mediocre feuds following his crowning moment at WrestleMania have slowed down and eliminated most of the hype around Kofi Kingston.
I believe Joe is the strongest challenger Kofi has faced as champion yet given his in-ring and microphone skills. I hope WWE is able to utilize this feud to bring back the hype for Kofi Kingston. I also hope that their match at Extreme Rules will either solidify Kofi as a legitimate champion or put an end to such an abysmal reign.