This week’s episode of SmackDown Live was built around Kofi Kingston running the Gauntlet in an attempt to earn a WWE championship match against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35 on April 7, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He would have to defeat Sheamus, Cesaro, Rowan, United States Champion Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton, in order, to make it happen.
He managed to pin Sheamus.
He managed to pin Cesaro.
Rowan got himself disqualified, leaving Kingston in a heap after putting him through the announce desk with the Iron Claw.
Improbably enough, he managed to pin Samoa Joe, who put him in a sleeper right after because he was so upset. Xavier Woods and Big E, banned from ringside, could do nothing to help their friend in either of the last two instances.
That left just Orton.
The guy who came in and won the first Gauntlet match.
The guy Kingston has had issues with in the past, both real and imagined.
He did it.
He pinned Randy Orton.
Kofi Kingston successfully ran the Gauntlet.
And then Vince McMahon showed up, said he would also have to beat one more opponent, who turned out to be WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, and, of course, Kingston could not manage that. He lost. So he won’t be getting the title shot at WrestleMania 35.