Unpopular Opinion: Kofi Kingston should not win the WWE Title at WrestleMania 35
The road to WrestleMania is on! Every year, the excitement increases amongst the fans as WrestleMania rolls around. Why not? The flagship event of WWE is a complete celebration in itself. From appearances by famous celebrities to performances by world-renowned musicians, this event celebrates the sport of pro-wrestling. No wonder it is the dream of every wrestler to be in the main event of WrestleMania someday.
It is said that only those who can make a fan out of Vince McMahon get the chance of being in prominent matches at the Grandest Stage of them All. However, this doesn’t mean that only McMahon decides the fate of wrestlers.
There have been many instances in which massive fan support for a superstar has led to the company giving in to the fans’ wishes. Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30 and Becky Lynch's inclusion in the RAW Women's Title scenario after winning the Royal Rumble this year have been notable examples of the same.
Something similar took place this February. Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Mustafa Ali and Daniel Bryan were set to collide for the WWE Championship inside the Elimination Chamber. A week prior to that, all the competitors were scheduled to face each other in a gauntlet match to determine who would enter the chamber last.
A sudden eye injury to Mustafa Ali led to the officials replacing him with New Day’s Kofi Kingston. An hour-long performance in the Gauntlet match, followed by a tremendous showing inside the Elimination Chamber started what is now famously known as #KofiMania.
The hashtag was used by the fans all over the world in order to coerce the WWE to give Kofi Kingston a WWE Title win over the current champ Daniel Bryan (who had been working brilliantly in his new role as a heel).
The WWE management acknowledged it, leading to Vince McMahon being heavily involved in Kofi’s quest to rightfully earn a one-on-one title match, by making things difficult for the New Day member. All this does point to a WrestleMania moment for Kofi, right?
But, I think that Kofi Kingston should not win the WWE Title at WrestleMania 35
Firstly, I by no means, think that Kofi Kingston doesn’t deserve a run with the top title at all. I just want to say that the timing of him winning the WWE title is not right.
Kofi not winning the WWE Title makes sense from a long term perspective, as the fans would begin to shower Daniel Bryan with boos. It seems that this is what WWE wants, as they have been very impressed with Bryan's work as a heel since November and plan on making him a long-time super heel.
The massive boos, caused by fan backlash, will only enhance Bryan’s character as the most-hated man of the company. Also, a nice, long reign for Bryan would ensure that the WWE Championship only gets more prestigious than ever before. Moreover, this only helps in getting the fans more invested in Kofi Kingston, which is surely going to help in portraying a wonderful and emotion-filled story if and when the New Day implodes.
Secondly, this will make the McMahons look powerful, as they haven't really been on the winning side lately. I mean, just look at the pattern. Every year, the McMahons return during WrestleMania season, make life hell for a superstar, lose to him and disappear for the rest of the year. Even the casual fans have been getting bored by the repetition of the Authority storyline. While many may argue about Shane McMahon's win at WrestleMania 34, we need to remember he was working as a face then.
The Authority needs a win in a storyline in order to restore its credibility. There may be chances that the Authority may lose a lot of mileage, even to the extent of fans not caring about an Authority feud by WrestleMania 36.
With Vince McMahon turning his focus on XFL and the other members of the Authority involved in important backstage roles, WrestleMania 35 is the right time for the Authority to establish its dominance.
Last and the most important reason: Opponents. The only meaningful feud coming out of WrestleMania 35 with Kofi as the champion would be the New Day implosion. With WWE infamously known for dragging feuds out, they may drag this one till SummerSlam, tremendously cooling it off.
Also, one can believe that WWE won’t allow Kofi to defeat Daniel Bryan (again) or Drew McIntyre (if he comes to SD Live), who are currently the top heels because this will lead to a tremendous loss of credibility for the heels. Given WWE's concern against face vs. face feuds, we are unlikely to see top-tier stars like Mustafa Ali, Kevin Owens or The Miz in title contention.
Samoa Joe is currently the US Champion, while other heels like Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura, Andrade, etc. haven’t been built up as worthy contenders for the blue brand’s top title. Not only would this lead to long and repeated feuds, but also to feuds which may seem too underwhelming for the WWE Championship.
Fans are surely not going to like this, especially given the work AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan have done to make the title prestigious.
So, what should be done?
First of all, credit to WWE for learning from their mistakes and actually listening to the fans. The build-up to Kofi’s eventual rise to the top has been executed well and the company just needs to keep this thing going. I, for one, would have booked Kofi to lose his title match at WrestleMania.
Post-WrestleMania, Kofi should be involved in a feud with Shane McMahon, who has recently turned heel. A victory over a McMahon would be the perfect way to propel Kofi back into the title picture. Having Kofi win the WWE Title at SummerSlam 2019 will surely be the fitting conclusion to long-drawn journey in becoming WWE Champion. This also gives WWE the time to restore the credibility of heels like Andrade and Rusev and to develop the new NXT call-ups in order to deliver amazing feuds with Kofi Kingston.
In case WWE wants to proceed with the New Day implosion story line, they can start things off for the feud at the Royal Rumble PPV next year, easily carrying the story to WrestleMania 36.
Many may think that this may be the case of missing out on the correct time to crown a superstar (akin to Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman), but rushing through Kofi’s title win is not the right decision here. Not only will it harm Daniel Bryan’s character big time, but the prospect of less entertaining feuds will only make the fans lose interest in Kofi.
Soon, Kofi would start getting treated the way fans treated Roman Reigns, before him announcing his Leukemia diagnosis. WWE is an ever running cycle, which surely isn’t going to end at WrestleMania 35.
So, instead of booking Kofi to win the WWE title instantly for a ‘WrestleMania moment’ and suffering the consequences, WWE needs to build his already organic rise to the top properly in order to give us one of the best, if not the best, storylines of 2019.
Do you think that Kofi Kingston should become the WWE Champion at WrestleMania 35? Please feel free to drop in your views in the comments box!