Kofi Kingston is one of those established talents that WWE without hesitation have always been able to rely on. That is a trait that is extremely hard to come by and when WWE find a talent (like Kofi), that is able to fill any role on any given night, it’s unlikely that said talent will never not have a space on the card.
This article serves two purposes. One to establish how successful Kofi’s decade-plus run in WWE has been, but to also make a case as to why WWE should give the 36-year-old a chance in the main spotlight on WWE programming.
Since his debut in 2008, Kofi has attained 14 championships within WWE. These extend to four Intercontinental Title reigns, three US Title reigns and seven Tag Titles reigns including reigns with CM Punk, Evan Bourne, R Truth and obviously fellow New Day members Big E and Xavier Woods. Kofi would make his WWE TV debut on the ECW brand following some infamous Jamaican themed vignettes, Kofi would have an extended win streak which would lead to a decent feud with Shelton Benjamin before moving to the RAW brand in the summer of 2008.
Following his move to RAW, Kofi would be given instant credibility with a win over all-time great Chris Jericho, to win the established Intercontinental Championship, the win came at the Night of Champions PPV, despite help from Shawn Michaels, the win clearly expressed that WWE had lots of faith in Kofi to have him go over one of their biggest stars of all time.
Following floating around the RAW mid-card scene for the majority of 2008 and 2009, and also having a brief yet fun Tag Team Title run with CM Punk, Kofi would find himself in arguably the biggest feud of his solo career; a feud with Randy Orton. The feud with Orton began towards the end of October 2009, Orton blamed Kofi for costing him a match for the WWE Title on RAW, and so in-turn Orton attacked Kofi (from behind) and threw him against the side-entrance ramp.
As a result of this, Kofi destroyed Orton’s luxury car, however it was what followed at the ‘world's most famous arena’ that would make Kofi a star in the eyes of the fans for years to come. Kofi would perform a ‘Boom Drop’ from the stands onto a prone Orton who was laid motionless on a table. The crowd would go absolutely insane over the spot and it is still remembered fondly of to this very day.
The payoff of the feud with Orton would take place at the 2009 Survivor Series, where Kofi would be the sole survivor in his team, lastly eliminating Orton, pinning the former multi-time World Champion clean as a whistle. The final blow-off would be at the TLC PPV which would result in an Orton victory; it’s a safe assertion that people remember the Survivor Series win over the TLC defeat, which is always win.
Much of Kofi’s career that would follow would include various captivating moments and memories, mainly in Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches, however, he did indeed have some compelling TV rivalries. Kofi’s feuds with the likes of Drew Mcintyre, Dolph Ziggler (who he exchanged the US and IC Title with multiple times over the years), The Miz and Cesaro, were all highlights featuring fundamentally solid wrestling and logical, compelling storytelling.
No doubt, Kofi is a tag-team specialist. Kofi has had reigns with the likes of Evan Bourne and R-Truth. However, it is his reigns with New Day members Big E and Woods that are the most memorable and are most beloved in the eyes of the fans. This article isn’t going to serve as a New Day appreciation piece (that should be saved for another day), but the rise of The New Day has been a progressive growth of all three members, in-terms of in-ring work, confidence, storytelling and ability to deliver a captivating promo.
It’s a fair statement to claim that the pressure was never on for Kofi to improve in-ring wise, that ability has always been there and I think WWE management has always known that. What was missing (pre 2015), was Kofi’s inherent ability to connect. Working with two of his best friends and working with some of the best pure talent in the world (Cesaro, Kidd, The Usos, John Cena, The Dudley Boyz, The Shield, to name a few), has given Kofi the ability to master his craft on how to connect with the crowd through the use of his mannerisms and his ability to adapt his promos to any situation.
In regards to his promos; one of the delights of Kofi’s run has seeing him being able to deliver comedy (that clearly appeals to a certain demographic and has worked just by looking at Kofi and co’s drawing power), but also switch it up and deliver a compelling, meaningful promo to sell you on a match (which he did insanely well with during The New Day’s tremendously handled feud last year with Jimmy and Jey Uso).
I hope this career retrospective has convinced as to why Kofi deserves a chance at being ‘the guy’, even for a limited period. It’s without question that Kofi has earned it, I think that’s easily established when you simply look at this career record and success over the past decade-plus. The hard work comes from trying to place the title run, where it would occur and how it would occur. T
he idea of The New Day holding the WWE Title has always been of interest; maybe Kofi winning the WWE Title, and then feuding with fellow New Day members, Big E & Woods is an interesting route to take and one that people should be open too. Even if it’s a simple, basic babyface transitional reign to get over the next big heel, I think people would accept this too. What is clear, is that Kofi deserves this and his career clearly warrants a run at the top of WWE.