WWE officials reportedly impressed with Kofi Kingston after SmackDown gauntlet match showing

Kofi Kingston

Reports over the past weekend suggested that the SmackDown Live upstart Mustafa Ali would have to be forced out of this Sunday's Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship.

Ali had become a force to be reckoned with since making the permanent transition from 205 Live to the blue brand, and despite not always winning, the Chicago native is already a fan favourite.

Already gaining a pin fall win over Daniel Bryan shows what the higher-ups, and Bryan himself think of the high-flyer, but unfortunately injuries proved too much to handle.

Only a few days after receiving a nasty eye injury due to the boots of Randy Orton in their SmackDown match, Ali suffered a concussion at a live event which forced WWE's hand.

Replacing him in the gauntlet match this past Tuesday to determine who would enter the Chamber match last would be Kofi Kingston of The New Day, and what a showing he produced.

Kingston lasted over an hour, defeating Bryan, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe before AJ Styles got the better of him.

His performance caught the attention of so many people and there have been calls for him to take the gold off Bryan this weekend, and superstars like Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and his stable-mate Big E were all quick to praise him on Twitter.

The highly-reputable WrestleVotes have now revealed the original plan for the gauntlet match and have signified what Kingston's standing is with WWE officials after his mammoth showing.

Kofi Kingston's mammoth one-hour showing in the SmackDown gauntlet match was apparently supposed to be Mustafa Ali's role

Interestingly it was Ali who was set to have the 'iron-man' role in the match, with the person behind WrestleVotes indicating that they were going to tell the same story that they did with Kofi.

But after how well-received Kingston's performance was, WWE officials apparently are high on the Ghanaian and there's every chance that they could pull a shock swerve on the fans by having him walk out of the structure with the title over his shoulder.

British bookmakers don't see that happening though, with SkyBet having Bryan a strong favourite to retain, but Vince McMahon is known for flip-flopping on decisions at the last minute, so never rule anything out.

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