Amalgam Rhapsody: KofiMania Submitted by LoneLee on 02/26/2019 at 06:28 PM
It's an interesting time in WWE...I know, right? Tell me I didn't just say that? The perpetually stale product was promised to have a change in direction by its frequently accused of being out of touch owner. Vince McMahon and his next of kin declared that they would listen to the demands of the fans, give us fresh and exciting matches, and do away with dull authority figures. Why so suddenly this drastic measure seemingly out of the blue? Obviously, one could guess with AEW on the horizon promising such greener grass on the other side, the old Vince feels like he has to give a vigorous effort in his product that has sat at the top of the helm for so long uncontested. Let me tell you one thing, if playing GM mode on SVR '06 has taught me anything, aside that the game undoubtedly cheats, is that finding what makes for a successful show and what the fans appreciate go hand-in-hand. But how much catering can be too much?
Think back to a little over two weeks ago. Kofi Kingston wasn't even in the conversation for a WWE championship match at Wrestlemania. Due to an injury and a scarcely thin SDLive roster, Kofi was given the ball and inserted into a pre-made role. If you listen to the internet rumors then yes, Ali would've gone an hour in the Gauntlet match. Yes, Ali would've been the last to be eliminated in the Chamber. But how much of that would've garnered as much attention as it did with Kofi? The difference? "It's Time."
Fans recognize that as a 12-year veteran of the WWE, the speed and agility of The New Day has been biding his time as a mid-card and tag team talent until he could finally get that one opportunity at a top spot. It didn't matter if it was as a smiling Jamaican, transitional singles champion, tag team specialist, pancake tosser, twerker, or all-around smooth worker, Kofi has taken everything he's been handed and turned it into something special. I do believe the lack of these trials and tribulations may have held back such an overwhelming fan support if Mustafa Ali were still in this situation. My cold take Ali had been propelled into a spot too soon and these injuries are quite possibly evidence of that. No detriment to the quality of work from Ali, but this was an easy case of one underdog outranking another in terms of experience.
While this generation of fans love the underdog, WWE has to be extremely careful with their next move. If we're going to be our stereotypical psychic-type selves as fans it would've been easy to foresee an Ali loss only to end up with a US championship consolation prize. It's different with Kofi, we've already seen that. If Kofi doesn't win the big one now, then when? If not now...then never. The 37-year-old Kofi recently stated on an episode of the Edge & Christian podcast that he doesn't "anticipate" anything being in WWE. Perhaps he's not trying to skyrocket his hopes or he's as jaded as most of us are in the same respect. However, let's really analyze the situation. Fastlane is considered to be an intermediate or even a throwaway PPV. Should a special moment such as this take place here? If they were seriously considering a title change then why not save it for the biggest stage? If you believe the rumor mill then Kofi's name wasn't even considered as Daniel Bryan's PPV opponent up until a few hours before he was even announced. Having said that, has WWE really begun to take heed to our voices? Did the trend of #KofiMania change the course of an otherwise forgettable show this year? If WWE/Vince were wholeheartedly listening to the fans then Charlotte wouldn't be touching the Raw Women's title picture, but that's another story.
Anyway, sure, one could even draw parallels to Eddie Guerrero winning the very same championship at No Way Out in '04, the last stop before Wrestlemania XX. Both were tag team/mid-card humor acts that despite prodigious talent, were written off as speed bumps on the road to Wrestlemania for the reigning champ at the time. The key here would be in the coming weeks. Eddie was able to give us that passion he became so familiar for on the mic. The narrative of a man overcoming adversity and drug addiction so eloquently expressed in the relatable Eddie and colossus of a bully in Brock Lesnar. While we have seen some nice dotcom stuff from Kofi lately about nonexistent opportunities, he needs to deliver that one heartfelt promo, that one Hard Times moment that gravitates both us and the Powers That Be from doubt to acceptance of him being able to carry the blue brand as champion. As it stands at the moment, we simply have feud consisting of an Eco-friendly champion against a fun-loving veteran.
In all honesty, what happens after that? Do we have the overused heel turn situation involving Big E to cost kofi his one and only shot? Do they have a Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn spoiler-type moment with Big E cutting short kofi's victory celebration? Does kofi win and get greedy with the New Day rule, deciding he doesn't want to share his title? Wait, one more scenario, this is kind of fun. Since New Day's purpose, as described by Xavier Woods is "to make Kofi Kingston WWE champion," do they cause a double-turn at Fastlane with an abundance of interference resulting in a new heel champion? All of the above are more than likely a resounding no. Just remember, Daniel Bryan was once the underdog that the vast majority longed for as champion and we helped to accomplished that. Becky Lynch is on her way to the promised land in large part due to our support. Will kofi be the next addition to the elite class or is he just the latest flavor of the month? Our support can make all the difference to the most deserving talents and open the eyes of the people that can make it happen.
Being the huge New Day mark I am, I'll let you guess what I'm hoping the outcome will be.