Thursday, April 4, 2019

Wrestlemania 35: Kofimania

Give the people what they want!
If Becky Lynch is the gender-swapped reboot of Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 30, Kofi Kingston is the Mirror Universe version.

And that’s not just because Kofi is facing the Mirror Universe Evil Daniel Bryan for the title in a match whose echoes of Bryan’s WM30 story are so obvious they’re being constantly referenced on-air by Bryan and Kofi themselves.

It’s also because, well, Kofi’s not really Daniel Bryan. Bryan was treated inconsistently by WWE in the years leading up to his iconic Wrestlemania victory. He got titles. He lost them in embarrassingly short matches. He was brainwashed into joining the Wyatt family, but then they turned that awful idea around so quickly that it turned into a memorable moment when he broke free. He was legitimately held back because of his size and background, but they also played off that perception to great effect, creating a legend out of someone who could have spent a career comfortably in WWE’s midcard.

Kofi Kingston, on the other hand, has been treated in a way that could be consistently described as “OK” for the past 11 years. making the best out of a comfortable midcard career, first racking up sporadic mid-card titles pretending to be Jamaican, then joining the New Day and becoming one of the top tag teams in a company that consistently treats all tag team wrestlers like midcarders unless they’re The Shield.

So Kofi’s thing is less of a “treat this brilliant indie wrestler right even though he’s not a big dude, WWE” and more of a “reward the loyalty of this consistent presence who’s been great at his job and respected by everyone in the back for over a decade” thing.

What does that mean prediction-wise? Well, that gets tricky. Because this story is literally nothing but the chase. And WWE has shown it’s perfectly happy ending a story like this, with a wrestler like Kofi, with a “there’s no shame in losing here, he tried his best” ending.Plus, as mentioned before, Vince loves letting fans know they’re not in control of what happens, he is.

But they’ve done “close but no cigar” with Kofi like three times already during the build to this match. I don’t see Kofi having a long reign. I don’t see him being a part of the main event scene after this. But I think Kofi gets the belt at Mania and they save the “disappoint the fans” moments for matches lower on the card.

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