Happy Friday TJR Faithful! And oh what a happy week it’s been. The NBA season ended, meaning it’s playoff time, we got a trailer for the new Lion King and it looks pretty damn amazing, oh and Kofi Kingston is WWE CHAMPION!!!!!
Full disclosure I’ve been working on this piece for the whole week, trying to encapsulate my feelings on Kofi and New Day’s Wrestlemania moment. It’s been hard to get right. I legitimately cried on Sunday. Tears streamed from my eyes like an episode of Pokemon. Kofi winning Sunday was all I wanted from this year’s Wrestlemania, and I thought it was a beautiful sight to behold. The story they told to get there was excellent, the match was superb, and the moment will be the moment any of us recall from Wrestlemania 35. 35 is now Kofimania going forward.
Anybody who has been reading my stuff on here over the years knows that I’ve advocated for this kind of thing involving New Day for years. Almost as long as they’ve been a team, I’ve been saying that this needed to happen. That they needed to set their collective sights on the WWE Championship. I pitched them winning it in a tournament that they used the Freebird rule to compete in. I’ve pitched Kofi capturing The Money In The Bank and them capturing it that way. I pitched them doing at heels, babyfaces, via The Royal Rumble, you name the moment in history where the Title picture needed to be freshened up, or the locker room morale was reportedly down and I pitched The New Day into the Championship picture, seemingly futilely. That’s why this past Sunday was magic. That’s why this week has been magical. I’ve literally seen my wildest dream in wrestling become a reality.
The ways the WWE broke the mold here were so perfect and they truly can stand to do way more of this. Not only is Kofi the first Black WWE Champion since The Rock (listen I know there are a lot of semantic arguments here about what consists of being a Black WWE Heavyweight Champion and I’m not really getting into them here, I’m just telling you as a Black wrestling fan, this means so much to me to have the second Black WWE Champion in 135 reigns over the last 56 years) who last held that Championship in 2013, but he won the Championship without having to end New Day, either by his hand or betrayal of another. This is both an individual and collective achievement. This was a story where the brotherhood meant so much. This was a story about oppressive forces trying to keep Kofi and New Day in a box, and them expanding the very idea of what they could be, pushing together to achieve ultimate success.
Shawn Michaels doesn’t win the Championship with Marty Jannetty in his corner. Edge doesn’t become WWE Champion with Christian by his side. Jeff and Matt Hardy don’t win their respective World Titles with their brother there to share the moment. This was a rare and ultimately refreshing story choice that is much appreciated. I’ve been wondering for so long, do Tag Teams have to break up for the members of the collective to achieve their highest potential? At least, in this case, the answer was no.
I’m also elated that Kofi’s name will not be added to the list of spectacular superstars who never held the company’s most prestigious prize. It was another reason I advocated for Kofi getting this chance because I didn’t want him to be added to the list of guys like Roddy Piper, Mr. Perfect, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, Jake Roberts, Owen Hart, Ted DiBiase, etc. You need to appreciate your workhorses while you have them. You need to reward them while you still can. The stars aligned perfectly here for Kofi, and it was magic. It was also very much deserved for everything he had done up to this point in his career. Make no mistake, Kofi was a legend in line with the guys I listed before Sunday. His longevity and accolades bear that out. He was beloved before Kofimania, by his peers and the fans. This is a reward for that as far as I’m concerned.
I know that I’ve been somebody that complains a bunch about the creative direction in the WWE. I don’t always agree with their storytelling decisions and as a creative individual myself, I often pitch ideas I think are better or more interesting. They shut me up here. I couldn’t be happier with how this entire thing played out. I wouldn’t change a thing. They told a beautiful and perfect story, on the fly. They disrupted plans, they listened to the reaction to what was happening and they told a worthwhile story about a perfect, modern day, babyface hero!
They told the story of a man who was humble, who did it for the right reasons, who started a movement unbeknownst to him, who had a family by his side advocating for him. He never whined or complained or intimidated his way into this opportunity. He wasn’t handed or gifted an opportunity. He fought for so long, and made the all mighty connection to the people, and was rewarded for being the good man that he always was. He was a hero with heart, respect, wisdom, and determination. WWE deserves copious amounts of credit for this moment and the story they told to get us here.
This is less an article and more me just expressing my unyielding happiness right now. Kofimania was an impossible dream, and I can’t thank them enough for making it happen. Thank you, WWE, Vince McMahon, Daniel Bryan, Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston for making this the Wrestlemania moment that moved me to tears.
There you have it, but as always I want to know what you think! Was Kofi’s WWE Championship win an emotional experience for you? When did you start believing in Kofimania! Do you agree with myself and Xavier/Big E that Kofi was a legend before any of this even happened?
Until next time folks, I’m Matthew J. Douglas saying enjoy all the high stakes sports this weekend, and long may Kofi Kingston reign! Have a great weekend everybody!