WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg was on the creative team when KofiMania happened at WrestleMania 35 and now he’s sharing what he pitched for the event.
There was an interesting on the road to WrestleMania 35 in 2019 as the Smackdown brand tried to find the right babyface challenger for the heel WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. In the build up to WrestleMania, it was a decade-long WWE veteran Kofi Kingston who stepped up to be the challenger.
The story that WWE told to build Kingston was similar to what they did five years earlier when they told a babyface Bryan that he was a “B+” player and not worthy of a top spot. In this case, WWE used Vince McMahon to try to make Kofi earn it in multiple matches while Kofi’s New Day buddies Big E & Xavier Woods had to win tag team matches as well. All of this was done to build sympathy and support for Kofi with the fans believing in him.
One person that was part of the Smackdown creative process at the time in 2019 was Road Dogg, who was a writer for the blue brand at the time. During an appearance on The Wrestling Outlaws podcast, Road Dogg said he pitched for another member of New Day to defeat Bryan at WrestleMania:
“I would argue that’s what made the people get with [Kingston] so much was that ‘The Man’ was trying to keep him down. He set up that, holy mackerel, what a heel ‘yes sir you can have the championship match if you beat these five guys.'”
“One of the arguments we got into was literally about the go home to that match or the match leading up to that gauntlet match. I just had a different vision.”
“Truth be told I pitched Big E being the guy just because I love Big E’s character, he’s a big guy so he’s a believable character, he also cuts those almost southern baptist promos and I thought if he could find a happy medium between preaching a sermon and cutting a promo I thought that would be cool.”
Kofi ended up winning the WWE Title by beating Bryan to become the first African-born WWE Champion. Kofi celebrated in the ring along with Big E & Woods, who were also joined by Kofi’s two young sons.
As for Big E, he would become the WWE Champion in 2021 after cashing in the Money in the Bank contract. It just took him two years after Road Dogg pitched for it to happen.
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