The “Road To Wrestlemania” story for Kofi Kingston once again puts the popular and veteran wrestler in the role of underdog. During tonight’s episode of SmackDown, Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon did present Kofi with an opportunity to wrestle Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship title at Wrestlemania 35. In order to earn that match he will have to participate and win a Gauntlet match at next week’s SmackDown.
His opponents in this match include Bryan’s henchman Erick Rowan, multi-time champ Randy Orton, current United States title holder Samoa Joe and both Sheamus and Cesaro from The Bar. It was that particular tag team Kingston was booked against in a handicap match at this past weekend’s Fastlane.
Earlier in the evening The New Day decided to get McMahon’s attention interrupting an eight man tag match that included The Bar, The Hardy Boyz, Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura, Aleister Black and Richochet. They also attacked and levelled everyone in the ring.
The in ring segment between The New Day and Vince McMahon used some material that fans of the WWE Universe are probably familiar with. McMahon and Bryan had a discussion earlier in the show and the boss relayed that the current champ considered Kingston a “B+” player.
Bryan was called this way back in 2013 when he was a fan favorite and in an underdog story line of his own. He would go on to defeat Randy Orton at that year’s Night Of Champions and capture the WWE Championship title.
Bryan was stripped of the title the following night and continued to battle Orton and The Authority leading up to the Royal Rumble. He was not part of the Rumble that year but fans continued to chant for him during that event as well as the title match between Orton and John Cena, much in the same way that fans are chanting for Kofi now.
The WWE is not opposed to recycling story lines when the opportunity presents itself and it seems like they have come up with gold with Kingston. The fans are fully behind him, McMahon can play the heel role that he does so well to perfection and Kofi has The New Day to help him out along the way. Xavier Woods is stellar on the mic and was able to give a believable and impassioned plea to McMahon on why Kingston deserves a title match at Wrestlemania.
Kofi himself delivered a fantastic promo as well essentially saying he does not feel entitled to a title match but wanted to know what he needed to do to prove to McMahon that he is worthy of it. McMahon announced the Gauntlet match and brought out those he was going to face. As the show ended, The New Day was defending an attack by the various players and standing tall as SmackDown went off the air.
Expect the WWE to give next week’s Gauntlet match a lot of time on the show. Also expect Kingston to be standing tall when it is all said and done.