The WWE has had an unexpected hit with the #KofiMania storyline and they decided to throw yet another curve at its fans. As Kofi was set to accompany The New Day during their kickoff show match against Rusev and Nakamura, he was told that he was wanted by Vince McMahon. This immediately had fans assuming that the scheduled match between Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship would be turned into a Triple Threat Match.
During the main show, a recuperating Big E and Xavier Woods found Kingston still waiting outside McMahon’s dressing room. Upset that management would leave their friend waiting after being with the company for 11 years, they barged into the office to state their case. McMahon decided to turn the title bout into a Triple Threat match but told The New Day they were barred from ringside and Kofi better get to the ring as his match was about to start.
Instead of a title match, Kingston was quashed in a handicap match by The Bar, Cesaro and Sheamus. To add insult to injury both opponents could be in the ring at any time with Kofi. While Kingston did get a few moves in, he eventually fell to tag team. The New Day attempted to enter to assist despite McMahon’s orders but were stopped by Rusev and Nakamura.
Later in the evening, the title match for the WWE Championship remained as a Triple Threat but instead of Kingston coming to the ring as the third entrant, Mustafa Ali came down the ramp to enter the ring.
The fans were obviously upset and were heard throughout the match chanting “We Want Kofi!” Ali, generally a fan favorite, did not receive the reception the WWE was expecting. During the early portions of the match he had zero support from the fans and even as he battled with his high impact and flying moves, the reception for his performance was lukewarm at best.
The three put on an excellent match with some incredible high spots and even interference from Daniel Bryan’s henchman Erick Rowan. In the end, Rowan disabled Owen on the outside and Bryan was able to defeat Ali when he used a flying knee to his opponent as he was coming off the top rope.
The WWE is likely to continue with their underdog angle for Kingston leading to a Wrestlemania title match and possible win. The main problem with the way they are getting there is they may have damaged Mustafa Ali’s popularity, who was gaining traction as a fan favorite before his injury.
The next Smackdown episode is bound to be an interesting one as this storyline continues.