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When it comes to Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 35, WWE is giving fans one of the best storylines in years. Kofi vs Daniel has been entertaining, bending the bar that separates kayfabe and reality. And when pro-wrestling enters the realms of “the real world” magic happens. The New Day’s struggle, with Kofi at the forefront, isn’t just your quintessential underdog story, it’s the story of Black America. Week after week, Kofi and The New Day would take three steps forward, only to be pushed two steps back by Vince McMahon.
After numerous gauntlet matches, Kofi has made it to the proverbial mountain aka Wrestlemania. WWE can allow the Kofimania story to play out two ways. It can allow Kofi to climb to the mountain top, winning the WWE championship to become a Grand Slam champ. Or it allows Kofi to climb to the halfway point and lose at Mania. Of course, from a fan perspective, there is no doubt that Kofi Kingston should defeat Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 35. But from a business standpoint, does it make sense to crown Kofi as WWE champ? We think so! Here are five reasons why Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion is a smart business move.
The New Day Sells Merchandise
The New Day can definitely sell merchandise, and they have sold tons of it. Just a few years ago, you couldn’t go to a WWE live event without seeing fans wearing light up unicorn horns or clutching boxes of Booty-Os. The New Day was on top of the WWE merch game. It’s hard to believe that they had to convince WWE to create New Day merchandise. But it’s true and it was confirmed, via tweet, by Big E. Big E also confirmed that during Wrestlemania 32 week, The New Day was the #1 merch sellers.
But like Newton’s 3rd law and the Tyron Davis song, what goes up, must come down. The New Day merch sales aren’t as high as it used to be. Kofi winning the WWE Champion would be a great opportunity to reinvent The New Day and produce and promote new merch. Just recently, WWE has a released numerous Kofi Kingston T-shirts (including a Kofimania shirt) and has even given Kofi his very own merch webpage. Plus, The New Day can reinvent themselves when their act gets a little stale. The New Day is charismatic enough to get us to send money on whatever WWE sells.
Marketable Outside of Wrestling
Now that John Cena is spending more time in Hollywood, WWE needs more male superstars. Superstars that can appeal to other demographics and other entertainment circles. The New Day can reach large demographics outside of the pro-wrestling sphere. Kofi winning the WWE championship would be a great way to start inserting The New Day into more entertainment circles. They are just that entertaining! What other WWE superstars could host the Espys, the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award, E3, the BET awards, and maybe even host a cooking show on Food Network.
We sometimes forget about the thing that should matter the most: in-ring ability. We have to go back to the basics and look at in-ring ability. Since Kofi’s debut in 2008,
If you have the WWE Network or have access to the WWE Network here are a few entertaining Kofi Kingston matches to watch (in no particular order):
- Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler (pretty much all their matches)
- Team Kofi Kingston vs Team Randy Orton—Survivor Series 2009 (Can we appreciate all the Black Excellence on Team Kofi)
- Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler vs Jack Swagger—TLC 2010
- Kofi Kingston vs MVP—Raw 09/01/2009)
- Kofi Kingston vs Drew McIntyre—Fatal 4 Way 2010
Kofi is Loved by Peers and Fans Alike
The fact that most of the fans want Kofi to become champion, tells you what kind of wrestler he is. The fact that most of the @WWE roster wants Kofi to become champion, tells you what kind of person he is #ElimationChamber #WWE— Mike Kanellis (@RealMikeBennett) February 18, 2019
Mike Kanellis’ tweet perfectly sums up this point. Kofi is loved by his fellow WWE superstars. Support for Kofi was so strong that following his Gauntlet matches on SmackDown Live, numerous wrestlers broke kayfabe just to show Kofi love. Kofi has also
Speaking personally, I had an opportunity to meet The New Day at D.C.’s Awesome Con 2018. All three members of The New Day were sincere, respectful, and amusing. I still remember timidly walking through the photo op curtain and tensely approaching the autograph table. My anxiety quickly faded and a burst of relief surfaced because I was met with a warm smile, an impactful hello, and firm handshake from each member. After the con’s panel session, Kofi, Big E, and Xavier all stayed, as long as they were allowed, to talk and thank fans in attendance.
Kofi Winning the WWE Championship is Historic
If Kofi, a Ghanaian American, wins the WWE Championship he will become the second Black WWE Championship. This would also make Kofi only the fourth Black wrestler to win a heavyweight championship. And if Kofi wins at Wrestlemania 35, he would be only the third Black wrestler to win gold at Mania. In addition to becoming the second WWE champ, Kofi would also join the Grand Slam club. Kofi would become the second overall Black Grand Slam Champion and the first and only Black Grand Slam Champ of the *modern/current title format.
Looking especially at the WWE championship (the one that Daniel Bryan currently holds) and not the retired World Heavyweight Championship aka The Big Gold Belt that was first used in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and later used in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Knowing that there has only been one Black man to hold the WWE championship is quite embarrassing.
*Booker T is the first Black Grand Slam Champion. However, the title structure and requirement to achive Grand Slam status has changed.
For the last few weeks, SmackDown Live has been bringing in its highest ratings of 2019. While the actual causation isn’t verified, it’s smart to assume that Kofimania is the reason for the increase in ratings. Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods are loved by wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike, so it’s not hard to believe the Kofimania storyline has boasted SmackDown Live’s ratings. And because The New Day is loved both inside and outside of the wrestling industry, Kofi is the champion WWE needs at the moment. The company is in need of more superstars that can shine on almost any stage. Right now, Kofi Kingston is that superstar.