Abe checks in on the idea of moving forward with Kofi Kingston coming out of WWE Fastlane!
I thought WWE Fastlane was a pretty solid pay-per-view. It had some great matches and planted plenty of seeds for Wrestlemania. However, there was one segment that really caught my attention. I didn’t exactly see anybody on the internet mention it during the show but I couldn’t ignore it.
As you know, Kofi Kingston was sent out to the ring by Vince McMahon thinking he had just been added to the WWE Championship match. But once Kofi got to the ring, it turned out to be a setup. Kofi ended up facing The Bar in a Handicap Match where Cesaro and Sheamus were not required to tag in and out. It was a one-sided assault that leaned closer to a statement of humiliation rather than a match.
I understand that this is all an intricate way to get Kofi over with the audience. The segment immediately following the match is was bothered me more. It was a backstage interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley with big smiles on their faces. Bayley opened by saying that Kofi is a big inspiration to her and encouraged him to keep moving forward. They then proceeded with the interview as if a giant travesty didn’t just occur two minutes prior.
If a superstar truly cared about Kofi Kingston and his success, wouldn’t they be furious over what just transpired? The boss they work for just unjustifiably lied to the most loyal employee in the company for the sole purpose of embarrassing him in front of the world. If your boss continued to publicly bully your best co-worker on a weekly basis, you’d likely want to do something drastic.
If you’re a fan that’s been watching WWE for the last several years, you may see the similarities in the current Becky Lynch and Kofi Kingston storylines with the angle that inspired Daniel Bryan’s “Yes” Movement leading up to WrestleMania 30. He was deemed unfit to be a main event guy until the WWE Universe hijacked Raw and got him an opportunity at ‘Mania.
A way to rectify the Sasha and Bayley segment is to plan a similar segment for Smackdown. The New Day opens the show and is rightfully pissed. No pancakes or colorful gear – they’re in regular clothes and walk straight to the ring. Vince McMahon cuts them off and says he made a mistake by making that 2-on-1 handicap match. Instead, he creates a 3-on-1 handicap match that starts immediately. Big E and Xavier Woods are sent to the back with threats from Vince and Sanity makes their entrance. Another mugging begins. Kofi loses in quick fashion. The fans as well as commentary are enraged. Kofi is assisted to the back and Smackdown continues.
In the next segment, AJ Styles is scheduled to have a match but he refuses. He voices his displeasure on the current situation and states that the WWE isn’t worth working for if that’s how Vince treats his employees. Styles not only refuses to compete, but creates a call to action for the rest of the locker room to join his strike. Slowly, but surely, superstars begin to file out a couple at a time. Even the heels. Once the ring is full, they make it clear that they will not compete or risk their bodies for Vince until he gives Kofi Kingston his Wrestlemania match with Daniel Bryan.
The Vince McMahon character has made it clear he wont listen to the blatant displeasure from the WWE Universe. The only way he would listen is if his show and wallet were at stake. He can’t make money without any superstars. Vince is obviously reluctant but eventually agrees and creates a real contract signing later in the night. The show goes on as planned.
Randy Orton has made is clear that he’s not a fan of AJ Styles vouching for Kofi and has accused him of going soft. After the strike, AJ Styles is the last to exit the ring and is ambushed by Orton who is being seen for the first time. The ambush is violent enough that it requires the superstars involved in the strike to pull Orton off. Two WrestleMania matches have now been set up by the end of the segment.