Steve Cook reminds us that Kofi’s current angle is due to Mustafa Ali’s injury. Which, may have turned out beneficial for…Mustafa?
When I first heard it, I didn’t believe it.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to demean the ability of Mustafa Ali. In his limited time under WWE’s umbrella of entertainment, he’s amazed crowds with unbelievable moves. He’s also shown the ability to be likable, much to the amazement of some that believe that people of his descent can’t be supported by the WWE Universe.
Ali is a remarkable story. He was sixteen years old when he had his first match in February 2003. Mustafa worked graveyard shifts as a police officer while pursuing his wrestling dream, along with having a family.
He has a good head on his shoulders & a very promising future.
WWE is high on Ali, as they have every right to be. So high, in fact, that the word around the campfire was that Ali was slated to challenge for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Those plans were put on hold just before the Elimination Chamber, when Ali suffered an injury that forced him out of the Chamber match for the WWE Championship. Ali still might have been in line for a title shot, as there was still plenty of time before WrestleMania when he was scheduled to come back.
But a funny thing happened, Kofi Kingston was tapped to take his place, and the fans in Houston went absolutely crazy for him. We’ve been watching Kofi on WWE television for eleven years now. We saw him break into WWECW as a fresh-faced, happy-go-lucky Jamaican kid. Upon his arrival on Raw (and later SmackDown), he became a regular in the Intercontinental & United States championship scene, depending which show he was on. He also became a tag team specialist, winning tag team championships with CM Punk, Evan Bourne & R-Truth.
Then The New Day happened, and it took Kofi’s popularity to a whole other level. Kofi, Xavier Woods & Big E have become one of the most successful trios in wrestling history. The only downside? It put Kofi’s singles career on ice. There were no more quests for secondary titles in hopes of breaking into the main event scene as a legitimate contender for a top championship. Kofi, Big E & Xavier had their role. Pump up the crowds, make money off merchandise & be happy.
You can make a lot of money doing that. But eventually you develop a taste for something more.
Honestly, it seems more like Big E & Xavier developed that taste for Kofi. They’ve been speaking up for him ever since this thing started at Elimination Chamber. Back at Money in the Bank when New Day was granted a slot in the match, they insisted that Kofi take it. It makes sense. New Day has achieved so much on the tag team side of things that the only thing left for them to do is reach the top of the mountain. One of them obtaining a top singles championship will be like all of them doing so.
Kofi got Mustafa’s slot at Elimination Chamber, and the fans bit on it hard. Here was a guy they had been watching for years busting his butt and doing whatever he was asked to do at the best of his ability. To the Houston fans, Kofi more than deserved to be there. He deserved to be WWE Champion. It seems like most of the WWE Universe is falling in line with the idea. Kofi’s being thrown obstacles left & right now, and even people that should know better are really buying into the idea that WWE doesn’t want Kofi Kingston in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.
It’s an incredible thing. Kofi’s lucky to have gotten this opportunity. Do you know who’s even more lucky that Kofi got this opportunity?
It’s kind of funny when you think about it. Ali’s been wrestling longer than Kingston. He’s more than paid his dues to get to WWE. He’s defied the odds his entire career. Ali is an amazing story that is really difficult to root against. However, if he got pushed right into a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania after a couple of months on SmackDown, people would root against him. Specifically, the fans that attend WrestleMania would root against him.
Mustafa has paid his dues. But we didn’t get to see it. We’ve seen Kofi Kingston paying dues for over a decade now. Not to sell Mustafa’s experiences short, but we weren’t at the indy shows watching him work. We weren’t on the graveyard shift with him. Kofi Kingston has been right in front of us for eleven years, proving that he deserves to be at the top of WWE just as much as anybody else does. It’s easier for us to identify with Kofi.
Had Ali been placed into the WrestleMania match with Daniel Bryan, the same thing would have happened that happened at Fastlane in Cleveland. He would have gotten booed, he would have had a nice performance and that would have been it. Bryan would have moved on to the next thing in time for the next PPV while Mustafa Ali would be looking for his next goal.
He deserves better, and he’ll get better.
We need to see Mustafa Ali work his way up. It’s not his fault that most of us don’t watch 205 Live, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t. We need to see him against the best of WWE, busting his ass and proving he belongs with the best in the business every single night.
It’ll take longer to get there. The reward will be much better. Once Mustafa Ali reaches the top of WWE, there will be no doubt that he deserves it. He won’t be somebody getting a push because of his life story, or because there was nobody else around at the time. He’ll be a superstar that the WWE Universe has grown to love & respect.