Rob brings a different approach to positive reinforcement! Do you agree with his opinion of Kofi?
I’m taking a break from What I Enjoyed this week, largely because it seems there’s a lot of stuff people enjoyed this week so there’s no need for me to signal boost but also because I have another topic in the form of one Kofi Kingston. Now this is a thing before in some weird way this Thursday became Let’s Talk About Kofi Day on Twitter with a bunch of threads and tweets popping up to debate whether or not Kofi was a “Lame Champion”. Now the way that this just stuff just bubbled to the surface all on one day (I understand that a lot of you were seeing it earlier but it really blew up today) triggers all of my paranoia about social media algorithms and the way that triggering stuff always seems to work it’s way into our timelines no matter who we follow and interact, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of discussion. Because while the general fandom sure doesn’t seem to feel that way enough people on Wrestling Twitter are repeating this take that it needs to be shot down and exposed for the pure bs that it is. Because it is flat out nonsense no matter what angle you look at it from, such as:
He’s not being booked well
Seriously? So far he’s defended the title five times since WrestleMania and won them all clean, save the match vs Seth Rollins that ended with a run in by The Bar. The matches were all good to very good and he more than held his own throughout. He’s also been in a few tag matches, and most of his matches are in the main event slot on TV. He hasn’t been pinned and he’s won 11 straight matches according to the WWE Instagram account. The biggest complaints I normally see about how champions are booked is that they don’t defend their titles enough and they take too many losses on TV in non title or tag matches. In the case of Kofi neither of those is a problem. He’s not escaping matches by the skin of his teeth like The Honky Tonk Man or something, and he’s not doing a Brock Lesnar disappearing act with the title either. This is such a ridiculous take that I really think some of you guys just throw around the word ‘booking’ as a vague one stop shopping kind of complaint without any clue as to what it actually means. Because in any sense of the actual definition of the word he’s being booked quite well. Which brings us to the other take I’ve been seeing….
He’s not serious enough
This seems to have been born from Jim Ross’ assertion that Kofi was not a serious enough character to be seen as a legit champion because of he and New Day’s antics like the pancake throwing and the dancing and all. And now some people have picked up on that to say that Kofi has been a lame champion because ‘people still see him as a midcard comedy act’.
Man if you don’t get the hell out of here with that nonsense…..
Stone Cold Steve Austin chugged beer in the ring after matches and during promos (he actually didn’t start that until after he became champion, by the way). Kurt Angle chugged milk in the same fashion. The Rock’s whole act was anything but serious. Shawn Michaels gyrated, dressed like a stripper, and did crotch chops. Mick Foley was Mick Foley. John Cena had the spinner belt, an ever changing assortment of T-shirts, and jorts (which he still wears at 40-plus years old). Kevin Owens as Universal Champion was one half of a weekly comedy duo with Chris Jericho. Bray Wyatt projected maggots and worms onto the mat during a match. None of those guys were considered less than as a champion because they did silly/funny stuff every week. And just like them when it’s time to talk in a more serious tone, Kofi does just that. Might help if you paid more attention when he was talking, but hey what do I know?
But there’s some deeper stuff going on here, too, namely the need for the first black WWE Champion since the Rock (I’m not having that debate, go argue with your grandmother or your dog or some household appliance) to not be seen as a clown of sorts so that the (white) fans will hold him in the same regard as Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, etc. Well for one if you judge by the crowd reactions, YouTube views, etc there seem to be plenty of white fans who see him just fine as champion. Which means that you’re essentially saying that he needs to be more serious in order to win over some people who probably wouldn’t see him as championship material no matter what he did. And as far as I’m concerned those people can go play in traffic. They’re not coming around anyway so there’s no point in chasing after them.
As far as we know Kofi, Big E, and Xavier are being their authentic selves out there and aren’t playing characters that have been written contrary to their wishes. So in Kofi’s case being his authentic fun loving, pancake throwing self was apparently impressive enough to his boss to crown him WWE World Champion at WrestleMania of all places, and as the culmination of one of their best told, carefully crafted storylines ever. The pancake man was good enough to get that kind of effort and reward so why the hell should he have to change that to win over a few dorks, a least some of whom don’t care for people of his (and my), ahem, skin pigmentation? And why are you worried about their opinions? To hell with them already, because I can guarantee you that the worst of them have an issue with Kofi that has nothing to do with any damn pancakes.
So yeah, Kofi is doing fine. You don’t have to take my word for it, just listen to the people in the building when he comes out and listen to the cash register. But for all that’s good in the world please don’t listen to the idiots out there.