wrestling / Columns

Csonka: Working The Shoot With The New Day

March 20, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
New Day Trash WWE

It was never supposed to be Kofi Kingston. Kofi was a loyal soldier and the veteran anchor of one of the company’s most over acts. He’s been the IC & US champion and several time tag team champion. But the story was about Mustafa Ali, the new face on Smackdown from 205 Live that Daniel Bryan reportedly pushed to get on the brand. Ali is a great performer and tremendous babyface, and was set to be part of the Elimination Chamber. But all too often, injuries happen at the worst time and that’s what happened with Ali and he was pulled from the match. Enter Kofi Kingston. Kofi, the loyal soldier, got an opportunity and made the absolute most of it and impressed. He took Ali’s spot, and the closing stretch of the chamber was really great as the crowd was living and dying with everything he did. Kofi impressed and got over, and was a hot act on his own. But things weren’t as great as they seemed…

It seemed to be going well, Kofi earned a WWE Title shot at Fastlane, and was set to sign the contract for that match. Then meta Vince McMahon arrived, plans changed on screen, and after telling Kofi he wasn’t good enough, replaced him with Kevin Owens. An odd choice for sure, considering their history. At Fastlane, Vince seemingly had a change of heart and it looked like Kofi was being added to the title match. But it was a trap, as Vince booked Kofi in a handicap match with the Bar, where he was destroyed. Later that evening, things came full circle as Ali got the slot in the title match. He put in a great effort, but ended up failing.

The New Day were outraged by this, defending their boy and the trio met with Vince in the ring on Smackdown. Kofi presented an emotional plea to the boss, asking what he had to do in order to get his shot. The New Day as a whole were great in the segment, and that led to the March 19th Smackdown, where if Kofi won a gauntlet match against Rowan, the Bar, Orton, & Joe he would punch his ticket to Mania. Kofi put in another great effort, with the crowd and Smackdown babyfaces supporting him the entire match. He not only survived, but beat all five men and looked to finally have his shot. But meta Vince McMahon arrived, plans changed on screen, and then told Kofi he had to beat one more man, who was the WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Kofi put in a great effort but eventually fell to Bryan after a total of 60- minutes. It was an overall very good effort that saw a spectacular effort from Kofi and told a strong story. I’m not a big fan of the finish as we’re getting really close to Mania with no WWE Title match locked in. I also hope that they aren’t stretching things out too long and lose the support Kofi’s been getting. But his boys still had his back…

Throughout the entire Saga, Big E & Kofi have had his back and have remained a unified force. WWE.com spoke with The New Day following Smackdown. Woods wasn’t surprised by Vince’s actions and said he stacked the deck so Kofi would fail. Big E then questioned what more the group have to do to get Kofi his title match. Xavier then suggests that they should quit and Big E agrees, but Kofi then disagrees. He said if they quit, then Vince and Daniel Bryan win. Later on, Woods teased leaving again, noting that he has other skills in the video game community. It’s refreshing to see them remain such a unified force, friends being good friends, and babyfaces acting like babyfaces, and supporting their friend and mentor.

But the problem is that they are not only stretching this out and overcomplicating things, but that by doing this, they run the risk of losing the momentum and support that Kofi has. The other issue is that many feel that this has now gone into worked shoot territory, which many fans have been turned off by over the years. Finally, if Vince doesn’t value Kofi as a single, why keep giving him chances? Why not just ban him from WWE Title matches and tell him to fuck back off to the tag division, where Vince clearly appreciates him and even told him that he’ll be a hall of famer for WWE.

Keep it simple, you have a proven act that delivers when given the chance delivers and unexpectedly got over. Not every babyface story has to be a rehash of Daniel Bryan at Mania 30; that was lighting in a bottle…

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 4. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by long time podcasting partner Steven Cook Jr III. On the show, the guys discuss Kurt Angle & Kofi Kingston’s road to WrestleMania, NXT talents getting to work in EVOLVE & other places, Harlem Heat going into the WWE Hall of Fame, and close out discussing the excitement for WrestleMania weekend. The show is approximately 60 minutes long.

Kurt Angle – 3:30
Kofi Kingston – 8:22
NXT Talents Working Evolve & Other Places – 16:40
Harlem Heat & The WWE Hall of Fame – 29:45
WrestleMania Weekend Excitement – 38:10

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the
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