After WWE’s failed push this past year, Kofi Kingston went over to SmackDown for better competition and a new start. However, a new playing field has led to many detrimental pitfalls along the way.
Kofi and Christian fought one another in a phenomenal match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship. Seconds after Kofi was crowned his second I-C title, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, by order of Mr. McMahon, stripped the title and returned it to the returning Drew McIntyre. Weeks later, Kofi won back the belt from Drew at Over the Limit.
Kofi started pushing the envelope as the weeks went on. At Money in the Bank, Kofi set up Drew McIntyre on the Spanish announce table to execute the Boom Drop from off the ladder. Then on SmackDown, during a match against Dolph Ziggler where Vickie Guerrero slapped him across the face, Kofi took his aggression out on Ziggler resulting in disqualification.
The loss to Dolph Ziggler forced Kingston to defend his title the following week on SmackDown. Even though, Kingston had been able to skillfully defend his titles in the past, his rage towards Vickie Guerrero played a major role in losing the title to Dolph Ziggler.
Continually looking over his shoulder for potential Vickie interferences, Ziggler capitalized on the very shoulder forcing Kofi’s arm almost limp. When things seemed too sure for Ziggler, a pre-celebratory chat with Vickie allowed Kingston to land the Trouble in Paradise Kick. But Vickie, who failed to help her former boy-toy, Eric Escobar, win a singles title, inserted herself in front of the referee, stopping him from counting to three. Before Kingston could get the referee’s attention, Ziggler zig-zagged himself to win his first Intercontinental Title.
What should have been a triumphant moment in Ziggler’s year-long struggle to become I-C champion turned into a nightmare as Kingston viciously attacked him after the match. Kofi’s livid actions may have crossed WWE’s TV-PG threshold, but it was a transformation for Kingston none the less.
These assaults are unlike anything WWE has seen before, because it is usually the fan favorite being beaten down. Yet, Kofi, performing these acts, was cheered on by the WWE Universe. His actions can either dissolve the injustices taking place on SmackDown, or create new ones. Where Kofi Kingston goes from here is uncertain, but what we are seeing is a more determined and frustrated man.