Saturday, February 18, 2012

Black History Month: Kofi Kingston

Kofi Kingston (WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I recently wrote a blog about Shelton Benjamin being one of the most misused guys in the history of the WWE, and I think Kofi Kingston is another wrestler pretty high on that list.   I'll be the first to admit when Kofi first started showing up in vignettes walking the beaches of Jamaica and promising a big debut on ECW, I didn't care about the guy.  Even when he first started, I just didn't buy into the character.  But something happened, and I became a fan of his talent.

Kofi is another one of those guys in the WWE who has seemed to hit the glass ceiling.  He's definitely got the ability, but for whatever reason he seems to be lost in the shuffle.  I know that's hard to defend when he's held the Intercontinental title three times, the U.S. title twice, and two runs as a tag team champion with two different partners.  But again, like Shelton Benjamin, the big prize seems to not even be within Kofi's reach.

Kingston vs. Orton (WWE)
His feud with Randy Orton a few years ago should have gone differently.  It was a time to take Kingston to the next level.  Instead, he ended up on the losing end to a guy who was already over and wouldn't have lost any of his shine by putting Kofi over.  Had that happened back then, I don't think the title picture now would look as bleak as it does.  During the Orton feud, Batista, Edge, John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and Chris Jericho were all still at or near the top of the card.  There were plenty of top guys.  This was also a time when grooming the next generation would have been critical.  It was time to start passing the torch.  Because three and a half short years later Batista is gone.  Edge and HBK are retired, and Undertaker and Triple H are only wrestling a handful (if even that) times a year. 

I think part of the reason the company hasn't fully embraced Kofi is because like Shelton and even John Morrison, he's not the greatest on the mic.  Again, not a legit reason to hold someone back, but that's the only reason I can think of.  And right now is an interesting time in Kofi's career as he was such a big part of the tag team title scene with Evan Bourne, but now that Bourne has been suspended again, Air Boom's future is uncertain to say the least.  I've mentioned before I think Kofi could go it alone, but right now he seems in such limbo, it may be a good time for him to find a new partner and start over in the tag team ranks.  We all know the division could use the help.

One other note about Kofi, I think he got the move of the night for the 2012 Royal Rumble after walking on his hands.  He was facing elimination and saved himself in what may have been the most impressive way yet.  Only Morrison's Spiderman/Parkour leap last year comes close to that distinction in my opinion.

The fans love him (WWE)
Whatever happens with Kofi, I hope he sticks around.  I enjoy what he does in the ring, and he's one of my son's favorites.  He's a true superstar and from what I can tell a good role model too.  Hopefully in 2012 he'll find a way to break out of that mid card funk and bust through the glass ceiling and take a stop at the top of the heap.  Good luck to you, Kofi.

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