As Kofi Kingston crumpled to the mat Monday night following The Big Show’s Knockout Punch, he may have taken with him any chance of getting to the uppercard anytime soon.
You don’t make it to the top of the roster by falling victim to your opponent less than a minute after the bell rings.
Going back to last week, when he lost his Intercontinental Championship to Wade Barrett, the high flyer from Ghana has dropped three of his last four televised matches. And if it had not been for a combination of storyline and Barrett’s fatigue from a Gauntlet Match on WWE Main Event, the losing streak would have reached four straight.
Kingston’s time in WWE has resembled a yo-yo. Every time he gets a push for a championship run, the downward spiral from the losses seems to throw him right back to being buried in the midcard.
It’s not that Kingston is not a solid worker in WWE. His hard work has paid off in four Intercontinental Championships, three Tag Team Championships and two United States Championships.
But after winning the IC belt for the fourth time last year (defeating The Miz), it seemed as if Kingston’s high-flying act went into stall mode. Miz went on to a face turn, bringing a potentially good feud to a screeching halt. Kingston then began a mediocre program with former IC champ Barrett that everyone knew would wind up with Barrett getting the belt…and Kingston dropping back into the midcard.
The latest debacle with Big Show Monday night reinforced that. Right now, WWE does not know what to do with Kingston.
He seems almost too nice to become a heel. He always is smiling and is extremely fan friendly.
Perhaps that is hindering him.
To rise up the WWE ranks, a superstar has to raise his game several notches. He has to not be afraid to take chances with his character.
Certainly a heel turn is a big chance with Kofi Kingston’s character. But could he make it believable enough to put him over with the WWE Universe?
Kingston certainly has hinted in recent TV appearances that he is willing to try new things with his character. He always claimed that the program with Miz brought out the “wildcat” in him, so he started being a little more aggressive in the ring.
On last week’s SmackDown, he was totally serious in a backstage interview with Matt Striker. He did not crack one smile and spoke with an urgency in his voice that we had not seen before.
Perhaps the wildcat is a lot closer to the surface than we think. With the proper booking, the door will be opened, and the wildcat finally will step forward in full force. If that happens, then future Kingston opponents—including titleholders—better be on the lookout.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.