How High Can Kofi Kingston Go in WWE?

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJanuary 30, 2013

Photo by Reckless Dream Photography
Photo by Reckless Dream Photography

At just 31 years old, Kofi Kingston has gone just about as high as he can go with WWE.

Kingston is an exciting performer, but he's not well-rounded enough to climb any more rungs on the WWE ladder.

There will always be men like Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show and John Cena who stand between him and world-title status. Power and charm breeds more championships than athleticism.

Think of the best high-flyers in the company's history. The ones that made it to WWE's main event had another skill that helped carry them there.

Eddie Guerrero was a fantastic technical wrestler and one of the most charming personalities in company history. Jeff Hardy, besides a unique look and a penchant for crowd-pleasing risks, had an x-factor that Kingston just doesn't have. 

Rey Mysterio is the exception, defying the odds and beating out bigger, stronger and more intimidating guys for his world title shot. How much of that opportunity came out of Eddie Guerrero's passing though?

Kingston doesn't stand out as much as Mysterio or Hardy, either.

It's not that his mic work is all that bad, it's just isn't good enough to make him stand out. Around men with much more dominating stage presences like Triple H, he's overshadowed.

In segments like these, Kingston clearly comes off as a likable guy but not larger-than-life and not especially compelling.

His skill set is more akin to Shelton Benjamin's.

If we take Benjamin’s career trajectory as a guide to where Kingston might end up, it's not good news for fans who want to see Kingston headline a WrestleMania or win the Royal Rumble.

In eight years with WWE, Benjamin won tag titles and secondary titles aplenty, but never made it to WWE's highest levels.

Benjamin, like Kingston, is a phenomenal athlete with less than stellar skills on the mic. Benjamin has Kingston beat in the technical skills department thanks to his wrestling days at the University of Minnesota.

Still, Benjamin couldn't crack the glass ceiling in place for primarily acrobatic wrestlers.

He is like an NBA player with great dunking ability and little else. He's going to end up on the highlight reel plenty, but he won’t be a top star.

Fans will continue to marvel at Kingston's work. They seem to like him but not in the way they go nuts for Orton or Cena. You simply can't build a franchise around a spectacle.

Intercontinental title reigns, tag team prominence, causing jaws to drop at the Royal Rumble; that is Kingston's destiny.

Unless WWE makes some revolutionary changes and gives their high-flyers top billing more often, Kingston is destined to continue on his current path.

He will only go as high as his legs will take him.