Kofi Kingston and 7 Superstars Who Must Win the WWE or Universal Title in 2018

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2018

Kofi Kingston and 7 Superstars Who Must Win the WWE or Universal Title in 2018

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    Kofi Kingston has always been a standout member of The New Day.
    Kofi Kingston has always been a standout member of The New Day.Credit: WWE.com

    The WWE and Universal Championships are supposed to represent the best WWE Superstars at the moment, but it doesn't always work out that way.

    Some wrestlers rack up multiple title reigns in their first couple of years while other people who are just as talented toil for years without ever being seriously considered for a reign as champion.

    A lot of factors go into why WWE chooses to put a title on someone. Marketability, wrestling skill, popularity, mic skills and storyline potential are all considered when selecting a champion.

    Unfortunately, management and the WWE Universe don't always agree on which Superstars deserve a big push. 

    Between long reigns and a growing roster, there isn't always an opportunity to give everyone a substantial run with a title.

    However, WWE can do right by some of the Superstars who deserve at least one big win. This article will look at seven WWE Superstars who deserve to hold their first WWE or Universal Championship in 2018.

Kofi Kingston

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    Kofi Kingston first arrived on the scene in 2007 while WWE was trying to create its own version of ECW. Fake Jamaican accent aside, he clearly had something special.

    His athleticism and creativity in the ring have always helped him stand out from the pack, and his Royal Rumble saves have become something fans look forward to every year.

    Kingston has racked up four Intercontinental Championships, three U.S. titles and seven Tag Team Championships. Four reigns have been with The New Day and three were with CM Punk, Evan Bourne and R-Truth. While his resume is impressive, he has yet to win the big one. 

    Working alongside Big E and Xavier Woods has helped Kingston find his voice as a character and improved his mic skills tenfold.

    If there was ever a time to reward his hard work, it's now. He doesn't even need to leave his stable to make it work. He could become the WWE champion while Woods and Big E hold the tag team title. 

    His teammates are also good candidates to hold the belt at some point, but Kingston is the resident veteran of The New Day. It's only right he gets his run at the top first.

Braun Strowman

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    As soon as you read the title of this list, you had to know Braun Strowman was going to be on it. Even if you don't like him, there's no denying his potential.

    Frankly, The Monster Among Men should have already been the universal champion, but WWE keeps having Brock Lesnar retain the belt to extend his already tired reign.

    Nobody is going to say Lesnar doesn't add value to the company, but having him defend the title a few times a year instead of every month means we go long periods of time without a top champion on Raw.

    The funny thing is WWE clearly wanted Strowman to reach this level, it just may not have expected it to work as well as it has.

    Management got behind Strowman and pushed him to the moon, and unlike when the same thing happened with Roman Reigns, the WWE Universe responded by supporting him.

    Now, WWE has a popular Superstar who has decimated everyone on the full-time roster and no Universal Championship to put around his waist. He needs to become champion this year or fans may tire of seeing him dominate without ever getting to the top of the mountain. 

Shinsuke Nakamura

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    WWE's booking of Shinsuke Nakamura was outstanding when he was in NXT, but his move to the main roster didn't go as well at first.

    The Rock Star has had an uphill battle connecting with fans, but his talent has always been the thing that makes him special, not his ability to deliver a promo.

    Nakamura can say more with his body language than some Superstars can in a five-minute interview. The WWE Universe loves him because he is completely different than anyone else on the roster.

    It seemed like he would be kept in the midcard scene for a long time, but his Royal Rumble victory has given us hope. If AJ Styles can retain the WWE title at Fastlane, the two former New Japan Pro-Wrestling megastars will have what many would call a dream match at WrestleMania 34.

    Styles and Nakamura have battled before, but it wasn't on a stage as big as 'Mania. We have seen The Phenomenal One win and retain the WWE title on many occasions.

    It's time for Nakamura to create his own special WrestleMania moment, and there is no better way to do it than by winning his first WWE Championship in April.

Matt Hardy

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    Matt Hardy has had a lot of ups and downs in his career, both personally and professionally, but he is a perfect example of someone who never stops grinding.

    He was never a serious contender for the WWE title during his first couple of stints with the company, so it surprised a lot of people when he started the best run of his career in TNA.

    Impact Wrestling gets a lot of flak from fans for various reasons, but one thing the promotion has done more than WWE is put the world title on wrestlers Vince McMahon wouldn't see as top stars.

    Hardy's Broken character redefined him and created a blueprint for how a wrestler who has been the same for over a decade can completely reinvent himself.

    He laughs like the Joker, dyes a blonde streak into his hair, acts like a character in a horror movie and talks about deities and cosmic forces. Somehow, his broken brilliance makes it work.

    He may not be the same high-flying risk-taker he was 15 years ago, but Hardy is a more mature wrestler capable of carrying a storyline with anyone in the company.

    Not only does he deserve a run with the WWE or universal title after all of his hard work, but putting the belt on Hardy would also be a popular decision with fans, and management should never pass up an opportunity to please its audience.

Cesaro

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    What can be said about Cesaro that hasn't already been said by a million WWE fans? 

    A lot of WWE Superstars can be described as versatile, but The Swiss Cyborg might actually be capable of doing anything inside the ring. 

    He is powerful enough to lift Big Show and throw him over the top rope, he can work a technical clinic with the best and is more than willing to take big risks to make a match exciting.

    The only weak spot in his game was his mic skills, but teaming with Sheamus has remedied that by giving him more confidence and a bigger personality.

    Whether he is working as a heel or a babyface, Cesaro pulls you into every match and makes you care about the result. He would be a perfect WWE champion, even if management doesn't realize how much the fans would love to see it.

    Rewatch Cesaro winning the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30. Notice the reaction the crowd has when he scoops up Big Show and throws him over the top rope. We could see that same standing ovation when he wins the universal title. 

Sami Zayn

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    Who would have thought turning heel would be the one thing to save Sami Zayn from midcard mediocrity?

    The Underdog from the Underground seemed poised to be the next great babyface after Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from the ring, but he never quite took off.

    The love from the crowd was there, but something has always kept Zayn from reaching his full potential. His long-running feud with Kevin Owens has defined his run on the main roster, so it made perfect sense for KO to be the driving force behind his rebranding. 

    Going from being the optimistic hero to the bitter villain gave him a fresh start and took him from not being booked on pay-per-views to having several WWE Championship matches in the top storyline on SmackDown.

    Zayn is the kind of workhorse who can be so much more than just a good hand in the ring. He just needs the chance to prove it.

Rusev

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    Some WWE Superstars get over because they are booked in a way fans enjoy, but every so often a movement starts organically in a way nobody could have predicted.

    Bryan's Yes Movement is a great example of the fans rallying behind someone they felt was underappreciated, and we are seeing the same thing happen with Rusev.

    On paper, everything about the Rusev Day revolution seemed doomed to fail. WWE took a monstrous powerhouse and paired him with an opera singer, gave him a fake medal from the Russian government and had him invent his own holiday with his name in it.

    What WWE didn't count on was fans connecting to The Bulgarian Brute through comedy. He has shown different sides of his personality on Total Divas and Woods' UpUpDownDown YouTube channel, and the WWE Universe has taken notice.

    All of a sudden, Rusev and Aiden English are getting some of the biggest pops and the WWE Universe is chanting "Rusev Day" during segments in which he isn't involved.

    Watching someone gain the love of the crowd on their own and make it to the top is always a satisfying journey to witness, and that is why Rusev needs to win a top title in 2018.

    The momentum of Rusev Day might not last forever, so WWE would be wise to consider how to start integrating him into the main-event scene before the crowd loses interest and moves on.