Kofi Kingston has the chance to go to WrestleMania. On the final PPV before the fifty-hour-long event that is WWE’s version of the Superbowl, Kofi will face off against Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title. Will he win? Probably not, but that doesn’t really matter. The point is that after eleven years of being stuck in th mid-card, Kingston is getting his shot, and he got there with the help of his friends.
Which is fantastic because, weirdly, friendship is an underused trope in the world of WWE. When it is used, it’s usually to set up a heel turn, such as Kevin Owens turning on Sami Zayn the day he won the NXT Title or the whole Chris Jericho and Owens thing. Christ, KO is not a good friend. Rarely is friendship deployed as anything other than a storytelling device.
Yet, since the moment they were put together, Kofi, Xavier and Big E have been presented as friends. Friends who make dumb jokes and piss about. I’m not going to pretend it’s always something that I’ve always loved, I’d happily ditch the pancakes, but it feels real. They’re the rare example of a faction who actually seem to like each other. Did you ever buy the on-screen version of The SHIELD as anything other than teammates? I didn’t. Not until the heartbreaking moment where they stood on a stage as Seth Rollins cried his eyes out post-Roman’s announcement that his cancer had returned. So what did WWE do next? HEEL TURN!
And, of course, there is a chance Vince will make me eat these words. It would be so typically him to have one of the New Day betray Kofi and cost him his title shot. However, that would suck. Because in the hyper-masculine world of WWE having three guys who openly declare their love and respect for each other is kind of beautiful. I don’t care much about what’s happening down in Stanford anymore, but those three wholesome lads make me care. If WWE is willing to take the risk, I will happily follow them to WrestleMania.
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