AS I SEE IT 3/25: The Kofi saga..and a risky game

Remember my complaint that WWE was overbooking their angles
going into Wrestlemania, specifically with the Ronda Rousey-
Becky Lynch-Charlotte Flair storyline? Well, here we go
again with the Kofi Kingston storyline, and where things
went last Tuesday night.

It was set up that Kingston had to run a gauntlet match (a
match that took almost the entire second hour) and defeat
Sheamus, Cesaro, Rowan, Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Kingston
successfully ran the gauntlet. Big E, Xavier Woods the crowd
and viewers celebrated, but then Vince McMahon pulled one
more swerve, and introduced Champion Daniel Bryan as his
final opponent. As we all know, Bryan defeated Kingston
after hitting Kingston with the Busaiku knee for the pinfall
after several near falls teasing a happy ending.

If an overbooked story arc wasn’t bad enough, it’s pretty
clear it seems clear WWE is playing the race card with it,
as witnessed by an on-air promo two weeks ago with a passing
reference by The New Day to “people who look like us” and
Vince McMahon referring to Big E and Xavier Woods as “young
bucks” (and no, he wasn’t referring to the Jacksons)…which
bordered on it already. But when I suggested that to friends
after those two comments, I was told I was overanalyzing.

Well, this past Wednesday a tweet/video by Big E. used code
phrases about how “people like us will only get so far” and
that “people like us, historically, and moving forward
clearly, can only go so far” and “clearly, we are never
meant to be more than this” removed any doubt.

Even with all the reality based social media posts and
promos being used to build Wrestlemania, using the race card
as a dramatic device is playing a dangerous game. People
tune in to wrestling to get away from real life, and the
very real racial divide the current Administration has been
helping worsen. Not to mention playing the race card gets
advertisers and sponsors very nervous. That isn’t what WWE
needs, especially when they’ll be getting mainstream heat
for their next Saudi show after Mania on May 3. , which WWE
will HAVE to officially announce shortly after Wrestlemania.
Despite not being announced officially, its sure enough that
The Undertaker will be making the trip to Saudi Arabia.

As for the Kofi angle and how they’re playing it, WWE has
made their decision on this story line and will have to deal
with the consequences, if any.

One story line item WWE hasn’t thought of in this is that
Daniel Bryan, both in and out of character is shown as a
liberal and environmentalist. He’s shown as a heel
environmentalist on TV, and as a liberal on WWE Total Divas,
with wife Brie. How does this square with the guy who’s OK
with “Mister McMahon” denying a black wrestler an
opportunity? Best way to tie up that loose end is to have
Kofi call him a hypocrite as part of the inevitable promo
directed at Vince McMahon tomorrow night.

That promo will have to be part of one of the only two ways
out of the corner WWE painted themselves into last week.
Those two ways I can see this going tomorrow night are a
“strike” with Smackdown talent threatening not to work
Smackdown or not work Wrestlemania (see RAW strike 2011) or
an “Occupy Smackdown” (see Daniel Bryan, RAW 2014) in order
to force Vince McMahon’s hand…both rehashes. Logically,
Kofi Kingston has to then get his match at Wrestlemania. He
also needs to win, because any kind of screw job will create
big issues with a New York crowd, who won’t hesitate to make
clear what they think..

Until next time…

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