Corner 2 Corner: Deja Vu

Wrestlemania 35

     We’ve been waiting for a long time for this moment. They’ve pushed us, kicked us, and beaten us down. They’ve denied us our chance to see glory achieved. The underdog that nobody thought would ever break through is finally causing some fault line size cracks. The grandest stage of them all has been set, and finally we can see justice served. It has been set, right? Right?!?!

Hello everyone and welcome back to Corner to Corner!! It’s been a minute or two since our last discussion and boy oh boy, has the wrestling world been buzzing! From independent controversies to world wide conspiracies, we have a lot to talk about. So let’s start with the storyline that could be taking the spotlight away from Becky Lynch and her quest to beat Ronda Rousey- Kofimania!!

Kofi Kingston has been an active member of the WWE roster for eleven years. He debuted on the WWE version of ECW. He was undefeated for his first 5 months on the WWE televised roster and the sky was seemingly the limit. His career has seen many many highlights. He has held the Intercontinental Championship 4 times, the United States Championship 3 times, and multiple incarnations of the Tag Team Championships on 8 different occasions. His actions in the Royal Rumble have been considered the spotlight moment of the event. All of this also includes feuds with Randy Orton, Sheamus, Shelton Benjamin, and The Miz. And for the record, his pay per view main events? 0. None. Ziltch.

Fast forward to present day and we are witnessing the rise of Kofimania. He’s in a feud with Daniel Bryan and that’s been an amazing story. The truth here is that Kofi Kingston is LONG overdue for his WWE Championship opportunity. It’s no longer a question of “Why Kofi?” In fact, it’s actually a question of “Why hasn’t it been Kofi yet?” If you look at the big picture, it’s really an indicator of what can get the fans’ attention the fastest but, also to build up a huge Wrestlemania moment. Make no mistake, we need a HUGE Mania moment this year because if the build up we’ve seen on Raw is any indication, we have maybe 3 matches to look forward to. At this rate, you could have Wrestlemania start at 10am on Saturday and end at 11pm Sunday and still not have the desired impact if you’re WWE simply because of perception. Right now, there is a perception that WWE has become TONE DEAF to the wants and desires of their audience. One need only to look at Kofi Kingston.

Fans have been so angry at the perceived railroading of Kofi that there has been talk of boycotting Smackdown Live, starting a Twitter campaign to push the desire to see something change, and some have even talked about cancelling their WWE Network subscription! It’s startling to see so many get so upset. It’s alarming to read the responses from fans right now because, it doesn’t seem like they really understand what’s happening. There’s such a disconnect right now between fans and WWE and, to be honest, NEITHER SIDE has an understanding of why.

So for the WWE’s side, let’s identify the elephant in the room. World Wrestling Entertainment is literally streamlining the Daniel Bryan storyline from 5 years ago in the span of just under four months. They’ve discovered they have an opportunity to cash in one more time and they’re going to take it. So what do we, the fans, get? Beatdowns, McMahon screwjobs, and of course- swerves galore! The craziest part is that we have just under 17 days as I write this and they still haven’t set the card for Wrestlemania 35. There’s confirmed matches. There’s storylines moving their way to the big show. Still, we don’t have the actual card in place. Can you believe it?

For the FAN’S side, I will identify the larger issue at play. Fans are buying into the story. It’s been 5 years and we are all still getting suckered into a storyline that should be considered done and gone. It’s not unheard of for an angle or storyline to get recycled and changed. As a matter of fact, it’s considered part of the deal for pro wrestling for a long time. The issue here is, WWE isn’t even trying to change the story. In fact, the only major difference here is that Daniel Bryan is the bad guy and Kofi Kingston is our underdog hero. I know that we live in an age where WWE is working towards “putting smiles on faces” instead of applying simple logic but, c’mon man. 5 YEARS! Fans, friends, readers, please- DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!! Don’t misunderstand me, I love Kofi Kingston and I wholeheartedly agree that he is deserving of his time on top. I am not, however, on board with this storyline. The story could have simply been Kofi’s quest for the WWE Title. There was no need for Vince McMahon to get involved. There was no need to recycle a storyline that was dangerously close turning fans off. Why can’t we just have good matches and a good build up without the overproduced drama?

Wrestling’s design is to be fun, athletic, and entertaining. Nowhere in that description is “Hollywood stories.” Let’s leave the over the top theatrics to the movies and let’s let wrestling be WRESTLING. Let’s celebrate the fact that Kofi Kingston, one of the hardest working men in the industry, is finally getting his Wrestlemania moment. Sure, it’s going to be an emotional moment. Sure, there’s going to be hype. We can have those things without having a “Hollywood touch.” We don’t need to have stories that are telegraphed. It’s not even about being a smart fan anymore. Now, it’s really about just learning how to predict an ending like you would at a bad movie. That’s not a good formula for success, in my opinion. I really would want to just see it play out organically. Daniel Bryan’s fame didn’t get overdone. The repetitive beatdowns were ridiculous and I felt like the WWE was really forcing us along for the ride, but Daniel’s popularity was grass roots level. It started on the big stage but, it was about giving a man a chance based on ability and charisma, not an artificial story or angle. We didn’t even need it. It was just thrown in there to try to make money.

In local news, Ultimate Championship Wrestling presents WRESTLEFEST! April 13, 2019 at The Athletic Center in Annandale VA, we have the opportunity to see some tremendous Virginia action. UCW Television Champion “Mr Second 2 None” DeJuan O’Neal defends the title against the personification of Terror- DEIMOS! Two fantastic heavyweight talents go to battle. Onto the Ladies Championship, Avery Rose defends her title against the debuting Natalina Corvino. Check out UCW and get to see some of the best wrestling in the mid atlantic!

–Stan Grubb–

80s Wrestling Con takes place on Saturday, October 26th in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America. The event features Ted DiBiase, Sgt. Slaughter, Bob Backlund, Paul Orndorff, Demolition, Brutus Beefcake, and more! For Superstars, Attractions, and Ticket information go to

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