On the latest edition of ‘Feel the Power’, Kofi Kingston revealed that he just signed a new five-year contract with WWE. It is unknown when his latest deal was expiring but that’s tremendous timing given the year he had and breaking through after years of being a solid mid-card performer.
Kingston was signed in 2006 and spent time in WWE’s various developmental programs with stints in Deep South and OVW before Florida Championship Wrestling overtook the developmental end and he was sent there. He was called up to ECW in late 2007 and then drafted to Raw in 2008. His big push came in 2009 feuding with Randy Orton that saw Kingston pin Orton at the Survivor Series following a memorable brawl the week prior on Raw at Madison Square Garden. The feud was won by Orton and didn’t elevate Kingston, but he maintained a solid spot in the middle of the card for years. He won countless tag and singles titles and developed a reputation for his near eliminations at the Royal Rumble that grew to become one of the anticipated elements of the annual match.
The formation of the New Day breathed new life into Kingston’s character. The group was not received well through its introductory vignettes and audiences took to chanting ‘New…Day Sucks’ and rejecting the group. It seems bizarre now as the group went on to become very popular as the three displayed such genuine friendship and chemistry on-screen and won over the audience in time. It was a great pairing for three individuals that had a lot of strengths but were floundering as singles performers prior to the formation of the New Day.
This past year saw his breakout occur by a series of unforeseen events. After Mustafa Ali suffered an injury, Kingston took his place in the Elimination Chamber match. While Kingston didn’t win, he was the audience’s choice and was so strong, that the company went with the crowd and inserted Kingston into the title program with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania with Kingston winning. It ended up being the strongest moment at WrestleMania and the match where the audience peaked mid-way through the show.