Mark your calendars, ladies and gentlemen.
Oct. 26, 2009 is a day that will live in infamy.
Today is the day the WWE built a superstar in one night.
Tonight on RAW, the WWE gave Kofi Kingston the ball and he damn sure looks ready to run with it.
Since his debut, Kingston has been saddled with a horrible Jamaican gimmick that no one was really sold on, but people were willing to overlook it because of his in-ring ability.
Unfortunately—as we’ve seen with many talented superstars in the past—great in-ring skills and a dead-in-the-water gimmick don’t generally combine to make main event talent.
Kingston has been stuck as a one-dimensional caricature since his debut.
He’s been involved in stellar match after stellar match, but all we’ve gotten from him outside of the ring is a horrendous Ja-fake-an accent and—well—that’s about it.
He’s played the nice guy who is seemingly friends with all the faces and he’s been given a few modest—if unspectacular—mid-card title reigns and short tag title run with CM Punk.
In recent weeks, the announcers have quit claiming that Kingston hails from the all-too generic “Jamaica” and have since been stating his actual (yet equally-generic) homeland: Ghana, West Africa.
Kingston was given a spot in the overbooked, underwhelming 7-on-7 Bragging Rights match at the pay-per-view of the same name and suffered the loss.
That loss, however, meant nothing as Kingston made his mark on the night by intervening in the Ironman Match between then-WWE Champion Randy Orton and John Cena.
Kingston came down to the ring and ran off Legacy with a chair, a seemingly innocuous action in the grand scheme, but the next night on RAW we learned that Orton felt otherwise.
Following an impressive win over Chris Jericho, a beaten and battered Orton emerged from the back and assaulted Kingston following his match and threw him from the entrance ramp to the concrete floor below.
Orton went on to give an interview claiming that he blamed Kingston for costing him the WWE Championship the night before. He also went on to say that he was far from finished making Kingston pay.
Soon thereafter we witnessed an awkward scene where Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes presented Orton with a NASCAR car with his likeness plastered all over it. Orton gazed—perhaps a little too longingly—at the car and the scene faded.
Later in the evening, following a Legacy loss to Mark Henry and MVP, Orton came out and began on one of his patented “I should be the champion” rants when Kingston appeared on the Titantron.
It was then that the WWE officially made a star out of Kingston.
Kingston—now without his awful Jamaican accent—went on to tell Orton off and get the “Legend Killer” irate. He then destroyed Orton’s brand-new car, all the while talking smack to Orton and coming off like a legit main eventer.
Although it was the first-time Kingston has ever been given any “real” segment time, he made the most of it. He came off as a tough, competent and completely legitimate foe for Randy Orton going forward.
It is great to see Kingston finally getting some room to grow as a character and with that opportunity the WWE is giving him the top heel in the company to feud with.
Call me crazy, but it doesn’t get any better than that.
Personally, I cannot wait to see where they take this going forward. After his promo tonight, Kingston looks like a star and showed a mean streak that we haven’t seen from his previously one-dimensional character.
Additionally, I’m very intrigued to see how the styles of Orton and Kingston mesh in the ring. With Orton’s smash mouth aggressive approach and Kingston’s high-flying, controlled chaos they could either go together like oil and water or they could put on five-star match after five-star match, only time will tell.
All I know is that tonight, the much-maligned RAW writing staff made a superstar out of Kofi Kingston. Here’s hoping they don’t screw this up.