Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan to become the WWE Champion to the enjoyment of 82 thousand fans at WrestleMania. Kofi became only the second African American in the company’s history to become WWE Champion. After the match, Big E and Xavier Woods gifted Kofi a new belt- that looks a lot like the old title- with his names on the plates.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 8, 2019
🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞 FOR EVERYONE!
— WWE (@WWE) April 8, 2019
The road to Kofi’s championship match at ‘Mania began in the weeks leading to the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. After replacing the injured Mustafa Ali, Kingston outlasted Bryan, Samoa Joe, and Jeff Hardy before falling to AJ Styles in a Gauntlet match on an episode of SmackDown Live.
That was the start of Kofi’s momentum towards the WWE Championship. He would be one of two competitors remaining in the Elimination Chamber match for the title before ultimately being pinned by Daniel Bryan.
Following his showing in the Elimination Chamber, “Kofi-mania” would spread. Kingston would pin Bryan in a six-man tag match to earn a match at Fastlane but Mr. McMahon would replace him with the returning Kevin Owens because KO was more “box office” than Kofi.
Over the last few weeks, WWE executives couldn’t ignore the growing support of Kofi. Kofi-mania was running wild and he exceeded every obstacle in the way.
In WWE’s 50 plus years in existence, the black wrestlers haven’t been given many opportunities to shine. Their gimmicks have been very underwhelming, to say the least. It’s great to see someone like Kofi break through the glass ceiling and the fans to get behind him and organically enjoy this moment.