Two Weeks Out, Kofi Kingston And The Man Carry The WrestleMania Torch For RAW, SmackDown

Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

With just two weeks until the Showcase of the Immortals, Kofi Kingston and Becky Lynch have seized their opportunity to carry the underdog, people’s challenger torch into the main event.

As RAW and SmackDown Live move to get all their pieces finalized for the biggest show in sports entertainment, Kofimania and The Man have built a groundswell that should lead to two magnificent moments at WrestleMania, with either being worry of closing the show.

The Blue Brand has a nearly flawless card crafted for the big show. With Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan shaping up to be the Smackdown Main Event, the feud between AJ Styles and Randy Orton has been executed nearly flawlessly and the full face turn of The Miz vs. The McMahon Machine has gone better than the WWE could have hoped for.

Throw in Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio in a great feud for the United States Championship and you could not ask for a ton more from Tuesday nights, but somehow they are delivering.

Kevin Owens was excellent this week leading a segment of the KO Show to help further build up Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey. The Prize Fighter will have to have some role at WrestleMania. With RAW willing to enter Brain Strowman into the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, it appears that there will be some serious star power in that event, so don’t be surprised if Kevin Owens, Mustafa Ali and R-Truth end up battling it out for the annual trophy.

The weakest spot on Tuesdays right now is the lack of any serious challenger to Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. It appears they are angling for a triple threat matched with Asuka v. Mandy Rose v. Sonya Deville. All are very solid workers, but it is hard to believe that Asuka could be threatened by these two at WrestleMania.

With Owens, Orton, Styles, Ali and Flair all performing admirably, Kingston has still found a way to keep all eyes on him.

For the second time in a month he faced a brutal gauntlet match and was excellent. The crowd is eating out of his hand and he is must-see television. And every time he gets screwed by the McMahon’s, he gains even more momentum.

Two months ago, this guy was part of one the best tag teams of all time. He was putting on solid performance after solid performance, but was not a singles star. He got one opening when Ali got dinged up, and has seized his opportunity like few before him.

It is tough for someone like Ali who might have been primed for a mega-push, but he will see more and more opportunities going forward. Kingston has long been ready for a singles run and many thoughts his feud with Randy Orton a decade ago might be that turn.

For whatever reason, the WWE did not think that was the time and it is not clear they thought this was the time either. But, the fans have made it clear that this time around, it is his time.

Daniel Bryan is a more than worthy foe who has the crowd eating out of his hands week-in and week-out. It would not be shocking for him to come out of this feud with the championship, but Kofi should walk out of WrestleMania with the title, a title that The New Day has earned over all these years of mega-merch sales and huge entertainment value for the company.

Monday nights are still a little more clunky than Tuesday, mostly because of the extra hour to fill, but also because it is not clear what Roman Reigns role is as Seth Rollins attempts to slay The Beast.

Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar is a huge matchup that is clearly being overshadowed right now by the two main events, but also by the returning Batista in his feud with his longtime partner and nemesis, Triple H.

Rollins should take the title off of Brock and get the strap on Monday’s regularly, but that will leave an awkward spot with his Shield brother, Reigns.

Having Drew McIntyre gain a victory over a distracted Rollins was good for the Scottish Psychopath, who seems like a logical fit in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. McIntyre has been lost in the mix a little ever since his split with Dolph Ziggler and is far too talented to be held down for long.

Ronda Rousey has successfully turned the crowd against her in full, but she seems to have lost some of her star power in calling wrestling out as “fake.” It makes very little sense and there is no reason at all for Travis Browne to be getting involved.

Vince loves to have the “street cred” of “real” fighters like Rousey and Lesnar — or Kurt Angle for that matter — on his roster, but letting them call his product “fake” and break that illusion is still a mistake that makes little sense for business.

It will be curious to see how long Becky vs. Ronda can go after this, because a one-on-one match could carry SummerSlam.

On the rest of the Red Brand, Elias continues to be lost in the background despite an amazing amount of talent. He could have worked as a babyface, but they gave up on that after only one month and a feud with … Jeff Jarrett?

Kurt Angle continued his retirement tour with another super talented in-ring worker in Chad Gable … and then announced his big send-off match against JOHN CENA … Baron Corbin? Seriously? That is what we get for an all-time great? Expect that one to be switched.

Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor continues and is solid, but lacks any real spark.

And the Big Dog is still sitting out there with nothing to do at WrestleMania.

Oh … and Ricochet is a singles competitor again. Maybe?

RAW Top 10

  1. Brock Lesnar
  2. Batista
  3. Seth Rollins
  4. Ronda Rousey
  5. Drew McIntyre
  6. Braun Strowman
  7. Bobby Lashley
  8. Finn Balor
  9. Kurt Angle
  10. Boss and Hug Connection

SmackDown Top 10

  1. Kofi Kingston
  2. Daniel Bryan
  3. Becky Lynch
  4. Charlotte Flair
  5. The Miz
  6. AJ Styles
  7. Randy Orton
  8. Kevin Owens
  9. Samoa Joe
  10. Asuka

Overall Top 5

  1. Kofi Kingston
  2. Daniel Bryan
  3. Becky Lynch
  4. Charlotte Flair
  5. Brock Lesnar