In a year that has seen WWE deal with declining ratings, poorly reviewed weekly shows and monthly pay-per-views, numerous wrestlers requesting their releases, and the rise of upstart independent promotion All Elite Wrestling, Kofi Kingston’s rise to the top as WWE Champion has been one rare feel-good story for the company. After over a decade mostly spent in WWE’s mid-card, Kingston became the No. 1 contender to Daniel Bryan’s WWE Championship ahead of WrestleMania 35, where he ended up defeating Bryan and holding the company’s top belt for the first time in his career.
As of this writing, Kingston’s reign as WWE Champion is closing in on its third month. However, if a new tweet from noted wrestling insider Brad Shepard is to be believed, there’s a possibility he may have to drop the title sooner rather than later.
Citing an unnamed source, Shepard tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that merchandise sales for Kingston’s long-running faction, The New Day, have been “dipping” as of late. Shepard added that the “internal thought” within WWE is that chairman Vince McMahon could have the “incentive” to book Kingston to lose the WWE Championship if said figures continue to decline. This, he concluded, would be a case of McMahon deciding not to “delay the inevitable” for the 37-year-old WWE veteran.
The rumors of Kofi Kingston’s title reign possibly coming to an end due to slumping merchandise sales came on the same week that the Ghanian-born wrestler became only the fifth WWE superstar to complete at least 1,500 days as champion since the first WrestleMania in 1985, joining Hulk Hogan, Triple H, John Cena, and The Miz. As pointed out on WWE’s official press release, Kingston accomplished this feat through his combined reigns as WWE, Intercontinental, United States, and tag team champion since his debut for the company in 2007.
— WWE (@WWE) June 25, 2019
Although Shepard did not go into specifics in his tweet and did not mention any possible candidates to defeat Kingston for the WWE Championship, recent weeks have seen this year’s Money in the Bank contract winner, Brock Lesnar, threaten to cash in his contract against both of WWE’s top-tier men’s champions — Kingston and current Universal Championship holder Seth Rollins. Lesnar, however, hasn’t appeared on WWE programming since his last failed attempt to cash in on Rollins at the Super ShowDown pay-per-view on June 7.
While his fellow New Day members Big E and Xavier Woods have mostly been feuding with the villainous duo of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, Kingston is fresh off a rivalry against Dolph Ziggler, whom he defeated to retain the WWE Championship at Super ShowDown and Stomping Grounds earlier this month. His next scheduled defense of the title will be against Samoa Joe on July 14, at WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view.