In the lead-up to WrestleMania 35 last year, Kofi Kingston did what was previously unthinkable for a career mid-carder like himself and won the WWE Championship, defeating Daniel Bryan for the title and remaining in the main event picture in the months that followed. While the company was able to properly prepare for this moment, not all of the ideas Kingston and his New Day stablemates had for this build-up were approved by WWE owner Vince McMahon.
On the latest episode of The New Day’s Feel the Power podcast, Big E looked back on how Kingston started getting pushed as a top-tier talent following his victory at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view’s titular main event, which made him the No. 1 contender to Bryan’s WWE Championship. As quoted by Wrestling Inc., the faction’s idea was for all three members to trash McMahon’s office on camera as a form of protest over the big boss’ refusal to give Kingston a chance to move up the card.
“The plan was originally, and I was so excited for this, we legit kick in the door and tear [McMahon’s] office up, legit throw things over! I think he’s in the office, in the corner, we’re throwing tables over, and making quite a mess of his office, and just going on a rampage,” Big E was quoted as saying. “And had this visceral anger about what’s happening to Kofi.”
While Big E noted that this plan was ultimately rejected by McMahon, he did point out that Kingston’s rise to the top of the card had a lot of similarities to Bryan’s 2014 storyline leading into WrestleMania XXX, where WWE officials doubted the diminutive superstar and thought of him as a “B+ player.” However, he stressed that his stablemate’s 2019 storyline did not feel like a “ripoff” or “derivative” of the previous one, adding that things became “interesting” when Kingston was confirmed to face Bryan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35.
Elaborating on the latter point, Big E explained that when Kingston himself was referred to by McMahon as a “B+ player,” that forced viewers to question why he was being described as such. He pointed out that his New Day stablemate won so many mid-card championships in over a decade working for WWE, and that his accomplishments made him more successful than most of his main roster colleagues.
“I think what worked well for that story is that there was a lot of subtext where you either take it a certain way or you don’t,” Big E concluded.