In the lead up to this year's Royal Rumble, we'll be counting down the 20 greatest moments in the history of WWE's most famous match. This list was determined by a panel that included Geno Mrosko, Bill Hanstock and me. We tried to keep it diverse, with a mix of comedy, emotion, story, and wrestling.
His New Day partners call him the Greatest. Some folks may think that's a joke, but there really can't be any argument that Kofi Kingston has had a pretty remarkable eight-plus year career in WWE.
Seven singles and five tag team titles over that span would be enough, but Kofi's legacy is largely built on performances in contests he doesn't win. Kingston has done crazy spots at WrestleMania and the Money in the Bank pay-per-views (PPV). But as much as we all love ladder matches, they're not WWE's most famous stipulation gimmick.
No, that would be the eponymous bout on the company's annual January show. The one that determines a piece of the main event scene for Mania. That would be the Royal Rumble match.
Staying alive has been a theme of the over-the-top-rope elimination battle royal forever. Shawn Michaels skinning the cat is as iconic an image as they come. Kofi's not the first to do it. Some would argue that he picked up where Johnny Nitro/Morrision left off when he exited the company.
That Kingston has pulled off ridiculous feats to stave off elimination multiple times however makes the gimmick his.
He started his run in 2012, when Miz forced him out head first. Then, this happened:
The following year, he jumped on Tensai's back, rode his shoulders like a kid at the ballgame to the announce desk, cajoled JBL into giving him his office chair, and bounced it back to the ring like a pogo stick:
2014 may have been his masterpiece. Dropped over the top rope by his buddy CM Punk (in what would be Phil Brooks' last WWE match), he was caught by a debuting Rusev and driven into the barricade. From there, he walked the wall, took a running start and leapt more than ten feet to the ring.
While definitely more of a comedic rather than athletic spectacle, last year's version was noteworthy, ever though it again required an assist. The help didn't come from his teammates in The New Day, however. Thrown from the ring by Rusev, Adam Rose's entourage caught Kofi, and the Rosebuds dance-carried him back to the ring.
What it lacked in acrobatic prowess, it made up for with a man in a hot dog costume wearing a bright purple wig.
Is it cheating to have four years worth of spots as a "moment"? Should Kingston go for five? Would the absence of one in 2016 count as one?
It's the little things that make the Rumble great. Especially the ones that make you say "Holy $#!+".