Funny how almost all of WWE’s most memorable stories are born organically.
One of the best things about the #KofiMania hashtag is that it built up enough momentum so WWE could not ignore it, but also didn’t allot enough time for the company to overproduce it.
At the 2019 Royal Rumble, and the unofficial kickoff to WrestleMania season, Kofi Kingston was a distant afterthought. The 37-year-old entered the Rumble match in the number 12 spot and was eliminated less than nine minutes later by Drew McIntyre.
On the SmackDown following the Royal Rumble, five men from the blue brand’s roster were announced as the next challengers for Daniel Bryan’s title. AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, and Mustafa Ali would all vie for Bryan’s title at February's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Kingston replaced Ali in a gauntlet match to determine who will enter the Elimination Chamber last. Kingston came up short in the match, but lasted over a hour in the ring before tapping out to a Styles calf crusher.
A little less than two months until WrestleMania 35, the smallest of seeds for #KofiMania were planted between some cracks in the concrete.
Kofi Kingston’s run to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35 was the best story the promotion told in 2019.