At Sunday night’s Hell in a Cell, Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz to retain the Intercontinental Championship. What was incredibly noticeable, however, was the audience’s lack of enthusiasm about a match that was one of the better ones on the show. The participants worked hard to tell a story and the commentary by Jim Ross, JBL and Michael Cole did a solid job of selling the match as the latest in a string of great title contests, but the fans inside the Phillips Arena could not will themselves to react vocally to what they were seeing.
That may have something to do with the recent over-saturation of Kingston-Miz matches on WWE television.
Within the span of 13 days, Kofi and Miz did battle in three televised bouts. That is a lot of the same two guys squaring off against one another. Unfortunately, it is not the first time Kingston has found himself in the predicament. The current Intercontinental champion had a repetitive series of matches with Dolph Ziggler in the past, a series that wore out the audience and resulted in less-than-satisfying crowd responses.
World Wrestling Entertainment has been guilty of this in recent years. Because so much attention is paid to those in the main event, they tend to undervalue their midcard, leading to repetitive matches, a lack of story and irrelevancy in the eyes of the general audience.
Evidence of this could be seen during Sunday’s event, where fans found it difficult to invest themselves in the Intercontinental Championship bout, as well as a US title match that saw Antonio Cesaro successfully retain over Justin Gabriel.
If the company hopes to turn Kofi Kingston versus The Miz into a legitimate rivalry over the Intercontinental Championship, it must put more effort into their midcard and more effort into the rivalry itself. Simply trotting out champion and challenger on a weekly basis will tire the audience of the matchup and result in an underwhelming response.
It will also be up to Kofi and Miz to change their performances enough so that every match they do wrestle feels just different enough to not get stale. If they can do that, then they might be able to overcome any lazy booking by the creative team.
If not, they can expect the same disappointing outcome as they experienced at Hell in a Cell.
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