7 Reasons Kofi Kingston Needs a Major Feud to Get More over with the Fans
Kofi Kingston has had a heck of a career so far.
Though he hasn't reached the Promised Land of winning a World title, he's spent his time in the WWE racking up a number of impressive accolades, including runs with the WWE Tag Team, United States and Intercontinental Championships.
Along the way, Kingston has developed into one of the WWE's biggest and best babyfaces. He may not be a bona fide main eventer, but he's been in a good spot on the card for most of his tenure in the WWE stemming back to his debut in early 2008.
The high-flying superstar has gotten pretty over with the crowd as a result and has typically been one of the WWE's more popular superstars over the last three or four years. But he hasn't gotten over enough to the point where he's become one of the WWE's elite stars.
But that's OK, because I think that all Kingston really needs is one major feud to get there.
Here are seven reasons why a big-time rivalry could be what gets Kofi Kingston more over and propels him to the top of the WWE.
7. He's over but Primarily Because of His Abilities as a Wrestler
Kofi Kingston has been pretty over with the crowd for the majority of his career, especially for someone who's been pushed as a main-event caliber talent just once.
But it's safe to say that Kingston grew so popular almost entirely because of his incredible athleticism and abilities in the ring rather than any well-developed rivalry.
Kofi's not in a bad spot (hell, he's been in a much better spot than most guys), but I've always gotten the sense that WWE management sees him as an entertaining wrestler and nothing more.
He's the guy who can go out there every night and put on good matches, but he doesn't seem to be viewed as someone who puts on must-see feuds or should be involved in major angles.
That's precisely why he needs one.
Kingston is a fantastic wrestler who is as consistent as just about anyone in the WWE. But at some point, the WWE has to realize that he can't just wrestle. He needs to have major rivalries, too, or he'll never advance past the level he's currently at.
Again, saying that Kingston's over in large part because of in-ring skills is not a knock on him. It's a knock on creative for booking him in a manner that suggests that he can wrestle, but can't really do much else.
6. He's Been Stuck in the Midcard Too Long
Kofi Kingston has spent about 99 percent of his career in the midcard, and while most guys would kill to do that, it's actually seemed to hurt Kofi instead.
The longer he stays in the midcard scene, the more likely he is to remain there both now and into the future.
That's why his current Intercontinental Championship run, though nice to see, likely won't do anything for him in the long run. He's already held that title three times before his current reign, so, even though it may seem like he's moving forward, he's really just staying still.
The bottom line is that midcard rivalries do nothing for Kingston anymore. They're just a case of "been there, done that" where we've already seen him do whatever it is that he's doing, so nothing he does in the midcard is going to be all that fresh or exciting.
Feuding with midcard heels is what Kingston has done for roughly five years now, resulting in little to no advancement up the card.
The next logical step is for him to stop facing midcarders and start feuding with main eventers, which could both make him seem like a bigger deal and up his chances of succeeding as one of the WWE's top babyfaces.
5. He's Stale
While I've enjoyed Kofi Kingston's feud with The Miz more than anything else he's done recently, I still have to say it: The guy is pretty stale.
Although I'm a Kingston fan and think he's one of the WWE's best wrestlers, he has had very little character development during his five years with the WWE. Besides dropping the Jamaican accent and other small flashes of change, he's been essentially the same smiling, happy-go-lucky babyface that he was the day he first time that we saw him.
Kingston has obviously had some success in that role, but since he's been stuck in the same spot as a midcard babyface, he's grown to be very stale, especially over the last couple of years. He needs to do something to freshen up his act a bit.
It doesn't have to be something as drastic as a gimmick change or heel turn. It could be something as simple as giving him a major rivalry for the first time in roughly three years.
If we see Kingston feuding with a top heel like CM Punk or Wade Barrett, then maybe, just maybe, it could breathe some new life into Kingston and give him a spark that results in him having a chance to make it to the top of the WWE.
After all, the WWE can't have Kingston do the same thing year after year and expect the results to change.
4. He Needs to Develop More on the Mic
Kofi Kingston often gets labeled as someone who "can't work the mic," but I don't think that's a fair label because he's been given remarkably few opportunities to talk over the years.
He's rarely spoken during his WWE career, but when he has been given the chance to talk, I think he, though obviously not fantastic on the stick, has shown the potential to be a solid speaker. He simply needs to get more opportunities to do so.
A major rivalry would, in all likelihood, let Kingston cut more promos, which would accomplish a number of things. Mainly, it would help Kingston improve on the mic and help the fans get to know more about him.
If Kingston is involved in a big-time feud and we see him battling it out on the mic on a consistent basis, we're more likely to care about him than we currently do when we cheer for him largely just because he's a happy babyface.
Kingston has no real depth at the moment, but a big rivalry that gave him plenty of mic time would give his character the depth that it desperately needs.
While we like Kingston because he's a class act of a superstar who's entertaining in the ring, we need more reasons to truly get behind him, especially if he's ever going to become a top guy.
That all starts with a major rivalry that comes accompanied with mic work, which could give us a very real reason to like Kingston more than we currently do.
3. He Rarely Has Feuds That Matter
Kofi Kingston has had very few feuds that actually mattered much.
Looking back at his WWE career so far, only a few of his rivalries really stand out. There was his long-running feud with Dolph Ziggler that's been on-and-off for years now, his late 2009 feud with Randy Orton and, well, that's about it.
For whatever reason, Kingston just hasn't been given a whole lot of opportunities to have well-developed rivalries that genuinely seem important. That's something that obviously needs to change if Kingston is ever going to get to the level he's capable of reaching.
But that all depends on the creative team and how its willing to book Kingston going forward. If I'm a creative writer, I book Kingston in a main-event caliber rivalry with a top heel and then just see what happens.
At the very least, it would give the guy the opportunity to have a feud that means something, a feud that centers around bitter hatred between Kingston and another star and doesn't get buried in the midcard.
It's the only real way to see if Kingston has what it takes to perform as a top star and get more over than he been at any other point during his WWE career.
2. So He Can Drop the Notion That He's a Tag Team Wrestler
Kofi Kingston seems to have this stigma of being "nothing more than a tag team wrestler."
That's understandable. After all, he's a three-time tag team champion who spent much of 2011 and 2012 teaming with both Evan Bourne and R-Truth.
The fans love Kingston when he's a tag team performer, but he has proven to be more than capable of putting on fantastic singles matches, like his phenomenal bout against Dolph Ziggler on Raw just a couple of months ago.
Although Kingston thrives as part of a tag team because his offense is very exciting after he gets a hot tag, he is not "just a tag team wrestler." He is a great singles star as well and has shown that with countless great performances over the years.
The problem, though, is that he's been associated with tag teams so much recently that many don't think he'll ever be able to develop into a top singles star. That may prove to be true, but a major rivalry with a top name could prevent that from happening.
Kingston has already feuded with The Miz in a solid rivalry in recent months. Maybe another feud with a big-named heel could be just what he needs to take that next step.
1. He Was at His Best During His Biggest Feud to Date
Kofi Kingston has had one main-event caliber feud during his WWE career, which came in late 2009 against Randy Orton.
Not surprisingly, that was when Kingston was at his absolute best.
He was performing great in the ring like he usually does, he was actually getting the chance to work the mic and show some personality for a change and, perhaps most importantly, he was massively over with the fans at the time.
If nothing else, Kingston's rivalry with Orton proved that if the creative team can put him in a major feud and book it the right way, Kingston will likely perform very well. He did that three years ago during his rivalry with Orton, and odds are he'd do it again.
With the creative team firmly behind Kingston, we saw him make a Madison Square Garden crowd go absolutely bonkers and we saw him damn near reach that World title level.
What we learned is that Kingston performs best when the stakes are the highest and, more specifically, when he's involved in a big rivalry that gets a substantial amount of TV time.
Should the WWE give Kingston another opportunity to thrive at the top of the card, I wouldn't be shocked to see him take the ball, run with and steal the show in the process.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!