In one of the better feuds WWE has done this year, Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barrett at the TLC pay-per-view on Sunday night to retain the intercontinental championship.
Kingston and Barrett have been going back and forth since Survivor Series, when Barrett was added to Team Ziggler after Miz was moved to Team Foley in one of the great babyface turns in the history of professional wrestling.
The fact that the intercontinental title got a semi-decent build for a pay-per-view match is a big step for the creative team. In the past, WWE would just throw to wrestlers in the ring, act like a belt mattered and expected people to care.
This match got a good build on television over the last few weeks, even dating back to before Survivor Series. Kingston and Barrett both had claims to the title, with Barrett actually defeating Kingston to move up the ladder.
It was a smart, sound build to a match between two good, young stars, and because the booking was so good, it actually elevated the championship. Even though Barrett is someone the company is high on, it did feel like the right call to have Kingston retain.
Considering how much WWE has been playing hot potato with the title this year–there have been three title reigns shorter than 70 days in 2012–it makes sense to actually build the belt around a star for a little bit.
If people are conditioned to seeing a star, like Kingtson, defeat would-be challengers in pay-per-view matches, it will help make him look like a bigger star and make the title feel more special.
Kingston has the momentum behind him right now, and he should be a big player in WWE heading into Royal Rumble and WrestleMania season.
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