Wade Barrett is the newly crowned WWE Intercontinental Champion, after finally defeating Kofi Kingston on Dec. 31. Barrett’s pursuit of the gold finally came to fruition but the feud was not yet over, as the two men squared off again on Main Event and Friday Night SmackDown. Thus far, this is a rivalry that continues to deliver.
Well wrestled, evenly paced, with hard hitting intensity, that is Kofi vs. Wade. These two have worked each other several times now, and that has caused them to be very comfortable in the ring. They mesh well together and it shows.
They are really beginning to click together and are giving fans some very good matches every time they step into the ring. Though this should not come as that much of a surprise, considering how good each man is, I believe it likely is.
It just seems like an odd pairing, mostly because Wade and Kofi’s styles are so different.
Barrett’s offense is centered around a ground attack, with stiff shots and heavy impact moves. His pace is methodical, calculating, and when it comes to breaking down his opponents, he enjoys taking his time.
Kingston is the polar opposite. He is a high flier, using dynamic moves and defying gravity with his athleticism. He can leave his feet, take to the turnbuckles, whenever he wants and if you blink, you will likely miss it.
Then, of course, there are the differences in personality.
Wade Barrett is the antagonist of the rivalry, a man who is in the business to dominate, and makes no apologies for his actions. He will take any shortcut available, accept any advantage over his opponents and is supremely cocky and confident.
Kofi Kingston is the everyman, the nice guy who has a smile that lights up the arena. He loves the business, has a passion for competition, and though he is focused, he has fun in the ring. He is humble, respectful, loves the crowd and they love him as well.
It’s the typical heel vs. babyface rivalry, with two Superstars who play their roles very well.
For me, this feud is very reminiscent of Arn Anderson vs. Ricky Morton back in the NWA. Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Ricky Steamboat also comes to mind, as the dynamic of the cold, sinister heel attempting to outsmart and intimidate the energetic babyface is definitely at play here.
But in order for this feud to continue to work on the level that it is and for fans to continue to care about it, Kofi’s approach needed to change, which is exactly what’s happening.
His intensity has increased as he has begun showing some classic ruthless aggression against Wade. Rather than roll over and play dead or accept being outmatched physically, Kingston has stood toe to toe against Barrett nearly every step of the way.
This new attitude being displayed by Kofi is a direct result of being chased by the bare-knuckled fighter over the past couple of months. From a storyline perspective, it’s either kill or be killed and Kingston has learned to fight back and not accept the role of prey to Wade’s predator.
The biggest plus about this rivalry so far for me, is that we could very well be getting a preview of things to come in WWE.
The fact is that Vince McMahon’s company is constantly moving forward, and looking to the future. With Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett, you have two young, hungry Superstars who have worked on their games individually and who are putting in all the work necessary to make a good feud together.
Pride comes into play for talents like them, who have something to prove and who are looking to stand out in the very competitive environment of WWE. They are two potential future main-event stars who are showing their skills today in what could be considered a precursor to tomorrow.
It may just be one feud and that feud may be for just the Intercontinental, not the WWE Championship, but so far I am definitely on-board with Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston.
Hopefully, they will be given as much time as possible to take this feud as far as it can go and if not, at the very least we have been treated to some very good matches between two very good workers.
And what more can fans ask for?