Will Kofi Kingston Always Be Baby Face in WWE?
WWE may be tempted to have Kofi Kingston play a heel at some point, but it would be advantageous for the company and himself if he remained a fan favorite throughout his entire career.
Kingston is of a rare breed, a wrestler so well suited for being a good guy that he could go from debut to retirement able to avoid any stretches of villainy.
The American hero Hulk Hogan ventured to the dark side. Bret Hart and Bob Backlund were both bad guys during their WWE tenures. Kingston is better off following Ricky Steamboat's career path, staying a baby face from start to finish.
It's just not in him to be a heel.
As much as critics have panned The Miz's run as a face, as much as the move raised concerns backstage (h/t F4WOnline.com via WrestleZone.com), putting Kingston in the opposite role would only be worse.
His energy is just too positive. His smile is just too infectious. Trying to extract a villain out of him would be like asking Tom Hanks to play a serial killer
Kingston's character needs depth and added motivation, but not a full turn.
The Wildcat was at his most interesting when he let his rage take over during his feud with Randy Orton in 2009. He showed intensity that we haven't seen since.
The happy-go-lucky high flyer morphed into a snarling predator during this time period.
It's this spark of anger that could fool WWE into thinking that having Kingston as a heel could actually work. However, there's a huge difference between the frustration Kingston showed against Orton and the kind of sadistic approach to wrestling, the kind of disregard for the rules, that a good WWE villain should possess.
Rage, inner darkness and personal turmoil shouldn't be limited to the bad guys.
Make Kingston suffer and search. Make him do things he regrets. Make him find out what lurks deep inside him.
Just don't make him a heel.
One of Kingston's assets is his connection to kids. His beaming personality makes him a great candidate for much of WWE's charity work. A heel turn makes that less of a fit. In that way, it devalues him.
It would be the ultimate example of trying to fit the square peg into the round hole.
A part of WWE Creative's job must be to recognize its roster's strengths and weaknesses and then put the stars in a position to maximize the former and minimize the latter.You don't ask Big Show to do moonsaults. You don't hand Brock Lesnar a microphone and tell him he needs to fill 15 minutes of Raw.
Those examples are the equivalent of making Kingston a villain.
If WWE gets in a creative funk, if its writers are struggling to find a bad guy to insert into a particular story line, Kingston must be avoided for that role.
The company's decision makers need to rewatch a typical Kingston promo like this one.
The Miz shows off his verbal ability here, displaying how callous and cocky he can be while Kingston gets overshadowed. Kingston is fun, friendly and an athletic marvel, but he is about as villainous as a litter of kittens.
A heel turn can be exciting. It can provide shock. It's just not a viable option for Kingston.
WWE is better off putting him in the same elite club as Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Rey Mysterio: WWE face for life.
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