Bourne And The Kingston Effect: No Guarantees, Even With a Push

Matt ClementsCorrespondent IJune 23, 2010

LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 24:  Wrestler Evan Bourne jumps off the ropes at wrestler Chavo Guerrero (C) as wrestler Hornswoggle lies in the foreground during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

(Pardon the insane amount of times you've seen this picture the last few days.  Blame getty, I suppose...)

A lot has been written over the last few days about Evan Bourne and his current push.  But before all of us Bourne fans start marking up the internets with our adoration at Creative's "smart decision", let's backtrack and remember what happened to the push of Kofi Kingston.

Kingston has had a similar background as Bourne in regards to the WWE.  Both started in developmental around the same time (Kingston in 2006, Bourne in 2007), and both started in ECW around the same time as well (Kingston in late 2007, Bourne in mid 2008).  Both developed a reputation for innovative ring skills, and both built a fan base around what they could do in the ring-- regardless of their lack of time on the mic.  Fans were impressed with their talent, and that is what drew a crowd to them.

From there, the comparisons stop.  Kingston went to RAW in 2008 and quickly won the Intercontinental Championship from Chris Jericho, holding it for about 2 months before losing it to Santino Marella in an intergender match from Summerslam.  2 months later, he won his first Tag Team Championship with CM Punk, only to lose it again 2 months later to John Morrison and The Miz.  Kingston stayed in the midcard until winning his first US Championship against MVP in June '09, a title he held for 4 months, which he eventually lost to the Miz that October. 

It was shortly after that when Kingston began his feud with Orton.  Regardless of his previous title reigns, it was the beginning of that feud, where he interfered with Orton's title match at Bragging Rights and gave possibly his best promo ever with the destruction of Orton's car, given to him as a gift by the guest hosts at the time-- regardless of his time with a belt, this was Kingston's moment to shine and the moment people clamored over his push.  He dropped the fake Jamaican accent, he boomdropped Orton from the security railing through a table, and he had a wonderful feud with the Viper that lasted many months.  He carried his team through a victory at Survivor Series, pinning Orton to win the event.  Many felt he had arrived and was primed for main-event status.

Then 2010 came.  The feud with Orton was over, Kingston was relegated back to midcard, and it was almost as if Creative forgot to find a place for him at Wrestlemania when he was placed into a match with Koslov 6 days before Wrestlemania and won a spot in the already crowded Money in the Bank Ladder match.  He went to Smackdown, became Intercontinental Champion again, and is currently feuding with Drew Mcintyre.  Still, many feel he has been forgotten this year and regardless of his current status as Intercontinental Champion, his push has long been forgotten.

Let's get back to Bourne now.  Lest we forget, Bourne was on the way to a similar push like Kingston in '08.  On Cyber Sunday 2008, Bourne was chosen to face then ECW Champion Matt Hardy.  He was going places before dislocating his right ankle in a match with Kane on ECW (a match he continued in, BTW).  Bourne was sidelined for many months and lost a ton of momentum before returning in March 2009.  He went to Raw in June of '09, where he even beat the then US Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title match, but he never really 'took off'.  He became relegated to a jobber for the better part of the last year, having highlight moments but never getting in a real feud with anybody or taking part in any real storyline.

Then we had the events from last month.  Cena chooses Bourne to help him main event RAW in a tag team match where he pins Sheamus.  Bourne begins a program with Jericho who puts him over nicely, and the IWC begins to clamor at the chance of Bourne finally 'breaking through'.  Would I like to see it happen?  Heck yes, I would.  Bourne is probably my favorite wrestler in the WWE right now, he's really over with the fans, and I think he's been primed for a while to have a go with a title reign.  Still, title reigns don't mean anything.  Even if he does get the US or Intercontinental belt, it still doesn't guarantee him a spot in the main event.  It never guaranteed Kingston anything.  Will he become a Rey Mysterio or a Shelton Benjamin?  Only time is going to tell us that.  My hope is the former, but the latter is sadly possible.