Kofi Kingston to Replace Mustafa Ali in WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 Match

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 13, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

It was announced on Tuesday's edition of SmackDown Live that Kofi Kingston will be replacing Mustafa Ali in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship:

Per Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Ali suffered a concussion at a house show in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the weekend.

WWE confirmed on Tuesday that Ali would be replaced by a member of The New Day. Kingston got the nod over teammates Big E and Xavier Woods.

Daniel Bryan will defend his title against Kingston, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton and Samoa Joe on Sunday at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Bryan defeated Styles for the WWE Championship on the November 13 episode of SmackDown Live. He has since defended his title against The Phenomenal One twice: at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs and the Royal Rumble pay-per-views.

Kingston hasn't been involved in an Elimination Chamber match since 2010. He was the third man eliminated in that bout and hasn't received a WWE title shot since.

Therefore, this is a big opportunity for the 37-year-old, who has won the intercontinental belt four times and the Raw and SmackDown brand tag team titles a combined seven times.

Kingston took part in a Gauntlet match on SmackDown on Tuesday to decide the last participant in the Elimination Chamber. He pinned Bryan, Hardy and Joe but submitted to Styles' Calf Crusher.

Orton then hit the former WWE champion with an RKO after sneaking in from the side of the ring to earn the right to go last in Sunday's encounter.

On the flip side, this is a tough break for rising star Ali, who has been on SmackDown for just two months. The high-flyer made his name on 205 Live for two years before getting the call to the blue brand.

If there is a silver lining, it's clear WWE brass thought enough of Ali to give him a title shot so early into his time on the main roster, so the 32-year-old could still be on the rise once he returns healthy.

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