What's Next for Kofi Kingston After Painful Loss and More WWE SmackDown Fallout

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistMarch 20, 2019

What's Next for Kofi Kingston After Painful Loss and More WWE SmackDown Fallout

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The March 19 edition of SmackDown Live will be remembered primarily for one moment, the run of Kofi Kingston in an impossible gauntlet match. He was forced to fight five men to finally earn a shot at Daniel Bryan, and he did just that.

    However, while most savvy wrestling fans expected The New Day leader would survive the gauntlet, few could have expected he would still end up failing as Vince McMahon added a sixth man in Bryan himself, who easily defeated a weary Kofi.

    This week's show was all about talent showing they were ready to take the next step in their journey even beyond Kofi's incredible run.

    The Miz got a chance to speak his mind on Shane McMahon, presenting a future that may be coming for him as one of the top babyfaces on SmackDown.

    After weeks of taunting, The IIconics goaded Sasha Banks and Bayley into appearing on SmackDown and fighting them in a match. The challengers managed to make the most of that opportunity and potentially book a ticket to WrestleMania.

    Rey Mysterio also earned a chance to prove himself with a contest booked against Samoa Joe for the United States Championship that is not quite as interesting as one would have hoped.

    All these were the biggest moments from a jam-packed edition for the blue brand that set the stage for what will come at The Showcase of the Immortals.

Only WWE Can Ruin This Incredible Run by Kofi Kingston

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    Kofi did the impossible. He ran the gauntlet. He managed to eliminate Sheamus and Cesaro before Rowan intentionally got himself disqualified to hurt the veteran. With a final burst of energy, The New Day star managed to roll up Joe and Randy Orton to win the gauntlet.

    Unfortunately, Vince again made the whole story more complicated by forcing Kofi to also defeat the WWE champion, and it was a foregone conclusion at that point as Bryan took out his supposed challenger with a running knee.

    Building an underdog is one of the easiest stories WWE can tell. All it takes is picking up a few key victories in the face of overwhelming odds. Kofi has had that going for him since he first replaced Mustafa Ali in the gauntlet match.

    In this second gauntlet match, Kofi did it again. The crowd was completely behind him as he rode a wave of momentum to victory. There was no reason to pull a swerve at the end. Nothing was accomplished beyond delaying the inevitable.

    There is no right world where Kofi is not challenging Bryan at 'Mania. While this may lead to an outstanding moment next week when everyone rallies around the veteran and forces Vince to change his mind, it will still have been unnecessary.

    WWE could ruin this if next week does not go off completely without a hitch.

The Miz Has Been Perfectly Positioned for a Great Face Run

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The A-Lister opened the show to explain how much it hurt him to be betrayed by Shane. He talked about how much it affected him especially to see his supposed friend manhandling his father while Miz was unable to help, promising to repay the action at The Show of Shows.

    It feels a little odd right now to cheer Miz, which was likely why the crowd was not quite certain how to embrace The Most Must-See Superstar. Still, he managed to win them over and should keep doing that in coming months.

    There are few more genuinely charismatic performers in WWE than Miz, who has also seriously stepped up his efforts in the ring to sell audiences on his work. He is the complete package star and may be on the precipice of the biggest run of his career.

    It will truly kick off with his match against Shane O'Mac. The son of The Chairman is a big enough star that he can help elevate Miz until it truly feels like the multiple-time champion has earned the respect of everyone.

    Along the way, he may even finally have his father truly show how much he loves and respects his only son, the final moment that will take this from a good run to truly great.

The IIconics Have Earned Their Own Shot at the Women's Tag Team Championship

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    The Boss 'n' Hug Connection made their first appearance on SmackDown Live to fight The IIconics, who were glad to finally see the champions. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay made the most of this opportunity by taking out Bayley and pinning The Boss for three.

    For the first time in months, The IIconics have momentum, and it's at the right moment. The Australian duo should be a featured act in the tag team division, representing SmackDown more clearly than any other tag team right now.

    While Beth Phoenix and Natalya, as well as Nia Jax and Tamina, have staked their claim for a shot at the tag team gold, The IIconics should also be sneaking into the running. It only makes sense that the team that promised to take on all comers get everyone willing to step up to them at 'Mania.

    However, it seems unlikely that any of these teams dethrone the tag team champions. The Boss and The Hugger have made clear that they want to travel throughout WWE to find the best, and they should be allowed to do that for a while.

Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio Should Feel Like a Bigger Deal Than It Is

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    Mysterio announced in a backstage interview that he was going to be fighting Joe at WrestleMania for the United States Championship. The Master of the 619 made the announcement with his son Dominic by his side, who promised to be at ringside at 'Mania.

    Both pushing 20 years in the business, this clash of veteran stars should be a bigger deal that it is. However, The Samoan Submission Specialist is barely starting his title reign, while the luchador legend has not been doing much since his return to WWE.

    While they will certainly push each other to be better, it would not be a surprise if this contest was placed on the Kickoff show. It is also disappointing that Andrade will likely be missing out on a major role on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

    At best, Joe and Mysterio will get 10 minutes on the main stage and can prove they deserved so much better. Perhaps that will come later in the year.