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Kofi Kingston Beats Dolph Ziggler, Retains WWE Title at Stomping Grounds 2019

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Kofi Kingston beat Dolph Ziggler in a steel cage match at WWE Stomping Grounds on Sunday to retain the WWE Championship.

After a hard-fought bout, The Showoff appeared to be on his way out of the cage door and heading for victory as he dangled over the edge.

Sensing his title slipping away, Kingston thought quickly on his feet and sprinted across the ring, leaping through the ropes and over Ziggler to the outside.

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"It could've been @HEELZiggler, but in the end, it was @TrueKofi!" #AndStill #SteelCage #WWEStompingGrounds https://t.co/DpsqiX50nm

The pair clashed at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on June 7, and Sunday's rematch was born from a controversial finish to their initial encounter.

At Super ShowDown, Ziggler took a kick to the face from Xavier Woods, which allowed Kingston to hit him with Trouble in Paradise for the win.

The Showoff took issue with Woods' interference, although he did have something to do with it since he laid the New Day member out with a superkick earlier in the match.

Following the loss, Ziggler got on the microphone and challenged Kingston to a steel cage match at Stomping Grounds to ensure his New Day teammates would be unable to get involved.

Ziggler's return to WWE came as a big surprise, as he hadn't been seen on WWE programming since the Royal Rumble in January. He resurfaced in May by attacking Kingston with a steel chair on SmackDown Live and challenging him to a title match at Super ShowDown.

Prior to taking a hiatus from the company, Ziggler was technically a babyface since his alliance with Drew McIntyre had dissolved when the Scot attacked him. The Showoff has displayed an ability to play any role effectively throughout his career, though, which allowed WWE to easily transition him back to the heel side.

During the build toward both Super ShowDown and Stomping Grounds, Ziggler often spoke about his belief that he deserved to be in Kingston's spot atop the WWE mountain.

The two rivals have a lot of similarities, which has led to them facing each other many times during their respective careers.

They are both supremely talented in-ring performers who have spent much of their time in the midcard, although fans have often pushed for them to be given more. Ziggler was already a two-time world champion prior to his match against Kingston at Stomping Grounds, but both title reigns were short.

It took Kingston more than a decade to win the WWE title, and he did it in fairy-tale fashion by beating Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35, and celebrating with Woods, Big E and his family.

Ziggler set out to bring that story to an abrupt and unfortunate end, but with Kingston beating him for the second time in a row, he will continue his reign and likely begin a new feud with a new challenger soon.

          

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