Breaking Down Every Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar Scenario on WWE SmackDown
Although it may seem like a foregone conclusion The Beast Incarnate will become champion, nothing is guaranteed in WWE.
As with any standard match, there are lots of ways this could play out for both competitors. Let's take a look at all the scenarios that could happen in Kingston vs. Lesnar.
Kingston Retains Title After Winning by Pinfall or Submission
The least likely outcome of the bunch is that Kingston will retain his title with a victory by pinfall or submission.
In fact, it's absurd to think the submission option is even remotely possible.
Lesnar rarely loses to begin with but when he does, it's by pinfall and often accompanied by some shenanigans to protect him. He's not going to tap out to someone who doesn't even use a submission finisher.
A pinfall is more likely but even that is a stretch. However, The Beast is not unstoppable and Kingston is the WWE champion, so this isn't impossible.
The titleholder could score an upset through sheer grit and determination, proving he has the heart to overcome any odds by putting Lesnar down with a Trouble in Paradise.
If WWE wants to avoid a clean finish, Kingston could get the upper hand with some outside interference from New Day teammates, Big E and Xavier Woods, or someone else attacking the challenger.
Don't hold your breath on either of these scenarios happening, though.
Kingston Retains Title After Winning by Count-Out or Disqualification
If Kingston wins this match, it will likely be due to Lesnar getting himself disqualified.
The Beast has been in plenty of situations where he's continued to wail on his opponent until the referee had to stop the match. Normally, that is grounds for him to be declared the winner, but that could change with a few tweaks.
If Lesnar were to ignore the referee's five-count, push him out of the way to get to Kingston or use a foreign object, he would forfeit his win. The champion would then retain, even though he wouldn't be standing tall.
An alternative way to give Kingston a weaker win would be a count-out victory. He has an advantage in speed, so if they were to fight outside the ropes, he could fly into the ring at the count of nine and Lesnar might be too slow to make it back in time.
That way, Lesnar would fail to win the title but wouldn't have been beaten in a definitive way.
WWE would probably only consider these scenarios if the plan was for a rematch at Hell in a Cell on Sunday. However, the pay-per-view is less important than SmackDown's debut, which has more riding on it.
Kingston Retains Title Due to a Draw
Another way to keep the title on Kingston would be to book a no-contest so the championship doesn't change hands but neither man is declared the winner.
With a non-finish like a double count-out or disqualification, both of their shoulders on the mat or a fiasco that causes the referee to lose control and throw the match out entirely, both are protected from a loss.
Those endings aren't met with the best reception from fans, though. Copping out on a conclusion won't convince new viewers to tune in to SmackDown going forward.
It's still a possibility, though, particularly if WWE wants the title to change hands at Hell in a Cell and is willing to risk stalling two more days in the hopes people will sign up for the WWE Network to see the real finish.
Lesnar Wins by Count-Out or Disqualification, but Kingston Retains Title
Getting more on track with what is actually going to happen is to see how Lesnar can win the match. Even if he wins, though, it doesn't mean he'll take the belt.
The champion's advantage in a standard singles match is that they can lose by count-out or disqualification and the title will not change hands.
However, the likelihood of WWE going down this route is very slim, as history is not on its side. Lesnar has never won a single match by count-out, and it's doubtful that will happen for the first time here.
The last time The Beast won by disqualification was in 2015 at a non-televised event against Alberto Del Rio. In fact, he's only won this way 14 times in total, with 11 of those happening on house shows and three over the course of a few weeks in 2003 on SmackDown.
If Lesnar is going to win this match, he's going to definitively beat Kingston.
Lesnar Takes Title After Winning by Pinfall or Submission
Above all, the outcome with the greatest chance of occurring is Lesnar winning the WWE Championship.
Between the two options, a submission victory isn't unheard of, but it's not as safe of a bet as a pinfall.
The Beast does have the Kimura Lock in his arsenal if Fox would like to see him pay homage to his UFC days.
In that scenario, The Dreadlocked Dynamo will either tap out immediately to put over the move as too devastating to withstand, or he'll hang on for a few seconds before succumbing to the inevitable.
The latter will only happen if WWE wants Kingston to go out looking strong, which is improbable because he's not the focal point of this match.
What should be expected is The Beast hitting an F-5—possibly more than one for dramatic effect—and getting a pin for a distinct three-count.
There's no shame in losing to someone like Lesnar, as the New Day man did when they last fought, at The Beast in the East special in 2015.
On Friday Night SmackDown, Kingston will fall short yet again as his title reign comes to an end.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.