Kofi Kingston Talks Title Reign, Bayley on Needed Heel Turn, More in WWE Roundup

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston celebrates at the end of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super Showdown event in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port city of Jeddah late on January 7, 2019. (Photo by Amer HILABI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images)
AMER HILABI/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.


Kofi Kingston Understands Fan Frustration About End of Title Reign

Kofi Kingston spent the majority of 2019 either chasing or holding the WWE championship. His reign ended in under 10 seconds in a poorly received squash loss to Brock Lesnar, and he's not been part of the title picture since.

The end of Kingston's reign and his reshuffling to the upper midcard has been a source of frustration for fans, even though his championship run had clearly run its course. Kingston, the recent recipient of a new five-year contract with WWE, understands the fan frustration but seems happy with his spot on the roster.

"I appreciate the passion [from the fans], I do," Kingston told Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of Yahoo Sports in an interview published Monday. "There are people who have careers that span years and they never have this kind of following, so I'm really fortunate to have that. It's their right to be angry if they want to be angry, but it's my job to keep moving forward. There's a whole lot of stuff we don't have control over, but we work with what we're given, try to get a little bit more and claw your way back. It might not be a direct, linear path."

While fans were upset at the time, the end of Kingston's run was fine. His momentum was slowing down, and sometimes wrestling promotions have to book things to make fans mad. Using Kingston as the fodder for an awful Lesnar-Cain Velazquez match probably wasn't the right move, but there wasn't much of a point of re-entering him into the title scene if the belt was going to stay on Lesnar.


Bayley Loves New Haircut and Heel Turn

When Bayley took an axe handle to her once-beloved Bayley Buddies, there were two schools of thought: One featured a devastated group who saw their hero turn heel and a group of fans who finally, finally got to see Heel Bayley in action.

Bayley herself is part of the latter group.

"Character-wise and personally, mostly personally, it was much needed," Bayley told Adam Graham of the Detroit News. "I really go off my emotions or what I'm passionate about at the time, and there came a point where I was like, 'I don't even know what I'm fighting for anymore.' That's when it hit me, and I was like, something needs to change. And that was it."

One of the biggest changes with Bayley's heel persona was the loss of her signature ponytail. She said that change was also needed but it was still a little shocking to see herself without it. 

"It felt great," Bayley said. "I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what I needed to do. But the actual snip of the ponytail, I was a little in shock. My hair was the longest I've ever had it, and I've had that freakin' ponytail for seven years. The last time my hair was this short, I was 10 years old."

The heel run has been solid so far, with Bayley holding onto the SmackDown Women's Championship with Sasha Banks by her side. One has to wonder at what point the other shoe drops, though, and the two ego-driven stars finally give fans the feud they've been clamoring for.


Plans for Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy Revealed

WWE apparently has big plans for a program for Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy after their well-received match at TLC.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio said Black is going to be pushed hard as a babyface, while a hard heel turn is coming for Murphy. Raw executive director Paul Heyman is reportedly a big fan of both wrestlers, and we'll likely see a hard push to get that feud over next Monday on Raw.