KofiMania ran wild earlier this year and it may not have happened if it weren't for Daniel Bryan.
The feel-good moment of the year happened at WrestleMania 35 when Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Championship. The story leading into the match was Kofi trying to overcome 11 years of being a midcard talent and decades of minorities not reaching the pinnacle in WWE. The fans rallied behind Kofi, hoping to see the underdog on top of the promotion.
Kingston was not originally supposed to be in the match, but an injury to Mustafa Ali prior to WWE Elimination Chamber put him in the WWE Title picture. And though it looked as if Kofi's chance had passed when Kevin Owens returned and was put into the picture by Vince McMahon, Bryan fought for Kofi to face him at WrestleMania 35.
"[Daniel Bryan] pushed for that to happen. The plans weren't for me to be at WrestleMania. I'm not sure who it was for Daniel to face, but Daniel went in and went to bat for me and the situation and the title match for us to happen. He had a big part in it too. It's a testament to his state of mind as far as advancing the business and doing the right thing for the people and best product," Kofi revealed on WWE After The Bell.
Fellow New Day member Big E also praised Bryan for his mentality and attitude heading into the match.
"I give a lot of credit to Daniel Bryan, who I think is legitimate, like a generational talent. It meant so much more because Bryan was so hot and Bryan is just so damn good in the ring, on the mic, with his character. He was so giving with the build to the story that it meant more," he said.
Kofi's victory kicked off a six-month WWE Title reign that saw him defeat the likes of Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, and Randy Orton before losing in short order to Brock Lesnar. Kofi is now one-half of the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions while Bryan is back in the title scene, feuding with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt over the WWE Universal Championship.
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