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Kofi Kingston Celebrates 10 Years in WWE

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While WWE superstars, Hall of Famers, alumni and fans are celebrating Monday Night Raw’s 25 Anniversary, one of the company’s top performers, Kofi Kingston, is reveling in his own milestone.

Kingston recently passed the 10-year mark with the company. Like many WWE superstars, Kingston and his fellow New Day members Big E and Xavier Woods made an appearance on Raw’s 25th anniversary.

In an interview with WWE.com, the New Day member expressed his thoughts on being a 10-year veteran with the company.

“It’s really, really cool. Ten years is a long time. I always tell people when you’re with WWE for a while, it starts to become the thing you’ve done the longest. It used to be, high school was four years, then college was four years, you worked at a certain job for two years and another job for another two years, then all of a sudden, you’re here … for 10 years? It’s a really weird feeling. I remember when I debuted; it feels like just yesterday, but at the same time, it feels forever ago. It’s like this bizarre time warp. But I’m grateful to be one of the guys that’s been here for that long.”

On. Jan. 22, 2008, Kingston made his official WWE debut as he defeated local wrestler David Owen on ECW on Syfy. Throughout the month prior, vignettes for Kingston’s television debut began airing on ECW – marking the first time a Jamaican wrestler was competing in WWE – he is actually from Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana.

After some time in ECW, Kingston was brought to the Raw brand during the supplemental draft. He would get his first taste of WWE gold when he defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship in his first match as a Raw superstar – and in the process becoming the first wrestler from Ghana to hold a championship in WWE.

Kingston was widely regarded – and still is – as one of the WWE’s top performers, using his high flying offense to captivate audiences. His Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank spots have also etched their way into WWE history.

While he is regarded as a great worker in the ring, Kingston never seemed to move past the midcard. He had some brushes with main event stars like Randy Orton, but he never seemed to be in the main event scene. Like many superstars who have been with the company for a long time, Kingston had a slow period where he wasn’t doing much. 

Then he joined the New Day with Big E and Woods and things took a different turn. Although fans still witnessed Kingston’s impressive in-ring skills, they also saw a side of him many thought would never emerge – heel. Alongside Big E and Woods, Kingston relished in the heel role and showcased his comedy chops. Overtime, the New Day went from being one of the best heel acts in the company to one of the most over face groups in professional wrestling.

Kingston has held numerous championships in WWE: four Intercontinental championships, three U.S. titles and a variety of seven tag team championships with the likes of C.M. Punk, Evan Bourne, R-Truth, as well as his New Day brethren Big E and Woods.

When asked what is next for him and the New Day, Kingston had this answer:

“The next step is to keep climbing the ladder. Every year. I think it’s been four years — which is crazy to even think about; it’s been four years or almost four years that I’ve been with The New Day. That, legitimately, feels like yesterday that we were trying so hard and desperately fighting for our jobs to get on television. And now here we are with pancakes and unicorn horns and “who” chants. But we’re always just looking forward.”

Kingston, Woods and Big E are coming off one of their most successful years in WWE and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Here’s to 10 years for Kingston in the WWE, and let’s hope he has another 10 years – and more – ahead of him.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? April 16, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, they got the best addition from the shakeup to their show, which was AJ Styles. After Styles really made his mark on Smackdown, it seemed like WWE creative was running out of ideas of what to do with Styles on Smackdown. So, having him on Raw is really intriguing now and it should be interesting to see what the future holds for him on Raw.  

For Smackdown, their biggest addition from the shakeup was Roman Reigns and the way they introduced him to the show was entertaining. After Vince McMahon announced that the “biggest addition in Smackdown history” was Elias, Roman Reigns interrupted and ended up clearing out the ring and declaring that Smackdown is his yard now. Reigns needed a change of scenery after being on Raw for few years, so this is something the WWE universe should be excited for.

The Bad

For Raw, while it was great to see an NXT tag team called up, the name they gave him is horrible. Formerly known as the War Raiders, who are the current NXT tag team champions were called up to Monday nights. But, they decided to change their name to the Viking Experience, which is one of the worst name changes in WWE history.

For Smackdown, they had a match between Carmella and Charlotte Flair and this felt like filler. After all the new names that they brought onto Smackdown during the shakeup for the women’s division, they could have had one of them in this match instead of putting them all together in the 8-women tag match that was featured on the show later. 

The Final Verdict

For these being the superstar shakeup episodes, both shows felt a little underwhelming. While we are able to think of the possibility of matchups that we will see in the future because of this shakeup, the introduction of these new names felt like they should have been a bigger deal. Along with that, it seemed like WWE either was confused on how to handle some of these shakeups or they purposely wanted to confuse the fans. A prime example is how Finn Balor went to Smackdown with the Intercontinental championship. Since this was introduced to us on Smackdown, is there no secondary belt now on Raw? Or did Samoa Joe just automatically move to Raw because he currently was holding the original secondary belt on Smackdown? Overall, as to who had the better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show. The additions of the Miz, the Usos, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, AJ Styles, and Naomi are all new faces that were due for this. In conclusion, while the shakeup could’ve been handled better, the future should be intriguing as WWE prepares to fully move on from Wrestlemania.

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Matt Hardy Responds to John Oliver’s WWE Segment

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John Oliver, host of HBO’s popular ‘Last Week Tonight’, took WWE to task in a recent episode over their lack of healthcare for their performers, bringing a dark element of the treatment of WWE superstars to light.

Since then, wrestlers have spoken out, both in support of Oliver’s segment and coming to the defense of WWE.

One of those coming to WWE’s defense is WWE superstar and future Hall of Famer Matt Hardy, who praised WWE and how far they have come over the years.

“When I first started here [1997/1998] the locker room, everything was like the wild wild west then” Hardy said in an interview with FOX Sports (h/t Wrestling Inc). ”  The change that has happened in those 20-plus years has been unreal. I mean, now the drug testing is very stringent. … You have to be here, and you have to be good and you have to be on top of your game. You have to be a professional. The physicals they do as far as cardiovascular and just checking you over and over — [there have] been several guys they caught that have had serious [health] issues that could have been life threatening if they didn’t catch it here, and just the way they take care of you. “

“Every surgery I ever had, WWE has paid for. They’re very faithful and very good about that. It’s just some of the stuff that the John talked about was kind of passé, kind of outdated because now they really do [take care of wrestlers’ health]. They take care of everything especially stuff that happens in house. As far as the whole health insurance thing, that’s kind of a different argument, because we do a different gig in many many ways. But WWE has never done anything but be great to me.

“They’ve taking care of me in every capacity, every front. And they’ve given me a great life. I mean one of the characters I play is ‘Big Money’ Matt, who’s like this millionaire that’s been around for a long time, and you know there’s a lot of truth to it in some ways, and I wouldn’t have that persona and I wouldn’t have the great life that I have right now if it wasn’t for WWE.”

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WWE Hall of Famer Stevie Ray Talks Not Joining WWE After WCW Buyout

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WWE Hall of Famer Stevie Ray, who was inducted as part of Harlem Heat, alongside his brother Booker 2, in this year’s WWE Hall of Fame, recently discussed why he never joined WWE following his career in WCW.

Stevie Ray recently appeared on an episdoe of ‘Conversations with the Big Guy’ with host, and former WWE superstar, Ryback and talked about his thinking when WWE bought WCW.

Although his brother Booker T went on to WWE, Stevie Ray didn’t want to do the same.

“I didn’t want to go to WWF (WWE). As a matter of fact, the last WCW Nitro, I didn’t even attend and they sent me a ticket. Bu,t I was always in the mindset of this is competition to me. This is NFL vs AFL, or National League versus American League in baseball. WCW vs WWF, to be honest with you, bro, I didn’t want to go out like a bitch.”

The Monday Night Wars were hard to get past for Stevie Ray.

“We had been fighting for the team (WCW). But when I heard Vince McMahon had come in, and stuff like that, which I knew was coming, it’s like, you saw the writing on the wall and you put it in the back of your mind.

But at the end of the day I knew it was going to happen. But I didn’t attend the last show because my brother [Booker T] said that they (WWE) are going to be auditioning people. I told him that he should do it, but I’m done.”

Stevie Ray was concerned that WWE would change to Harlem Heat, stripping them of the elements that made that tag team so special.

“I wanted people to remember Harlem Heat as an ass-kicking tag team of color, you see what I’m saying? I didn’t want us to be something else. I didn’t want us to turn into a “Doink the Clown”. So, I’m not saying that they would have done this with Harlem Heat, but, I didn’t want to lose the edge that we once had as Harlem Heat.”

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