The SmarK DVD Rant for Superstar Collection: Kofi Kingston
This was released in September but at the time I got two copies of the Randy Orton DVD instead of one Orton and one Kofi, so I guess someone finally figured it out and sent it to me. Whatever, I love reviewing these because they’re SHORT and filled with stuff from a time period when I wasn’t watching so it’s mostly all new to me.
Intercontinental title: Chris Jericho v. Kofi Kingston
From Night of Champions 2008. At this point, I’d never even seen this Kofi guy wrestle. Jericho hides out in the ropes and grabs a headlock, then boots him down and tosses him. Kofi catches himself, however, and comes back for the criss-cross, but Jericho bails. Kofi follows with a pescado, and back in for a crossbody that gets two. Kofi slugs away in the corner, but Jericho dumps him. Back in, Jericho stomps the back and they fight over a suplex on the apron, but Jericho wins that for two. Backbreaker submission, but Kofi knees out of it, so Jericho dropkicks him. He chokes away on the ropes and into the abdominal stretch, and somewhat amazingly for this boring match, the crowd is still hanging with Kingston. Jericho chokes him on the ropes again and they fight for a superplex while the crowd starts the "boring" chant. Kofi falls on top for two and makes the comeback, headbutting Jericho down, but he misses a splash and Jericho goes for the Walls. Kofi rolls him up for two. Clothesline and legdrop gets two. Rana gets two. Jericho puts him down again with a clothesline and the Lionsault follows. Walls of Jericho follows, but Shawn comes out of the crowd and distracts Jericho long enough for Kingston to spinkick him and win the title at 11:01. Really? Bob Charlie from Super Punch Out gets the belt? (2012 Scott sez: Of course I became a much bigger fan of Kofi in later years. And yet four years later and he’s still no higher than IC champion.) Not a really auspicious PPV debut for him but people seem to like the guy. **
RAW World tag titles: Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes v. CM Punk & Kofi Kingston
From RAW, October 2008, a couple of nights after Punk lost the World title to Jericho in that Scramble match deal. Legacy was still hanging out with Manu the Samoan at this point, which was a storyline that went NOWHERE. Funny to see Punk as the plucky young babyface at this point, especially since Kofi is basically still playing the exact same character four years later. Really, Dibiase was the one who was the can’t-miss star out of the bunch and now he’s basically screwed. Punk and Kofi double-team Cody in the corner to start, but Dibiase gets a jawbreaker on Punk and hammers him in the corner. Punk comes back with dropkicks and the challengers clean house, allowing Kofi to backdrop Punk onto the heels as we take a break. Back with Cody hitting a legsweep on Punk and reversing out of the GTS, but Punk manages a tag to Kofi. He’s running wild, but runs a bit TOO wild and gets yanked to the floor by Dibiase to allow the champs to take over again. This is pre-Orton for Legacy, by the way, so this match has zero heat. Cole tries to get over “The Dynamic Duo” for Punk and Kingston because they’re both comic nerds but that went nowhere, much like the team itself. Kofi gets the heat and the heels cut off the ring, but Kofi rolls up Dibiase for two. Cody works the arm to finally pull the crowd into it, and Kofi makes the hot tag. Punk uses the backfist-kick combo he never does anymore and lays out Manu with the high kick to get rid of him. GTS on Dibiase wins the tag titles at 8:59. I remember none of this even though I was casually watching here and there at the time. I think they lost them to Miz & Morrison if I’m not mistaken. Match was fine. **1/2
Money in the Bank: CM Punk v. MVP v. Shelton Benjamin v. Mark Henry v. Kane v. Finlay v. Kofi Kingston v. Christian
From Wrestlemania 25. Henry and Kane clear the ring to start, but a ladder from Christian & Shelton puts them down. Kofi does a nice acrobatic evasion of the ladder and dropkicks them down, and we get the first climb from Kane and Henry. Everyone gangs up on them to bring them down and then we get a mass-climb, which leads to the big men knocking the ladders over. Finlay manages to get rid of Henry and hits a suicide dive onto Kane outside, and we get a series of highspots from there. This concludes with Shelton diving off the top of a 15-foot ladder with a plancha, which is pretty awesome. Mark Henry actually teases a dive, but Finlay thankfully brings him down and then launches Hornswoggle off Henry's back onto everyone else. Why would 6 guys do down off that? That doesn't even make SENSE! Kofi gets a good monkey-bar style attack on Finlay using the ladder, but dives and runs into a stepladder. Finlay climbs again and Kofi kicks him down, but Henry pushes him off the ladder. He just sucks the fun out of everything he touches. Another tremendous Kofi spot sees Henry holding the ladder upright, which allows Kofi to climb up for the briefcase before Henry drops him again. Kofi's like the new Shelton Benjamin here. Speaking of which, we get the mandated contrived ladder spot, as a ladder gets wedged between the rungs of another one, and MVP & Shelton work off that. Punk takes them out and climbs, but Christian follows and they tease a GTS off the ladder, which turns into a blown Unprettier instead. Well the thought was there, but they just couldn't pull it off without breaking a neck. MVP climbs and Shelton does his usual crazy jungle gym climb to save, then they badly fuck up a powerbomb spot. Shelton recovers and powerbombs MVP out of the ring in another scary-looking spot. Shelton slugs it out with Finlay on top of the ladder, but Christian pulls them down. He and Shelton fight there and the ladder goes down, but Christian holds on and pulls himself up again. Punk saves, but gets hung up. Kane finally returns from Purgatory and climbs up to chokeslam Christian off, but Punk boots him down and repeats as MITB winner at 14:23. Kind of a big heel reaction for Punk, as I think the fans wanted someone new to win. As did I, I was hoping for MVP. Pretty fun opener, although Kane and Henry sucked the life out of it every time they were in and there were too many blown spots. ***1/4
Randy Orton v. Kofi Kingston
From TLC 2009, just after Kofi had “come out” as African instead of Jamaican. I totally forget where this fell in regards to their MSG brawl, but Michael Cole doesn’t even mention it so I’m thinking it comes later. Orton goes for the arm and hits a powerslam for two. They fight out of the ring, leading to a great spot where Kofi tries the springboard dive and Orton counters with a dropkick from the floor. Say what you will about Orton, but he’s got impeccable timing. Maybe that’s why he gets so mad when others screw up their spots. Back in, that gets two. Kofi fights back with the move that would become the SOS, despite injured ribs, and hits a suicide dive on Orton. Back in, a flying bodypress gets two, but the ribs are still hurt. He slugs Orton down and hits the springboard forearm out of the corner, but walks into Orton’s backbreaker. Kofi has taken a LOT of the offense in this match thus far. Orton sets up for the RKO, but Kofi dropkicks him to block and hits the boomdrop. The Trouble in Paradise hits, but Orton is in the ropes and bails to escape. Kofi quickly goes to get him back into the ring and Orton appears to be dead weight, but he was just faking and hits the draping DDT on the way back into the ring. Orton sets up for the punt, but Kofi blocks with his arm, so now Orton goes after THAT with a single-arm DDT. Another RKO attempt, but Kofi ducks and tries the kick again, and Orton ducks THAT and finishes at 13:25. Not much heat for this one, but I liked the gutsy performance from Kofi back when he gave a shit about that sort of thing. ***1/2 The announcers treat this like Kofi’s big ascension to the main event, but it wasn’t.
Intercontinental title: Dolph Ziggler v. Kofi Kingston
From Smackdown, January 2011. I remember this, as they built and built Kofi until fans were BEGGING for him to beat Dolph. Kofi is all fired up and pounds on Dolph in the corner, as Cole is at his heel worst on commentary. Kofi goes up and misses the bodypress as we get this exchange: (Cole) “Kofi’s been after this title since the summer, maybe he should just give up and try something else.” (Striker) “Well what do you want him to do?” (Cole) “I dunno, maybe win a match for once?” What a douche. Dolph pounds away, but misses a blind charge and Kofi puts him down with a dropkick. Ziggler counters the SOS and rolls him up for two, but Kofi gets a clothesline and boomdrop. The kick misses and Dolph gets the sleeper, but Kofi quickly escapes with a jawbreaker. Kofi with the SOS for two. They head up and Kofi blocks a superplex and follows with the crossbody to win the title at 5:31. Well that was certainly right to the point. **1/2 Dolph quickly lays him out with the Zig Zag, so Vickie grants him an immediate rematch as assistant GM. The heel announcers point out that Kofi should have told the ref he wasn’t ready and just left. Very true. Dolph pounds him down, but Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise to finish a second time, and that’s it for Dolph’s IC title aspirations.
Not exactly a must-buy, but again for $7 on Amazon what’s to lose? It’s stuff that’s not generally on the other DVD releases and a low-profile guy like Kofi gets a DVD of his own to shine. Thumbs up.