On June 23rd, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston defended his championship against Dolph Ziggler in a steel cage match at Stomping Grounds. Ziggler and Kofi are no strangers to each other; with a bitter rivalry spanning ten years, battling over the Intercontinental and United States Championship from 2010-2011. Things are much different this time, after Kofi realized his childhood dreams at this year’s WrestleMania, winning the WWE Championship.
EXCLUSIVE: #WWEChampion @TrueKofi talks about striving for legendary rivalries after winning another grueling battle against @HEELZiggler in a steel cage. #WWEStompingGrounds pic.twitter.com/qYmzPkyYjJ
— WWE (@WWE) June 24, 2019
Their latest chapter started on May 22, 2019-edition of SmackDown Live, Ziggler appeared out of nowhere and viciously assaulted Kofi Kingston. He would then address the WWE Universe personally. Ziggler’s relentless attack was centered around his jealousy and resentment, for Kofi’s success and ever since we’ve been reminded weekly “It should have been me” Ziggler claims. At WWE Super ShowDown; Ziggler challenged Kofi for the WWE title, in the middle of the match, the action spilled outside and he struck Xavier Woods with a Superkick. The finish came when Woods hit an enzugiri and Kofi dropped his challenger with a Trouble in Paradise to retain his championship.
In the weeks leading up to their steel cage encounter, Ziggler’s frustrations and bitterness reached the boiling point. Ziggler began to take personal jabs about Kofi’s manhood stating he’s only at the top because of his New Day buddies. All-the-while screaming “It should have been me, and at Stomping Grounds it will be me”.
On the Go-Home-Show for Stomping Grounds; Ziggler stuck the knife in a bit deeper when he told Kofi “The next time you go back to Ghana and visit your family and friends, it will be an apology tour”, which only infuriated the WWE champion that much more.
There are several questions surrounding their one-on-one clash; will Ziggler make good on his promise to win the WWE Championship? What will his future look like if he loses against Kofi? Will he remain on TV or will he disappear back into the shadows once more?
At Stomping Grounds, Kofi Kingston and Ziggler added a new chapter in their storied rivalry. Both competitors attempted a Superkick and a Trouble in Paradise moments after the bell. Ziggler and Kofi got into a shoving spat with plenty of trash-talking. Each man tried to escape the cage but to no avail. Kofi sidestepped a Superkick and Ziggler ate a stunning dropkick for a solid two-count. Ziggler’s ruthless intentions were in full swing, as he began grinding the champions face against the steel. Using his arsenal of submission holds, Ziggler locked in a vicious front-face hold grinding away at Kofi, while the WWE Universe cheering their hero on. Kofi whipped his rival around in a circle then ascended the ropes to deliver a flying dropkick.
Shortly after, Ziggler began displaying blatant disrespect as he proceeded to slap the WWE champion. Kofi returned the favor, driving Ziggler from one side to the other into the steel structure. Ziggler wanted a Fame-asser but Kofi hurls him into the steel, rolls him up for another two-count. Kofi climbed the cage and executed a beautiful cross-body for a long two-count.
Ziggler made it to the top but Kofi managed to bring him back inside. Both competitors throwing bombs at each other, Kofi sidestepped a clothesline and nearly beat Ziggler with an SOS. Kofi got trapped into a front ankle lock submission and Kofi was writhing in pain. Kofi barely escaped through the cage door, when he ate a Superkick that slung it open. Ziggler prohibits him from escaping by locking in the submission again.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) June 24, 2019
Kofi managed to reverse it into his own ankle lock, whipped into the corner…Zig-Zag connects for a long two-count. In of the most innovated finishes in the history of cage matches; Ziggler was escaping through the door as Kofi was preventing him, he dragged him in and Ziggler blasts him with a hard kick. Ziggler nearly escapes for a second time and the WWE champion leaps right over his rival, putting his own body at risk to retain his championship all by himself.
Your winner AND STILL WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 24, 2019
Originally written by Chris King