WWE Champion Kofi Kingston of The New Day took on Samoa Joe in last night’s Extreme Rules pay per view. Joe, after losing the United States Championship to Ricochet at last month’s Stomping Ground, set his sights on Kofi and brutalized him in the weeks leading up to their match. He also choked out the WWE champion and picked up a victory in a six-man tag match on Smackdown Live a few weeks ago to gain some momentum.
During one of their in-ring segments, Joe told Kofi that he needed to take him serious and really view him as a threat to dethrone the champion. The end of that segment saw Kofi give Joe the middle finger, a la Stone Cold Steve Austin. In another backstage interview, Kofi told the WWE Universe that Joe was one of his most dangerous opponents but he was confident and ready to face the Samoan Submission Machine.
The match itself moved along at a pretty good pace. It seems as if Kofi spent the majority of the match on defense. It also featured something quite rare in WWE programming as of late, and that is continuity.
Early in the match, Samoa Joe employed joint manipulation tactics and took control of Kofi Kingston’s hand and finger. While outside the ring, he set the steel steps on Kofi’s finger and kicked it, leaving him agonizing in pain. This was worth noting as the announce team pointed out because it was the same middle finger Kofi had given Joe a few weeks prior. It also factored into the match by adding an additional obstacle for Kofi to overcome, as he would have to endure the pain of his finger in order to hit some of his signature offense on Joe. Kingston would grimace after hitting Joe with his patented two-handed chops.
Kofi Kingston needs opponents like Samoa Joe; opponents who are bigger and tougher than most. Superstars like Joe, when paired with Kofi, make the WWE Universe sit up and pay even more attention because the threat of a title change exists and everyone is interested to see if Joe can pull it off. It also creates its own story within a story, as we really want to see if and how Kofi can retain his WWE championship. Some members of the WWE Universe also felt that Samoa Joe has been long overdue for a major title run. Having won and lost the United States championship a few times, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that we will eventually see him with either the Universal or WWE championship very soon.
After taking a beating that seemed to last forever, Kofi Kingston hit Samoa Joe with Trouble In Paradise to pick up the win.
Opinion: WWE has done a really great job of putting Trouble In Paradise over as a credible finishing move. Since becoming champion, very few if any opponents have kicked out of Trouble In Paradise. After the win, Kingston celebrated with the fans.
Kofi Kingston’s victory came as somewhat of a surprise to many, including Joe (obviously). One reason is that earlier in the night, Xavier Woods and Big E defeated Smackdown tag team champions The New Daniel Bryan and Rowan and Heavy Machinery in a triple threat six-man tag match.
It’s been a tremendous ride for The New Day as Kofi won the championship at this year’s Wrestlemania. A ride that everyone knows must come to an end sooner or later. With Woods and Big E picking up Smackdown tag team gold, it would have been easy to have Kofi drop the title to Samoa Joe. But alas, he retained and now The New Day is draped in WWE championship gold. Xavier Woods jumped onto the announce table after winning the titles and yelled, “I told y’all we was gonna get all three,” referencing their collective gold.
What a ride it’s been for The New Day. They joined forces five years ago and now all of them are champions at the same time. Smackdown Live will more than likely open with a huge New Day celebration, complete with pancakes I’m speculating.
As for Samoa Joe, we have to wonder what’s next for him. He didn’t get the job done at Extreme Rules. But for someone as ruthless as he is, it’s likely that this loss will only fuel him. He needs to become even more nasty and relentless in pursuit of Kofi Kingston and the WWE Championship. Let’s not suspect for one second that he’s finished. Look for him to try and ruin The New Day’s celebration on Smackdown Live.