For the first time in his 11-year career on the main roster, Kofi Kingston is the WWE Champion.
Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan by at the midway point of WrestleMania Sunday, ending Bryan’s near 200-day run as champion.
Bryan had the LaBell Lock on for the third time, but Kingston worked his way out of it and started hitting big elbows from the top, transitioning into Bryan’s own signature stomps. He then hit Trouble In Paradise for the pin and win.
Following the win, Kingston’s two sons and The New Day joined him in the ring with the traditional version of the belt.
He joins an illustriious list of talents in the WWE Triple Crown club, those who have won a WWE world title, a secondary title, and the tag team titles. Kingston is a former four-time Intercontinental champion, three-time U.S. champion, four-time Raw tag team champion, three-time SmackDown tag team champion, and the World tag team titles once with CM Punk.
WWE actually spoiled the win on their own WWE Shop page. If you searched for ‘The New Day’, a shirt that says “There’s A New Champ” came up immediately. After the match, the group pulled the new shirts out of a box.
The win culminates a storyline that began back in February when he got an opportunity in the Elimination Chamber match following an impressive run in a SmackDown gauntlet match, replacing the injured Ali. Fans got into Kingston as an underdog challenger and the storyline for him getting the Mania title shot was born, even including Vince McMahon as a foil. During the match, they cut backstage several times to show Kingston’s fellow SmackDown wrestlers cheering Kingston on.