Brock Lesnar infamously ended Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship reign in a matter of seconds in 2019 – but why was this the direction taken?
The debut of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX in October 2019 concluded with Brock Lesnar dethroning Kofi Kingston of the WWE Championship. ‘The Beast Incarnate’ did so in just seven seconds, much to widespread dismay.
Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James has given his take on why, exactly, WWE made the decision to end Kingston’s title reign in the manner they did. Speaking on Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Wrestling Outlaws show, the multi-time Tag Team Champion explained Vince McMahon’s affection towards Brock Lesnar:
“I think it probably was FOX, Brock Lesnar, cross-appeal. He’s a [big] name and Vince loves him, and Vince is drawing with him, and so tried and true, ‘Hey, let’s shock the world, send him out there, and kill him in a minute. Blah, blah, blah.’ I can hear him saying it now. It is what it is. Maybe Big E would have given a better battle.”
Brock Lesnar’s victory of the WWE Championship ended Kofi Kingston’s reign at 180 days. Kingston had dethroned Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35 the prior April, with successful defences coming against Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, and Kevin Owens, amongst others.
The deal between WWE and FOX, said to be for $205 million a year, has proved fruitful over the past three years. Viewership for the show has regularly been above 2 million viewers, with only a handful of 2022 broadcasts falling below this benchmark. The latest episode – the 2 September broadcast – saw 2,077,000 viewers.