WrestleMania 35 results: KofiMania runs wild, Kingston defeats Bryan for WWE Championship

Photo courtesy WWE.com
Photo courtesy WWE.com /

Kofi Kingston makes WrestleMania history in defeat of Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship.

For once, there was no interference from Vince McMahon. No additional hoops to jump. Just one man stood between Kofi Kingston and his dream of becoming WWE Champion. With his New Day teammates Big E and Xavier Woods by his side, Kingston connected with Trouble in Paradise to pin Daniel Bryan and become WWE Champion, only the second time an African American has won the WWE’s most important title.

The story, which paralleled Bryan’s history-making championship victory five years previous at WrestleMania 30, had both the (now-former) champion and McMahon declaring Kingston as unfit for a title match, let alone a reign. But two star-turning gauntlet matches (and another by Big E and Woods) and the resulting intense fan support left the WWE with little choice but to have Kingston take Bryan on, one-on-one, at the biggest event of the year.

As expected, the match was a back-and-forth affair, featuring grappling (on Bryan’s part), high-flying (on Kingston’s part) and hard hits and pin attempts and counters by both men. A highlight of these exchanges was Kingston’s attempt on an SOS, only for Bryan to counter into a Labell lock.

Woods and E also proved to be invaluable to Kingston’s win on Sunday night, neutralizing Rowan, making Bryan’s big-man right-hand a non-factor to the outcome of the match.

Much like the build to this contest, a number of WWE Superstars gathered around a backstage monitor to cheer Kingston on. It was this visual that make it seem virtually impossible that they, and the fans, wouldn’t get what they want. The cathartic cheer from the crowd upon Kingston earning the three-count was clearly evidence of just how much emotion has been driving not just the men in the lead-up to the match but also the fans.

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After the win, the New Day revealed the original, leather-and-gold WWE Championship stashed beneath Bryan’s eco-friendly hemp-and-wood version. Order, of some sort, has been restored in the WWE and Kingston had the WrestleMania moment — and WWE Championship — he’s been waiting 11 years to earn.