Kofi Kingston is the first African-born world champion in WWE history as well as its 30th Triple Crown Champion and 20th overall Grand Slam Champion (13th under the current format). In addition, Kingston himself holds the singular record for most days spent as a Tag Team Champion within WWE and is also known for innovative ways of suspending his elimination from Royal Rumble and battle royal matches.
With the exception of a few months spent as a heel (villainous character) in 2015 with The New Day, Kingston has been a babyface (heroic character) for almost the entirety of his WWE career. At WrestleMania, Kingston defeated Bryan and won the WWE Championship for the first time, becoming the first African-born WWE Champion in history, as well as WWE's 30th Triple Crown and 20th Grand Slam champion.
Kingston successfully defended the title against Kevin Owens at Money in the Bank. Then, Kingston started a feud with the returning Dolph Ziggler, retaining the title at Super ShowDown in a singles match and steel cage match at Stomping Grounds.
Next, he retained the championship against Samoa Joe at Extreme Rules in July. On July 27, He successfully defended the title against Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler at WWE Smackville in a triple threat match. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Kingston praised Daniel Bryan for what he did in the past: “Bryan is the unsung hero.
And he’s done a lot for guys who are undersized but showed they can still be cast in this top guy spot. He’s done it so well for a very, very long time. And Bryan went through that identical journey I did to get to WrestleMania.
He was badgered and blocked by The Authority and called a B-plus player, that was his story, and it became mine, too. We don’t get a lot of shine in main events, we’re not 6’8″ and 300 pounds, so the fact that he was my opponent was poetic. I have a whole lot of respect for Bryan and the boundaries he’s been able to break”.