Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
The road to WWE TLC: Tables Ladders & Chairs really began, in a way, in 2011, when Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship. It was a marquee moment for the English pugilist, his first title reign in WWE and a harbinger of the career that awaited him. It was also a crushing defeat for Kingston, who had been enjoying a dominant run with the storied championship that was cut prematurely short by Barrett’s barrage.
In time, of course, the two men went their separate ways. But the road has come ’round again. Kofi is champion. Barrett has an issue with that. And despite the similarities in situation, the stakes have changed dramatically.
Now, for Kofi, validation is on the line: an affirmation and a cementing of Kingston’s legacy as a top-tier Superstar, one worthy of a fourth reign with the storied Intercontinental Championship. That when he took the title from The Miz last month on WWE Main Event, it wasn’t a fluke win as The Awesome One had then intimated. It was a statement that he is worthy of the title’s prestigious history and his multiple runs with the title gold around his waist.
For Barrett, TLC is all about making a statement: that The Barrett Barrage (which had been gaining momentum before Barrett himself was cut down with an elbow injury in February) is as dangerous as ever. Barrett wants to prove he can repeat what he accomplished in 2011 by beating Kingston for the title, because only a beating will do at this point. It is also about completing his reinvention from a sophisticated leader of men to a lone-wolf warrior who answers to no man and fears none, too. It is about sealing his reinvention with a championship reign, one worthy of only the elite Superstars in WWE. It is about taking what he believes is his.
There won’t be any tables, ladders or chairs in this contest. In a way, there don’t need to be. Barrett will bring his fists and his wits; “The Wildcat” will use his unpredictable aerial ability. Almost two years have passed, but Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett have found themselves back in each other’s sights, with a chance to right a wrong and cement a legacy in equal measure. May the best man win.