Do you know what the real world is? WWE is a JOB. Not a WWE simulator.
And guess what going above and beyond gets you. The Ryder treatment. Or AW treatment. Take your pick.
Different jobs and different employers demand different levels of investment from their employees. The WWE demands people perform and aspire to be their absolute best when performing. If they see someone content with being an average performer with replaceable qualities, they'll likely try to weed them out (that is, unless they REALLY value them).
I'm don't entirely agree with the OP as I view Kingston as an important component to what a midcard really needs: a guy that has accrued a measure of success and is a sought after mainstay in company niche/specialty areas such as ladder matches and other gimmick types that require high levels of acrobatic eye-candy that gets people on their feet mouthing "wow-wee!"
Here's a post that I feel reflects what most audiences value the guy and his position as:
Kofi is cool, i expect him to do some athletics stuff every week and he does just that, he has fast paced matches pulls out some cool moves and im always in a good mood watching him..after seeing his stuff in that cribs type of show i like him even more..
i dont take wrestling so damn seriously since ive been watching since the 90's so thinking outside a realistic point of view while being a typical crying IWC member like the threadstarter is something im not accustomed to..but hey to each its own.
The bold text is the most applicable to my point (the second paragraph made me laugh but I digress). Most expect the same stuff from Kingston day in and day out and are perfectly content with seeing him out there doing his trademark shit. Take into account the fact that he is a safe bet with most opponents and sound in other areas means he's a fine addition to the roster that is an attraction to certain areas such as the aforementioned match types I listed.
That doesn’t mean he’s not irreplaceable however. Not in the slightest. Shelton Benjamin was by far the superior and more proven worker and could pull of the same stuff Kingston could with little issue. There are little grey shades of subjectivism most shared such as Kingston articulating his personality better, being more likeable overall, etc. However, the one thing I think that really undid Benjamin was the supposed attitude he carried around at times. Wasn’t that the reported cause of the ridiculous losing streak he endured that practically killed off any momentum he would ever get from the audience again?
This era of apathy the OP mentions is an interesting one, because it’s a pretty hostile environment where one has to tread a fine line. Kingston is someone who appears to be relied upon as no more than a pretty safe commodity to go out there with little complaints and do his bit for the company, but is ultimately frustrating in not fulfilling his potential they think he has. It isn't an easy task for a performer to decipher these mixed messages but whether this missed potential' is through being a little soft, slothful or lacklustre in key areas is uncertain. It’s something that he should make more of an effort towards being a mainstay in the company and help leave a genuine impression.
That’s the word I’d use to best describe Kofi Kingston: safe
. In some ways it works out for him like it didn't Benjamin. However, it isn’t a bonafide guarantee that his position is going to stay sound. If he really wants to stick around and leave a lasting legacy he has to play the company game and make a case as to why he should stick around for the company’s benefit