PHILADELPHIA — Someday, Kofi Kingston’s objectively brave decision to accept every challenge that comes his way might just spell the end of his WWE Championship reign. But not today, baby.

The magic didn’t just continue for Kingston, who outlasted a cruel Samoa Joe to retain his title; it was renewed in a major way for The New Day as a whole: With Kofi’s victory as well as Big E & Xavier Woods’ Tag Team Title win earlier in the night, the trio left Philly with championships in their clutches in defiance of the every single odd stacked against them.

Samoa Joe stomps Kofi Kingston's hand between the ring steps: WWE Extreme Rules 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Samoa Joe shows no mercy by slamming Kofi Kingston's hand between the steel ring steps at WWE Extreme Rules. Courtesy of WWE Network.

Kofi mounted a defense that was entirely an act of defiance: Joe wasn’t just out to defeat the champion but to demoralize him, though Kingston did not allow himself to be shaken. When The Samoan Submission Machine mangled Kofi’s fingers — payback for an offending gesture a couple of SmackDowns ago — the champion simply raised the other one. Whenever Joe seemingly disregarded his opponent as small-time or dead in the water, Kofi roared back and refused to stay down. And when Joe thought himself safe, Kofi struck, uncorking a Trouble in Paradise that caught Joe the second he bounced off the ropes.

Question his willingness to battle everyone who wants a piece of him; it’s certainly taken its toll. Question his luck if you must; he’s certainly had a little bit of it along the way. But if you continue to question Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion, you simply haven’t been paying attention. It’s a lesson Samoa Joe learned the hard way tonight. He isn’t the first. And the way things are going, he likely won’t be the last.

PHILADELPHIA — Someday, Kofi Kingston’s objectively brave decision to accept every challenge that comes his way might just spell the end of his WWE Championship reign. But not today, baby.

The magic didn’t just continue for Kingston, who outlasted a cruel Samoa Joe to retain his title; it was renewed in a major way for The New Day as a whole: With Kofi’s victory as well as Big E & Xavier Woods’ Tag Team Title win earlier in the night, the trio left Philly with championships in their clutches in defiance of the every single odd stacked against them.

Samoa Joe stomps Kofi Kingston's hand between the ring steps: WWE Extreme Rules 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Samoa Joe shows no mercy by slamming Kofi Kingston's hand between the steel ring steps at WWE Extreme Rules. Courtesy of WWE Network.

Kofi mounted a defense that was entirely an act of defiance: Joe wasn’t just out to defeat the champion but to demoralize him, though Kingston did not allow himself to be shaken. When The Samoan Submission Machine mangled Kofi’s fingers — payback for an offending gesture a couple of SmackDowns ago — the champion simply raised the other one. Whenever Joe seemingly disregarded his opponent as small-time or dead in the water, Kofi roared back and refused to stay down. And when Joe thought himself safe, Kofi struck, uncorking a Trouble in Paradise that caught Joe the second he bounced off the ropes.

Question his willingness to battle everyone who wants a piece of him; it’s certainly taken its toll. Question his luck if you must; he’s certainly had a little bit of it along the way. But if you continue to question Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion, you simply haven’t been paying attention. It’s a lesson Samoa Joe learned the hard way tonight. He isn’t the first. And the way things are going, he likely won’t be the last.