With their WWE Championship Match at WWE Extreme Rules less than two weeks away, Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe were scheduled to come face-to-face on SmackDown LIVE, just one night removed from Joe’s brutal assault of Kingston on Raw.
The Samoan Submission Machine questioned Kofi’s relationships with the WWE Universe and his New Day brothers, suggesting that Kofi was nothing without Xavier Woods and Big E. Kofi retorted, saying that he had earned all his success and then questioned Samoa Joe’s motives. Kingston suggested that Joe’s new methods of “hide and seek” attacks were beneath him and that he had lost his edge. Joe continued the insults about Kofi’s family, but Kofi flipped it on him, saying that Joe would never have a WrestleMania moment with his family like Kofi did this year.
The Samoan Shark then turned the tables one more time, offering the WWE Champion a handshake with caveats. If Kofi shook his hand, then Joe would promise the safety of everyone in Kofi’s life between now and WWE Extreme Rules. Kofi didn’t respond with a handshake, but a hand gesture of his own, one that was likely very popular with WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. An enraged Joe was caught off guard, and Kofi caught his foe with the Trouble in Paradise, proving he wouldn’t be intimidated ahead of their title showdown in 12 days.