CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For 10 years, Randy Orton was the man who stopped Kofi Kingston dead in his tracks through a mixture of in-ring ruthlessness that was plainly visible and behind-the-curtain politicking that The Viper took a full decade to own up to. But that history became incomplete the second Kingston became WWE Champion, and it’s only after WWE Clash of Champions that we can finally write the full story: Randy Orton was the man who held Kofi Kingston down … as long as he could. And Kofi Kingston was the man who got the last laugh.

Randy Orton slams Kofi Kingston into the announce table: Clash of Champions 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

The match between Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston travels beyond the ring as The Viper brutally drops the WWE Champion onto the announce table.

In other words, Kingston is still WWE Champion, having survived a match in which he seemingly overcame each shortcoming Orton ascribed to him, one by one. Not ruthless enough? Witness the early elbow to the head and knife-edge chops that immediately turned The Viper’s chest a mottling shade of purple. Not tough enough? Kofi took Orton’s signature backdrop onto the announce table and kept on swinging. Too stupid to hang? Not in the slightest. Kingston’s mental toughness unquestionably carried the day, especially since something snapped in the usually clinical Orton, forcing him into a more ruthless gear that Kingston had trouble catching up to. Kingston has been a great WWE Champion, but when it came to Randy Orton, even 10 years later, he still seemed to have no answers.

But much like Orton only needs one move to turn the match in his favor, Kofi, too, only needed one lucky break. After breaking an RKO with a foot on the ropes, Kingston found himself square in the sights of The Viper’s dreaded punt — the rarely-used maneuver that Orton only reserves for his most persistent of foes. That Kofi was worthy of it was a compliment in and of itself, but the champion refused to stop at a moral victory, evading the kick and connecting with a Trouble in Paradise just seconds later, dropping Orton and effectively rewriting his own history with one fell swoop.

For 10 years, Kofi Kingston was the man who could have been the guy, if it weren’t for Randy Orton. Now, The Viper knows who he is. Kofi’s oldest and most vicious demon is off his back. Ten years later, a new day has finally come.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For 10 years, Randy Orton was the man who stopped Kofi Kingston dead in his tracks through a mixture of in-ring ruthlessness that was plainly visible and behind-the-curtain politicking that The Viper took a full decade to own up to. But that history became incomplete the second Kingston became WWE Champion, and it’s only after WWE Clash of Champions that we can finally write the full story: Randy Orton was the man who held Kofi Kingston down … as long as he could. And Kofi Kingston was the man who got the last laugh.

Randy Orton slams Kofi Kingston into the announce table: Clash of Champions 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

The match between Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston travels beyond the ring as The Viper brutally drops the WWE Champion onto the announce table.

In other words, Kingston is still WWE Champion, having survived a match in which he seemingly overcame each shortcoming Orton ascribed to him, one by one. Not ruthless enough? Witness the early elbow to the head and knife-edge chops that immediately turned The Viper’s chest a mottling shade of purple. Not tough enough? Kofi took Orton’s signature backdrop onto the announce table and kept on swinging. Too stupid to hang? Not in the slightest. Kingston’s mental toughness unquestionably carried the day, especially since something snapped in the usually clinical Orton, forcing him into a more ruthless gear that Kingston had trouble catching up to. Kingston has been a great WWE Champion, but when it came to Randy Orton, even 10 years later, he still seemed to have no answers.

But much like Orton only needs one move to turn the match in his favor, Kofi, too, only needed one lucky break. After breaking an RKO with a foot on the ropes, Kingston found himself square in the sights of The Viper’s dreaded punt — the rarely-used maneuver that Orton only reserves for his most persistent of foes. That Kofi was worthy of it was a compliment in and of itself, but the champion refused to stop at a moral victory, evading the kick and connecting with a Trouble in Paradise just seconds later, dropping Orton and effectively rewriting his own history with one fell swoop.

For 10 years, Kofi Kingston was the man who could have been the guy, if it weren’t for Randy Orton. Now, The Viper knows who he is. Kofi’s oldest and most vicious demon is off his back. Ten years later, a new day has finally come.