Kofi Kingston recently reflected on his feud with Samoa Joe in 2019 on the newest edition of New Day: Feel The Power, and one of the things Kingston discussed was the segment where he gave Joe the middle finger on SmackDown.
When recalling what led to the creative behind the angle, Kingston noted that he came up with the idea before having to get it approved by Vince McMahon (via Fightful):
“The whole situation was so funny because we were talking about how we wanted to present this idea and we needed a punchline. I was like, ‘it’s got to be the middle finger.’ Maybe not the middle finger, but something along those lines. The more we talked about it, it was like, ‘Nah, it’s gotta be the middle finger.’ We went in and asked He Who Shall Not Be Named [Vince McMahon] and he cleared it. ‘Yeah, that’ll be fine, we’ll just shoot around it.’ What? Okay. Good luck. Sure enough, the cameraman went over the shoulder and you could see me legit cheesin’ that I get to throw the middle finger up on TV. The little things.”
Kingston went on to successfully defend his WWE Championship against Joe at Extreme Rules 2019.