If not KofiMania

This should be simple. Kofi replaces Ali who got legit injured by Randy Orton I think, at last year’s Elimination Chamber. That was the whole catalyst for the big KofiMania super push with gauntlets and screwjobs leading up to him finally getting the match booked like the week before WM.

So was that all supposed to be Ali’s spot? Bryan/Ali at Mania? Or did they even have a plan before the Kofi thing fell in their lap?

Yeah it was supposed to be Ali.  But, you know, at least he gets to team up with Shorty G and lose every match on TV now, so he's got that going for him.