Kofi Kingston of The New Day was on a recent episode of the Table Talk podcast, where he discussed his iconic Royal Rumble moments. Kingston noted that it was John Morrison who was the innovator of those kinds of spots, and he took over that role when Morrison left WWE.
“So it was John Morrison who was the one,” Kingston admitted. “I always give him credit because he’s the one who got knocked off the barricade, and then Spider Monkeyed on the barricade, and, like, came back on, but then the year after that, he wasn’t with the company anymore. So, I was like, ‘Oooh, if you want somebody to go do something like that, I’ll take it. I’ll go do that spot.’ So, I did the headstand. And, again, this is a situation where I’m like, I get a lot of credit for these but everybody else that’s involved has to do their part, otherwise, I cant.
“Like, if Miz throws my feet too far, I’ve fallen over, I cant do the headstand. If Matt Bloom, ‘trainer for NXT’ is his official name now, doesn’t catch me on his back and he throws me on into the table, he doesn’t do his job, I don’t get the credit. You know what I’m saying? If I get thrown into The Rosebuds and they all drop me, like, they don’t do their job and I don’t get the credit. So, I don’t know.”
Kingston revealed that he would come up with spots with Hornswoggle back when they were roommates. He also noted that he does not put too much pressure on trying to come up with something when Royal Rumble comes around.
“As far as coming up with a spot, like, I don’t ever put the pressure on myself to do it. It usually comes to me like a week before,” Kingston noted. “Maybe a little bit less, and usually – so, I used to have Hornswoggle, we used to room together. That’s a whole other podcast, you know what I’m saying, but we would always go back and forth and he would kind get me a little bit of ideas.
“And all of a sudden, we’d come up with something. But I don’t really put pressure on myself to feel like if I don’t come up with one, then I just won’t, you know. So it’ll be what it is. Actually, last year I think was the first time it wasn’t really a thing for me, you know, it was more that the story we were telling was a little bit different. But by the same token, I think we had an incredibly cool moment.”
Kingston talked about what the spot against Brock Lesnar meant, pointing out that he and Lesnar had not confronted one another since Kingston had lost in quick fashion to Lesnar on SmackDown. He explained why the moment was so big for him, Big E, and Rey Mysterio to confront Lesnar. Kingston credits Lesnar for coming up with that spot.
“Brock and I hadn’t touched since October 4,” Kingston pointed out. “Just that seven-second special went down that made the classic. If you blinked, you might have missed it. We hadn’t touched since then, you know what I’m saying? So that was cool to be able to finally go back and confront him. But then to do it with Big E and to do it with Rey, and all three of us, you know, who had a history with him, our going back and forth with him.
“So that was cool, but, you know, as far as the inception of the spot, like, I don’t really put pressure on myself to come up with anything. It either comes, if it does or it doesn’t, you know. But I’ve been lucky to experience so many of those moments and become the Rumble guy.”
The year before, Kingston was on his big run known as “KofiMania”. Kingston described what the moment was like for him when he defeated Daniel Bryan to become WWE Champion at WrestleMania.
“Yes, everything for me was like a cinematic a movie,” Kingston said. “It was like a cinematic experience because everything seemed to happen in slow motion, and… when I was told they were going to actually go forward with the storyline of me advancing and winning the WWE Championship, I was like, ‘Oh! Ok!’ And I wouldn’t allow myself to get caught up, and I wouldn’t allow myself to actually believe it because so many times in our industry it happens where you have situations where you’re told one thing and the opposite happens like the next day.”
Kingston went through the whole day of WrestleMania and how surreal the whole experience was for him. He talked about sharing the moment with his best friends and realizing how far they had come after “New Day sucks” chants.
“It wasn’t until I saw the compilation package right before the match in gorilla that I was like, ‘Oh My God! This is happening.’ So, I remember everything. I remember the match, I remember Daniel being out there, I remember the people in the crowd, I remember looking over my family. You know, my dad was at WrestleMania for the first time, but everything just kept happening.
“I know I’ve said this in a bunch of my interviews but I’ll say it again, like, as soon as the ref’s hand hit the mat for the three, I remember my eyes just lighting up and everything kind of got quiet. And I’m like, ‘Oh My God it actually happened! We did it! We did it!’ And it was the greatest moment in my career, and then all of a sudden, Woods and E dog-piled on me. And I’m like, ‘Oh My God! We visualized this moment, man, we talked about this. You know, from the moment people were telling us The New Day sucked throughout the entire arenas and they be beeping New Day sucked in the garages. Now, here we are, where we made it to the top!”
Kingston also spoke on sharing the moment with his kids, as well as the people in the audience. He shared the emotions that were going through his head just after winning the WWE Championship.
“We talked about this,” Kingston reiterated. “This is the greatest moment of my career! And, all of a sudden, Woods goes down and grabs the title but he brings it up to me. I’m holding it up, and they hold me up on their shoulders, and I’m like, ‘oh my God! Look at all the people in the crowd! 85,000 people going nuts, people are crying! Look at all these emotions! I’m feeling all this energy!’ This is the greatest moment of my career and, all of a sudden, my family was in there, and then the kids came in there and my son, Khi, ended up getting the title.
“And he holds it up like this is the greatest moment of my career. I’m holding my son off the second rope, he grabs the t-shirt, I’m like, ‘Oh My God! He’s going to fall off the second rope!’ And he holds the t-shirt up first. Then he throws it out and he’s like, ‘Yeah!’ And the crowd is just going nuts! This is the greatest moment of my career! And my wife gets in there, you know what I’m saying?!”
Kingston spoke on the sacrifices and struggles that his family has seen along the way. He explained how fulfilling winning the title was, not only for him but also his wife and his father.
“All the sacrifices that she’s made over the years, being home with the kids by herself,” Kingston expressed, “being home by herself, thinking I’m going to come home one day and I give her a call, ‘No, it’s going to be another week, sorry’. She hasn’t gotten any sleep. This is all the sacrifices that we made. We did it together; here we are. This is the greatest moment of my career, you know.”
Kingston also talked about the social media reaction to his WWE Championship victory. He explained how momentous it was to share the biggest moment of his career with so many people.
“And then, going back to read all the comments on social media, and, like, just the love that I felt and that everyone shared was just incredible,” Kingston said. “It was a truly incredible moment where I’m so blessed to have experienced even a 10th of that. But, to me, that’s a moment that can never be taken away. And if it were to all end today, I can always have that moment. So, it was amazing on so many different levels.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Table Talk with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.