Eddie Kingston was on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast where he discussed his time in AEW as well as his 18-year wrestling career. Kingston made his AEW debut taking on Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship on Dynamite. Kingston revealed how his AEW appearance came together.
“QT Marshall did first and then Christopher Daniels did, and they were like, ‘hey, do you want to come in?’ I was like, ‘yeah, I’ll fight. It’s cool,'” Kingston recalled. “The best part was I go, ‘how much money?’ I’ll come in, but how much? I don’t know if they were ready for that part when I went, ‘yeah, sure, I’ll come in, but how much?’ I don’t know if they were ready.
“It’s a different time now Tony. I’m 38. 18 years in so maybe the younger guys will just be happy to get an opportunity, and I was just like, ‘look F an opportunity. I’m trying to get paid.’ Either way, I’m going to beat Cody up, and then try to get paid. Honestly, I wasn’t going in looking for a job. I was just going in to put on a good match. I was going in to tell a good story with Cody and get paid.”
Kingston noted that he and Rhodes are fans of the similar NWA style of wrestling. He talked about the story he wanted to tell in his match against Rhodes and how his promo before the match helped tell that story.
“Those are styles I was attracted to, and ECW brought me back in to wrestling,” Kingston stated. “So that was the style I was into. All Japan Pro Wrestling. Just a harder hitting style and and the move setting the pace and telling the story, and I also felt like Cody had great matches with other guys. No offense to those other guys. They’re all great especially Jake Hager and all them. They’re all great in their own way, but I believe Cody didn’t have a guy who was going to put pressure on him and get up in his face and make him fight back. And he did, so that was the story I was trying to tell.
“That’s why I cut the promo and was saying, ‘oh you don’t know nothing about grinding,’ and that promo was just setting up for Cody to beat me to look like the tough guy or not look but be the tough guy. People just thought I was just talking s–t for the sake of talking s–t. It was to help with the match, so when Cody kicked out and when Cody went through the tacks and still beat me and smack me around and put on the Figure Four, that was the point of me saying, ‘oh, you don’t know how to grind. You don’t know how to do this,’ and then he does it and they go, ‘OK, there you go.’ Like I wasn’t expecting anything. Like cool, I did my job. Thanks appreciate it.”
Tony Schiavone revealed that he knew he and Kingston would get along because he tells every new person in AEW to not “f–k up this match.” He revealed that Kingston was the only person to ever push back at him.
“Well, I knew I would have a connection with Eddie because I always like to, when somebody new comes in like Ricky Starks and even Warhorse, when they came in, I’ll go in the back there when they’re sitting there, “Schiavone said. “I’ll say, ‘don’t f–k up this match, and Eddie was the only one that fired back at me. I mean immediately, bam.
“I said, ‘when I know you better, I’m gonna bump you,'” Kingston added. “I’m gonna get you Schiavone.”
“Yeah, because Warhorse went, ‘yes, sir. I’ll be fine,'” Schiavone revealed.
After the match, Kingston said he was offered a WWE contract. He said the deciding factor of signing with AEW was his mother saying that his mother recommended him to sign with AEW because she believed that Kingston would be fired quickly by WWE if he signed there.
“My mom told me. I’m a mama’s boy in the sense of what she says goes,” Kingston admitted. “Like her opinion holds a lot of weight for me to point where I’ve been with girls who I thought I was in love with and my mother would be like, ‘I don’t think she’s good,’ and I’ll break up with them the next day. It’s just the way it is. My mother knows me better than anybody, and I was contacted by WWE. They contacted me, and it was humbling.
“It was nice that they contacted me, but I was trying to think where should I go? And my mom was just like, ‘look, you won’t be happy at WWE.’ She goes, ‘I know you. You won’t be happy. You’ll probably get fired three weeks in,’ and I was like, ‘well Mom, it’s done. Looks like I’m going to AEW,’ and she was like, ‘OK, good’ and that was it. She was the deciding factor. There was a lot of things going for AEW, but she was the deciding the deciding factor of it all.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.