EXCLUSIVE - Kofi Kingston Says Randy Orton Holding Him Back In 2009 Is "Very Legitimate"

Kofi Kingston talks to Fightful.

This Sunday at WWE SummerSlam, Kofi Kingston puts his WWE Title on the line against Randy Orton in a match that is a decade in the making. Back in 2009, Kingston looked to be on the rise in WWE, and a feud with Orton was thought to be the program that would elevate him to the next level. Kingston received a massive pop in Madison Square Garden when he put Orton through a table, but instead of breaking the glass ceiling, it was Kofi who came crashing down.

Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp caught up with Kingston at WWE SummerSlam media day to discuss the real-life beef between himself and Orton.

"On a very legitimate level, those who have been watching the videos about our history, it's very legitimate in the fact that he did not want me to be here to the point where he would tell people who made decisions that I shouldn't be in the position that I was at," stated Kofi. "A lot of people asked me over the years, 'What happened in 2009? You put Randy Orton through the table at Madison Square Garden. I thought you were going to be going up here.' That's where I was supposed to go. You come to find out that because of him, it didn't go that way, not right away. It took a little awhile. Ups and downs. And now here we are 11 years later, through a stroke of luck, a touch of fate, hard work, and taking advantage of some opportunities."

At the time, Kingston viewed Orton as a "co-worker," and he would go on to say, "We didn't really have a relationship per se, he's not one of the guys who I would chum it up with backstage or anything like that. It was like, 'Okay, we have a match' and then we're off doing our own things."

The history between Kingston and Orton has been the driving force behind their feud leading into SummerSlam with both men referencing their past issues on television and in video packages.

Fightful is in Toronto for WWE SummerSlam and will continue to provide on-site coverage of everything happening this weekend, including live coverage of SummerSlam beginning at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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