Kofi Kingston: We're In A Elder Statesmen Role In NXT, It's Our Responsibility To Pass Knowledge Down

Kofi Kingston discusses the New Day's current run in NXT.

Since arriving on the brand last month, the New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) have made a big impact in NXT. Woods and Kingston won the NXT Tag Team Championships at the brand's Deadline show and have since went on to have matches with teams like Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs.

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In a new interview with Fightful, Kingston gave some insight into how the New Day ended up in NXT.

"Every week we go into talent relations, they give us the rundown of what the requests are with regards to appearances and things that we have to do and social media posts and all that. The guy in talent relations, [Zach], was like, ‘Hey, Shawn Michaels is specially requesting you guys to come down to NXT.’ So, to me, that automatically means it’s not even a request, we gotta do it. But we also wanted to do it. I’ve said it on several different interviews; Shawn Michaels has always been my guy. He was the guy that I used to watch and want to be like and motivated me to even pursue this career. So of course I would do that. It was so cool. ‘You are being summoned by Shawn Michaels.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, alright. Let’s go.’ Just to be able to go to NXT and be in the midst of all that energy where people don’t necessary know what their characters are, they don’t have the amount of experience that we have. It’s a very special time in your career when you’re trying to figure yourself out. So for us to be able to go down there and help people find themselves and share some of the experience that we’ve had is an honor to be able to do that. Because the guys who came before us did that for us. So here we are in that elder statesmen role where we can go and do that for other people and that, to me, is a beautiful thing. That’s really how our business keeps progressing. ‘Cause if we don’t pass that knowledge down then no one gets better, no one advances and the industry doesn’t thrive. So it is our responsibility to be able to go out there and do that kind of stuff. Working with Pretty Deadly has been amazing. It’s just something we’d been wanting to do since they were on NXT UK. Their outfits alone, you know what I’m saying? Who are these guys? What are they about? What are they doing?"

During the first week of January, Kingston worked two live event singles matches against both Elton Prince and Kit Wilson. In the interview, Kingston discussed the experience and noted that Prince and Wilson were getting a reaction without even speaking a word.

"Yeah, yeah. Exactly, man. So we had Live Events not this past weekend, but the weekend before, and I got to work singles matches with Kit and Elton. We cut promos before hand. A telltale sign you have something special is when you’re able to walk through the curtain and invoke a reaction without even saying a word. They walked through the curtain and everyone just started booing them. I’m like, ‘Man, you don’t even know what these guys have to say. You don’t know these guys.’ But just by the way they look and the way they carry themselves, they’re able to invoke that emotion out of a crowd. That’s a very difficult thing to do and they do it naturally. I’m really excited to be able to be with them at this point in their career and more so just to see where they’re gonna go ‘cause they’ve got very good heads on their shoulders. But they’ve been really fun to work with. It’s been a pleasure just to be able to, again, be with them and then there’s Briggs & Jensen, Schism and getting to know all the guys down in NXT at this point in their careers. To me, that’s what’s exciting because this is the future of our industry. So to see them at this stage and then know at some point they’re gonna evolve and become something better and just be more entertaining is exciting."

Kingston also went on to further discuss live events and how they are essential to getting people ready for television.

"Yeah. It’s something that we used to do back in the day—which is weird to say—but when I first started coming on the road back in 2007/2008, before I even debuted, I would do Live Events. There was two stints, I did one where I did six months and then another one I did for like eight months before I ever saw the light of TV. So I think it’s really important to be able to see what it’s like in front of a live crowd. Because the guys in NXT, especially because of the pandemic, they haven’t had a lot of that experience. The crowd at NXT are different. These are hardcore fans who come every single week and it’s an amazing energy that’s there. But it’s very different from going from town to town and going to an arena. There are some guys there that have not wrestled in front of a live crowd that is not NXT. So that experience, it’s so critical to being able to develop and hone your craft. So for us to be able to be there with them again and show them the ropes, literally, it’s an honor, man. It’s really cool."

Elsewhere in the interview, Kingston talked about the future of the New Day podcast. To learn more, click here.

Kingston and Xavier Woods are set to defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against both Pretty Deadly and Gallus at the upcoming Vengeance Day premium live event. To see the updated card for the event, click here.

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