Kofi Kingston made his WWE debut on the January 22, 2008 episode of ECW, defeating a local talent. On the same night, CM Punk lost the ECW Championship, ending his reign at 143.
It would be the first time the two would be connected in WWE, but not the last as they would end up winning the World Tag Team Titles together in October 2008.
Speaking on the Swerve City Podcast, Kofi spoke on his friendship with CM Punk.
"Punk is one of the guys in the industry who I consider to be my brother," he said. "He helped me out when he didn't need to help me out. People were more about keeping other people down and their spots being taken. I remember, I'm about to go out for my debut and I'm doing push-ups. I see a set of wrestling shoes, I look up, and there's Punk. He goes, 'Just remember, they're out here to see you.' That eased my nerves going out there. He didn't have to say that to me. We became Tag Team Champions and I learned so much. At the time, he was [ECW] Champion and a lot of gripes that you have on the undercard, sometimes you have at the top. I'm like, 'He's going through a lot of the same stuff that I'm going through.' Fast forward to being WWE Champion, I was already prepared to go through whatever it is that I needed to go through and fight."
Kofi isn't the only member of New Day who has expressed his gratitude towards CM Punk recently. Big E said on My Mom's Basement that CM Punk saved his career by putting in a good word. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.