Kofi Kingston reflects on a real moment in-which he let out what he had been feeling.
Former 7-time WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston was moments away from winning the WWE Championship from Daniel Bryan at the 'Elimination Chamber' pay-per-view last month. Coming out of his performance in the Chamber match, Kofi earned a shot at the WWE Championship again and that match was slated for 'Fastlane' on March 10th. With the WWE Universe in his corner, Kingston was looking forward to possibly winning his first World Title in the WWE but Vince McMahon put a hold on "Kofi Mania" when he removed Kofi from the 'Fastlane' title match and inserted Kevin Owens.
Now that Kofi Kingston has been taken out of the 'Fastlane' title match, viewers of the product such as Edge and Christian believe that Kofi is being primed for a special moment at WrestleMania 35. Before the aforementioned sequences of events unfolded, Kofi participated in a gauntlet match on SmackDown Live to determine who was going to enter the Elimination Chamber match last. Kofi got the spot in the Chamber match after Mustafa Ali tallied up a number of injuries that forced him to take time off. During Kofi's gauntlet match performance in-which he went one-hour, he clashed with AJ Styles and told AJ that he had been waiting eleven years for a shot at the WWE Championship. Kofi revealed to Edge and Christian when he joined their Pod Of Awesomeness that the moment with AJ was not planned and that was raw emotion that he felt in that moment.
“I didn’t feel it until I was in there with AJ, because I think that is the point where it really just got real. I told him I’d literally been waiting eleven years for this moment and that was all real. That wasn’t like character-based stuff. It was just real, and I think as soon as he told me to stay down, something about that just got to me because I feel like I’ve worked very, very hard over the past eleven years. Every time, like I said, I go out there and I try as hard as I can to do as best as I can and I haven’t gotten really -- I can’t say I haven’t gotten a lot of opportunities because I’ve been really fortunate to experience a lot of cool things; having the feud with Randy, doing the Money In The Bank matches, Royal Rumbles obviously and even the past four/five years with New Day has been amazing but at the same time I haven’t had a chance at all to really have a singles match for a major title, and I try not to complain about it and I do believe everything kind of happens for a reason and that hard work pays off, but at a certain point, you start to question like, ‘Man, I’m working so hard. What am I not doing? What is it that I don’t have? Why am I being the one that’s being passed up while everyone else is getting opportunities?’" Kofi reflected. "So, in that match in the gauntlet when AJ comes over and kind of tells me to stay down, that was a very real -- like how could I ever walk away from… it wasn't an option. Regardless of how long I’d been in there… it’s such a rare opportunity especially like I know it first hand, I know some people get more chances than others. I can literally count the amount of major title opportunities that I’ve had on one hand. Even still, so, it just wasn’t an option but I think that was the point where I got up and started getting in his face and I could really feel the crowd just getting into it and you hear, ‘Whoa’ because they started feeling it too because a lot of the people who’ve been watching, they’ve been on this journey with me too. So, I think it was just a visceral and emotional moment, to where, I don’t know how much longer I have doing this. You know what I mean? Like it could all end tomorrow and I’ve been doing it for a pretty long time -- longer than most." Kingston said. "So, to sit down, I would never do that. There’s nothing on this planet that would make me walk away at a point like that so, I think that was the point when I started to feel that people were really getting emotionally invested into the match but I didn’t know how big it was going to be.”
Kofi stated that it wasn't until after the match when he realized how much fan support he had in his corner. Kingston credited his fan base, Big E and Xavier Woods for helping him get to where he is and added that he just wants to give the best performances possible whenever he steps in between those ropes.
“It wasn’t until after the match and I started to try and go through all my Twitter feeds that… my social media feeds, I literally can’t scroll to the bottom because things just keep popping off and it only allows you to go down a certain amount and I’m scrolling through literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of messages and tweets, and I usually pride myself on being able to read all the messages that come to me and I literally, I cannot do it, because people are so behind me, so it’s a really, really great feeling, and it just helps with that momentum because I do feel it’s not just me, it’s the people." He continued, "It’s Woods, it’s E. It’s the people that make our gear. A lot of people have been with us on this journey so, yeah man. I’m just trying my hardest just to capitalize and knock it out of the park every single time I step in there.”
The once-injured Mustafa Ali returned to in-ring action this past weekend at a WWE live event in Minnesota and to read the results from that event, head over to Fightful's "results" section.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions.