Posted October 24, 2019 by David Latham in Feature
 
 

Kofi Kingston Interview – WWE Live Australia


“DON’T YOU DARE… BE SOUR!” was how this very special Kofi Kingston interview began, and it didn’t come out of his mouth! I figured I’d catch him by surprise, and it was most certainly well received. Kofi Kingston is in Australia for the 2019 WWE Live event, and thanks to our friends at 2K we were given the opportunity to sit down with the former WWE Champion for a quick chat about his career and WWE 2K20 which launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the 22nd of October, 2019.

“I wore the sneakers for the interview today” I said, knowing Kofi refuses to wear proper wrestling boots admitting they hold him back from the kind of performance he wants to display each week.

Oh yeah! I was gonna ask you about those, man, I just got in to the Ultra Boosts! I usually wear the Nike Presto’s because they don’t aggravate the tendonitis in my Achilles, but these ones are probably going to be my next go-to.

Are you going to wrestle in those?

I usually wear high-tops, but these are supposed to be running shoes. I don’t know if I’d run in them, but they always look good!

Kofi Kingston Interview

Let’s get down to business, that first episode of Smackdown on FOX was a bit disappointing…

Yeah it was bittersweet because being on FOX is an amazing experience right now, a huge deal, I feel like FOX has done an amazing job incorporating us into their mainstream of shows, you see us on NFL commercials multiple times a day, I see people trying to contact me who I haven’t talked to in a decade saying they saw me on Thursday night football or Sunday night football, and it’s awesome. Smackdown right now is the biggest that it’s ever been. We’ve got pyro back, a whole new set, it’s a huge deal!

A homage to the original set.

Yeah! To be a part of this has been a huge deal, and to be in the main event was an awesome deal, but for it to go down the way that it went down, I think it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, myself included. We just keep on marching and keep on moving forward and just get ready for the next challenge, so we’ll see what happens. I don’t even know what’s happening next week, let alone what’s happening way down the line but we’ll get there one step at a time.

Cool, I mean 10 seconds was…

Yeah, I mean not even 10! I think it was like 8.5! So, like I said before we don’t get paid by the hour, we’re by the move. For me, it was a short match, one move, and if I do get another chance at Brock, I feel like it was a trial and error thing so now I know what not to do. People suggested that I run the other way and I was like ‘Nah, I’m gonna run head first into the fire!’ and that didn’t really work out, so maybe I’ll avoid him and try to outlast him. See what his stamina looks like, like in a video game a lot of the times you run around, and you see the guy get tired, I’d imagine that my stamina is more than Brock’s so maybe I tire him out. I don’t want to give away too much strategy, because he might be listening to this interview and get some pointers…

A lot of people are saying WWE probably wants Brock with the title at Crown Jewel event vs Cain to draw more crowds, but my theory is they wanted you to drop the title because they want you in the 2020 Royal Rumble

Ohhhh! See, you’ll probably know that before me! I never know what the rhyme or the reason is, yesterday I found out we were scheduled to have a 6 man match in our show tonight. I found that out via Twitter! A lot of times people will know things way before I do, so as far as my long-term plan, sometimes there is no long term plan, believe it or not! It’s not as contrived as you would think. it’s not like ABC we’re gonna do this, that, and this, and then 3 months down the line this will happen. Often at times we take into consideration the fans, or someone new might come in who might be getting a following, who we may want to make look a certain way then we’ll base the show around that. You never know what’s going to come next in WWE, but I say Ric Flair couldn’t have become a 16-time World Champion without losing 15 times, so hopefully I’ll get another shot at it and work on that multiple champion situation.

I’m glad you brought up that Ric Flair is a 16-time World Champion, because your next Royal Rumble will be your 13th time, and it will elevate you above the likes of HBK (Shawn Michaels) and The Big Show

Oh wow! Really?

Yep, but if Dolph [Ziggler] is in it as well, you’ll both be at 13.

Yeah, it’s crazy to think about stuff like that because me being a huge wrestling fan, growing up as a wrestling fan, you always hold guys in such a high regard like Shawn Michaels and Kane, Taker, Mark Henry, all these guys, and then I see myself on the roster and as the years pass all of a sudden it’s like ‘Oh, I’ve been doing this longer than this guy!’, ‘I’ve got a longer cumulative title reign than this guy!’ and looking at these, I’m like what is happening! It’s really cool to see this as a wrestling fan and obviously as a performer who wants to be the best he could possibly be.

[Your next Royal Rumble] will put you up about as high as it gets for records!

Yeah… But no wins! Hopefully number 13 will be my lucky number, we’ll see!

I’m just looking forward to what you do at the next Royal Rumble because maybe that will be the key to what gets you the win. You do something interesting every year, and everyone tunes in and pays attention when Kofi’s in the ring at the Rumble.

The ultimate stunt! Yeah, all these young guys are making it look easy now, like Kacy Catanzaro who was phenomenal last year in the Rumble, even Ember Moon was incredible. There were so many people and it’s so hard to stand out in that match. I thought people are finally starting to catch on like, ‘Hey we can find a way to stand out by doing this!’ and it’s like ‘Aww, you stole my secret!’ Not even steal, but you would be wise to make yourself stand out as a WWE Superstar and the Rumble is one of many opportunities to do so.

Being a part of The New Day for more than five years now, was it refreshing being in on the singles scene for most of 2019?

It was weird, because I’m not used to being out there alone, but this was always the goal for us to be multi-faceted and take over multiple corners of the WWE. We don’t consider ourselves one-dimensional. When you saw me with the WWE title and then [Xavier] Woods and [Big] E with the Tag Team championship like that was very validating for a lot of us because we pictured that moment. Five years ago when we were struggling to get on the television, hoping to get a shot to be on TV in a situation where we’re all together, like we envisioned, ‘Hey man, what if we had all the titles, what would that look like?’ and then five years later it actually happened. You set a goal and you don’t know how you’re gonna get there, it might take five years, it might take however long it takes, but the fact that we actually got there, it was awesome!

Putting The New Day into the same league as the likes of DX and Evolution and…

Yeah, yeah! To put your stable into the same tier as a lot of the memorable groups, it’s really cool. We just try to keep climbing that ladder and not get complacent.

Just before we talk about WWE 2K20, I just wanted to know if you have any idea of how many pancakes The New Day has been through over the past five years?

That depends on what you consider ‘been through’. Does that mean eaten? Does that mean given out? Does that mean cooked? Does that mean touched? Does that mean seen? Like that’s a very vague question, we live this pancake life for real, you know! You see us on screen doing a lot with pancakes, what you don’t see is what we do off-screen with the pancakes. I sit there with my kids, we eat pancakes. My wife makes gluten-free vegan pancakes in the house. She makes carrot pancakes, red velvet pancakes, it’s pumpkin season, we’ll have pumpkin spiced pancakes. There’s no such thing as a bad pancake is what I’m trying to say. When you’re a connoisseur of pancakes you don’t keep count! You don’t put a number on it! You just go out there and make sure that you’re eating the pancakes, that you’re interacting with the pancakes, and most importantly that you’re providing the pancakes for the people! That at the end of the day is all that matters, that’s what puts smiles on people’s faces.

 

That’s a solid answer Kofi, we’ll leave it at that! Moving on to WWE 2K20, this will be your 11th straight appearance in the WWE 2K games, what can you tell us about how your character has developed over that time?

I think the most awesome things that I always appreciate is the detail, like our gear and our faces and our move-sets. We put a lot of effort into what our gear looks like. This year we have our old-school Smackdown! gear, so you remember back in the day when you had Smackdown! with the fist breaking through the wall, so we made that into our gear. We had bricks on the gear, and I remember the process of talking to our guy Jonathan Davenport, he’s a guy who we go back and forth with, like we give him an idea and he comes back to us with a design and it’s always on point! So of course, when we came out with this Smackdown! themed gear, he hit the nail right on the head like he always does, and now you see it in the video game and it’s almost immortalised, right? There are pictures of it, but now you can actually go out and play as us in that gear. It’s cool! It’s really cool, I think 2K does an amazing job of making sure the gameplay is smooth, because at the end of the day it would be awesome for a game to look great but if it doesn’t play right then who cares? I think 2K does a good job of being well-rounded and taking into consideration all of those things. To make sure that not only does the gaming experience look as good as it can look, but it plays as well as it plays, so I think that is the best aspect of it, having that replayability where you can go back and play the game. The create-a-character is so advanced now! You can literally make any gear. They always do a good job of that.

And finally, do you see yourself on the cover of a future WWE 2K game?

Absolutely! I would love for myself, Woods and E to all be on the cover. It would just be awesome. It would be awesome because again at one point we were just three guys, we were floundering, just trying to find a way to get on to television as a group and prove that we could be something special and fast-forward now five years, we’ve done so many things and a lot of times I get posts on my social media of moments that we’ve had and I’ve forgotten about! We got to host Wrestlemania! The only active superstars that have done that have been John Cena, The Rock… actually, The Rock wasn’t even active when he hosted it. You have that very small group of people that have done this incredible thing. Being the longest reigning tag team champions in the history of the company, like how does that happen?

You just wake up one day and realise you’ve broken another record!

Yeah! You start getting closer and closer [to these records] and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, you mean to tell me that out of all the tag teams that have been on this roster, the greats: Demolition, Legion of Doom, Ky and ty, Kendrick and London, it’s amazing that we are still able to outdo ourselves and keep on climbing that ladder. It never gets old, and we always want to be pushing ourselves. To be on the cover of the video game too, especially all of us as gamers, it would be another drop in the bucket as they say. It would be an amazing experience. I’m gonna put out to the WWE Universe to say that this is what is going to happen!

Kofi Kingston Interview

With the new generations of consoles launching, it would be the perfect time! It’s a new day, new consoles!

New day, new consoles! You see it! Come on now, 2K! New day! That’d be the slogan, it’s already writing itself. We’ll see.

That sounds great, nice to meet you Kofi!

Oh right on man, likewise dude!

For more Kofi Kingston check out his official WWE profile and make sure to follow him on Twitter! We’re busy at work on our comprehensive review of WWE 2K20 and for more info on the game head to the official website.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Group of Eight university, but only uses his very unique set of skills writing about video games. By day he's a stay-at-home dad, by night he's literally Batman. Where does he find the time?