In a new interview with TV Insider, SmackDown superstar Kofi Kingston reflects on his rise to the WWE title scene, and the support the fans gave him to get there. Kingston reveals the story of finding out about Mustafa Ali’s injury, which was the catalyst into catapulting him into the Elimination Chamber, and the gauntlet match that sparked the #Kofimania movement.
The whole thing was crazy and shows how fast things can go zero to a hundred. I actually found out in the gym doing cardio. And I do cardio very rarely. I got to the building and got a text saying Mustafa Ali was hurt, and I was not only going to be in the Elimination Chamber, there was going to be a gauntlet match to see who the last person going out of the pod was. They asked if I was okay going an hour. I was mad I did the cardio.
He then touches on a moment in the matchup with AJ Styles, something that motivated him to capitalize on this situation.
I had to capitalize on it. When it was me and AJ Styles in there, he was asking me to quit. What we do is entertainment, but it was done on a real level. Like, I’ve been waiting to be in this situation and this scenario for a very long time. To quit now, it was almost offensive. I think at that point, people realized what was actually happening. They have been with me for this 11-year journey, and they’ve been waiting a long time, too. It has been a whirlwind of emotions. An emotional roller-coaster for sure over the past couple of months, but I’m just trying to do my best to embrace it all and ride the wave and seize the moment.
Kingston also talks about his relationship with the WWE Universe.
I have been very fortunate to have connected with the WWE Universe over the last 10 years. I always make an effort to embrace every single member of the WWE Universe I meet. Just shake a hand, share a smile or sign an autograph. Just be thankful for their interest in me. I think that has resonated. People felt that, and I didn’t realize they would until I got on to social media. After that gauntlet match, I couldn’t get to the bottom of my timeline. The past couple of months I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of my timeline because everybody is so supportive with congratulatory messages and different scenarios. It’s one of those things where the people have come along with me on this journey. I feel like they are wanting to cash in as much as I am. It has been an awesome ride.
Check out the full interview here.