The main man?
Kofi Kingston reveals how he plans to conquer his WWE rivals and win the 2013 Royal Rumble.
Last Updated: 08/03/13 4:03pm
Kofi Kingston is ready to Rumble.
The Ghanaian grappler will be amongst the 30 men competing in Sunday's Royal Rumble match, with the winner earing a guaranteed main-event bout at WrestleMania this spring.
Kingston - who recently lost his Intercontinental belt to Wade Barrett after a two-and-a-half month reign with the gold - has impressed in previous Rumbles, most notably last year when he performed an eye-catching handstand to avoid elimination.
And the high-flyer told skysports.com how he plans to prevail this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, why he loves the multi-man melee and which WWE legend he would like to see enter the contest.
The three-time tag team titlist also spoke about the huge WWE Championship clash between The Rock and CM Punk, his favourite comic-book character of all time and more...
skysports.com: What would it mean to you to win the Royal Rumble?
KOFI KINGSTON: The Royal Rumble is huge and is a way for you to instantly skyrocket your career; it guarantees you a main-event, WWE or World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania, the ultimate prize and something that has been my dream since childhood. It would mean the world to me to win it.
skysports.com: What tactics will you deploy to try and win the match?
KK: There is no strategy to winning and a lot of it comes down to luck, like when you actually enter the match. A lot of guys have won the match from number one or two, while others have come in last and won, so you've just got to find a way to survive. I guess having people in their who you've tag-teamed with in the past, like me and R-Truth for example, helps you as you can form an alliance and eliminate people, but at the same time you know that you are not in there to be friends - and that your friends could turn on you in instant. You must have your guard up at all times.
skysports.com: You wowed everyone the 2012 Royal Rumble when, after falling to the mat, you 'handwalked' to get back in the ring. Did you always know you would pull off such a tricky manouevre?
KK: I was almost falling when I did it but luckily the ring steps were right there and I managed to put my feet on them and stay in the match. It was one of those things that just happened and thankfully I was acrobatic enough that day to not fall. I definitely think my athleticism gives me an advantage as I'm always in control of my body, whereas if heavyweights come out of the ring and land on their hands, I doubt many of them could do a handstand. They have the benefits being big and, as a result, are much more difficult to throw out of the ring, but us smaller guys can be a threat, too.
skysports.com: What do you like most about the Royal Rumble?
KK: I love that you get to see all your favourite WWE Superstars, plus in the last few years some WWE legends have come back and entered the match. A few years ago it was Booker T, who hadn't been with the WWE in a while, and Kevin Nash, while Rob Van Dam has been in it, too. These are guys I have grown up watching so to be in the ring with them is really cool.
skysports.com: Which WWE legend would you like to show up this year?
KK: I would love to see Koko B. Ware again; he got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 but we haven't really seen him since, so it would be cool to see him and his bird (blue-and-yellow macaw Frankie) dancing around in the ring!
skysports.com: You recently lost the Intercontinental Championship to Wade Barrett. How disappointing was that?
KK: It was disappointing to lose my title to Wade but the matches we had were top notch. Wade is a fantastic competitor, as Brits, especially, will know, and he is a brawler with a lot of heart. I always want to face guys with that much talent, as like Ric Flair used to say: 'To be the man, you've got to beat the man'. I always want to beat the top guys in the WWE and even though I lost to Wade on a couple of crucial occasions, the matches could have gone either way and I loved being part of them.
skysports.com: You have shown a wilder side to your personality ever since you battled The Miz in late 2012. Have you made a concerted effort to do that?
KK: Absolutely. There comes a point in your career where you have to take a look at where you're at and think: 'I can either stay where I am or turn things up and grab what you want'. I was fuddling around a little bit and not really doing too much, but I then saw an opportunity to go up against a guy in Miz, who is great in the ring and on the microphone. We went back and forth both verbally and wrestling-wise and had some great matches. I have brought out the wildcat Kofi Kingston which means being unpredictable, taking things to the next level and excelling.
skysports.com: What is it like to have The Rock back in the locker room and how much are you looking forward to his clash with CM Punk?
KK: Most of the Superstars are wrestling fans so we know how big of a star The Rock is and how charismatic he is. He is amazing on the microphone, but CM Punk is The Rock of our generation when it comes to talking skills and there are very few people in the business who can touch him. To see those two go toe-to-toe verbally is awesome and it will be great to see the Great One versus the Best in the World at the Royal Rumble. It will be an amazing match and the crowd will be on their feet.
skysports.com: Are you and your fellow Superstars angered that The Rock has earned a WWE Title match so soon into his return?
KK: It doesn't matter whether it's The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk or Horwswoggle, I am jealous if other Superstars fighting for titles and I'm not; if you're fine with guys main eventing instead of you, then you probably shouldn't be in the WWE. However, I also look at why other wrestlers are in those big matches, try to use them as a measuring stick and learn from them so that I can get to that level.
skysports.com: Finally, as a huge comic-book fan, who would you say was your favourite comic-book character of all time?
KK: I would probably say Spiderman because I identify with him; we both talk trash but back it up with our athleticism. However, in a recent edition, Marvel killed off Peter Parker, which is a real blow to me!
Don't miss WWE Royal Rumble, live and exclusive on Sky Box Office HD at 1am on Sunday, (Mon morning). Click here to order.