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For two years the WWE has seen a laughing, smiling Jamaican in the form of Kofi Kingston. But now he has returned to his Ghanaian roots and his smile might begin to wane as he begins the tensest feud of his career with Randy Orton.
On Raw, Randy Orton blamed Kingston for his Iron Man Match defeat to John Cena at Bragging Rights. But the former United States Champion did what few people would dare to do and stood up to Orton.
In an amazing moment Kingston ruined Orton's brand new gift from Legacy - his very own NASCAR.
And just days after making his fearless statement, Kingston chatted to Sky Sports wrestling expert Richard Parr. The Raw superstar discussed his impending feud with the Legend Killer, why he has returned to his Ghanaian roots, his Wrestlemania debut and Jackie Chan!
Kofi, you certainly made an impact on Raw this past week by trashing Randy Orton's car. This is a side of you we hadn't seen before. Will we be seeing more of this in the future?
Kofi Kingston: I hope so. To be honest, it's one of those situations where you can only get pushed so far before you start pushing back. So I'm starting to push back and I know next week Randy will not be best pleased. So we'll see what happens.
By angering Randy Orton this will surely put you into a main event feud with the Legend Killer. Are you ready?
Kofi Kingston: I'm definitely ready, otherwise I wouldn't have crossed that line. I think everyone's goal in the WWE is to be at the top. My goal is to be the best. Randy has obviously established his name as the Legend Killer but he is becoming a Legend in the WWE. To be able to go in there with Randy will definitely be a great learning experience for me and I think there are going to be some great matches and great things to come from the two of us.
You only debuted in the WWE two years ago and following a long spell with the US Title and now an impending feud with Randy Orton, have you been surprised at how fast you have progressed?
Kofi Kingston: Yes and no. I'm always striving to be better. If you're not getting better, you're only getting worse. I always thought this would happen eventually. I didn't put a time frame on my progress. I'm a guy who always looks to the future, to try to get better, to get better with every match. I guess it was surprising at first but when you're given the ball you've got to run with it. I've always wanted to chase that Brass Ring and try to run with the ball.
You have some of the most innovative moves in the WWE at the moment. Where do your ideas come from?
Kofi Kingston: I get ideas from all over the place. Number one, I watch wrestling from all over the world. I watch a lot of wrestling from Japan and Mexican wrestling. They do a lot of unique things that we don't necessarily do in the Unites States. I'm also a big video gamer, I play a lot of video games. I played Tekken, guys like Eddy Gordo are very unique characters. When he was introduced into the Tekken series he was the guy everybody was talking about. People knew about Capoeira but they didn't really know what it was all about as far as moves and stuff. So I incorporate a little bit of that too. I tend to do a lot of things that are cool to me. Kung Fu movies - they do a lot of unique stuff. If I see something that looks cool there, I'll try and incorporate it. There was a move at Wresltemania where I jumped through the ladder that I got from Jackie Chan. I saw him do that in a fight scene. I have a lot of different influences and I pick and choose what works for me and try to make it my own.
Has the WWE ever stopped you from using a new move because it's not their style, you might hurt yourself or seriously injure your opponent?
Kofi Kingston: I have never been told that. Fortunately I get to just go out and do what I do. And when I come back (from the ring) if any one tells me not to do something then I ask for forgiveness afterwards. But I have never been told not to do a certain move. I'm actually praised for my moves.
You mentioned video games and you are the current Champion of the Superstar challenge on the Smackdown versus Raw game. Will you retain your title next year?
Kofi Kingston: I hope so. There are a lot of people gunning for me ever since I won. JTG's been talking a lot of trash even though he's yet to enter a THQ challenge tournament. Shad (Gaspard), Cody (Rhodes) wants pay back, Shelton (Benjamin) might even get involved in the tournament again. I think when you get to that number one spot people definitely have you on their target.
You've gone from being Jamaican to Ghanaian. Could you please clear up your background for us?
Kofi Kingston: I was actually born in Ghana, West Africa. As far as the whole Jamaican thing is actually concerned, growing up I actually loved everything about Jamaica. I loved the food, the culture, the laid-back attitude. When I came to the WWE initially I wanted to come out to something that attributed both my love for wrestling and the Jamaican heritage. I wanted to come out to something unique and something people had never seen before. But at a certain point it becomes about being real and true to yourself, as opposed to playing a character. You look at guys like Triple H. When he first started out he was Hunter Hearst Helmsley and before that he was Terra Ryzing - I don't know if a lot of people know that. Stone Cold Steve Austin was Stunning Steve Austin before he became Stone Cold. The Rock was Rocky Maivia before he became The Rock. Shawn Michaels was a Rocker before he became the Heartbreak Kid. I think in wrestling and the WWE you see a trend of guys who make transitions. And I think for me I'm in that transition stage into coming into my own.
If you weren't a WWE Superstar what would you be?
Kofi Kingston: I'd like to be involved in something to do with video games. Before I became a wrestler I was in the advertising field, so maybe a combination of advertising or marketing for video games. It's hard to imagine a life without wrestling at all. I'm not sure, something athletic perhaps. I'm a pretty athletic guy, so maybe something to do with football or track & field. I don't know. It could be anything!
The WWE returns to the UK in a few weeks time for the 'Honey Monster presents DX Invasion Tour'. How much are you looking forward to it?
Kofi Kingston: Man, I love, love, love wrestling in the UK. Every time we go we're only there for two weeks but the crowds are just so energetic. It's nothing that I have ever experienced. You guys aren't used to seeing us, so when you do you're very excited. It's just a really good vibe. When you walk out there and people are excited to see you, my energy feeds off the crowd and the crowd feeds off of me. It always is a great, great show. I'm definitely looking forward to the UK.
Talking of a great show, as you mentioned earlier you made your Wrestlemania debut this year in Houston, Texas in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. How was that experience and were you nervous at all?
Kofi Kingston: It was amazing, it was a lifelong dream. As I told you people as wrestlers strive to be the best and Wrestlemania is the pinnacle of wrestling events. To be involved in that was just incredible. Checking off another thing on the list of things I wanted to do in my lifetime. As far as being nervous, I was a little bit nervous. But I usually am before every match until I step through the curtain and hear the crowd. And Wrestlemania, with over 70,000 people there, in Houston it was one of those things that when my music hit the crowd just went wild. I walked out and it looked like there were people were stacked up for miles and miles all the way up to the end of the stadium. It was incredible. I think I was more excited than nervous. It didn't really all hit me that I had been involved in Wrestlemania until it was all over, until I walked through the curtain and sat down. It was amazing. It all happened so fast.
If you could choose your opponent for Wrestlemania 26 next year in Phoenix, Arizona, who would it be against?
Kofi Kingston: As long as I am there then that will be cool. I really don't know. It could go many ways this year. Who knows? I'm starting to get involved with Randy right now. Who knows how long that'll go on for? But I would love to have a match with Randy at Wrestlemania. I grew up watching Shawn Michaels. For me to have a match with Shawn Michaels would be coming full circle for me. Money in the Bank again, I would love to go in there and beat seven other guys. I don't know, as long as I am there and doing something then that is cool with me.
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