Kofi Kingston On His Title Reign’s Ongoing Impact: ‘No One Can Ever Take That Away’

Every since Kofi Kingston lost the WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar in an absurdly quick match and immediately moved back to the Tag Team scene with hardly a pause, a lot of people have had a hard time seeing the positive in his six-month reign at the top. Kofi’s not one of those people, however. He’s done his best to spin not just the loss, but his lack of apparent anger about that loss, into a story of positivity in the New Day fashion.

In a recent appearance on the CBS Sports State of Combat podcast, Kofi went a little deeper, talking about what his championship reign still means to other people of color both watching and participating in pro wrestling, no matter how it ended. (transcript by 411Mania

So, I’ve always said too that it’s one thing to say that anything is possible, in theory, right? If it hasn’t happened. But it’s another thing to say that anything is possible because it has happened in fact, you know? So, the fact that I was able to win the WWE championship, and just the social media posts alone was enough confirmation to know how impactful that moment was on people of color, and obviously anybody who has been in that situation, but particularly people of color because it hadn’t really happened before. You hadn’t really had somebody who was born in Africa that was a main title holder, you know, so the fact that I was able to do that and provide that motivation, even people always come up to me all the time, and they’re still talking about it. So yeah, I definitely felt that the impact was true, and that was always the point. I’ve always wanted to inspire people to go out and do positive things. And if you could feel 1/10th of the good vibes that I feel as a WWE Superstar, as a person, as as a person who has gone out and reached for their dreams and achieved that dream, then you’ll be so happy with your own life because I just want people to feel that.

And even if you have to hang in there and things look bleak, and you don’t think that you can do it, or it’s never been done before, there’s still a possibility. And the only way that possibility’s going to happen is if you yourself keep on pushing yourself. So yeah, even though the title reign ended, the impact that was felt was not — I feel like no one can ever take that away. And from a creative aspect, I think that people — hopefully, it shines a little bit of light on the way that storylines can be written because this wasn’t the intention. if [Mustafa] Ali doesn’t get hurt, we’re not having this conversation. Period. Point blank. It’s not happening, you know? So, the fact that — I’m just glad creatively that Vince [McMahon] and the company decided to go with what the people wanted because there have been a lot of times where people wanted to go one direction, and clearly by the voices out there, we decided to go in a different direction. But again, just to see the impact that this storyline has had on real life, I think that people who have, ‘the pen,’ realize that and hopefully influences them to write some compelling storylines that really capture that sense of passion and things of that nature.

Although he went on to repeat the usual stuff about remaining positive after his loss to Lesnar, the words above provide a much fuller perspective on what happened and why he’s okay with it overall.

Kofi was also asked about the New Day negotiating their new contracts as a group, rather than individually:

Well, that has always been the philosophy of the group, and as far as looking out for No. 1, that’s been the mentality of a lot of different groups or factions, and that’s why you see them fall apart. But for us, we realize how strong we are. The bond that we have is special. We’re not like the other factions that you have out there, and it was important for all of us to get paid and get paid well and to do it as a group because that’s the only way that we want to do it. And that’s not to say that we can’t go off and have different singles runs or someone doing King of the Ring. Woods, that’s one of his dreams, to be King of the Ring. So, to have him pursue that, we don’t have to break up to do that. We can all look out for each other. You know what I’m saying? There’s a lot of food to go around, and we can all eat and eat well. So, let’s do that, you know what I mean? You’re stronger in a group than you are by yourself. I never understood the mentality of wanting to go on your own way and look out yourself. This is what’s worked for us.

Kofi also recently acknowledged that this new five year contract extension might by his last, as the idea of retiring and getting to spend more time with his family does appeal to him, but it kind of sounds like he’ll want to stick around for as long as the New Day is together, because they’re stronger as a group, and there’s still a lot to be done.