|Ring Names|| Kofi Kingston|
Kofi Nahaje Kingston
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||221 lbs (100 kg)|
|Born||August 14 1981|
|Ghana, West Africa|
|Billed||Ghana, West Africa|
|Trained by|| Killer Kowalski|
|Debut||October 10, 1998|
Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah (August 14, 1981), is a Ghanian professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Kofi Kingston. He is currently signed to WWE and works on its Smackdown brand, where he is the current United States Champion. Since competing for WWE, he has won the Intercontinental Championship four times, the United States Championship three times, and the World Tag Team Championship once with CM Punk. He was a previous WWE Tag Team Championship holder, paired with Evan Bourne in the tag team Air Boom and he also had a tag team partnership with with R-Truth.
|MAGAZINE COVERS||EVENT HISTORY||TOYS||IMAGES|
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE (2006–present)
He made his official wrestling debut in 2006, when he faced Evan Siks on June 4. He competed primarily in the New England area, including stints in National Wrestling Alliance – New England, Millennium Wrestling Federation, New England Championship Wrestling, the Eastern Wrestling Alliance, and Chaotic Wrestling. In September 2006, he signed a developmental contract with WWE and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), a Georgia based developmental federation. He debuted in the new company, as Kofi Nahaje Kingston, in a dark match loss to Montel Vontavious Porter on September 21. For the rest of 2006 and the beginning of 2007, he appeared in DSW, as well as its Kentucky based sister promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling, where he was in a tag team dubbed the "Commonwealth Connection" with Harry Smith. In 2005, under the ring name "Kofi Nahaje Kingson", he had his first exposure to the main WWE roster, when he worked dark matches on March 5 and 26 before episodes of Raw against Charlie Haas and Trevor Murdoch, respectively. When he returned to the developmental federations, he shortened his original ring name to "Kofi Kingston" and continued to use both ring names throughout his duration there. He also worked live events, defeating Shelton Benjamin on May 5, and Val Venis on May 6.
When the Florida based developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, opened in June, Kingston was relocated there, appearing at their first show on June 26 teaming with Eric Pérez against Keith Walker and Rycklon Stephens in a losing effort. Kingston worked there for most of the remainder of the year.
A series of vignettes for Kingston's television debut began airing on the weekly ECW on Syfy television show starting on December 6, 2007. During this introduction phase, his videos, the official website, and commentators all made note that he would be the first Jamaican-born person to wrestle for the company. He debuted on January 22, 2008 as a face with a win over local wrestler David Owen. After wrestling sporadic matches, Kingston was involved in his first major match, a 24-man battle royal during the WrestleMania XXIV pre-show with the winner receiving an ECW Championship match, but was eliminated by Mark Henry. Kingston remained undefeated in singles competition in ECW for months and was placed into a feud with Shelton Benjamin at the end of April 2008. After two straight losses, Benjamin got a win over Kingston on the May 20 episode of ECW, ending his undefeated streak. On the June 24 edition of ECW, Kingston defeated Benjamin in an Extreme Rules match to end their feud.
Raw, Intercontinental and United States Champion (2008–2010)
As part of the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft, Kingston was drafted to the Raw brand. In his first match as a member of Raw roster, he defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship at Night of Champions. The win made him the first Ghanaian wrestler to hold a championship in World Wrestling Entertainment and it was also his first championship in his wrestling career. Kingston held the championship until SummerSlam, where he and Women's Champion Mickie James both lost their championships in an intergender "winner take all" tag team match to Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella.
At Unforgiven, he appeared backstage, coming to the aid of then-World Champion CM Punk, who had been attacked by Manu, Randy Orton, and the World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Soon after coming to his rescue, Punk and Kingston were paired together more often, and on the October 27 episode Raw, the duo won the World Tag Team Championship. He was also involved at Survivor Series in the traditional ten-men elimination tag team match on the side of Team Batista, but was eliminated by Orton. Kingston and Punk lost the World Tag Team Championship to John Morrison and The Miz at a WWE live event on December 13. At No Way Out in 2009, Kingston won a spot in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber by defeating Kane, but was unable to officially enter the match, as he was ambushed by Edge, who took Kingston's place and eventually won the match.
Kingston defeated Chris Jericho, after interference from Ric Flair, to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXV, but the match was won by CM Punk. After winning a Triple Threat Number One Contender's match the week before, Kingston defeated Montel Vontavious Porter on the June 1 episode of Raw to win the United States Championship. For the next several months, he went on to defend and retain his title at PPVs such as Extreme Rules, Night of Champions, Breaking Point, and WWE Hell in a Cell, until losing the championship to The Miz on October 5 on Raw, ending his four month reign. On the October 12 edition of Raw, Kingston defeated Evan Bourne to qualify for Team Raw at WWE Bragging Rights. Team Raw lost the match, however, when the Big Show betrayed them by chokeslamming Kingston, allowing Chris Jericho to pick up the win for Team SmackDown.
Feuding with Randy Orton (2009–2010)
During WWE Bragging Rights, Kingston and Raw teammate Cody Rhodes argued about Kingston taking the loss in their match. As a result, when Rhodes and Ted DiBiase were interfering on behalf of Randy Orton during his WWE Championship match, Kingston ran out with a chair and chased Rhodes and DiBiase out of the arena. Orton would eventually lost the match. On the October 26 edition of Raw, Kingston began a feud with Orton, as Orton believed Kingston cost him the WWE Championship. After Kingston defeated Chris Jericho, Orton came from behind and attacked Kingston, resulting with Orton throwing Kingston onto the side of the entrance ramp. Later that night, Kingston destroyed Orton's car. On the November 16 edition of Raw, Kingston saved guest host "Rowdy" Roddy Piper from an assault by Orton and later performed a Boom Drop from a rail in the crowd onto Orton, sending Orton through a table. Kingston went on to lead his Survivor Series team to victory against Orton's team, whereas he was the sole survivor, last eliminating Orton. On the November 30 edition of Raw, Kingston was scheduled to face Orton in a one-on- one match, only to be assaulted from behind by DiBiase and Rhodes. Despite the assault, Kingston still wished to continue, and was quickly defeated by Orton. During the match, Orton seemed to vent his anger into beating Kofi. The following week, Kingston defeated Orton in a rematch where guest host Mark Cuban, who had a grudge against Orton since their encounter at Survivor Series in 2003 when Orton performed an RKO on him, gave Kingston a fast count. He then announced that with one victory apiece, the two would face off again at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Orton defeated Kingston at the event. On the December 28 episode of Raw, Orton interfered in Kingston's match for the United States Championship, resulting in their rivalry continuing. On the January 4 edition of Raw, Orton once again defeated Kingston. The following week on January 11, Kingston would compete against Orton and John Cena in a triple threat match with the winner facing Sheamus for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. Orton ultimately won the match by pinning Kingston. On the February 1 edition of Raw, Kingston won a qualifying match by defeating the Big Show via disqualification to advance to the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the inaugural Elimination Chamber event. Kingston, however, failed to win after being eliminated by Sheamus. On the March 22 edition of Raw, Kingston defeated Vladimir Kozlov to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI. At the event however, Kingston was unsuccessful as the match was won by Jack Swagger.
SmackDown, Intercontinental Champion and Feud with Dolph Ziggler (2010–2011)
On April 26, as part of the 2010 WWE Draft Lottery, Kingston was drafted to the SmackDown brand. In his debut match for the brand, he defeated Chris Jericho. On the following episode of SmackDown, Kingston was entered into a four-man tournament for the vacant Intercontinental Championship after Drew McIntyre had been stripped of the title earlier in the show. He went on to defeat Dolph Ziggler in the first match of the tournament. Christian defeated Cody Rhodes in the second match. As a result, Kingston faced and defeated Christian in the finals of the tournament to seemingly win his second Intercontinental Championship on the May 14 episode of SmackDown. However, moments later, McIntyre came out with a letter, signed by Vince McMahon, saying that Theodore Long was irresponsible and abused his power. The letter also stated that McIntyre was reinstated to the active roster and that Kingston was stripped of the Intercontinental Championship, which returned to McIntyre.
It was later announced on WWE.com that Kingston would face McIntyre for the title at Over the Limit. At the event, Kingston defeated McIntyre to officially win his second Intercontinental Championship. On June 1, Kingston was announced to mentor Michael McGillicutty on the second season of WWE NXT. On the June 18 episode of SmackDown, it was announced that at Fatal 4 Way, Kofi would defend the Intercontinental Championship against Drew McIntyre. At the event, Kingston defeated McIntyre to retain the title. On July 18 at Money in the Bank, Kingston was unsuccessful as Kane grabbed the briefcase to win the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match. The following SmackDown, Kingston lost to Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match.
On the July 30 episode of SmackDown, Kingston faced Ziggler in a rematch but lost via disqualification, resulting in Ziggler earning a title match. On August 6 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler defeated Kingston to win the Intercontinental Championship. Kingston got his rematch for the title August 15 at Summerslam, which ended in a no contest after The Nexus interfered. On the August 20 episode of Smackdown, Kingston faced Ziggler once again for the Intercontinental Championship defeating Ziggler by disqualification, but by rule, Ziggler retained his Intercontinental Championship. The following week, Kingston faced Ziggler once again for the Intercontinental Championship with the pre-match stipulation that if Ziggler should be disqualified the title would change hands. Vickie Guerrero intervened during the match and got Ziggler counted out so the title did not change hands. At Night of Champions, Ziggler once again faced Kingston with the Intercontinental Championship on the line with the stipulation that if Dolph was either counted out or disqualified that Kofi would win the title. Dolph Ziggler ended up winning the match by pinfall and retained the title once again. On the October 15th edition of Smackdown, Kingston defeated Drew McIntyre to earn a spot in the Team Smackdown competing at Bragging Rights. At the pay-per-view, Team SmackDown emerged as the superior brand with Edge and Rey Mysterio being the final survivors. He still remains defeated against Alberto Del Rio.
On the December 3 edition of SmackDown, Kingston defeated Jack Swagger to become the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship but failed to win back the title when Swagger attacked Kofi during the match. At the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Kingston was unsuccessful in claiming the Intercontinental title against Swagger and Ziggler in a ladder match as he and Swagger unhooked the belt but it dropped to the mat and Ziggler grabbed it and retained the title.
On the January 7, 2011 edition of SmackDown, Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler to become the Intercontinental Champion for a third time. Immediately following the match, acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero ordered that Ziggler invoke his rematch clause straight away. After hitting Trouble In Paradise, Kingston defeated Ziggler again to retain his newly won championship.
After using the Trouble in Paradise on Alberto Del Rio to win the Tag Team match against Kane and Alberto Del Rio with Rey Mysterio on his side on the 28th January of episode on WWE Smackdown!, Kofi then started a feud with Alberto Del Rio after many attacks. Even Alberto Del Rio prevented Kofi Kingston from qualifting for the Elimination Chamber. On the 11th February episode of Smackdown!, Kofi Kingston faced Alberto Del Rio in a singles match but in the end Alberto Del Rio beat Kofi Kingston after being tapout with the Cross Arm Breaker. On the 19th February, Alberto Del Rio also interfered in Kofi Kingston's match against The Miz which The Miz won. They eventually faced each other again in a non-title bout at Elimination Chamber which was won by Del Rio.
On March 22 at the tapings of the March 25 edition of SmackDown, Kingston lost the Intercontinental Championship to Wade Barrett. On April 1 edition of Smackdown, Kingston won his rematch against Wade Barrett by disqualification. After Vladimir Kozlov was injured at the hands of The Corre, Kingston was chosen as Kozlov's replacement in an eight man tag team match involving Kofi, Kane, Big Show and Santino Marella versus The Corre at WrestleMania 27, which Kingston's team won.
Various Tag Teams (2011–2012)
On April 26, 2011, Kingston was drafted back to the Raw brand as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft. On May 1, Kingston defeated Sheamus in a Tables Match at Extreme Rules to win his second United States Championship, in the process returning the title to Raw. On the May 9 episode of Raw, Kingston successfully defended his championship against Jack Swagger. At WWE Capitol Punishment, Kingston lost the title to Dolph Ziggler. Kingston faced Ziggler in a rematch for the title on the June 20 episode of Raw in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match, but Ziggler retained the United States Championship as the match ended with Ziggler being disqualified.
On the August 22 episode of Raw, Kingston won the WWE Tag Team Championship with Evan Bourne when they defeated David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty. On the August 29 episode of Raw, the duo was called "Air Boom", and they had their first successful title defense when they defeated Otunga and McGillicutty in a rematch. At Night of Champions Air Boom retained their titles against The Miz & R-Truth by disqualification after Miz attacked a WWE referee. At Hell in a Cell and Vengeance, Air Boom retained their titles twice against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Bourne was suspended throughout November for his first violation of the company’s Wellness policy. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Air Boom successfully retained their titles aganist Primo and Epico. On January 15, 2012, Air Boom lost the Tag Team titles to Primo and Epico at a house show. On the January 16 episode of Raw, Air Boom were awarded a rematch but failed to regain the titles. The following day, Bourne was suspended again for his second violation of WWE's Wellness Policy.
At the 2012 Royal Rumble event, Kingston participated in the Royal Rumble match and although he did not win, he had a stand-out moment when he saved himself from elimination by walking on his hands to reach the ring steps and re-enter the ring. At Elimination Chamber, Kingston failed to capture the WWE Championship after being eliminated third by Chris Jericho. Kingston then began teaming with R-Truth, facing the likes of Primo and Epico and Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger which they both won and lost, respectively. On the February 27 edition of Raw, Kingston and Truth failed to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship from Primo and Epico in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match, also involving Ziggler and Swagger. On the April 30 edition of Raw, Kingston and Truth defeated Primo and Epico to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. At Over the Limit, Kingston and R-Truth successfully defended the titles against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger and then again in a rematch on the May 28 episode of Raw. In the pre-show of Money in the Bank, Kingston and Truth defeated Hunico and Camacho in a non-title match. The following night on Raw, they successfully defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil and Darren Young). At SummerSlam, Kingston and Truth defeated Prime Time Players to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. At Night of Champions, Kingston and Truth lost the Tag Team Championship to the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane and failed to regain the titles from the new champions the following night on Raw. Both Kingston and Truth were defeated by The Primetime Players in the first round of the Tag Team Tournament to determine the number one contenders for the Tag Team Championships, causing both Kingston and Truth to disband as a team and each returning to being single competitors.
Fourth Intercontinental Championship reign (2012−2013 mid January)
After defeating Michael McGillicutty on the October 10 episode of WWE Main Event, Kingston was confronted and insulted by commentator and Intercontinental Champion The Miz, prompting Kingston to challenge for the title which Miz accepted. The following week on Raw, Kingston defeated Miz in a non-title match. Two days later on WWE Main Event, Kofi defeated Miz for the Intercontinental Championship for the fourth time in his career. Kingston made his first successful title defense on October 28 at Hell in a Cell, defeating Miz in a potta match. Kingston then sarted feuding with Wade Barrett when the two were placed on opposing teams in the traditional five on five elimination tag team match at Survivor Series. Kingston's team, led by Mick Foley, was defeated by Barrett's team, led by Dolph Ziggler, during which he was eliminated by Barrett. The following night on Raw, Kingston was defeated by Barrett in a non title match. Four days late on SmackDown, Kingston defeated Damien Sandow to retain the Intercontinental Cgampionship whilst Barett was on commentary. Kingston, still the Intercontinental Champion received a shot at the United States Championship on the December 3 episode of Raw, against champion Antonio Cesaro, R-truth and Wade Barrett in a fatal four-way match, but was unsuccessful after Cesaro pinned Kingston for the win. On December 16 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Kingston was successful in defending his title against Wade Barrett. Two weeks later on the December 31 episode of Raw, Kingston lost the Intercontinental Championship to Barrett. Kingston received his rematch four days later on SmackDown, but was defeated again by Barrett. At the 2013 Royal Rumble, Kingston had another stand out moment in the Rumble match. After eliminating Tensai, he was pushed out of the ring but jumped on Tensai's back, landed on the announce table and used JBL's announcer chair to hop to the ring apron before being eliminated by Cody Rhodes. On the April 12 edition of SmackDown, Kingston ended his losing streak against United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non title match. On the April 15 edition of Raw, Kingston would beat Cesaro for the U.S. Title for the third time.
After receiving a university degree at Boston College, he initially pursued a career in the corporate world. Sarkodie-Mensah decided to drop his business pursuits and opt to go into professional wrestling. Kisean pushed his brother to join WWE and pursue his offer to join. After very hard consideration Kofi joined WWE and was transported to Deep South Wrestling (DSW) while Kisean stayed home and practiced music. Kofi has also mentioned watching Shawn Michaels wrestle in 1996 as an inspiration for his wrestling career.
Sarkodie-Mensah began wrestling professionally in 2005, under the ring name of Kofi Nahaje Kingston. Kingston's country of birth was billed as Jamaica because, according to Leslie Goffe of the BBC, "People would be more likely to embrace a person from the land of Bob Marley and reggae music" than someone from Ghana. (This would later be retconned in late 2009 when his character became more serious, with the on-screen explanation being his smiling Jamaican gimmick was paying tribute to the Jamaican culture). It is also known that CM Punk and Kofi travel together and are close friends.
- Finishing moves
- Cool Runnings (DSW) / Trouble in Paradise (WWE) (540 kick / Jumping corkscrew roundhouse kick)
- S.O.S (Ranhei)
- Signature moves
- The Boom Drop (Running jumping high-angle twin leg drop, with theatrics)
- Crucifix pin
- Flying forearm smash
- Frog Splash transitioned into a diving crossbody, sometimes while springboarding.
- Side Russian Legsweep
- Koronca Buster followed by a European Uppercut or Monkey Flip
- Arm Drag, sometimes as a counter to a Hip Toss.
- Irish whip rebound into a leap-frog back elbow or crossbody
- Kesagiri or Backhand chop with both hands to an oncoming opponent
- Superman Punch/clothesline
- "The Jamaican Buzzsaw"
- "The Jamaican Sensation"
- "The Angry Jamaican"
- The "Wild Cat"
- Tag teams and stables
- Theme music
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #26 of the best 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010
- World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
- World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with CM Punk in 2008
- WWE Intercontinental Championship (4 times)
- WWE United States Championship (3 times Current) in 2009/11/13
- WWE Bragging Rights Cup 2010 with Team SmackDown.
- WWE Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Evan Bourne as Air Boom in 2011 and with R-Truth as Kofi Kingston & R-Truth in 2012
- Slammy Award for "Tell Me I Did Not Just See That" Moment of the Year (2012)
- Kofi Kingston profile at WWE.com
- Kofi Kingston profile at CAGEMATCH.net
- Kofi Kingston's entrance theme