Kofi Kingston: Why colleagues cried over his WWE promotion

Probably his previous job helped him in the end, as much as the WWE champion hated him.

Kofi Kingston worked for Staples, an office supplies retailer, as a proofreader. “They had a 900-page catalogue,” “My job was to check it for spelling mistakes, make sure it was punctuated correctly, the spacing between words and punctuation marks.”

Not surprisingly, after some time he thought, “I didn’t feel fulfilled. I wanted to make more of my life. I wanted to make my dream come true.

Kingston fulfilled the greatest dream of all a month ago: At WrestleMania 35, he won the most historic title in the Show Battle League for the first time with a victory over Daniel Bryan, being the first African-born wrestler. The fact that he managed this coup late at almost 38 years of age may well have something to do with his personal background.

From proofreader to WWE champion

Proofreading is a job for title characters, it requires thoroughness and patience, a great urge to get things done properly without immediately hoping for a quick reward.

Even though Kingston has ironically excelled in WWE as a man for breathtaking flight interludes: He obviously retained the proofreader’s work ethic and patience – and finally got his reward after a long wait, in the greatest and most emotional way possible.

The coincidence of this story had to help a little.

Thrust by The New Day

Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah, as he is actually called, has been under a WWE contract for 13 years now.

After the native of Ghana and a graduate of Boston College started his wrestling training in 2005, it didn’t take a year before WWE became aware of his athletic talent.

Kingston quickly won the audience over with an innovative spectacle style, but he seemed to have reached his limits: Although he has repeatedly won the league’s secondary titles, and has been a creative star at ladder matches and royal rumbles, he has never been at the centre of shows or main events.

The New Day, founded in 2015, helped him to find his way around the ring as an entertaining character with his partners and friends Xavier Woods and Big E. Nevertheless, for a long time, it looked as if his membership in the cult group would remain his greatest legacy.

Ex-colleagues shed tears at WrestleMania

But then in February 2019, Kingston moved into the big WWE title match at No Escape (Elimination Chamber) as a short-term replacement for the actually injured Mustafa Ali – and suddenly the emergency plan became independent.

With outstanding performances, Kingston awakened the fans’ desire to see him as a champ, an audible wave of euphoria emerged and WWE overturned the actual WrestleMania plan to let Kevin Owens play Bryan in Kingston’s favour.

“Kofi-Mania” is an example of how an agreed to show sport can trigger real emotion and meaning against all prejudices.

After so many years, fans and colleagues gave Kingston, who is considered a model professional, a warm welcome for his late ascent after he had spent so long in a total of almost 1800 matches for WWE. Mania was followed by a viral video of his former WWE companions Montel Vontavious Porter and Shad Gaspard shed tears of emotion together as Kingston crowned his career in front of 80,000 fans at MetLife Stadium.


About the author

Luca Gaertner

Luca Gaertner

Luca is a sportswriter best known for his direct and abrasive style. He was a sportsman himself before moving into journalism. A hardcore football enthusiast and can be quite witty at times!

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