January 27, 2024

Words: Mimi aka #TheWrestlingChic

Each year as we approach WrestleMania season, we remember that one WWE Superstar, without fail. Who came or should come in at #1 or #30? Who’s time it will be, or who needs to “finish a story” *in my whiney voice. [Ed note: I’m crying, “whiney voice.”] Standing in his Off-White denim fit, with a pair of black and white Jordan 1 Retro High OG A Ma Maniére’s, former 15-time Tag Team Champion, four-time Intercontinental Champion, three-time United States Champion, and former WWE  Champion, Kofi Kingston may be one of the most energetic, genuine, and good-spirited WWE stars I have ever come across. Kofi Kingston is a WWE staple in every sense of the word, synonymous not only with his impressive accomplishments but also with his strategic Royal Rumble tactics. As a result of his innovative ability to survive eliminations and his athletic agility, he has become a company and a Rumble icon. His legacy is one of perseverance and inspiration, not only within the WWE Universe, but also among the Black wrestling community.

Kingston made his pro wrestling WWE debut in 2008, bringing a unique blend of agility and strength to the ring. WWE's dramatic history is filled with many memorable moments, including his feud with Randy Orton. A fascinating tale of transformation, triumph, and positivity awaits us as we enter The New Day Era with Kofi Kingston. Kofi had a reputation for high-flying moves and a vibrant personality before The New Day was formed, but his career took new heights when with this iconic faction. At its core, The New Day consists of Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods. Initially, their gospel gimmick failed to resonate. But, like true champions, they pivoted, creating a unique lane that led to a space where all were invited. They embraced a more upbeat, positive, nerd culture aesthetic, with hilariously eccentric personas that won the hearts of millions of fans.

There was an undeniable chemistry between the trio inside and outside of the ring. Their antics—which included hip swivels twerking, playing trombones, and throwing pancakes into the crowd—brought an infectious energy, unmated in the WWE Universe. “One of the main purposes and points of The New Day was authentically going out and being authentic and being true to yourself. Whether that involves, going out wearing unicorn horns on your head and bright colors, loving pancakes and being open about it, that's what it involves because that's unapologetically you,” said Kingston. 

It is not just the entertainment value of The New Day that makes them so successful, but also the impressive title reigns they have achieved. Multiple times, they were WWE Tag Team Champions, with one reign lasting 483 days, one of the longest in WWE history. Their status as one of WWE's greatest tag teams was cemented during this period. A decade later, Kingston captured the WWE Championship by defeating Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35, an impactful moment we know as KofiMania. Kofi's victory was a watershed moment not just for him, but for African American wrestlers and fans alike. As a result of Kingston's victory gave fans hope that the WWE was celebrating diversity and representation in a significant way.

A major contribution of The New Day was also played in the achievement of his personal career highlight—the WWE Championship. Kofi's victory was not just about himself, but also about believing in oneself and one's brothers. The unwavering support and brotherhood of Big E and Xavier Woods were instrumental in Kofi's path to the championship, highlighting the true essence of The New Day: unity, support, and the belief in the “power of positivity” in the face of challenges wins, “You know I feel like as Black people, sometimes we get put into a box that we have to be a certain way,  speak a certain way, act a certain way, or feel a certain way and that's not the case. We're human beings, we have the right to feel, act and be the way that we want to be. We wanted to go out there and set that example and say, ‘that you can have success being you, and being who you want to be and as a group, we take that seriously.” stated Kingston.

Kofi's charitable work in the U.S. and Ghana exemplifies his commitment to using his platform to bring about positive change, embodying the values of humility, service, and community involvement. His efforts not only endear him to fans worldwide, but also bolster his legacy as a Black professional wrestler who transcends the confines of the ring to improve the lives of others. As a testament to his ability to overcome challenges and achieve global success, he served as a powerful example for many young Ghanaians.

In 2023, The Kofi Kingston Library and Digital Center opened in his homeland in Ghana. Libraries and computer centers can be game-changers for young shapeable minds in a country like Ghana where educational resources and technology are readily available. The initiative is aligned with Kingston's broader philanthropic vision of empowering youth through education. Today's globalized world requires libraries and computer centers to support learning, literacy, and digital skills development. This facility offers students and members of the community the opportunity to enhance their educational journeys, explore new interests, and acquire skills that will impact their future careers. This is more than just a charitable act; it's a beacon of hope and a resource that promises to have a lasting impact on the community.

My brief conversation with Kofi Kingston—held during a time of excitement and mayhem surrounding the Royal Rumble—was extremely valuable, further illustrating what it means to be present and true to yourself, regardless of the circumstances. For many in the Black wrestling community and beyond, Kingston has become an emblem of hope and progress, ensuring his legacy will live on for generations to come. It is not just his championship victories that define Kofi's legacy, but also his joy, positivism, and resilience for all communities. Talent, belief, and 'being good' converge in his journey and achievements, making him a role model and a symbol of what is possible.

Be sure to check out BRP's content on our website and our Black Rasslin' Podcast Patreon for exclusive pro wrestling content.

Mimi, aka #TheWrestlingChic is a co-host of #TheBuckle aka #TurnbuckleTalk every Tuesday at 6:35PM ET and every Thursday at 8:35PM ET on the Black Rasslin' Podcast.

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