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Kofi Kingston

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Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Kingston at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2018
Birth name Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah
Born (1981-08-14) August 14, 1981 (age 37)
Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana
Residence Austin, Texas, United States
Alma mater Boston College
Kori Campfield (m. 2010)
Children 2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Kofi Kingston
Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[1]
Billed weight 212 lb (96 kg)[1]
Billed from Kingston, Jamaica[2]
Ghana, West Africa[1]
Trained by Chaotic Wrestling[2][3]
Killer Kowalski[2][3]
Ohio Valley Wrestling[2]
Debut June 4, 2005[4]

Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah[5] (born August 14, 1981) is a Ghanaian-born American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Kofi Kingston and is a member of The New Day along with Xavier Woods and Big E.

Since debuting in WWE, Kingston has won 15 total championships. He is a four-time Intercontinental Champion, a three-time United States Champion and a eight-time world tag team champion, including four reigns as WWE/Raw Tag Team Champion (once with Evan Bourne, once with R-Truth and twice with Big E and Xavier Woods), three SmackDown Tag Team Championship reigns with his New Day stablemates and one reign as World Tag Team Champion with CM Punk. His second Raw Tag Team Championship reign as a part of New Day is the longest reign for any tag team title in WWE history and Kingston himself holds the record for cumulative days spent as a both a WWE/Raw Tag Team Champion and most combined days spent as a Tag Team Champion within WWE between his 8 individual reigns. He is also known for his innovative ways of suspending his elimination from battle royal and Royal Rumble matches.

Early life

Sarkodie-Mensah was born on August 14, 1981, in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana. He attended Boston College.[6]

Professional wrestling career

Training and independent circuit (2005–2006)

Sarkodie-Mensah started training in late 2005 and made his official wrestling debut in 2006, when he faced Tony Omega at Chaotic Wrestling (CW) on February 24. He faced Evan Siks on June 4 for the PWF Mayhem Heavyweight Championship.[7] He competed primarily in the New England area, including stints in National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) – New England (where he was briefly a member of Barry Ace's "A-List"), Millennium Wrestling Federation (MWF), New England Championship Wrestling (NECW), the Eastern Wrestling Alliance (EWA), and Chaotic Wrestling.[8]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Developmental territories (2006–2007)

In September 2006, he signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), a Georgia-based developmental federation.[2] He debuted in the new company, as Kofi Nahaje Kingston, in a dark match loss to Montel Vontavious Porter on September 21.[9] 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 (OVW), where he was in a tag team dubbed the Commonwealth Connection with Harry Smith.[10][11][12]

In 2007, under the ring name Kofi Nahaje Kingston, 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.[13][14] When he returned to the developmental federations, he shortened his original ring name to Kofi Kingston and continued to alternate between both ring names throughout his duration there.[2] He also worked live events, defeating Shelton Benjamin on May 5,[15] and Val Venis on May 6.[16]

When the Florida-based developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) opened in June, Kingston was relocated there, appearing at their inaugural show on June 26 where he teamed with Eric Pérez against Keith Walker and Rycklon Stephens in a losing effort.[17] Kingston worked there for most of the remainder of the year.[17]

Undefeated streak (2007–2008)

A series of vignettes for Kingston's television debut began airing on the weekly ECW on Syfy television show starting on December 6, 2007.[18] During this introduction phase, his videos, the official website and commentators noted he would be the first Jamaican to wrestle for WWE. Kofi, however, does not have any Jamaican ancestry.[6][2][19] He debuted on the January 22, 2008 ECW as a face with a win over local wrestler David Owen in Charlottesville, Virginia.[20]

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.[21] 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 ECW, ending his undefeated streak.[22] On the June 24 ECW, Kingston defeated Benjamin in an Extreme Rules match to end their feud.[23]

Early title reigns and feud with Randy Orton (2008–2010)

Kingston as United States Champion

As part of the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft, Kingston was drafted to the Raw brand.[24] In his first match as a member of Raw roster, he defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship at Night of Champions.[25] The win made him the first Ghanaian wrestler to hold a championship in World Wrestling Entertainment and it was also the first Championship in his wrestling career.[26] 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.[27]

At Unforgiven, he appeared backstage, coming to the aid of then-World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, who had been attacked by Manu, Randy Orton, and the World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.[28] Soon after coming to his rescue, Punk and Kingston were paired together more often, and on the October 27 Raw, the duo won the World Tag Team Championship.[29] 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.[30] Kingston and Punk lost the World Tag Team Championship to John Morrison and The Miz at a WWE live event on December 13.[31]

Kingston wrestling William Regal

At No Way Out, Kingston was scheduled to compete in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber but was unable to officially enter the match as he was ambushed by Edge, who took Kingston's place and eventually won the match.[32]

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.[33][34] After winning a triple threat number one contender's match the week before, Kingston defeated Montel Vontavious Porter on the June 1 Raw to win the United States Championship.[35] For the next several months, he went on to defend and retain the title at Extreme Rules,[36] Night of Champions,[37] Breaking Point,[38] and WWE Hell in a Cell,[39] until losing the championship to The Miz on the October 5 Raw, ending his four-month reign at 126 days. On the October 12 Raw, Kingston defeated Evan Bourne to qualify for Team Raw at WWE Bragging Rights.[40] 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.[41]

Kingston in a match against Jack Swagger and The Miz

During WWE Bragging Rights, Kingston and Raw teammate Cody Rhodes argued about Kingston losing their match. So, when Rhodes and Ted DiBiase interfered on Randy Orton's behalf during his WWE Championship match, Kingston ran out with a chair and chased them out of the arena. Orton later lost the match.[42] On the October 26 Raw, Kingston began a feud with Orton, who believed Kingston cost him the WWE Championship. After Kingston defeated Chris Jericho, Orton attacked him from behind, eventually throwing him against the side of the entrance ramp. Later that night, Kingston destroyed Orton's car[43] On the November 16 Raw, Kingston saved guest host "Rowdy" Roddy Piper from an assault by Orton then performed a Boom Drop from a rail in the crowd onto Orton, through a table.[44] Kingston went on to lead his Survivor Series team to victory against Orton's team, where he was the sole survivor, last eliminating Orton.[45] On the November 30 Raw, Kingston was scheduled to face Orton in a one on one match, only to be assaulted from behind by Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Despite the assault, Kingston still wished to continue, and was quickly defeated by Orton.[46] 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. With one victory apiece, the two wrestled again at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs,[47] and Orton won.[48] On the December 28 Raw, Orton interfered in Kingston's match for the United States Championship.[49] On the January 4 Raw, Orton once again defeated Kingston.[50] The next week, Kingston and John Cena lost a Triple Threat match, which determined a challenger for Sheamus' WWE Championship at Royal Rumble, to Randy Orton, who pinned Kingston.[51]

On the February 1 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.[52] Kingston, however, failed to win after being eliminated by Sheamus. The following night on the February 22 episode of Raw, Kingston teamed up with Yoshi Tatsu and Evan Bourne against Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes in a six-man tag team match. During the match, Orton turned face by attacking Rhodes and DiBiase, which Orton allowed Kingston, Tatsu and Bourne to win.

Intercontinental Champion (2010–2011)

On the March 22 episode 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. On April 26, as part of the 2010 WWE draft, Kingston was drafted to the SmackDown brand. In his debut match for the brand, he defeated Chris Jericho.[53] On the following 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.[54] 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 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.[55]

Kingston in December 2010

At Over the Limit, Kingston defeated McIntyre to win his second official Intercontinental Championship.[56] Kingston mentored Michael McGillicutty on the second season of WWE NXT.[57] At Fatal 4 Way, Kofi defended the Intercontinental Championship against Drew McIntyre.[58] On July 18 at Money in the Bank, Kingston lost the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match when Kane grabbed the briefcase.[59] The following SmackDown, Kingston lost to Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match.[60] On the July 30 SmackDown, Kingston faced Ziggler in a rematch but lost via disqualification, resulting in Ziggler earning a title match.[61] On August 6 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 Smackdown, Kingston faced Ziggler once again for the Intercontinental Championship defeating Ziggler by disqualification, but by rule, Ziggler retained his Intercontinental Championship.[62] The following week, Kingston faced Ziggler once again for the Intercontinental Championship, with the match stipulation that if Ziggler was disqualified, the title would change hands. Vickie Guerrero intervened during the match and got Ziggler counted out, so he kept the title. At Night of Champions, Ziggler again faced Kingston for the title; if Dolph was either counted out or disqualified, Kofi would win the title. Ziggler retained by pinfall. On the October 15 Smackdown, Kingston defeated Drew McIntyre to earn a spot on Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights. Team SmackDown won the match, with Edge and Rey Mysterio as the sole survivors. On the December 3 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 him during the match. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Kingston and Swagger lost a ladder match for the title, as he and Swagger unhooked the belt but dropped it to the mat and Ziggler grabbed it for the win.

On the January 7, 2011 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, but Kingston quickly pinned Ziggler again to retain his championship. Kingston then moved into a feud with Alberto Del Rio, which culminated in a non-title match at Elimination Chamber which Kingston lost. On March 22 at the tapings of the March 25 SmackDown, Kingston lost the Intercontinental Championship to Wade Barrett.[63] On April 1 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.[64] On April 26, Kingston was drafted back to the Raw brand as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft.[65] 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.[66] On the May 9 Raw, Kingston successfully defended his championship against Jack Swagger.[67] At WWE Capitol Punishment, Kingston lost the title to Dolph Ziggler.[68] Kingston faced Ziggler in a rematch for the title on the June 20 Raw in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match, but Ziggler retained the United States Championship as the match ended with Ziggler being disqualified.[69]

WWE Tag Team Champion (2011–2012)

On the August 22 Raw, Kingston won the WWE Tag Team Championship with Evan Bourne when they defeated David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty.[70] On the August 29 Raw, the duo was called "Air Boom", and they had their first successful title defense when they defeated Otunga and McGillicutty in a rematch.[71] At Night of Champions Air Boom retained their titles against The Miz & R-Truth by disqualification after Miz attacked a WWE referee.[72] At Hell in a Cell and Vengeance, Air Boom retained their titles twice against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger.[73][74] Bourne was suspended throughout November for his first violation of the company's Wellness policy.[75] At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Air Boom successfully retained their titles against Primo & Epico.[76] On January 15, 2012, Air Boom lost the Tag Team titles to Primo and Epico at a house show.[77] The following night on Raw, Air Boom were awarded a rematch but failed to regain the titles.[78] The following day, Bourne was suspended again for his second violation of WWE's Wellness Policy.[79]

Kofi Kingston as the WWE Tag Team Champion

At Royal Rumble, 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.[80] At Elimination Chamber, Kingston failed to capture the WWE Championship after being eliminated third by Chris Jericho.[81] 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 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 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 Raw.[82][83] In the pre-show of Money in the Bank, Kingston and Truth defeated Hunico and Camacho in a non-title match.[84]

The following night on Raw, they successfully defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil and Darren Young).[85] At SummerSlam, Kingston and Truth defeated the Prime Time Players to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.[86] At Night of Champions, Kingston and Truth lost the Tag Team Championship to the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane[87] and failed to regain the titles from the new champions the following night on Raw.[88] Both Kingston and Truth were defeated by The Prime Time 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.

United States Champion (2012–2014)

After defeating Michael McGillicutty on the October 10 episode of Main Event, Kingston was confronted and insulted by commentator and Intercontinental Champion The Miz, prompting Kingston to challenge for the title which Miz accepted.[89] The following week on Raw, Kingston defeated Miz in a non-title match.[90] Two days later on Main Event, Kingston defeated Miz to win the Intercontinental Championship for the fourth time in his career.[91] Kingston then defeated Miz in two rematches, the first on October 28 at Hell in a Cell, and the second on the November 6 SmackDown to retain his title.[92][93] Kingston then began feuding with Wade Barrett when the two were placed on opposing teams in the traditional five-on-five elimination tag team match on November 18 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.[94] The following night on Raw, Kingston was defeated by Barrett in a non-title match.[95] Four days later on SmackDown, Kingston defeated Damien Sandow to retain the Intercontinental Championship whilst Barrett was on commentary.[96] Kingston, still the Intercontinental Champion, received a shot at the United States Championship on the December 3 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.[97] At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Kingston successfully defended his title against Barrett.[98] Two weeks later on the December 31 Raw, Kingston lost the Intercontinental Championship to Barrett ending his reign at 74 days.[99] Kingston received his rematch four days later on SmackDown in a losing effort[100] At the 2013 Royal Rumble event, Kingston had another stand-out moment in the Rumble match. After eliminating Tensai, he was pushed out of the ring but Kingston jumped on Tensai's back, landed on the announce table and used a commentary chair from John "Bradshaw" Layfield to hop to the ring apron before being eliminated by Cody Rhodes.[80][101]

Kingston in April 2014

On the April 12 SmackDown, Kingston defeated United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title match.[102] Three days later on Raw, Kingston defeated Cesaro to win his third United States Championship.[103] Kingston made his first televised title defense on the May 1 Main Event, defeating Cesaro in a rematch.[104] On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Kingston lost the United States Championship to Dean Ambrose of The Shield, ending his reign at 34 days.[105] Kingston received his rematch on the following SmackDown, defeating Ambrose via disqualification after Shield members Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins interfered, but not regaining the title as a result. The Shield would continue their assault on Kingston until Randy Orton and Sheamus made the save. Theodore Long then came out to set up a six-man tag team match that ended with Ambrose pinning Kingston for the win.[106] Three days later on Raw, Kingston failed again to reclaim the United States Championship from Ambrose.[107] Four days later on SmackDown, Kingston was defeated by Ryback and was afterwards, powerbombed through three tables by him, injuring Kingston in storyline.[108] This was done to write Kingston out, as he was undergoing elbow surgery and was expected to be out for four to eight weeks.[109] Kingston returned from injury, sporting new gear on the August 5 Raw, defeating Fandango.[110] On the September 6 episode of SmackDown, Kingston defeated Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel in a non-title match, thus earning him a future title match.[111] He then defeated him by disqualification on September 9 after repeatedly being kneed by Axel.[112] Kingston received his title shot on September 15 at Night of Champions, but was defeated by Axel.[113] In late September, Bray Wyatt would start delivering cryptic messages to Kingston after his matches,[114][115] leading to a match between the two on October 6 at Battleground, which Wyatt won.[116] On the October 18 SmackDown, Kingston and Miz lost to Erick Rowan and Luke Harper in a tag team match. The following week on Raw, Kingston and Miz lost to the Real Americans after Miz turned on Kingston. At Survivor Series, Kofi was defeated by The Miz. In the upcoming weeks, Kingston would lose to The Miz in multiple matches. Kingston would finally win a rematch against The Miz at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a No Disqualification Match. On the January 13 episode of Raw, Kingston defeated WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in a non-title match; he faced Orton again the following week, but allowed himself to lose by disqualification by holding Orton in place to allow John Cena to attack Orton for attacking his father.

Kingston entered at number 8 at the Royal Rumble, and avoided elimination by landing on the crowd barricade and made an 11-foot jump to get back in the ring. He was later the seventh person eliminated by Roman Reigns. On the February 13 episode of SmackDown, Kingston would tap out to Jack Swagger in a number one contender's match for the Intercontinental Championship in a match also featuring Mark Henry and Rey Mysterio; on the March 21 episode of SmackDown, Kingston was announced in the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal at WrestleMania XXX. Kingston would have a standout moment in the match, getting thrown of over the turnbuckles by Cesaro and to avoid elimination by keeping his toes on the steel steps, he would later be eliminated by Sheamus. At Payback, Kingston would compete in a match against Bo Dallas, but he would be assaulted by Kane for his tweets against Stephanie McMahon. Kingston competed in the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal at Battleground where he again avoided elimination by being caught by Big E and rode his shoulders to the ring. Despite this, he did not win.

The New Day (2014–present)

Kingston with Big E and Xavier Woods as The New Day in January 2015

On the July 21 episode of Raw, after Big E and Kingston suffered another loss as a team, Xavier Woods went to the ring and addressed them. Woods stated that Kingston and Big E could not "get ahead by kissing babies and shaking hands" and offered to form an alliance. The duo accepted Woods' offer,[117] and on the next day's Main Event, Woods managed Big E and Kingston to a decisive victory over Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil.[118] However, Woods' group quickly and quietly disbanded, as on the August 8 episode of SmackDown and on the August 12 episode of Main Event, both Big E and then Kingston reverted to wrestling singles matches with no sign or mention of the other two members of the group.[119][120]

Despite being disbanded on WWE television, Big E, Kingston and Woods continued their alliance at live events. In October, WWE began airing vignettes for Kingston, Woods and Big E, with the stable now being billed as The New Day.[121][122] The New Day eventually made their in-ring debut on the November 28 episode of SmackDown in a winning effort against Titus O'Neil, Heath Slater and Curtis Axel.[123] The trio started a feud with Goldust and Stardust, after their interfering ways cost Kingston and Big E an important tag team turmoil match. A match between the two teams was scheduled for the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs kick-off show on December 14, where Big E and Kingston defeated Gold and Stardust. In March 2015, The New Day participated in two matches on the pre-show to WrestleMania 31 in a losing effort.

The New Day turned heel, which would mark Kingston's first heel turn in WWE ever since debuting in 2007.[124] At Extreme Rules, Kingston and Big E defeated Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to win the WWE Tag Team Championships.[125] At Payback, The New Day defeated Kidd and Cesaro to retain their titles. At Elimination Chamber, The New Day defeated Kidd and Cesaro, The Lucha Dragons, The Ascension, Los Matadores, and the Prime Time Players to retain their titles in the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match; all three members were allowed to compete in a pre-match stipulation.[126] At Money in the Bank, Kingston participated in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by Sheamus. Later in the show, his stablemates Big E and Woods lost the WWE Tag Team Championship titles against The Prime Time Players.[127] On July 4, at The Beast in the East live event in Tokyo, Japan, Kingston was quickly defeated by Brock Lesnar.[128] The New Day would then win the titles for a second time after they defeated the Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, and the Lucha Dragons in a tag team fatal 4-way match at SummerSlam. The following night on Raw, The Dudley Boyz made their WWE return and attacked the New Day with Woods being put through a table with the 3D. New Day lost to the Dudley Boyz via disqualification at Night of Champions but retained their tag team titles. The next month, at Hell in a Cell, they defeated the Dudley Boyz to retain their titles. At TLC, The New Day retained the title against The Usos and The Lucha Dragons in a Triple threat tag team ladder match.

The New Day during the WrestleMania Axxess in April 2016

At the Royal Rumble, The New Day successfully defended the WWE Tag Team Championships against The Usos. Kingston entered the Royal Rumble match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at #10, avoiding elimination by being thrown over the top rope onto Big E's shoulders, before being eliminated by Chris Jericho. On the March 7 episode of Raw, the New Day took on Jericho and his tag team partner A.J. Styles for the tag team titles where they would retain, with Jericho assaulting AJ after the match. The New Day then defeated one-half of the League of Nations for the tag-team titles at WWE Roadblock, turning face in the process. On the March 14 episode of Raw, the New Day defended their titles against the other half of the League of Nations. After the match, the four League of Nations members assaulted the New Day. On March 17, Kingston surpassed John Morrison to become the longest combined-reigning tag team champion at 541 days. At WrestleMania 32 The New Day were defeated by the League of Nations in an six-man tag team match. After the match, the trio were rescued by WWE Hall of Famers Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley, and celebrated by sharing a beer with Austin before Woods was struck with a Stunner by Austin.

At Extreme Rules, The New Day successfully defended their titles against The Vaudevillains after Woods pinned Aiden English. The next night on Raw, The New Day defeated The Vaudevillains in a non-title match via disqualification after they were attacked by Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, sparking a feud between the two teams. The feud was settled at Money in the Bank, where The New Day successfully retained the titles against Gallows and Anderson, The Vaudevillains and Enzo and Cass in a fatal-4 way tag team match.

In the 2016 WWE draft, Kingston, along with his fellow New Day teammates, was drafted to Raw. Three days later, on July 22, Kingston, along with Xavier Woods and Big E, became the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history, breaking the record of 331 days previously set by Paul London and Brian Kendrick. After SmackDown established the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships after the brand split, the titles held by the New Day were renamed the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships. At SummerSlam, The New Day lost to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson by disqualification in a title match after Big E, who had been injured by the two, returned and attacked them. At Clash of Champions, The New Day defeated Gallows and Anderson in a rematch to retain the titles. On the October 31 episode of Raw, The New Day revealed that they were made captain of Team Raw for the 10–on–10 Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination match at Survivor Series. At Survivor Series, The New Day eliminated Breezango but were eliminated by The Usos, with Team Raw winning the match. On the November 21 episode of Raw, The New Day successfully retained their titles against Team Raw's sole survivors, Cesaro and Sheamus. The following week, they defeated Gallows and Anderson for another successful title defense. At Roadblock: End of the Line, the New Day lost the title to Cesaro and Sheamus, thus ending their record breaking championship reign at 483 days.[129] Kingston participated the 2017 Royal Rumble in which he was standing on the top-rope when Baron Corbin tried to push him backwards to eliminate him from the match. Instead, he fell directly behind the ring post, grabbed on to the top rope of it and managed to hang on. The New Day were revealed to be the hosts of WrestleMania 33. The night after Wrestlemania on Raw, New Day issued an open challenge to any team which was accepted by the debuting Revival and lost to them. After the match, Revival attacked Kofi Kingston. On April 10, it was announced on and Twitter that Kingston had suffered an ankle injury due to the attack of Revival which would require surgery.[130] On April 11, 2017, Kingston and The New Day were moved to the SmackDown brand as part of the Superstar Shake-up.[131] The New Day debuted on "Talking Smack", the post-show for SmackDown Live on May 23, however, they did not wrestle or make an appearance on SmackDown Live itself due to Kingston's injury.

The New Day at WrestleMania 34

The New Day made their official return on May 30, announcing their objective to defeat The Usos and win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The two teams faced off at Money in the Bank, where Big E and Kingston emerged victorious when The Usos purposely got themselves counted out, thus keeping their titles. A rematch took place at Battleground, where Kingston and Woods were successful in capturing the titles, thus making Kingston the first wrestler to hold the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, Raw Tag Team Championship (both its previous and current incarnations), and the original World Tag Team Championship. A month later at the SummerSlam pre-show, however, The New Day (represented by Big E and Woods) dropped the titles back to The Usos, ending their reign at 28 days. On September 12 at the episode promoted as Sin City SmackDown, Kingston and Big E represented New Day and defeated The Usos to win back the championship for their second reign in a "Sin City Street Fight", but lost them again to The Usos at Hell in a Cell. On the October 23 edition of Raw, The New Day along with other talent of SmackDown ambushed the Raw locker room. They again appeared on the November 6 episode of Raw in the crowd, which led to distraction of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and costing them the tag titles. On the November 14 edition of SmackDown, The Shield led an attack with Raw Superstars and invaded SmackDown similar to the one led by SmackDown and attacked everyone including New Day. At Survivor Series, The New Day was defeated by The Shield. The New Day failed to regain the titles from The Usos at Clash of Champions in a fatal-4-way tag team match also involving the team of Rusev and Aiden English, and Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin.

At the Royal Rumble, Kingston entered the match as the 16th entrant, but was eliminated by Andrade "Cien" Almas. At Fastlane, the New Day faced The Usos in a tag match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships, but went to a no contest after inference from The Bludgeon Brothers.[132] Two weeks later, it was confirmed that at WrestleMania 34, The New Day would face the Usos and the Bludgeon Brothers in a Triple Threat tag team match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships.[133] The New Day failed to capture the titles at the event, which were won by The Bludgeon Brothers. On the April 11 episode of SmackDown, The New Day were defeated by The Usos in a match to determine which team would challenge The Bludgeon Brothers at the Greatest Royal Rumble event. The New Day were then defeated by Sanity in a six-man Tables match at the Extreme Rules pre-show. The New Day competed in a tag team title tournament, defeating Sanity in the first round, while Cesaro and Sheamus defeated the Usos. The New Day then defeated Cesaro and Sheamus the following week on SmackDown to earn the right to face The Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam, where they won the match by disqualification, meaning the Bludgeon Brothers retained their titles. Two days later on SmackDown, however, The New Day defeated The Bludgeon Brothers in a no disqualification match to capture the titles for a third time.[134] At Hell in a Cell, The New Day successfully defeated Rusev and Aiden English to retain the titles.[135] A few weeks later on October 6, at WWE Super Show-Down, The New Day again retained their titles by defeating The Bar.[136] At WWE SmackDown 1000 The New Day lost their titles against The Bar.[137] On the January 1, 2019 episode of SmackDown, the entire New Day announced their entry into the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 27.[138] At the event, Kingston was eliminated by Drew McIntyre.[139]

On the February 12, 2019 edition of SmackDown Live, one member of The New Day was scheduled to replace Mustafa Ali in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the namesake pay-per-view after Ali suffered an injury, and Kingston was selected. Kingston then participated in a Gauntlet match to determine the last entrant in the Chamber match, where he started off with WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Kingston lasted over an hour all while eliminating Bryan, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe, before being eliminated by AJ Styles. Kingston's performance was critically praised by fans, critics, and peers alike, with Kingston being labelled as a "main-eventer quality performer" by his peers.[140] At the pay-per-view, Kingston entered the Chamber match as the third entrant, and managed to eliminate Randy Orton, and lasted until the final two, before being eliminated by Bryan. Kingston's performance was once again critically acclaimed by fans and critics alike.[141]

Other media

Sarkodie-Mensah, under the nickname Mr. 24/7, frequently appears in Xavier Woods' YouTube channel UpUpDownDown.

In 2012, he guest-starred in an episode of Disney XD's karate sitcom Kickin' It.

In 2016, he appeared with his New Day teammates on a Christmas Family themed Let's Make a Deal.

In 2017, he published The Book of Booty: Shake It. Love It. Never Be It with fellow New Day tag team champions Big E and Xavier Woods.

Video games

Year Title
2008 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009
2009 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010
2010 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011
2011 WWE All Stars
WWE '12
2012 WWE '13
2013 WWE 2K14
2014 WWE 2K15
WWE SuperCard
2015 WWE 2K16
2016 WWE 2K17
2017 WWE 2K18
WWE Mayhem
WWE Tap Mania
2018 WWE 2K19

Personal life

Sarkodie-Mensah is married and has two children.[142] He has been trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.[143] He is a fan of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and New England Patriots.[144] Sarkodie-Mensah has a tattoo of West-African symbols along his spine with a set of eagle wings around the spine of his scapula.[145]

Championships and accomplishments

Kingston is a three-time United States Champion
Kingston is a four-time Intercontinental Champion
Kingston is a four-time and longest reigning WWE/Raw Tag Team Champion along with The New Day


  1. ^ Big E, Kingston, and Woods defended the title under the Freebird Rule. Also, during New Day's second reign as WWE Tag Team Champions, the title was renamed Raw Tag Team Championship after SmackDown established the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.


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External links

  • Kofi Kingston on
  • Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah on IMDb
  • Kofi Kingston's profile at,, Internet Wrestling Database
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