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Hype Talk | Kofi Kingston Talks WrestleMania, Sneakers and Unicorns

As WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston gears up for 2018 WrestleMania, we couldn’t help but be a part of all the hype that’s about to round out.

We are literally still geeking out from our chat with The New Day wrestler. Kingston talked about his admiration for comics and his personal love for bright, exotic sneakers. If you’ve never been to a WWE event, Kofi paints a pretty nice picture of what The New Day is all about and gives us an exclusive of what we can expect this Sunday at WrestleMania. Kingston is a true fusion of warmhearted and amped energy– who has no problem handing out ice-cream cones while, probably simultaneously, putting his opponent to sleep in one punch.

You have obviously made a huge name for yourself in the WWE. Take us back to that moment when you first knew you wanted to be a wrestler? 

I’ve always wanted to be a wrestler, specifically a WWE Wrestler. Growing up, I used to watch Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, you know? I was always enamored by the showmanship and athletic aspect of the whole sport. People jumping off the ropes, the bright colors—I’ve always been attracted to this industry! I would wake up every Saturday morning to watch ‘Superstar Saturday’ religiously during my entire childhood. Eventually I started watching Smack Down and WCW. I’ve always been a big fan of wrestling for as long as I can remember.

The phrase “dreams come true” gets thrown around a lot but for me, this was all I’ve ever wanted to be. I even joined my high school wrestling team thinking that it was WWE style wrestling. But once I got up there, to my surprsise, I noticed there were no ropes or no ring.

As the WWE’s resident sneakerhead, you’re always leading the charge with your stylish outfits and matching footwear. What’s your favorite sneaker you’ve worn in the ring?

Man, I’ve had so many favorites! The one that fist comes to mind is “Mache”, one of the most notable, custom sneaker customizers. He does a lot of designs for NFL and NBA players. If you ever need a custom shoe, go to Mache. We’ve became great friends over the years and he designed a shoe for me during Summer Slam last year that was inspired by the Green Lantern superhero. As a big comic book fan, this was bittersweet! I had a pair of SB Dunks that he designed based off of an iconic cover of the Green Lantern where he goes mad and takes all the lantern rings from his core and goes crazy. Mach was able to put my face on the side of the shoe which was an even more amazing touch. These memorable shoes are in a very special place, waiting to be put on display.

“I remember seeing a video where DJ Khaled talks about every time he and Joe Budden see each other they shake hands and look at each others’ shoes. That’s kind of how it is with us sneakerheads here. We’re always looking to see who is wearing the “hot” new sneakers. There’s a sense of community, no matter what industry you’re in, when it comes to sneaker culture.”

In your opinion, how has the sneaker culture affected the current state of wrestling?

Our coach would have everybody wearing wrestling boots at first. No wrestler was allowed to wear sneakers. It felt like the worst thing in the world because I felt like I could never move. My fighting style is very athletic and requires a lot of footwork. I also played a lot of basketball in high school, so I was used to running around in sneakers.

When I was finally called up to the main roster, there weren’t any rules to what kind of footwear you had to wear in the ring. With no hesitation, I immediately switched to sneakers and my first pair were female Nike Shocks. Overtime I began to wear more personalized sneakers that were more my style, like Jeremy Scotts.

It’s great to be among so many other sneakerheads on the WWE roster, though. I remember seeing a video where DJ Khaled talks about every time he and Joe Budden see each other they shake hands and look at each others’ shoes. That’s kind of how it is with us sneaker heads here. We’re always looking to see who is wearing the “hot” new sneakers. There’s a sense of community, no matter what industry you’re in when it comes to sneaker culture. Granted, I like to be the guy to step out with the newest, exotic, most exclusive sneaker.

What are your top sneakers currently in your rotation?

The sneaker I work out in everyday is the Nike Presto. They’re more functional and lightweight that it’s hard to wear almost anything else. I also don the adidas NMD from time to time. These types of shoes come in various colorways which offers different choices for me.

With the Showcase of the Immortals, WrestleMania, quickly approaching, can we expect big things from you and The New Day?

Absolutely! We’re currently working on our entrance look concept and it’s coming along great. We always try to do things that stand out, especially at WrestleMania. This is the grandest stage of them all and we definitely want to put the WOW factor into everything we do.

If you could join a tag team from the past, who would you choose?

 That’s such an unfair question because there were so many amazing tag teams in the past. The first one that comes to mind is Orient Express. I’ve always been into Martial Arts so anytime I see someone doing a kick, a special chop or any kind of Martial Arts move, that’s the team I wanted to be on.

“When The New Day comes out, we’re serving pancakes, Booty Os, ice cream, unicorn horns, we make the kids laugh, we even got stuff for the ladies! It’s an experience with The New Day.”

 If you could have a match with anyone in management, who would it be?

 We actually get along with the management really well (so far). I saw that Sami Zane and Kevin Owens had disputes with Shane McMahon and got to beat up their boss on SmackDown. I thought that was pretty cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want to beat up their boss at some point in their life? But right now, I’m at a very good place with management.

Some stats: Kofi is a 4x Intercontinental Champion, 3x United States Champion and 6x Tag Team Champion.

What is a better day, a New Day or Rusev Day?

Obviously a New Day! What is Rusev Day? If you’re a Rusev fan and the hype is there, that’s great. He has a lot of great merch from the hoodies, the t-shirts with the Bulgarian flag and a lot more. But when The New Day comes out, we’re serving pancakes, Booty Os, ice cream, unicorn horns, we make the kids laugh, we even got stuff for the ladies! It’s an experience when The New Day comes out on stage. We have a lot more to give, so sorry Rusev.

 Would you ever agree to play Seth Rollins in Madden again but this time without using the Patriots?

I don’t know what else I can do with Seth Rollins. Here’s the thing: I’ve always lost to Seth by like one touchdown. But what people don’t see is that I’m in the lab training for a match against Seth Rollins. However, if you saw the tournament, you notice that I reach the finals and Seth loses in the first round. Ironically he nicknames himself “The Champ.” You can’t be the champ if you lose in the first round. But rumors still circulate on Twitter that I never beat Seth Rollins. I don’t need to beat him if he loses in the first round.

The power of positivity allowed me to give the people what they wanted which was an exhibition match. I even gave Seth a charity match and whooped him without a shadow of a doubt. Now, he wants to pick my team– the Patriots. He should stick with the Bears because I’ll pick my team every time. And if he wants another match, they call me 24/7 so anytime, any place. I’ll be ready!

Do you feel the power?

We always feel the power! The power of positivity is real and we’re spreading it throughout the entire WWE.

A huge thank you to our friend, Kofi Kingston, for this amazing interview. Follow him now @thetruekofi.

Jakaila Mustafa | editor

Jakaila is the Editor-in-Chief for the DTLR VILLA "The Lifestyle" blog. She received her Bachelor of Arts in advertising from Temple University.

April 4, 2018

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