Kingston Rising

Kingston Rising

From over-the-top rope planchas to outside-the-ring handstands, Kofi dazzles with his move set—and does it with a smile. The last "good guy" discusses why he'll never flip off his boss, how he balances time on the road with CM Punk, and what's next for his comic book-inspired gear.

You are one of the classic "good guys" in WWE, straight out of the Ricky Steamboat mold. That character simply doesn't exist in the year 2012. Is the legacy of "The Dragon" something you wish to claim for yourself?
I could go on and on about this. We always talk about it in the locker room, because they say I'm the last good guy. I tell everybody to take it in now, because when I', gone—that's it. I'm like an endangered species! Everybody wants to be the bad guy, to flip off his boss and be a badass in the ring. I never claim to be a badass, but I still claim to be able to hold my own in the ring. There is no shame in going out there and doing the right  thing for the sake of doing the right thing. That's the way I was raised. It's like how they call Undertaker the "Last Outlaw." Well, I'm the last good guy.

We're pretty sure that Punk puts in his two cents about your comic book-inspired ring gear. What can you tell us about your creative process and how you choose what makes in on your trunks and kick pads?
I'm pretty laid-back about everything, but when it comes to my gear, I'm a complete control freak—and I'm fortunate to have a seamstress who puts up with me. No one tells us what we have to wear, so we have to market ourselves. I draw ideas from what looks cool to me and what I'm into, such as comic book characters and '80s movies. It's as simple as that. Heading into summer, I have three surprise sets of gear, and they're so good that I don't know which one to wear first. One outfit will coincide with The Dark Knight Rises.

Finally, you've had some great matches with Chris Jericho recently. Who else would you most love to have a five-star match with?
I take pride in being able to contest a great match with anybody. That's one thing I always try to do, regardless of what position I’m in on the card. Being in there with a guy like Jericho is great because it forces you to do nothing short of your best, because he prides himself on being the best at what he does. Just by being in the ring with a veteran like him, whether I win or lose, comes off as a win to me because I learn so much. Like starting out the Elimination Chamber Match with Punk—it was really awesome because we're such good friends, but at the same time I know that he's always going to bring it, so I have to do the same. I'm going to try to top him and he's going to try to top me. How I fight depends on who I'm in there with, but at the same time, it doesn't matter at all. Kofi Kingston always rises to the occasion, and I have barely taken flight.

To read more about Kofi, including the advise CM Punk gave to Kofi the first time they met, pick-up the July issue of WWE Magazine or SUBSCRIBE HERE and save 70% off newsstand sale price.

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