Kingston brings sun to ECW
Kofi Kingston left paradise for a dream: Competing in WWE. Intent on eliminating trouble in his new setting, ECW, WWE's first Jamaican Superstar accomplishes his goal by way of his own unique methods. Among those methods is his unusual clapping, which has left people wondering what that's all about. WWE.com got answers from Kofi himself in an exclusive interview.
"The bo-bo," Kingston said as he clapped his hands together, "That's a war cry."
ECW's newest competitor begins and finishes each contest with his "Thunder Clap," a way of blending his cry for battle with his display of how much he is enjoying himself in the Paradise of the Extreme.
Kofi grew up on the streets away from the beaches in Jamaica, his family suffering from financial difficulties. Though one of his earliest memories is having to sleep on the floor, his mother always told him to keep his head up no matter how bad times are. His grin and optimistic thinking has made positive things happen; it has left in WWE today with something to smile about.
"In the Jamaica flag," he said, "The yellow is for the sunshine, the green is for the land and the black is for the Jamaican people. The sayin' goes, ‘While there's struggle, the grass is green and the sun is still shinin'.'"
The combination of celebration and war cry in his Thunder Clap embodies this way of living. Now, in a different paradise, he credits the culture of his hometown island with imparting this approach on him.
"If you go to the dance halls of Jamaica, everybody, they always put their hands up," he explained. "I always try to make it look like I'm havin' a good time out there so I'll shake the shoulders a little bit; you know what I'm saying?"
Say what you will about Kingston, but you can't deny the unique energy he brings into the ring. His ring gear is vibrant and his dance is infectious, which Kelly Kelly showed after teaming up with the new Superstar for a tag team victory on ECW on Sci Fi.
"That's what we do as Jamaicans. We always want to dance to the beat of our own drum, if you will."
Whether it's the kind he makes in his head or the kind everybody can listen to, music is a big part of Kofi's life. He plays the saxophone and sees it as a form of entertainment, which is very important to what his stands for. In fact, it is the reason why he took an interest in sports-entertainment.
"I would see people entertaining and wrestling on the TV," he said. "People fightin' for what was right and at the same time, in my life, I felt like I had to fight. I want to be able to give other people the same feeling that once you're watchin' us, you don't have to worry about anythin'."
Kingston's goal is to lead our fans on a tour of the "brighter side of life." While accomplishing this, he also relishes the opportunity to add his name to the annals of WWE history.
"To have the chance to compete in the same ring as Ric Flair is mind-blowin' to me," Kingston admitted, also citing another influential figure from his days of watching. "Koko B. Ware, you know, would always come out smilin' with his bird, Frankie. He embodied the energy that mama Kingston always told me to have."
But, in the midst of appreciating everything around him, Kofi is careful never to take his eye off of the other competitor in the squared circle with him. So far, his careful nature has paid off, helping him to an unblemished win-loss record since dancing into ECW.
"You have to realize," he said, "You have an opponent in the ring and this opponent is not tryin' to party with you."
During the weeks leading up to his in-ring debut, the Jamaican Superstar promised that whenever there was trouble, he would be there to set things right. With this superheroic mentality, the man from Kingston has kept true to his aim to fight the good fight, with his smile intact.
"I do things with a different twist," Kofi said, which is obviously by simply looking the attitude he brings, unparalleled to anyone else's.
WWE has given Kingston his dream come true, and he in turn, has undeniably brought to it his own piece of paradise.