Kofi Kingston reflects on his 2022 Royal Rumble botch.
Through the years, Kofi Kingston has pulled off a number of impressive feats to save himself from being eliminated in Royal Rumble matches. During the 2022 installment, Kingston was prepared to pull off another high-risk save, however it did not go as planned. The current NXT Tag Team Champion recalled what happened during a recent appearance on Cheap Heat with Peter Rosenberg.
“What happened last year was certainly not the plan,” Kingston said. “A lot of people would ask in interviews too, ‘Well, what happens if you don’t do what you set out to do?’ I’m like, ‘We’ll I’ll just walk to the back.’ But to actually have it happen, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, is this real? Did it really just happen? Did anyone see my feet touch?’ And there’s like the camera angle was right there.”
The spot occurred when Kevin Owens pushed Kingston off the top rope for what he describes was supposed to be a backwards reverse springboard where Kingston had to land on the barricade and catch himself to prevent his feet from touching the floor. Had he jumped higher or from a different angle, he may have made it, but the impact of hitting his chest on the barricade complicated the move that he didn’t have a chance to rehearse.
The nearby referee informed Kingston that his feet touched the floor during his leap, and he had to unfortunately return to the back. To move past it, Kingston used it as a life lesson.
“This goes beyond Royal Rumble spots, right. You have your biggest leaps and bounds in terms of growth and development when you fail. If everything was so easy and you were succeeding every single time, it’s fine, but you’re not really gonna grow as a person,” Kingston stated. “So for me, to do that in front of everybody, everybody’s watching and wanting you to do something, expecting something out of you, and you weren’t able to do what you were supposed to do. Especially people in the front row too. We’re making eye contact like, ‘What are we gonna do?’ Then you gotta take this walk of shame all the way back.”
Kingston said that he felt like everyone was looking at him the next day at the airport, although a majority of the people there weren’t fans. Like in life, Kingston stated he couldn’t keep sulking about it and had to pick himself up to move forward.
Fans will have to wait and see whether Kingston competes in the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble match. Check out the updated list of entrants here.
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