Kofi Kingston was a guest on the Reps Podcast where he talked a bit about his start in the WWE, specifically the difficulty he had with his first character, that of a “Jamaican” superstar.
Kingston debuted in 2006 and was billed as being from Jamaica, he wore the colors of Jamaica on his ring gear and even had an accent. According to Kingston, it was the accent that proved the most difficult to sustain.
“I was so happy to be able to drip the accent,” said Kingston, adding that it was Vince McMahon himself who insisted that he keep the accent and the act at all times.
“Any time I was on screen or being interviewed by anybody about anything it had to be in Jamaican,” he said.
“The WWE magazine would call up and it would just be a regular number and I would say ‘Oh hello?’ and they would say ‘Hi this is Megan from the magazine calling, is Kofi there?’ and I would say ‘Oh hold on’ and then answer in Jamaican,” he recalled.
According to Kingston, it was a reporter from the BBC who went the extra mile and called his mother who enabled him to drop the act.
Kingston had completed an interview where a reporter grilled him about being Jamaican. Kingston thought he had successfully protected kayfabe till he got a call from his mother.
“My mom calls me up and says ‘Somebody from the BBC just called and they asked me about your Jamaican heritage and I told them you were from Ghana and this’ and I was like ‘NOOO Mom Kayfabe Kayfabe!’” said Kingston.
A year later, Kingston was allowed to drop the Jamaican act which he said was a relief.
As cool and happy go lucky as the Jamaican character was, it really wasn’t who I was so I was only able to get to a certain point. It was great to have that lid popped off so I could keep climbing the ladder,” he said.