Ten years of bad blood between Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton will come to a head at WWE’s SummerSlam. The champ EXCLUSIVELY tells us that it will be ‘the realest confrontation’ in his entire WWE career.
“I think you are going to see something very intense,” the current WWE Heavyweight Champion, Kofi Kingston, 37, EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife when discussing his upcoming SummerSlam match with Randy Orton, 39. Ten years ago, these two began a feud that will explode on Aug. 11 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Don’t expect your average, run-of-the-mill match. “This time around,” Kofi tells us, “it is one of the realest confrontations that I have ever been involved in WWE.”
“Especially for rivalries that I have had for the WWE Championship, this is probably up there for the realest and most intense rivalry that I have had so far,” he tells HollywoodLife. “It definitely has been ten years in the making.” He’s not lying. In 2009, Kofi and Randy began a rivalry that many fans thought was going to launch Kingston into the main event. Instead, Kofi’s career seemingly went nowhere, stagnation he recently blamed on Randy pulling some strings behind the scene. Kofi finally got a shot at the WWE Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 35, and at SummerSlam, he’s looking to resolve some unfinished business with “The Viper.
“It’s a legit situation that Randy didn’t want me to be here and went out of his way for me not to get this far,” Kofi tells HollywoodLife. “Somehow the stars aligned and though it took ten years later, — ten years for it to happen — I am WWE Champion and Randy Orton wants that WWE Championship. The match will be described in one word if I can, it would be intense.”
The match between Kofi and Randy blends a bit of reality with the art of wrestling. Kofi and Randy first met during October 2009’s Bragging Rights pay-per-view event, when Kofi helped John Cena defeat Randy for the WWE Championship. The feud between Randy and Kofi would continue until January 2010’s Royal Rumble. During a three-way match between Kofi, Orton, and Cena, Randy delivered an RKO finishing move on Kofi. He was incensed afterward, angrily shouting “stupid! stupid!” before pinning Kofi.
Shortly afterward, there were reports that Kofi screwed up the finish of the match, per Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Kofi was seemingly banished from the main event and he would spend the next nine years in the middle of the card. Kingston finally worked his way back to the main event — and to a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 35.
So, what’s the main difference between 2009 Kofi and 2019 Kofi? “I think in 2009, I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kid who was out there who wanted to follow his dream and do the right thing and do right by everyone and wanted to work my way to the top of the ladder,” he tells HollywoodLife. “That is a good attitude to have, but you have to be more than that to get to this level. My confidence has quadrupled, ten-fold than what it was then, and I am a completely different person.”
“I think my performances are a lot better now. I think I have a bigger following from being in The New Day, and obviously from being the WWE Champion,” he tells HollywoodLife. “I have had the chance to grow and develop and become a more well-rounded WWE Superstar. So as I said on Twitter, I am definitely not the same kid that I was in 2009. I have got a little bit older and a little bit wiser — and I am more than ready to bear the challenge of being the WWE Champion.”
WWE’s SummerSlam kicks off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT on Sunday, Aug. 11 on the WWE Network and pay-per-view.