Aside from surprise entries from NXT and returns from some of WWE’s biggest stars of yesteryear, Kofi Kingston’s creative ways of staving off elimination have long been a staple of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view’s titular main event. Well before Kingston made his surprising rise to the top of the card as WWE Champion, the 37-year-old wrestler was earning the admiration of fans for these unusual, acrobatic spots where he finds a way to avoid elimination by preventing both of his feet from hitting the floor outside the ring. But how did he come up with those crowd-pleasing spots anyway?
In a recent interview with The Wrap, Kingston answered the above question, revealing that he has been lucky to enter each Royal Rumble match with ideas that “just kinda [come]” when needed. While he further explained that he tries to plan for these Royal Rumble spots before the match takes place, he said that he has gotten help from a rather unexpected source, as opposed to either one of his New Day stablemates, Big E and Xavier Woods.
“Hornswoggle usually is the guy who I go back and forth and brainstorm with,” Kingston said, in reference to the former WWE wrestler who left the company in 2016. “[He’s] my brainstorming buddy, we used to room together and travel together on the road when he was here.”
In addition to Hornswoggle — who has made a few one-off reappearances on WWE programming since he was released three years ago — Kingston also credited the company’s creative team, which often does the “thinking” for him when it comes to those unique Royal Rumble spots.
— WrestleZone on Mandatory (@WRESTLEZONEcom) July 10, 2019
Later on in the interview, Kingston revealed that he decided to spice up the Royal Rumble with his entertaining methods of avoiding elimination because of the departure of another former WWE superstar who has since enjoyed success in multiple rival promotions — John Hennigan, who was known in his WWE days as John Morrison.
“I just saw it as a void — it was open — that needed to be filled, especially after John Morrison left.”
As Kofi Kingston has held the WWE Championship since he won it from Daniel Bryan in April at WrestleMania 35, he won’t be competing in the 2020 Royal Rumble if he holds on to his title until early next year. And while recent reports have suggested that he is dealing with injuries at the moment, Comic Book noted this week that Kingston will still be defending his WWE Championship against Samoa Joe at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Sunday. As such, only time will tell if he gets to extend his run as champion with another successful title defense, or if his supposed injuries will force WWE to take the belt off of him after three months on top of SmackDown Live’s pecking order.