After a six-month run as WWE champion, Kofi Kingston lost the title in just eight seconds to Brock Lesnar. Since then Kingston hasn't made it a mission to regain the title but has settled back into the role of being a tag team wrestler with The New Day.
Kingston talked about his mindset after the defeat and why his character hasn't made a push for a rematch on the After The Bell podcast.
"It wasn't up to me but I have said this on a few different interviews, it kind of is what it is. You show up to work and find out what you are doing and you kind of do it, so, this is weird too. A lot of people will be on my social media and saying, 'Well, Kofi, you are out there and you are acting like you don't care. Did you forget that you were the world champion?' I'm like, well, look, you are asking my on-screen character to be angry as if it's my real character. I think it's one of those things where it kind of is what it is," stated Kingston.
"In reality, I am on screen, I am a good guy. I lost in eight seconds, so as far as making a case for a rematch what would my character have to say? Give me another shot Brock, I lost in eight seconds but I'll get you next time! You're asking my real-life character to take on this anger and be mad with the way it happened on-screen, but for me personally, I have always approached this business as somebody who is always trying to move forward. You can't dwell on one day. There have been a lot of days where they have been negative for a lack of a better term but if you dwell on those you are miserable and you don't want to come to work, but I'm just trying to push forward.
"I think it's more important to always try to put a foot forward; always try climbing mountains and keep on setting records and keep on doing positive things in this industry because it doesn't last forever. I feel like it is a waste of time to dwell on the negative aspects of things so that is where I am at with that whole situation. I appreciate the passion that people have, but I am puzzled at some of the anger people have towards me because I am not the one who is making those decisions. It is what it is."
Xavier Woods then added that The New Day is focused on the long-term picture and Kingston losing the title won't derail their long-term goals.
"I think also too that people need to realize that each match is not a war. Each match segment that talent is given is not a battle," said Woods. "Clearly, New Day is still here, we are tag-team champions, so for us the war is not over. I don't think it will ever be over for us, but we are fighting as much as possible. It was a battle for Kofi. It was a battle for all of us, but it's not the end of the war. So, understand that The New Day will always constantly fight and will do all we can to win those fights, but we are gunning for the war, not the one fight…
"The whole story was unbelievable and so inspiring for so many people so for it to end the way it did, as Kofi said, I can understand the frustration. But the anger I feel is possibly misplaced in the larger picture, because if you don't, you are going to cry every time you have to look forward."
Kingston is the first African-born World Champion in WWE history and Woods talked about the significance of what that represents.
"It's an incredible feeling, obviously. Kofi and E always make fun of me because whenever anyone brings up a picture of us of Kofi winning the title and we are holding him up, I am balling," said Woods. "I am crying because it is incredibly important, he is the first-born African WWE Champion. So, the fact that at least for me and E we played a small role in that amazing story, but now there are kids all over the world that can say, oh, there has been a champion that looks like me so I have a viable shot at winning a championship. Those kids that don't look like Kofi and don't look like us can say, oh, people that look like that can be world champion, so it doesn't just open up the eyes of young black kids, it opens the eyes of young kids everywhere.
"On a larger scale, it's a thing we have been shooting for such a long time on multiple interviews and multiple podcasts that this is what we want for Kofi. So, for it to finally happen, and for E and myself to win the tag team titles shortly after, it was wild. It gives kids another alternative for what they can perceive are their actual goals in life."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit After the Bell with Corey Graves with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.