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Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah (born on August 14, 1981) is a Ghanaianmarker professional wrestler, better known under his ring name, Kofi Kingston, currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment working on the Raw brand. Since competing for WWE, he has won the Intercontinental Championship once, the United States Championship once and the World Tag Team Championship once with CM Punk.


Early career

After receiving a degree in communications, he initially pursued a career in the corporate world. "My first day at work I sat in my cubicle and looked at the empty walls and it was very depressing," he recalls. Sarkodie-Mensah decided to drop his business pursuits and opt to go into professional wrestling. "The first day I walked into the wrestling school, I knew I was in the right place," he says.

Sarkodie-Mensah began wrestling professionally in 2005, under the ring name of Kofi Nahaje Kingston. Kingston's country of birth was billed as Jamaicamarker rather than Ghana, because, according to Leslie Goffe of the BBC, "[People] would be more likely to embrace a person from the land of Bob Marley and reggae music" than someone from Ghana. (It was not until the October 1, 2009 edition of WWE Superstars, that he was for the first time announced as hailing from "Ghana, West Africa".) He made his official wrestling debut in 2006, when he faced PWF Mayhem Heavyweight Champion Evan Siks on June 4. He competed primarily in the New Englandmarker area, including stints in National Wrestling Alliance - New England, Millennium Wrestling Federation, New England Championship Wrestling, the Eastern Wrestling Alliance, and Chaotic Wrestling.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2005–present)

Developmental territories (2006–2007)

In September 2006, he signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), a Georgia based developmental federation. He debuted in the new company, as Kofi Nahaje Kingston, in a dark match loss to Montel Vontavious Porter on September 21. For the rest of 2006 and the beginning of 2007, he appeared in DSW, as well as its Kentucky based sister promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling, where he was in a tag team dubbed the "Commonwealth Connection" with Harry Smith.

In 2007, under the ring name "Kofi Jamaica", he had his first exposure to the main WWE roster, when he worked dark matches on March 5 and 26 before episodes of Raw against Charlie Haas and Trevor Murdoch respectively. When he returned to the developmental federations, he shortened his original ring name to "Kofi Kingston" and continued to use both ring names throughout his duration there. He also worked live events, defeating Shelton Benjamin on May 5, and Val Venis on May 6.

When the Florida based developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, opened in June, Kingston was relocated there, appearing at their first show on June 26 teaming with Eric Perez against Keith Walker and Rycklon Stephens in a losing effort. Kingston worked there for most of the remainder of the year, until he was called up to WWE's main roster.

ECW (2007–2008)

A series of vignettes for Kingston's television debut began airing on the weekly ECW on Sci Fi television show starting on December 6, 2007. view During this introduction phase, his videos, the official website, and commentators all made note that he would be the first Jamaican-born person to wrestle for the company. He debuted on January 22, 2008 as a fan favorite with a win over local wrestler David Owen. After wrestling sporadic matches, Kingston was involved in his first major match; a 24-man battle royal during the WrestleMania XXIV pre-show with the winner receiving an ECW Championship match, but was eliminated by Mark Henry. Kingston remained undefeated in singles competition in ECW for months and was placed in to a feud with Shelton Benjamin at the end of April 2008. After two straight losses, Benjamin got a win over Kingston on the May 20 episode of ECW, ending his undefeated streak. On June 24 edition of ECW, Kingston defeated Benjamin in an Extreme Rules Match to end their feud.

Raw (2008–present)

Kingston as the Intercontinental Champion.
As part of the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft, Kingston was drafted to the Raw brand. In his first match as a member of Raw roster, he defeated Chris Jericho for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Night of Champions. The win made him the first Ghanaian wrestler to hold a championship in World Wrestling Entertainment and it was also his first championship in his wrestling career. Kingston held the championship until SummerSlam, where he and Women's Champion Mickie James both lost their championships in an intergender "winner take all" tag team match to Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella.

At Unforgiven, he appeared backstage, coming to the aid of then-World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, who had been attacked by Manu, Randy Orton, and the World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Soon after coming to his rescue, Punk and Kingston were paired together more often, and on the October 27 episode Raw, the duo won the World Tag Team Championship. He was also involved at Survivor Series in the traditional ten-men elimination tag team match on the side of Team Batista, but was eliminated by Randy Orton. Kingston and Punk lost the World Tag Team Championship to John Morrison and The Miz at a WWE live event on December 13.

At No Way Out in 2009, Kingston won a spot in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber by defeating Kane, but was unable to officially enter in the match, as he was ambushed by Edge, who took Kingston's place and eventually won the match.

Kingston defeated Chris Jericho, after interference from Ric Flair, to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXV, but the match was won by CM Punk. After winning a Triple Threat Number One Contender's match the week before, Kingston defeated Montel Vontavious Porter on the June 1st episode of Raw to win the WWE United States Championship. For the next several months, he went on to defend and retain his title at PPV's such as Extreme Rules, Night of Champions, Breaking Point, and WWE Hell in a Cell, until losing the championship to The Miz on October 5 on Raw, ending his four month reign. On the October 12 edition of Monday Night Raw Kofi beat Evan Bourne to qualify for the Smackdown vs. Raw tag team match at WWE Bragging Rights. Between qualifying for Team Raw and the match at Bragging Rights, Triple H made several accusations in a comedic way to Kofi's loss of his Jamaican accent. Kofi had explained it was a homage to his heritage. Team Raw lost the match however when Raw's Big Show betrayed them by chokeslamming Kingston, allowing Chris Jericho to pick up the win for Team Smackdown. During the night, Kingston and Raw teammate Cody Rhodes had tension on-camera. This culminated in Kingston running out during the WWE Championship match when Rhodes was interfering on behalf of Randy Orton. Kingston would chase Rhodes out of the arena while Randy Orton would eventually lose the match. On the October 26 edition of Monday Night RAW Kingston began a feud with Randy Orton, after Orton believed he cost him the WWE Championship. After Kingston defeated Chris Jericho, Randy Orton came from behind and attacked Kingston, ending with Orton throwing Kingston onto the side of the entrance ramp. Later that night, Kofi interrupted Orton's rematch clause with John Cena. At Survivor Series Kofi Kingston captained his team which was consisted of Christian, R-Truth, Mark Henry & MVP vs. Team Orton consisted of Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk & William Regal. On the November 16th edition of Raw at Madison Square Garden, Kingston saved guest host "Rowdy" Roddy Piper from an assault by Orton. This quickly turned into a brawl which led to Kingston landing a Boom Drop from a rail in the crowd onto an unconscious Randy Orton through a table. Kingston went on to lead his Survivor Series team to victory where he was the sole survivor, last eliminating Randy Orton. On the November 30th edition of RAW, Kingston was scheduled to face Randy Orton in a one on one match, only to be assaulted from behind by DiBiase and Rhodes. After the assault, Kingston wished to continue, only to be hit with an RKO to be defeated by Orton. After the match Orton hung Kingston on top of a turnbuckle and landed a devastating Spike DDT.

In wrestling

Kingston during a SmackDown!
/ ECW house show.

  • Nicknames
    • "The Jamaican Sensation"
    • "The Controlled Frenzy" (WWE)
    • "The Dreadlock Dynamo" (WWE)

Championships and accomplishments

Kingston, as United States Champion, with a fan.


External links

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