In case you were wondering whether stories about WWE’s “alpha-male” corporate culture were true, check out this tale Kofi Kingston told Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp.
The story, from a promotional trip for WrestleMania 26, was actually alluded to in Chris Jericho’s The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea. Jericho’s version had Vince McMahon taunting Kofi about not being “over”.
Kingston’s added more details, and attempts to set the record straight on whether he was actually taken down by a then 64 year old Vince McMahon when he was 28 years old.
“It’s one of my vivid memories in sports because it’s the wild world of wrestling. You know what I mean?. We were on the way to a press conference. As we were getting off, Vince started trying me a little bit. He’s like, ‘You wanna fight an old man?’
I’m like, ‘Whoa, what is going on? What’s happening?’ I got kicked off the plane because I wouldn’t fight him. ‘Uhhhh, okay.’ Jericho did come down and he said I had to go back up there, because in this weird world of wrestling, this is how you had to get respect.
I’m like, ‘Uhhh, okay, I guess I’ll go up there and try to fight my boss.’ We get up there and we start going back and forth. All of a sudden, I got double legged on the plane. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, we’re really fighting.’ This is crazy.”
If you’ve ever watched the man make excuses and talk trash playing Madden, it won’t surprise you that Kofi argues he technically was never in danger of losing to his boss. But the former WWE champion knows this very well may have been a key moment in his career.
“I had the whizzer in. The ref probably wouldn’t have given him the two points. But you’ve got to keep in mind, the aisle in the plane was three or four feet long. All of a sudden, he started laughing, ‘Ah, if I’d have known that you want it.’
I’m thankful that Jericho told me to go back on there because who knows, in this weird world of wrestling, if I don’t go on there, all of a sudden, ‘he doesn’t have what it takes.’ I don’t know if I would have had the career that I would have had. A very different time, back then. It was a wild night, for sure.
Anyone who is an amateur wrestling aficionado, if you have that whizzer in, they can’t award control. Who knows what would have happened. I’m pretty sure I might have been able to get my legs out and get a sprawl on. It didn’t have to go that far. I don’t think it was about the actual takedown. Who knows.
We were still kind of in the early state of our relationship, so I don’t know if there was a shift or anything. I’ve been real lucky to have a really really good relationship with Vince over the years. I’ve been really lucky to have experience so much in my career. Obviously, Vince is the one making those decisions at the end of the day. I’ve taken a lot of pride in being able to deliver over the years and maximize the opportunities I’ve been given. I’m always thankful to Vince for giving me those opportunities for the past decade plus. I just keep trying to knock them out of the park every single time.”
He sure knocked that story out of the park. There are a lot of wild Vince stories out there, and this one belongs at the top of the pack.
H/T Fightful for transcription