We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, so even if we hadn’t heard about a company-spanning COVID outbreak hours before the Jan. 11 Raw, there would have been some suspicion when Xavier Woods suddenly came out for a match without his New Day partner Kofi Kingston.
Fans became more suspicious when Tom Phillips informed us Kingston was out with a broken jaw he’d suffered against The Hurt Business. In the time since New Day’s last match against MVP & crew, they’d wrestled The Miz & John Morrison. Surely Kofi didn’t work that with a broken jaw, right? There must be some other explanation.
On the latest edition of New Day’s Feel The Power podcast, Kingston offered that explanation. Turns out it was just an injury that took a while to really affect him. And he’s not sure he’d have ever noticed if it wasn’t for the lack of a live audience:
“So going back to when I had injured my jaw, I got kneed in the face by Cedric Alexander like three weeks ago. And a couple of my teeth chipped. It was all fine — it was cool. And the point of impact was just real sore. I thought okay it’s a bruise or whatever. The next week we actually had like a six-man match and everything was fine. A little pain but not terrible.
“And then the next week when we had our match — right before we went out, it just kept feeling like it was like just loose. Like, ‘oh, this is weird.’ And as soon as we get out there to the ring, I’m moving around and now I’m feeling it kind of like come out of place and just feel like it wasn’t set in. And I feel like if the fans were there, I wouldn’t have felt that. Like throughout the whole entire match, anytime something would happen, I would get hit or whatever, I’ll grab my jaw. And I’m like, the entire match thinking about it the whole time.
“But, if we had fans there - I’ve been, not necessarily injured, but have been hurt in a match, and you just feel like the adrenaline of the crowd and it makes you will your way through it. So, I don’t know man, It changes the whole dynamic of just how we do what we do and the approach even. It’s just really really strange. I don’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse. I guess the best way I can describe it is just being different.”
On the night of the PPV, Kofi did tweet about having his teeth chipped in the TLC bout with Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, so he knew something had happened - just not the extent of it.
The exact diagnosis wasn’t specified on Feel The Power, nor did Kingston say when he’s expected back.
Get well soon, Kof!