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Kofi Kingston Explains Why He Dropped His Jamaican Accent

Kofi Kingston WWE WWF

• OLD SCHOOL HISTORY (July 26, 1993) – WWF Monday Night RAW

On this day in 1993, the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF Monday Night RAW’.

It was broadcasted from the Manhattan Center in New York City, New York and featured matches, interviews & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF SummerSlam 1993’ PPV.

Here’s the card:

1. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bret Hart

2. Mr. Hughes vs. Russ Greenberg

3. The Smoking Gunns vs. Duane Gil & Glen Ruth

4. Doink The Clown vs. Phil Apollo

WATCH: Toni Storm’s Revealing Photoshoot:

• Kofi Kingston Explains Why He Dropped His Jamaican Accent

During a recent appearance on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston talked about his Jamaican accent and why he dropped it.

Below are the highlights:

On why he dropped the Jamaican accent:

“Oh my god. So here’s the thing, like when I was training, the big deal was that you needed a character, right? That was the big thing, you’ve gotta have a character. ‘Vince is liking characters right now.’ So I remember being on the way to promo class, and I was listening to the Damian Marley CD. And I was like, ‘Huh. Okay, this is an amazing CD.’

I say this every single time, top to bottom it still holds up. So one day I just came in and they were like, ‘Okay well, you’ve gotta go up there and cut a promo.’ And I was just like, [in Jamaican accent] ‘Kofi Kingston from Kingston, Jamaica.’ I cut a promo on Ric Flair for stealing my Jamaican beef patty, or you know, giving him one that he threw in the trash, something like that. Something dumb. And everybody was just like, ‘Oh, man! You’ve gotta do that! Whoa!’

So that was it, trying to find a way to stand out is so important. And I didn’t go with the Ghanian character, because at the time Prince Nana who worked for ROH — I think he still does — was like, the Ghanian Prince. So for me to come out and be like, ‘Oh, I’m from Ghana too!’ Everyone would be like, ‘Oh, Prince Nana,’ you know what I mean? I just wanted to do something that would stand out.

So I went the Jamaican route, never having been to the country. Knowing very few people of Jamaican descent. But I did listen to that Damian Marley CD several times, so I figured it qualified me to pose as a Jamaican character.”

On getting heat from people for his Jamaican accent and dropping it:

“Number one, and I say all the time. It’s hard enough to remember what you have to say, let alone how you have to say it. My Jamaican accent was garbage. It was horrible, and people on MySpace from Jamaica let me know every day with their messages, like ‘Oh, you’re not from Jamaica! Kofi’s not even a Jamaican name!’

But then, people from Ghana would be like, ‘Oh, you want to claim Jamaica, then you go be from Jamaica!’ So now I’m getting it from both ends. I’m like, ‘Guys, you don’t hold Samuel L. Jackson to the standard of being Nick Fury, you know what I’m saying? What is happening here?’ It was just a character, guys! It’s wrestling, entertainment, World Wrestling Entertainment! I’m just trying to entertain. ‘No! No!’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god, it’s not that serious.’

So we kept on doing the Jamaican thing, and it wasn’t until about like four or five months later. I think it was Bragging Rights, the PPV. And before we go out, they’re like ‘Yeah, I think we’re gonna drop the accent.’ I’m like ‘Oh, how we gonna do this?’ ‘Well, we’ll just have you start talking normal.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, okay.’

So if you go back and watch it, it’s Triple H in the you know, we’re going back and forth and our team is getting all catty and I’m the guy that has to calm everybody down. And I just start talking like ‘Guys, guys, we gotta get on the same page. If not, they’re gonna obliterate us, man come on. What are we doing? Does anyone have any questions?’

And Triple H is like ‘Well yeah, I’ve got a question. Aren’t you supposed to be Jamaican?’ And that was it, I wasn’t Jamaican anymore.”

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