While his current job as a WWE Superstar is a dream come true, Kofi Kingston's first job after graduating from college turned out to be just the opposite.
"I worked in corporate advertising for about a year-and-a-half," Kingston recalls. "On my first day in the office I walked in and saw nothing but cubicles. As I sat in my empty cubicle and stared at the walls I thought to myself 'Oh my God! Is this going to be the rest of my life?' It gives me goosebumps just to think about that cubicle!"
Before too long, Kingston decided to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. For a year-and-a-half — five days a week - Kingston would drive 45 minutes to work, put in an eight-hour day, then drive 45 minutes to where he trained to be a wrestler. After a training session that lasted anywhere from two to three hours, Kingston would drive 45 minutes back home.
Such determination to learn the wrestling business soon paid off for the Ghana native. After a little more than a year in the WWE's "developmental" organizations — Deep South Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling — Kingston moved up to the WWE's main roster, first on the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) brand. In 2008 Kingston moved over to the WWE's RAW brand.
Right away, Kingston's persona as a happy-go-lucky guy with an arsenal of high-flying acrobatic moves made him a hit with WWE fans. Kingston says "I believe that my character is unique, filled with a lot of energy that feeds off the energy of the crowd and vice versa. I think that it's the energetic vibe that my character gives off that helped me land a job with the WWE.
"My character is in constant development and has been since my days in the developmental organizations. Along the way I've learned from some very talented people, like Tom Pritchard, Killer Kowalski, and Billy Kidman. It's really something to get input from guys like that, some who are legends, and then put it all together in being Kofi Kingston."
While he may not be as big and physically intimidating as some WWE Superstars, Kingston admits he still has to work hard to stay in shape.
"Physical appearance is a part of the job of being a WWE Superstar. I am always trying to gain and maintain weight. I burn calories so quickly, I am always eating.
"Of course I do the weight and cardio training. I do a lot of jumping and bouncing around when I'm warming up for a show. Whether I'm early on the card or late, I usually start my warm up routine before the show starts. I'm just anxious to get out there in front of the WWE Universe and put on a good show!"
Kingston says that during his time in the WWE he has faced several tough opponents, ranging from the "big guys" to Superstars more his size.
"My matches against Kane, Big Show and Mark Henry are always played up to be 'David vs. Goliath' type matches," Kingston says. "And I've had tough matches against MVP who is more of a brawler, as well as The Miz and Chris Jericho.
"I grew up watching Chris Jericho and he's one of the reasons I'm in the WWE. I defeated Chris for the Intercontinental Championship (last year) which was the first title shot I had ever had in my career!. It was pretty cool to be in the ring with him and win the Intercontinental Title."
One advantage of not being one of the WWE's "giants" is Kingston's ability to blend in when he's out in public.
"Like a lot of other people we WWE Superstars value our privacy," Kingston points out, "which is difficult if you're someone like the Big Show (a 7'0" 485 lbs. WWE Superstar) who draws a crowd wherever he goes. I tend to wear baggy clothes and with so many people wearing their hair in dreadlocks I can pretty much stay under the radar.
"But I do enjoy meeting WWE fans when the opportunity is there. And I'm always on Facebook and Twitter so I do get the opportunity to talk with the fans that way, and keep in touch with them."
WHO: WWE RAW
WHEN: Monday, October 12th, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Conseco Fieldhouse
TICKETS: Conseco Fieldhouse box office, TicketMaster locations, (317) 239-5151 or www.ticketmaster.com