Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah is a 41-year-old professional wrestler from Ghana. He is signed with the WWE and wrestles on the company’s SmackDown brand under the ring name, Kofi Kingston.
Kofi began his professional wrestling career after graduating from Boston College. He wrestled on the New England independent circuit for Millennium Wrestling Federation (MWF), New England Championship Wrestling (NECW), the Eastern Wrestling Alliance (EWA), Chaotic Wrestling and National Wrestling Alliance. His ring name was Kofi Nahaje Kingston.
Kofi Kingston Signs WWE Contract
In 2006, Kofi signed a developmental contract with the WWE. He was assigned to Deep South Wrestling in Georgia and then Florida Championship Wrestling in 2007. Kofi also worked a number of dark matches before episodes of RAW and SmackDown. It was around this time that Kofi shortened his ring name to Kofi Kingston.
At the end of 2007, WWE began promoting Kofi’s debut as the first Jamaican wrestler to wrestle for WWE when in fact, he has no Jamaican ancestry. He is the first African born wrestler to wrestle for the company.
Kofi Kingston Drafted to RAW
Kingston was drafted to the WWE RAW brand in June 2008 and days later, he worked his first match and defeated Chris Jericho to win the Intercontinental Championship. This win made him the first African born wrestler to win a championship in WWE history. He lost the title at SummerSlam that year. Kingston then teamed up with CM Punk and they won the World Tag Team Championship titles in October 2008. The tag team held the titles until December 2008.
In 2009, Kingston continued his title winning streak by defeating Montel Vontavious Porter for the United States Championship. His reign lasted 122 days before he was defeated by The Miz. At the end of 2009, WWE dropped Kingston’s Jamaican gimmick and began billing him from his home country, Ghana. In 2011, Kofi won the Intercontinental Championship twice and teamed with R-Truth to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship. He won the Intercontinental Championship a fourth time in 2012 and also the United States Championship for the third time in April.
The New Day Stable
In 2014, Kofi Kingston and Big E along with Xavier Woods as the manager, formed the tag team, The New Day. The team made their debut on SmackDown’s November 28 episode. At WrestleMania 35, Kingston was given a title shot and defeated Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. His reign lasted 180 days before losing to Brock Lesnar. After losing his title, Kingston returned to tag team competition.
In the fall of 2019, The New Day defeated The Revival but lost the titles at Super ShowDown in February 2020. The New Day quickly regained the titles in April to become six-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions. In July 2020, The New Day lost the titles again to Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura at the Horror Show at Extreme Rules. Kingston was also injured during the match after he was power-bombed through two tables.
Kingston Returns to Action
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods both returned from injury and defeated Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura to win their seventh SmackDown Tag Team Championships. After the match, and as part of the 2020 WWE Draft in October, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were drafted to RAW. Big E, their New Day partner, remained on the SmackDown roster.
On the October 12th episode of Monday Night RAW, the New Day exchanged tag team titles with RAW Tag Team Championship holders The Street Profits, who were drafted to SmackDown. This marked Kingston and Woods’ third reign with the RAW titles as a team (fifth for Kingston individually), The New Day’s 10th tag team championship reign in WWE as a team, and Kingston’s 13th tag team championship reign individually. On December 20, at TLC, Kingston and Woods lost the RAW Tag Team Championship to The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin).
Kofi Kingston Injured
In January 2021, Kingston stated that he was sidelined with a jaw injury. He returned to the ring though on February 8th and teamed with Woods to defeat Retribution. At Elimination Chamber, Kingston competed in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, eliminating Randy Orton, before being eliminated by Sheamus.
On March 15th, Kofi Kingston and Woods defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin to win back the RAW Tag Team Championship. This would be the New Day’s 11th tag team championship, and Kingston’s 14th individually. At WrestleMania 37, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods lost the RAW Tag Team Championship to A.J. Styles and Omos.
Kofi Kingston Drafted To SmackDown with Xavier Woods
On night one of the WWE Draft in October 2021, Kofi Kingston and tag team partner Xavier Woods were drafted to Friday Night SmackDown.
In October, Kingston entered the King of the Ring tournament, where he lost to Jinder Mahal in the first round. Woods, however, went on to win the King of the Ring tournament. Woods in turn changed his ring name to “King Woods,” and he knighted Kingston as “Sir Kofi Kingston”, the Hand of the King.
At the 2022 Royal Rumble, Kingston entered the Men’s Royal Rumble match as entrant number #24 and lasted only 21 seconds. Kingston’s short time in the match was not planned as a stunt he performed went wrong. Kevin Owens had shoved Kingston from the top turnbuckle and he smashed his ribs on the safety barricade at ringside. Kingston’s feet touched the arena floor.SHOW LESS
Birth name: Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah
Born: August 14, 1981, Ghana, West Africa
Height: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Spouse: Kori Campfield
Ring Name(s): Kofi Kingston, Kofi Nahaje Kingston, Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah
Current Roster: WWE SmackDown
Finishing Move(s): Trouble in Paradise
Kofi Kingston & The New Day Photos
Career Championships & Accomplishments
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- WWE Championship (1 time)
- WWE Intercontinental Championship (4 times)
- United States Championship (3 times)
- RAW Tag Team Championship (6 times)
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship (7 times)
- World Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Thirteenth Grand Slam Champion
- Thirtieth Triple Crown Champion
- Bragging Rights Trophy (2010) – with Team SmackDown
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament (2010)
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament (2018)