Kofi Kingston, currently one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, said he loves any shows in the Deep South.
“The fans in the South are so great,” Kingston said in a phone interview Thursday. “They have so much passion for what we do. It makes our jobs even more fun when we have an audience like that. We always love Birmingham.”
Kingston and his partner, R-Truth, will defend their titles Sunday in Birmingham against former tag champs Primo and Epico. The event starts at 6 p.m.
“We beat them for the titles, and they will be out for revenge,” Kingston said. “Every time we get into the ring with those guys, the matches are off the chain. They really want to get the titles back, and Truth and I are going to do everything within our power to keep that from happening.”
Kingston is a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He also held the titles as a member of the tag team, Air Boom, with Evan Bourne in 2011. Until 2011, Kingston was primarily a singles wrestler, but in the last year or so has made the transition to tag team stardom.
“Being a tag team wrestler has been cool,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to tag with some really good guys. Teaming with R-Truth has been a great thing for my career. A lot of people don’t realize how long he’s been wrestling. I used to watch him as a fan, and now I’m his tag team partner and friend.”
The popularity of tag team wrestling is growing, Kingston added.
“We’ve got some really good teams out there right now,” he said. “Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, The Usos and Primo and Epico are all great tag teams that have people talking about the tag team division.”
Outside the ring, Kingston said he spends a lot of time with R-Truth as well as WWE Champion C.M. Punk, whom he held the World Tag Team Championships with in 2008.
“Truth and I are really good friends outside the ring. He has the whole hip hop thing going on, and I’m into hip hop as well,” he said. “C.M. Punk and I have been friends for years now. Getting to tag with him early in my career was a great thing and we became instant friends.”
Kingston, a multiple time Intercontinental Champion and United States Champion, said other career highlights have included his feuds with Chris Jericho and Randy Orton.
“Jericho is just a ridiculous ring veteran who is world traveled, and the feud with Randy took my career to a whole other level,” he said.
A popular athlete with younger fans, Kingston said he appreciates the support from that group.
“I was a young fan myself,” he said. “I grew up watching Ricky Steamboat and Shawn Michaels. I never got to meet those guys as a kid, so I try to take as much time as possible to talk to young fans or sign an autograph for them whenever I see them. The support from the kids has been one thing that has always helped my career.”
Along with the tag team championship match, the card in Birmingham is full of some of the WWE most popular athletes. The main event for the night is a 2-on-1 match with John Cena facing the Big Show and Lord Tensai. Punk is scheduled to defend his WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan. United States Champion Santino Marella will face Dolph Ziggler.
Several other WWE Superstars are scheduled to attend the live event, which is not being televised.
“This is going to be a great event,” Kingston said. “The live shows are always more intimate. We get to interact with the crowd a lot, so I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans in Birmingham.”
Tickets to Sunday’s event are available at Ticketmaster and at the door.