In build-up to his AEW world championship matchup against Jon Moxley at Saturday’s Full Gear, company star Eddie Kingston spoke with Sports Illustrated to talk all things pro-wrestling. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Calls AEW the perfect home:
I found the perfect home in AEW. WWE has shown interest in the past, but not always as a wrestler. That was always the sticking point. After my match with Cody, they saw me more as a player-coach, and that piqued my interest. My mother made the call. She said I would be happier in AEW than WWE, so I said, ‘OK, that’s where I’ll go.’ You have to be good to your mother; she gave you life. No one will ever know me better than my mother, so I listened to her.
Says winning the AEW title would signify every decision he’s made:
This is my chance to prove what I need to prove. I want to show that championship title to my mom, to my dad, to my brother and to my uncles, my nieces and nephews. I want to show it to everyone that has known me since I was a child. When I show them that belt, I’m going to tell them, ‘This is why I acted the way I acted. This is why I made the decisions I made. When I show that championship belt to my uncle, I’ll tell him, ‘This is why I didn’t join the union.’ When I show that championship belt to my dad, I’ll say, ‘This is why I didn’t go to college.’ When I show it to my mom, I’ll say to her, ‘This is why I didn’t get married yet and give you a grandkid.’ When I have that championship, that is the reason. This is the top world heavyweight championship, and that is going to signify every decision I’ve ever made.
How he doesn’t care where his match lands on the card:
The politically correct answer is that it doesn’t matter where I am on the card, and that the Bucks and FTR should main-event because they’ve had such a big buildup. Here’s the honest truth: The Bucks and FTR have a right to be the main event. I honestly can’t wait to see that match. It doesn’t matter where on the card I am against Moxley. This is my job, this is my life, so it’s going to be a main-event match.
Says people keep looking past him:
If you’re waiting to see Moxley-Omega, then good, keep looking past me. That’s disrespect to me. I’m going to win. If that puts a wrench in some people’s plans, that’s O.K. Those are their plans, not mine. I’m in this business to be the top guy, I’m in this business to be champion. I am working my ass off to prove I can be the world champion for the top company in America. This means everything to me. I will be AEW champion, and when I’m champion, my goal is to be better than ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, so the work never ends.
Calls himself the best wrestler in the world:
I honestly believe I’m better than Moxley on the stick and in the ring. Outside of Kenta Kobashi, I believe I’m the greatest pro wrestler in the world. I have to believe that. If I believe someone is better, then why am I getting up in the morning? Why am I going to Muay Thai training? Why am I working on my grappling? Why am I going to the gym and studying tape? Maybe, on paper, it doesn’t look like I belong in this match. I’ve been betting on myself my whole life. I know I belong.